Sex in Sin City (Yes, I had me some…)
But this post isn’t about that. It’s about the Erotic Authors Association’s Inaugural Conference in Las Vegas that I attended a couple weekends ago. So get your mind out of the gutter.
Or not. This was, after all, a conference for writers of erotica. ;-)
Sorry this write-up is so late in coming – right after I returned (as in two days later) I had to pack up to head up north (way up north) to Twisted Tryst, and only just got back from that event late Sunday night. And while I planned on taking notes and posting about the conference daily, well…you know how it goes. You get back to your hotel room, find a handsome man you’ve been crushing on forever sitting in front of floor-to-ceiling windows looking out on the Vegas skyline…and he tells you to get naked and put your hands on the window so he can look at you…and pretty soon you find yourself on your knees in front of his chair, and…
Writing sorta becomes the last thing on your mind. Or at least this girl’s mind.
Ah hell, I said the sex wasn’t what I was going to write about, didn’t I?!
Okay, okay. The conference.
First of all, there are several places you can go, including some of my favorite writers’ blogs and some newly-met writers’ blogs, to get lots more specifics about the conference itself (and I encourage you to head over there to take a gander at what these folks have to say, if you are a writer of erotica or considering attending next year’s conference):
Sharazade & Sharazade’s interview w/Graydancer
Remittance Girl (First Day, Second Day & Final Reflections)
K D Grace (What Happens in Vegas Part 1 and Part 2)
I.G. Frederick (in the Erotic eBooks blog)
Kathleen Bradean (organizer of the event)
Katie Salidas (Day 1 Recap and Day 2 Recap)
Jolie du Pre
Catherine Lundoff (Part 1 & Part 2)
There was also a write-up in the Las Vegas Weekly: Seeing Erotica in Everything…Even Shoplifting.
In any case, my post here will be much less focused on the specifics of the classes and panels, or even the conference itself, per se…mostly (as is my wont in this space) I wanted to write about what I, personally, got out of the conference. Why I went, what I experienced…
I saw the conference announcement accidentally. Linked from here to there to there…and there it was. An entire conference about one of my most favorite things to do, write about sex! (Second only to actually having the sex…) Classes, presenters, publishers, editors, some of my favorite writers and bloggers, even Graydancer was presenting! How could I not attend?
So Ad paid for my admission to the con for my birthday, I bought plane tickets and started making plans. In a wonderful bit of serendipity, the day after I signed up on the EAA discussion list, Gray posted a message about needing a roommate for the con. I emailed him, and soon a plan was hatched: I would come in Thursday night and stay with him at a friend’s place that he was crashing at, then we would head over to the hotel and split the cost of the room for Fri/Sat. I have known of Gray for a couple of years, seen him at events, met him at the StL Grue and talked to him several times (and okay, crushed on him big time – what ropeslut doesn’t?) but had never really spent time with him or gotten to know him as a person. And here’s the lovely thing: having a crush on someone because they can do a certain thing (say, make your inside gooey with his rope skills) is one thing… A shallow thing, really. But then to get to know that person a bit, to be allowed to know him/her in more than a superficial way, and to still (and even more) like them? That’s really special. That was an unexpected gift.
I also got to meet Remittance Girl, who I have long followed on Twitter and whose writings I have read (and loved, and sighed over, and even cried over. Seriously, if you don’t read her–DO. Go, right now, over to her blog. She will break your heart and make you wet all at once. ) She was as dynamic, intelligent and driven about her art and erotica and sex and writing in person as she is in her writings.
In another highlight of my trip, I met the delectable and vivacious Vineyard Road. I hope it is not too much to say that I hope a friendship was born out of that meeting, out of our chats and giggles and commiserations during the conference. Oh, and cab rides, back and forth, forth and back. ;-)
I also met several other bloggers that I follow (most of them in that list above), which was treat. To be in a roomful of people that love to write about sex like I do, and to be able to talk about our love for it so openly, to share that with 100 other people–heavenly! But a real and (stupidly, I suppose, since that’s why most people go to these sort of things) unexpected highlight of my trip was in getting to meet the editors and publishers of my recently published stories, Hazel Cushion of Xcite Books and Rachel Kramer Bussel, who is as sexy, sassy and as much of a dynamo in real life as I had always found her to be online. And busy! That I got to spend a few minutes talking to her about the story I am submitting for her latest spanking anthology (and rhapsodizing on the forward she had written for her last one) was definitely a highlight. (And before you ask, NO, I didn’t fess up to having “spanked by my editor” fantasies!) I also got to meet and spent quite a bit of time discussing, among other things, a story idea I had with Debra Hyde, an acquiring editor for Ravenous Romance, which publishes book-length erotic novels. She was quite taken with my idea, and is interested in helping me work it into a novella. We have some mutual interests (and similar lifestyles) as well, and so I enjoyed talking with her and getting to know her on a personal level as well as a potential editor. I’ll keep you updated on how that progresses.
I also attended several good panel discussions (an Editors panel, a Publishers panel, a lively discussion on Taboos, a class called But is it a Story? led by Remittance Girl, and one on Your Sex Life as Story Fodder. (Huh, think I could teach that one?) Also, as I mentioned here, I actually read (!!!) a story of mine in front of a handful of writers (K D Grace & Sharazade among them.) As the first time I had read in front of a group, I’d have to say I didn’t suck, and actually enjoyed it, just a bit. And…it was incredibly energizing to do so, and then to get the wonderful feedback I did afterwards. Validation by my peers is a cool thing!
Lastly, I’ll leave you with this tidbit from the conference.
During the panel discussion on Taboos, one of the panelists remarked on the question that writers of this sort of fiction always get: “Do you actually do all this stuff you write about?”
“Of course not,” was the response across the panel. “Do writers of murder-mysteries actually murder people??” Sitting in the audience, I turned to Vineyard Road, who was sitting next to me. “Oh,” I said. “Well, um…I do.”