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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

Between the Lines

Ashley Lister talks to Susan DiPlacido


As She's Told

For those of you who enjoy your erotica with a sprinkling of noir, the name Susan DiPlacido will not be unfamiliar.  Susan is the author of 24/7, Trattoria, Mutual Holdings and American Cool and so many short stories it would be tedious to list them all here.  If you’ve ever picked up a recent erotic anthology with the word ‘best’ in its title, the chances are you will have read one of Susan’s stories.  She writes hard edged romance and her characters (often) share her passionate affection for the glitz, glamour and tarnished gilt of Las Vegas. 

Susan took time from her busy schedule this month to chat briefly about her writing methods.

Ashley Lister: One of my favourite shorts is ‘Neon Nights.’  I think the story was first published at Ruthie’s Club, appeared in Best Mammoth Book of New Erotica 6, and is also featured in American Cool.  Without giving too much away about the plot, I think it’s sufficient to say that the protagonist, Lana Rossi, is a worldly young gambler who gets lucky in a Vegas casino.   Why the fascination with Las Vegas?
Susan DiPlacido:  First, thank you so much!  I really appreciate that.  The fascination with Vegas for me, on a personal level, is pretty shallow.  I can drink and gamble around the clock, and I really enjoy that. 

As a setting for stories, part of the reason I set so many of them there is because it offers nice, diverse environments that are within close proximity to each other.  You can go from a three star Michelin restaurant to a fairly seamy strip club within five minutes travel time.  But the most important feature the city offers, when it comes to writing fiction, is that it allows you to place characters in circumstances where they become highly distilled versions of themselves rather quickly, and it’s believable.  That intensifying of personality happens to a lot of tourists in the city because of the alcohol, sex, gambling and lack of sleep, and it just offers wonderful plot opportunities to exploit characterization.   

Ashley Lister: How did you get yourself inside Lana’s head for this story?  The first person narration is convincing, and has the trademark dry humour of a noir narrative.  Was it difficult to take on Lana’s personae for the duration of the story?  Or is she similar to yourself in her outlook?

Susan DiPlacido:  Thank you, Ashley, again, that means the world to me to hear that the noir feel of it clicks with you.  I’m a big fan of pulp/noir styles in both fiction and film.  I read a lot of classics like Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler, and now, of course Elmore Leonard and Carl Hiassen.  I just love that style, but I always wished it was a bit more smutty, so that’s where I picked up – to create some pulp/noir female-protagonist fiction with lots of heat.  First person, for that purpose, is actually easier to me than third, because once I decide on the voice, it’s easier to just sustain that voice instead of slipping back and forth between a narrative and dialogue.  I guess maybe my outlook is similar to hers, in some respects, but even when it’s not, it’s still easy enough to imagine what hers would be once I’ve got her background nailed down.

Ashley Lister: Rita in ‘Coyote Blues’ shares Lana’s affection for Vegas, although by the end of that story it’s apparent that she’s discovered attractions outside the city.  Again there is the characteristic hard-edge that shapes all your characters, yet Rita is a totally different individual to Lana.  How do you go about shaping your separate characters so that they are living and breathing individuals?

Susan DiPlacido:  Honestly now, I’m not at all trying to be cute, flippant or evasive with this answer, it’s just the best one I can give, so here it is:  I don’t know, but I think that’s writing.

Madone, that sounds tacky, doesn’t it?  However, though I do believe that’s what writing is, I’m not exactly agreeing that I’m all so successful at making all the characters pop as much as I’d like or as fully-dimensional as I wish I could. 

I can say this, though.  Most of my short stories are basically test runs for full-length books.  Definitely the characters and some of the situations get “workshopped” through short stories.  That’s why you’ll see a lot of recurring characters in my short fiction.  I may have been trying out a personality in a setting, and then I may tinker with it in another.  Sometimes the name will change a little as I change certain personality quirks, or sometimes I’ll put the same basic character in an alternate life situation.  So the shorts are testing them out, seeing how they’ll react and if it rings true before I go and dive into a full book.   

Ashley Lister: Away from character description, I have to say you paint some breath-taking images.  This is from ‘Coyote Blues.’

Days of wind and sun and arid sand so thick you could drown in it.  Washed out skies and cracking desert – everywhere you look is another variation on the colors of rust stretching out in gaping hunger.  It’s a sight that makes words like “forever” seem nearly comprehensible.  A forever of crimson, umber and amber.

Where do you start in conjuring up such an image of the Nevada? 

Susan DiPlacido:  Oohf.  The desert can be quite beautiful, particularly out by Red Rocks, but, to me, it is also quite intimidating.  A lot of people have that reaction when they see the ocean – the vastness of it can suddenly make you feel very small, or very connected, or it can just seem imposing or awesome.  And the desert, much like the Strip, is a strong enough setting that it can be used as a character.

Ashley Lister: If you had to name a favourite story of yours that you would encourage new readers to check out, which would it be?

Susan DiPlacido:  It’s probably a tie between “Neon Nights” and “I, Candy.”  They’re different from each other in tone/style, but they’re my two favorite styles. [Both stories are in American Cool]

Ashley Lister: What are you currently working on?  And where should readers be looking for their next fix of Susan DiPlacido?

Susan DiPlacido:  Well, my collection of short stories, American Cool, is now available on Amazon in Kindle format for just 99 cents.  So if someone wants to check out some of my stuff, that’s a good bargain.  I have a new book coming out this fall called House Money.  It’s not exactly a sequel to my first book, 24/7, but it is a follow up to it, and also features the characters from my short story “Neon Nights,” finally getting their go at full length fiction.  So, it’s a noirish crime caper – set in Vegas, of course.  And I’m shopping around a book I just finished.  It’s a comedic version of Hamlet, starring a Vegas showgirl.  I know, right?  It’s just astounding that I’m not hitting the big time with this kind of material ;)   Listen, thank you so much, Ashley, both for reading my work and asking such interesting questions.  I really appreciate it and enjoyed being here with you!

Ashley Lister
July 2009

"Between the Lines" © 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; ISBN: 0753511355), 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.
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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