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'09 Authors Insider Tips

Everything About Epublishing
by Angela James
Digital Publishing & Print
Common Myths of Epublishing
Ebook Formats and Devices

by Louisa Burton
Compelling Characters
Point of View, Part I
Point of View, Part II
Learning to Love Conflict
Story Structure
Keep ‘em Guessing
Keep it Simple
Keep Your Writing Real
The Importance of Pacing

Literary Streetwalker
by M. Christian
New World of Publishing
To Blog Or Not To Blog
Meeting & Making Friends
Thinking Beyond Sex
Selling Books
Walking the Line
e-book, e-publisher, e-fun
Still More E-book Fun

Shameless Self-Promotion
by Donna George Storey
Our Journey Begins
Pitches and Bios
Websites, Blogs & Readers
Publicists, Press Kits and...
Viva the Internet
Adventures in Cyberspace
Promoting In the Flesh
Make Your Own Movie
Bigger is Better
Looking Back, Planning Ahead

Two Girls Kissing
by Amie M. Evans
Questions to Ask Yourself...
Tough All Over

The Write Stuff
by Ashley Lister
Practice Makes Prefect
5 Books for Fiction Authors
Poetry In Motions
Six Serving Men
Ashley Lister is Anal
Stealing Ideas
Celebrating Poetry

2009 Smutters Lounge

Ashley Lister Submits
by Ashley Lister

Cooking Up A Storey
by Donna George Storey
A Year of Living Shamelessly
Adultery, Exhibitionism ...
John Updike Made Me Do It ...
Story Soup: Forbidden ...
Lessons from Amazon
Naked Lunches ...
Erotic Alchemy
Secrets of Seduction
Are You a “Real” Writer?
Don’t Fondle My Sentence

Cracking Foxy
with Robert Buckley
The Passionate Taphophile
Havens on Earth
A Knight Without Armor
Magic Carpet Rides
Getting Hammered
Keep It Quiet
Hang Around for a Spell

Get All Worked Up
with J.T. Benjamin
Worked Up About Why
Worked Up About Why, Part II
All Worked Up About Porn
The Catholic Church
Purity Movement
The National Crisis
The Future
About Homosexuality
Public Indiscretions

Pondering Porn
with Ann Regentin
Premature Ejaculation
Auctioning Off What?

Sex Is All Metaphors
by Jean Roberta
Who's Who Around the Table
Ritual Sex
Mixed Legacy
The Spectrum of Consent
Drawing the Line
Marriage without the Hype
The Distracting Smirk
Innocent Guns
Gardens of Earthly Delights

Provocative Interviews

Between the Lines
with Ashley Lister
Anneke Jacob
D L King
Kristina Lloyd
Lisabet Sarai
Mitzi Szereto
Portia Da Costa
Shanna Germain
Sommer Marsden
Susan DiPlacido

Guest Appearances

Marketing a Self-Published Novel
by Jeanne Ainslie

The Write Stuff

by Ashley Lister

Poetry In Motions


I’ve been doing a lot of poetry recently.  I’m not a great poet.  I’m more the sort of poet who can find pithy rhymes for the words ass or nob.  Is this a poetic skill?  Perhaps not (although it does follow the reductive stylings of Swift and Wilmot).  However, it often makes for some whimsical, if scatological, verses that make audiences titter.

Poetry is good practice for any writer.  In a previous column ["Practice Makes Perfect"] I’ve stated that it’s good practice for an author to begin the day by writing a few haikus.  Haikus help to focus our thoughts and train the mind to describe vistas and landscapes with the least number of words.  Haikus are an exercise in discipline that hone a writer’s skill.  Writing longer poetry – sonnets, ballads or free verse stanzas – is an effective way of producing a finished piece of writing in a short period time.

This may sound like a pointless accomplishment but there are times, particularly when we’re involved in longer works, that writers can benefit from the achievement of finishing something.  When the end of a novel seems so faraway it might as well be on another planet, the satisfaction of finishing a poem can remind an author that we do sometimes reach the end.

Aside from the fact that poetry reminds me I can finish projects, one of the main things I enjoy about the experience is performing.  I’ve read my poems to modest audiences and the thrill of receiving applause is nearly as orgasmic as the thrill of receiving sex. 

Watching other poets read is an extremely satisfying pleasure.  Between you and me, when it comes to reading their own work to an audience, most poets are akin to prostitutes with high libidos and low tariffs for gang-bangs.  They want to do this for an audience and they want to make sure everyone enjoys the experience.  All the audience has to do is turn up and get out of the experience whatever is being offered.

Fiction writers are of a similar bent.  Give a fiction writer the opportunity to read their work to an audience and the majority will protest with lines like:

Oh!  I couldn’t possibly read to an audience.  I haven’t got anything prepared, except for these choice excerpts from my last three novels and a teaser for the one that’s due out next month, with advance orders already being taken…”

For a writer, reading to an audience is the opportunity to see what works and what doesn’t.  The immediate reaction from listeners will tell an attentive author whether or not their words are conveying the intended meaning succinctly. 

I’ve read work from my fiction where, for the first time, I realised that the passage I was reading from was littered with adverbs.  Stephen King and Mark Twain have both expounded on the evil that is the adverb, so I won’t reiterate the point here.  It’s sufficient to say that when I was alone, at home, practising my performance (ooh-err), I was appalled to discover there were so many adverbs in the piece I intended reading.

Naturally, my first thought was to blame the editor.  Why hadn’t the editor noticed all these adverbs?  Why hadn’t the editor killed every one of them?  I thought of phoning the editor and complaining. 

Before suffering the embarrassment of that phone call (“My writing is crap and it’s your fault!”) I grudgingly shouldered the blame and realised the reason there were so many adverbs in the story was not the editors fault: I was responsible. 

I went ahead with the reading anyway, working on a copy of the published book that I had marked with a thick black pen.  Those members of the audience who were trying to follow from their own unmarked copies looked a little puzzled.  However, one of the great things about reading your own work to an audience is that none of the audience can tell you that what you’re doing is wrong.

For all those writers reading this, if you’re usually focused on full-length fiction, take the time to practice a little poetry.  Poetry readings are a good way to practice your presentation skills for when you’re reading excerpts from you novel prior to a book signing.  Poetry is a great way of gaining an immediate audience response to your work.  And, poetry has a way of sharpening a writer’s talent.

Ashley Lister
May-June 2009

If you have any comments or insights to share about this column, please send an email to Ashley Lister

Find more of Ashley's Write Stuff in ERWA 2009 Archive.

"The Write Stuff" © 2009 Ashley Lister. All rights reserved.

About the Author:  Ashley Lister is a UK author responsible for more than two-dozen erotic novels written under a variety of pseudonyms. His most recent work, Swingers: True Confessions from Today's Modern Swinging Scene (Virgin Books), a non-fiction book recounting the exploits of UK swingers, is his first title published under his own name.
Ashley’s non-fiction has appeared in a variety of magazines, including Forum, Chapter & Verse and The International Journal of Erotica.  Nexus, Chimera and Silver Moon have published his full-length fiction, with shorter stories appearing in anthologies edited by Maxim Jakubowski, Rachel Kramer Bussel and Mitzi Szereto.  He is very proud to be a regular contributor to ERWA.
Email:  Ashley Lister

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'09 Movie Reviews

Blame It On Savanna
Review by Byrdman

Cry Wolf
Review by Spooky

Review by Spooky

Heaven or Hell
Review by Oranje

House of Wicked
Review by Diesel

The Office: An XXX Parody
Review by Spooky

This Ain't The Partridge Family
Review by Spooky

'09 Book Reviews


A Slip of the Lip (ebook)
Review by Jean Roberta

Best Women's Erotica '09
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Bottoms Up
Review by Ashley Lister

Enchanted Again
Review by Victoria Blisse

Review by Kathleen Bradean

Girls on Top
Review by Ashley Lister

In Sleeping Beauty’s Bed
Review by Ashley Lister

Libidacoria (Poetry)
Review by Ashley Lister

Licks & Promises
Review by Ashley Lister

Like a Thorn (ebook)
Review by Lisabet Sarai

The Mile High Club
Review by Ashley Lister

Nexus Confessions: Vol 5
Review by Victoria Blisse

Nexus Confessions 6
Review by Victoria Blisse

Oysters & Chocolate
Review by Kristina Wright

Playing with Fire
Review by Ashley Lister

Sexy Little Numbers Vol 1
Review by Ashley Lister

Up for Grabs
Review by Lisabet Sarai


A 21st Century Courtesan
Review by Donna G. Storey

The Ages of Lulu
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Amanda’s Young Men
Review by Kristina Wright

As She's Told
Review by Ashley Lister

Bedding Down
Review by Victoria Blisse

Review by Ashley Lister

Brushes & Painted Dolls
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Cassandras Chateau
Review by Ashley Lister

The Edge of Impropriety
Review by Kristina Wright

Review by Kathleen Bradean

Free Pass
Review by Ashley Lister

The Gift of Shame
Review by Victoria Blisse

Kiss It Better
Review by Ashley Lister

The Melinoe Project
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Mortal Engines & The ...
Review by Ashley Lister

The New Rakes
Review by Ashley Lister

Ninety Days of Genevieve
Review by Victoria Blisse

Obsession: An Erotic Tale
Review by Kristina Wright

Sarah's Education
Review by Ashley Lister

Seduce Me
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Lesbian Erotica

Lesbian Cowboys
Review by Kathleen Bradean

Night's Kiss
Review by Jean Roberta

Where the Girls Are
Review by Jean Roberta

Gay Erotica

Animal Attraction 2
Review by Kathleen Bradean

Boys in Heat
Review by Vincent Diamond

Review by Lisabet Sarai

The Low Road
Review by Jean Roberta

Personal Demons
Review by Jean Roberta

Ready to Serve
Review by Vincent Diamond

The Secret Tunnel
Review by Kathleen Bradean

Review by Kathleen Bradean

Review by Vincent Diamond


Best Sex Writing '09
Review by Kristina Wright

The Big Penis Book
Review by Rob Hardy

Erotic Encounters
Review by Rob Hardy

The Forbidden Apple
Review by Rob Hardy

Hollywood’s Censor
Review by Rob Hardy

Lady in Red
Review by Rob Hardy

Licentious Gotham: Erotic...
Review by Rob Hardy

Live Nude Elf
Review by Rob Hardy

Live Nude Girl
Review by Rob Hardy

The Other Side of Desire
Review by Rob Hardy

Scripts 4 Play
Review by Ashley Lister