Steampunk Inspiration (Part 1): A Naughty Device

Steampunk? A historian writing Steampunk?

I’m used to writing about characters and situations and places that actually existed or could have possibly existed (I mean, c’mon, it is fiction). I’m definitely not used to writing stories that take place in some futuristic pseudo-past where women wear corsets — leather corsets! — on top of their clothes. Besides I know absolutely nothing about science or mechanics (except when I was young and owned a VW Bug).

What’s the old adage? “Write what you know”? When you get right down to it, what on Earth does a librarian-art historian really know about erotica, much less Steampunk erotica? Continue reading

Getting Off On History

My very first guest post on another blog is out today!

We have a webpage for the upcoming anthology Hot Highlanders and Wild Warriors in which I have a Roman-set story, “The Promise of Memory”. [UPDATE: website no longer available.]

I’m talking about historical romance and historical erotica and why I find it so enthralling. You can either read the post below, or read it on the Hot Highlanders and Wild Warriors website. [UPDATE: website no longer available.] Continue reading

Snippet Sunday: The General’s Wife: Sam

One thing I really like about Snippet Sunday* is that it forces me to look at my work and ask “do I really want people reading this?” I’m using it as a vehicle to introduce readers to characters in The General’s Wife, which I am revising. This week I’m introducing our hero Sam. I like Sam, so I want his introduction to be satisfying.

Your first thought is, “Wait–what? Who is this ‘Sam’? I thought Mr. Bridgers was our hero?” To which I reply, “This is erotica. We have one villain and multiple heroes.” Continue reading

Victorian Sex: My Secret Life (Part 1)

This post is not about my secret life, it’s about the infamous tome published c. 1890, authored by a man known only as Walter. The book, My Secret Life, was written as a memoir and is often considered a work of Victorian erotica, which it most certainly is not. It is unabashedly an impressive work of pornography. Unlike a more famous erotic memoir, John Cleland‘s Fanny Hill which has a plot and a resolution (actually a happy ending), My Secret Life is more a series of vignettes. It does have the elements of fiction: There are running characters; there is development of Walter’s psyche; there is a progression of time. But it lacks any plot. Weighing in between 790 and 1173 pages (depending on the version; this one is cited), My Secret Life is the epitome of the rambling sexual memoir, a prime example of that particular style of Victorian porn. Continue reading