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elizabeth black

Elizabeth Black writes in a wide variety of genres including erotica, erotic romance, horror, and dark fiction. She lives on the Massachusetts coast with her husband, son, and her three cats. Visit her web site, her Facebook page, and her Amazon Author Page. 

Her m/m erotic medical thriller Roughing It is out! This book is a sexy cross between The X Files, The Andromeda Strain, and Outbreak. This book is 30% off at JMS Books until June 30. Get your copy now! Read her short erotic story Babes in Begging For It, published by Cleis Press. You will also find her novel No Restraint at Amazon. Enjoy a good, sexy read today.

___

What inspires me when I write? I get my ideas from my personal life, the news, and my imagination. Positive feedback also inspires me. Nobilis Erotica recently accepted one of my short stories for a podcast. Thumbling will be available in audio format sometime in the near future. This story is my erotic retelling of the fairy tale Thumbling, which you may know as Thumbelina. The original involved a guy and not a woman. It’s a very sexy story that illustrates how versatile one can be as a lover when as small as can be. Thumbling can get into places no mere man can get into and what he does while in there will want you to take a cold shower after listening. Two other stories are under consideration for publication and I’m keeping my fingers crossed. I’m also going to self-publish these erotic fairy tales plus several others in an collection.

My short fantasy story The Care And Feeding Of Your New Pet Dragon will soon appear in the FARK charity anthology, Through A Scanner Farkly. FARK is a news aggregator that specializes in weird news, current events, and sarcastic humor.

Seeing acceptances, especially two within such a short period of time, inspire me. I’m sure I’m not the only writer who craves good news regarding her writing. When I am in the midst of a dry spell – no good reviews, lackluster sales, rejections – I can easily get into such a funk I don’t want to write. When that happens I take time away from the computer to take care of myself. I garden, go to the beach, watch TV and movies, and ride with my husband around town just to cruise.

Events in my life inspire me. Something happened recently to my Dad and sister that is inspiring a short horror story. My sister was helping my dad with his phone when she found 83 old messages that he never listened to. He didn’t know they were there. These messages date back several years. So, they had to go through each one and delete them individually. One of the ones was my mother telling my father to turn on the TV and watch a channel she liked to watch. It freaked him out, since my mother has been dead for two years. He went to turn on the TV when my sister told him it’s a very old message. It’s not my mother calling from the grave. That message was at least 2 years old. He calmed down and erased it. The next message was from his sister (my aunt) who died several months ago. More creepiness. The messages are now off the phone and it’s in proper working order. There is definitely a weird story in this business somewhere.

Conventions also inspire me, although I haven’t been to any in a very long time. That is about to change. NECON is in a few weeks. That’s a New England writers convention. This is my first NECON and I’m looking forward to it. Many of my friends in the horror community will be there, so it’s not like I’m diving into unknown waters. Some of the talks sound interesting. Here are a few examples:

  • Kaffeeklatsch: How to Avoid Shooting Yourself in the Foot: Self-Publishing Pitfalls and Tips
  • Not Dead Yet: The State of Publishing Today
  • Edge of Your Seat: Pacing and Plotting the Thriller

I plan to schmooze with the guests (including the Guests of Honor) and I’ll ask some of them to be a guest on my podcast, Into The Abyss With Elizabeth Black. That’s how I get my best guests – I ask them. There’s nothing magical about it. I just ask. Most of them say “yes”. Some of my guests have been very high caliber, such as Joe R. Lansdale (mojo storyteller and author of the Hap and Leonard series that appears on Sundance), Daniel Knauf (writer and producer of the TV shows Carnivale and The Blacklist), and Walt Bost (supervising sound editor for the TV show iZombie).

Finally, as anyone who knows me is aware, the ocean inspires me. I head there every day and walk about 2 miles. It’s not only exercise (which doesn’t feel like exercise), it clears my head so I may brainstorm about my writing. I’ve worked out plot holes while walking on the beach. I’ve thought out brand new stories while walking on the beach. I go to the beach with my husband and we talk, play in the very cold water (I live in northeastern Massachusetts. The water up here ain’t bathwater.), and crush empty crab shells with my feet. The last one is an obsession. I love to go for long walks on the beach, which sounds like a romance cliché but it’s true.

Everyone is different. What will inspire you will not inspire someone else. Find what inspires you and keeps you going. Writing doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Live life and stay inspired. Keep at it and best wishes to you.

Elizabeth Black writes in a wide variety of genres including erotica, erotic romance, horror, and dark fiction. She lives on the Massachusetts coast with her husband, son, and her three cats. Visit her web site, her Facebook page, and her Amazon Author Page. 

Her new m/m erotic medical thriller Roughing It is out! This book is a sexy cross between The X Files, The Andromeda Strain, and Outbreak. Read her short erotic story Babes in Begging For It, published by Cleis Press. Her story Neighbors appears in the new lesbian anthology The Girls Next Door. You will also find her new novel No Restraint at Amazon. Enjoy a good, sexy read today.

 ___

As anyone familiar with me is aware, I love to spend time at the beach. I live in Massachusetts so it gets quite cold here but that doesn’t stop me from taking my nearly daily walks in the sand and surf. This time of year it’s far too cold to swim in the water, though, but that hasn’t stopped some crazy people (especially surfers) from doing it. My husband and I are used to the surfers dodging waves and the brave (crazy) locals who swim in 50 degree water, but what we saw this past weekend just astounded us at how stupid some people can be.

Not long ago, we were on Good Harbor Beach in Gloucester, Massachusetts enjoying a warm bout of weather. He went swimming (crazy), but not me. That water is like ice. We went for our daily mile long walk, not expecting anything unusual but we were in for a scary surprise.

There is a small island about a half mile from shore. It’s called Salt Island and it’s basically a huge boulder in the water covered with vegetation and seagull guano. When the tide is low enough, the water recedes so much there is a sand pathway between the island and the shore. People, including me, love to walk that pathway and explore the beach side of the island. You can’t get to it during high tide or even normal tide. Most of the time the island is completely surrounded with water. This is what the sand pathway to the island looks like from the beach. Note the two people on the pathway. They give you a scale to judge how big this area is.

This particular day, we walked to the island end of the beach and saw four young people standing on top of the island. There was a serious problem – it wasn’t low tide. Water completely surrounded the island and it can be pretty deep. We thought they might have had a boat moored on the opposite side of the island, and they’d get off that way.

They didn’t. To our surprise and horror, the four climbed down the island facing us and proceeded to swim in the water towards shore. The shore is at least a half mile away and there might be riptides out there.

This is what the island and the beach look like when the tide is almost in. That’s Salt Island straight ahead.

This is the view from the side with Salt Island on the right and the beach on the left.

That’s a lot of water between the island and the beach.

These four idiots (three guys and one woman) swam in water that was way over their heads. We were afraid they weren’t going to make it, so my husband dialed the Coast Guard in case they needed a rescue. We had hoped they’d make it to the shallow area where they could tread water or walk with water nearly over their heads. The first two guys made it and we weren’t worried about them. We were more worried about the guy and woman bringing up the rear. They were slower and in the deeper water. However, they did make it to the shallow area and were able to walk to shore. We didn’t need to call the Coast Guard after all.

They were young, reckless, and had lots of stamina to pull off that crap. We left that side of the beach when it was clear the four of them were safe. Several people had stopped at that end of the beach to keep an eye on them and I saw iPhones out. It was tense and touch and go, but they did make it to go on and do other stupid things. Like kiss snakes. Skydive. Light bottle rockets up their butts and set them off. You know, like the thrill seekers they were.

I wrote a short sweet romance years ago about an idiot who walked to a similar island during low tide and got stuck there when he got drunk and passed out. He wakes up during high tide with the walkway gone and finds himself stranded on the island. With a Nor’easter coming. He knows damned well he can’t swim across to shore. What to do?

I never thought I’d see people actually try to get off that island during high tide for real. Truth is stranger than fiction.

If you’d like to read my story, it’s called The Storm and it’s free on my web site. While you’re reading it, keep in mind I saw four young people pull the stunt for real while on one of my beach walks. Wonders never cease.

Elizabeth Black writes in a wide variety of genres including erotica, erotic romance, horror, and dark fiction. She lives on the Massachusetts coast with her husband, son, and her three cats. Visit her web site, her Facebook page, and her Amazon Author Page. 

Her m/m erotic medical thriller Roughing It is out! This book is a sexy cross between The X Files, The Andromeda Strain, and Outbreak. Read her short erotic story Babes in Begging For It, published by Cleis Press. You will also find her new novel No Restraint at Amazon. Enjoy a good, sexy read today.

___

Opening a novel or short story can be a bitch. Elmore Leonard, author of Get Shorty and other novels, had advised writers to avoid prologues and to refrain from opening a story talking about the weather. Marc Laidlaw, an author who also helped develop the game Half Life, once tweeted the following advice about opening paragraphs of fiction works: The first line of almost any story can be improved by making sure the second line is, “And then the murders began.”

Normally, a writer would not begin a sentence with the word “and”. Laidlaw purposefully included that word because it “gives my use of the phrase an extra florid, self-important note that puffs it up just enough to be suitable for narrative frivolity.” My husband and I had argued about the title for my erotic romance novel Don’t Call Me Baby. He thought I should call it And Don’t Call Me Baby. I didn’t want to partly because that word dangled and irritated me and for the same reason Laidlaw laid out. It ended up not mattering since the book didn’t sell and it’s now out of print, so there’s that. I’d always done much better with my erotic fairy tales, and I’m working on a short story collection of them right now. One of my best-sellers, Climbing Her Tower (erotic Rapunzel), lends itself very well to this exercise.

 

Climbing Her Tower by Elizabeth Black

The warmth of the sun glowed on Rapunzel’s face as she stood before her window, awaiting Mother’s instructions. And then the murders began.

 

I also write horror. This exercise doesn’t work as well with that genre because it’s dark and bleak to begin with. However, when coupled with romance novels, the fun begins. Here are some examples of best-selling romance novels with that particular sentence added to them.

 

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

There was no possibility of taking a walk that day.  And then the murders began.

Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell

Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught up by her charm as the Tarleton twins were. And then the murders began.

True Believer by Nicholas Sparks

Jeremy Marsh sat with the rest of the live studio audience, feeling unusually conspicuous. And then the murders began.

Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 1) by J. R. Ward

Darius looked around the club, taking in the teeming, half-naked bodies on the dance floor. And then the murders began.

50 Shades of Grey by E. L. James

I scowl with frustration at myself in the mirror. And then the murders began.

Bared To You (Crossfire Book 1) by Sylvia Day

“We should head to a bar and celebrate”. And then the murders began.

Gabriel’s Inferno by Sylvain Reynard

The poet stood next to the bridge and watched as the young woman approached. And then the murders began.

 

You may see the point behind this exercise by now. Many writers, in particular fledging ones, have difficulties with exposition and telling instead of showing when beginning their stories. They ramble about the weather or describing backgrounds or pontificating about a character’s history or inner thoughts without providing a hook for the reader. Without a hook, your reader won’t continue reading. She will get bored and toss your book aside like so much garbage. You need to grab the reader in the first paragraph – nay, in the first sentence. That’s why agents and publishers often ask for the first chapter or first five pages of your manuscript when you submit to them. They want to see your hook. If you don’t have one or if it is weak, that is one reason you likely won’t get that joyous letter offering representation or a publishing contract. You need action and vibrancy to pique someone’s attention.

Sometimes, a writer’s story doesn’t really begin until the third or fourth page. If that’s the case with your story, delete the first few pages and begin your story where the action begins. Not only must you engage the reader from the onset, you must keep that reader engaged throughout every chapter of your book. Books are like fractals. There should be a hook at the beginning and end of each chapter as well as at the beginning of the book. The beginning hook holds the reader’s attention and the end-of-chapter hook encourages that eager reader to continue reading into the next chapter. Clayton Purdom described Laidlaw’s exercise in his article for A. V. Club when he wrote “the sudden introduction of murder provides a contrast with tone-setting exposition or an unexpected development to its more direct action.”

“And then the murders began” is a funny and effective way to get the point across. Watch your reader jump out of her seat with excitement over your works. Don’t let her sigh and become bored with exposition. That way, you’ll both attract and hold readers.

Elizabeth Black writes in a wide variety of genres including erotica, erotic romance, horror, and dark fiction. She lives on the Massachusetts coast with her husband, son, and her three cats. Visit her web site, her Facebook page, and her Amazon Author Page.

Her new m/m erotic medical thriller Roughing
It
is out! This book is a sexy cross between The X Files, The Andromeda Strain, and Outbreak. Read her short erotic story Babes in Begging For It, published by Cleis Press. You will also find her new novel No Restraint at Amazon. Enjoy a good, sexy read today.

___

My first blog post goes way back – Sept. 3, 2003. Back when dinosaurs ruled the Internet. LOL Back then, iPhones hadn’t even been imagined let alone invented. Internet piracy was a new thing. NCIS, Arrested Development, and Two and a Half Men were new TV shows. Adam and Jamie in Mythbusters started their schtick. Usenet (Newsgroups) was at its height. Blockbuster was thriving. Video tapes were still a thing. As far as I remember, CNN was the only 24 hour news station. Fox News was not a thing yet. AOL was at its peak. And I still remember what dial-up sounded like.

I had read about blogging in the New York Times, and it fascinated me. What a weird term – blog. It sounded like a shoe or some type of awkward dance. Or the sound a cat makes when it’s throwing up furballs. LOL But I wanted in. How could I become a blogger? Where could I find blogs? The articles I read sent me to conservative blogs like Instapundit, which was the first blog I ever read. It didn’t appeal to me much because I’m a flaming liberal, but it was a sane, intelligent read so I read it regularly. I did find the liberal and feminist blogs. Each day over the years I devoured Daily Kos, Talking Points Memo, Body and Soul, Scrappleface, Kevin Drum, Echidne of the Snakes, and many more. I wrote several times per day and I had over 1,000 hits per day. This was the heyday of blogging.

Blogging back then was much more like The Wild West. As a political and feminist blogger who concentrated on family law issues, I made quite the name for myself. I was trolled. I made many friends and fantastic networking colleagues. I received hate mail and death threats. It was fun! LOL My blogging led to non-fiction political writing jobs for reputable and respected publications like the Ms. Magazine Blog, Alternet, American Politics Journal, and On The Issues Magazine. It was different back then. Not everyone and his brother was a blogger. It was easier to make a name for yourself. I’ve since stopped political and feminist blogging and concentrated on sex writing and entertainment. Burnout was a huge factor. I also enjoy sex blogging and entertainment much more. Both are much more relaxing and considerably less stressful.

Today, writers are told they must blog in order to gain readers. Is this really necessary? The problem is there are so many blogs it’s hard to keep track of them. In my opinion, the ones who do best are the ones who have been around for close to a decade and therefore have developed a large following. The first ones out the gate who survived do best. If you start up a blog now, you’ll be lost in a sea of blogs with very few readers. I think that group blogs with a huge readership are the best way to go if you are a writer looking to attract readers. The blog for the Erotic Readers and Writers Association (this one, heh heh) is a great example of such a blog. You have the advantage of a huge audience that reads frequently. Fans of better known authors will read your posts and possibly buy your books as a result. When I set up my own blog tours, I go to group blogs most often. The key is to find a blog with a large audience. That’s not always easy to do. Write about something other than your book unless the blog’s owner requests such a post. I write about writing-related topics and anything fun that may appeal to my chosen audience. Then I include a blurb, excerpt, cover, and link for one of my books. Don’t spam. Talk to your audience. If you can get a conversation started in comments you’re already ahead of the game. Conversations – or arguments, if you want to be more accurate, LOL – on my first blog (the political/feminist one) could go on for days. That isn’t as common anymore unless you’re an established blog.

Blogging is useful today but it’s not the way it was when I first started. Granted, I was writing in a different and volatile genre but things have changed. Find a few group blogs or busy individual blogs and try to write for them. Blogging is a great way to get word out that you exist, but only if the blog has a huge following. Otherwise, you’re wasting your time. Above all, have fun blogging. You’re chatting with people about what interests you. Enjoy it.

Elizabeth Black
writes in a wide variety of genres including erotica, erotic romance, horror,
and dark fiction. She lives on the Massachusetts coast with her husband, son,
and her three cats. Visit her web site, her Facebook
page, and her Amazon Author Page.
 

Her new m/m erotic medical thriller Roughing
It
is out! This book is a sexy cross between The X Files, The Andromeda
Strain, and Outbreak. Read her short erotic story Babes in Begging For It, published by
Cleis Press. You will also find her new novel No
Restraint
at Amazon. Enjoy a good, sexy read today.

—–

I got a
late start in the publishing world. I didn’t publish my first story until I was
47. That story was Happily Ever After,
which appeared in Scarlet Magazine in 2007. It was also my first erotic
retelling of a fairy tale. Suffice to say Cinderella had married her Handsome
Prince and all was not well in paradise. Her Prince preferred to torment the
peasants instead of spending time with her. Their love life was in shambles.
So, a Magical Sex Coach appeared to give her some tips in the lovemaking
department. This man was not her Fairy Godmother. That woman wouldn’t know what
to do with Cinderella’s problem if it came up and bit her on the ass.

I’m very
proud of that story.

Sometimes
I wonder if I waited too long to begin writing. After all, Billy Martin (known
professionally as horror writer Poppy Z. Brite) published his first novel to
critical acclaim when he was only 25. I’ve always been a late bloomer, but I
wondered there was too much moss on this stone.

It turns
out I’m not alone. There are many artists who didn’t get their start until
later in life. Here are a few examples.

Martha
Stewart found success at 41 when she published her successful book Entertaining. Seven years late at age
48, she launched Martha Stewart Living
and became synonymous with home décor.

Fashion
designer Vera Wang started off as an accomplished figure skater. She didn’t
begin designing clothes until she was 40. I’m quite a bit like her in that I
started out in the theater as a stagehand. I worked as a union gaffer
(lighting), scenic artist and makeup artist (including F/X) when I was in my
30s. I didn’t have much interest in writing then. I was all about the movies
and television. I had wanted to be an actress until I discovered crew work 1)
was steadier, 2) paid better, 3) was less damaging to your self-esteem and 4)
had more respect than acting. I enjoyed my entertainment years and I don’t
regret the time I put into them at all.

Following
my work in the entertainment industry, I was sidetracked into working as a
feminist activist. Primarily, I wrote political and feminist essays and opinion
pieces for publications like Sojourner, American Politics Journal, On The
Issues Magazine, the blog fo the National Organization for Women, and Alternet.
I was not often paid, but I found the work rewarding – for awhile. I was
writing but not fiction. Not yet. I gave up activism after several severe
disappointments in my chosen field that left me disillusioned with modern, mainstream
feminism. I still consider myself a feminist but I do not like what the
establishment and the mainstream large feminist groups have done to the
movement. I gave it all up cold turkey around 2007 – which was about the time Happily Ever After was published. At
that point, I switched from thankless activist work to working as a fiction
writer and a non-fiction sex writer. Both were more rewarding and more fun. I
also made money at it. That was an added, pleasant bonus.

Here are
some other late bloomers:

Tim and
Nina Zagat left their legal careers at age 42 to start their now famous
restaurant guides.

Harland
Sanders was an even later bloomer than I am. He had been fired from numerous
jobs and could be considered a failure career-wise. But… when he was 62, he
sold his first Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise.

A
contemporary of Harland Sanders didn’t begin writing his first food and hotel
guides until he was 55. When he was at the golden age of 73, he licensed the
right to use his name to the company that developed cake mixes. You may have
heard of him. His name was Duncan Hines.

More
food-related news, Ray Kroc was past 50 when he bought his first McDonald’s
franchise. He expanded it to become the worldwide phenomenon it is today. Julia
Child published her first cookbook when she was 39. She made her television
debut in The French Chef when she was
51.

Daniel Knauf, writer and co-executive producer for The Blacklist and creator of Carnivale, didn’t get his big break until he was in his mid-40s. I interviewed him for a podcast earlier this year. Here’s the link if you’d like to listen in. He’s a fun, fascinating guy who gave great information about the business of writing.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/worldofinknetwork/2016/08/02/award-winning-show-the-blacklist–daniel-knauf–world-of-ink-network

Charles Bukowski was 51 when he wrote his first novel, Post Office.

Charles
Darwin was the ripe old age of 50 when he published On The Origin Of The Species.

And
finally, for my list (there are many more), Samuel L. Jackson didn’t start his
motherfucking career until he was 46 years old when he starred in Pulp Fiction alongside John Travolta.

I’m going
to turn 57 in March. I know I’m not too old to make it as a writer. I’m not as
successful as I’d like to be, but I see now I have plenty of time. You don’t
have to be a child star like Mary Shelley who was 17 when she wrote Frankenstein or Bret Easton Ellis who
was 21 when he wrote Less Than Zero.
You can be a successful writer at any age.

 

I’ve been having a rough few weeks and a scorching case of
writer’s block has set in. My parents (both sets) have health problems. For
that to make any sense, you must understand that I have parents who raised me and
an older couple who adopted me of sorts a few years ago. I call them Mom and
Dad. That Mom is having severe vertigo problems due to a possible serious inner
ear infection. My mother who raised me died two years ago, and now my dad who
raised me is in the hospital with a heart problem aggravated by his COPD. I
know the parents labels gets confusing. It’s like Neal Gaiman’s Coraline –  I have Mother and Other Mother. Then there
are my biological parents and cousin since I’m adopted. My birth mother died
about four years ago and I’m in regular touch with a blood relative, a cousin. I’ve
turned family into a three-ring circus.

I’m not processing all this mess very well. On top of it,
my two latest books aren’t selling. That’s a severe disappointment. I don’t know what to do about it. The weather is getting colder and
winter is coming. The cats won’t stop fighting. The books not selling well is
hitting me especially hard since I see no point in writing at the moment. Why
bother when next to no one will read my books? I’m working on a horror novel at
the moment as well as a short erotic romance story, but the words simply aren’t
flowing.

I know I’m not the only one feeling this way about my writing. A fellow horror writer on Facebook just said pretty much the same thing about his own aspirations since it’s harder for him to reach his goals now than when he was younger. One commenter pointed out that maybe when he was younger he set the bar for his goals too low. I wonder if that could be my problem. I used to be happy simply being published. Now, I want to be published by bigger, better houses, get lots of great reviews, get huge sales, and eventually win awards. Not only is a lot of that out of my hands, it’s harder to achieve. I have accomplished the first of those goals for the most part but not the others. Not yet. Maybe I just need time. In the meantime, I have no desire to write at all.

What to do?

I haven’t had writer’s block in awhile, but I haven’t
forgotten how I’ve dealt with it in the past. The best thing for me to do is to
not fight it. Just give in to it and find something else to do that I enjoy that
will improve my bleak mood. I know this won’t work for everyone. This is only
about what has worked for me. My point is to find what works best for you. If
writing through the block works, do it. If getting away from the keyboard for
awhile works, go for it. This is what has worked for me.

I’m still going to the beach nearly every day. Walking on
the beach is my primary form of 
exercise. I’ve lost 15 pounds since the beginning of summer. The
difference this year is that my husband and I intend to join the local YMCA to
use their exercise machines and the pool. I lost 15 pounds last summer and the
summer before that, but gained it all back and then some because I had no
exercise regime set for the fall and winter. So there’s something to be happy
about. I’ll likely reach my target weight (130 pounds) by next summer. Good.

I’m concentrating on my new radio show, Into The Abyss With Elizabeth Black. It’s about horror and dark
fiction, my other literary loves. My first guest will be Josh Malerman, who
wrote Bird Box, a scary-as-shit novel.
I loved it. He’s going to be on my show Thursday Oct. 6 at 4 PM EST. I still do
radio shows for Blog Talk Radio and that includes shows about erotic romance
and writing. My past guests include women from Broad Universe, Madeleine Shade
(who specializes in fairy tales), Cherry Wild and Sophia Soror (they also
specialize in fairy tales), and Melissa Keir. Doing these shows keeps me afloat
so that I don’t feel as if I’m floundering without direction.

I’m reading more. I like erotic romance and erotica
collections by Cleis Press and Xcite Books. I have quite a few books by these
publishers, and they inspire me when I write erotic fiction. I’m working on a
call for submissions for Cleis that isn’t due until December, so I have time to
come up with a story. I would love to be accepted by them again. I also enjoy
books that scare the crap out of me. I’m about to begin Snowblind by Christopher Golden, which takes place in Massachusetts
in the dead of winter. Perfect timing. I’ve also decided to reread a classic to
inspire me while working on my own horror novel, Hell Time. I’m rereading Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar.

Finally, I’ve been watching plenty of TV and movies. I’m
binge-watching Mr. Robot, and I’m on the season finale now. Rami Malek deserved
his Best Actor Emmy for playing the lead in this show. I’m also enjoying
American Horror Story: My Roanoke Nightmare, although it’s not the best thing
I’ve seen. The new TV version of The Exorcist is very predictable but the first
episode held my attention. Nice Easter Egg with the brief glimpse of a
newspaper article about Chris MacNeil from the original movie. Lucifer is back! Love that show. My husband and I can’t get enough of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. It’s my favorite TV show.

I’ve been baking. I made lemon poppy seed quickbread, angel
kisses cookies, hobnobs (British oat tea cookies), maple candy (it is fall
after all) and lime spritzer cookies. The lime spritzers taste exactly like the
same cookies Pepperidge Farm used to make. They were sold only over the summer
and they’ve been discontinued a long time ago. I loved those cookies, and now I
can make them myself.

In a nutshell, I’ve been doing things I enjoy to take my
mind off my worries and the writer’s block. When I’m ready to write, I’ll write.
I’m not going to put undue pressure on myself since I know that will only make
the situation worse. Next week I attend a Writers Coffeehouse New England
meeting, and I intend to learn how I can get word out about Into The Abyss With Elizabeth Black, including
possibly getting it into syndication. This coffeehouse is chock full of
valuable information, and I go every chance I get. I’ve been to one before and
I learned a great deal there. After we return, I decorate the house with
Halloween gack. I have two Fargo snow
globes and a Halloween snow globe.
All three depict scenes from the movies. Those are my pride and joy, and I love
showing them off. I’m looking forward to Halloween and the fall season. I can
at least enjoy myself until this dreadful mood and block lift. Maybe my parents (all of them) will be better soon. Until then, I’ll
binge-watch more movies and TV and bake stuff. Once I begin writing, I know
I’ll be fine.

In the meantime, I will continue to watch this video, which I can’t watch and be unhappy at the same time. It’s Cab Calloway and the Nicolas Brothers doing Jumpin’ Jive. This is said to be the greatest dance number ever recorded, and I sure agree with that. Get those happy feet moving!

Want to come to a
book party? My new contemporary erotic romance novel No Restraint was released recently, and I’m hosting a book party in
its honor. I’m giving away some prizes including free Kindle erotic romance
books, some fancy schmancy soaps, and a Jack Rabbit vibrator!

I haven’t decided
which ebooks I’m giving away, but most likely they will be my two erotic fairy
tales Trouble In Thigh High Boots
(Erotic Puss In Boots) and Climbing Her
Tower
(Erotic Rapunzel).

I love parties, especially where books are concerned. The most fun one I went to was for Broad Universe. I brought some of my horror books with me for a reading. Everyone brought a treat. We brought chili. There were also brownies, cookies, and soft drinks. The crowd was small but it was worthwhile. I got to practice my public speaking skills and mingle with strangers, which is no mean feat for me since I’m very introverted. I’d love to attend another public, live, in person book party soon, but for now, Facebook will do.

Here is the link for
my Facebook party:

https://www.facebook.com/events/529660003897941/

It runs from 9 AM EST until midnight PM EST on Sept. 6.

Here is some
information about No Restraint, which was published by Xcite Books in the U. K.

Blurb and excerpt
from No Restraint. Buy this book at
Amazon.

Amazon U. S.: https://www.amazon.com/No-Restraint-Elizabeth-Black-ebook/dp/B01IGHFZI0/

Amazon U. K.: https://www.amazon.co.uk/No-Restraint-Elizabeth-Black-ebook/dp/B01IGHFZI0/

BLURB:

Alex
Craig accepts a new job at a high-end sex doll company called Babes. Babes’
dolls are high-end, expensive silicone love toys. Working at Babes is like
working for a bacchanal. The company’s culture is all about decadence, enjoying
the good life, exciting sex, and enticing food and drink. Alex meets Jackson
Beale, one of the company’s vice-presidents. Jackson takes Alex on a new and
exciting journey of carnal pleasure. He introduces her to new tactile and kinky
pleasures, and she relishes her excitement. The world takes on an entirely new
meaning and importance to Alex as she learns what she’s been missing in her
life.

EXCERPT:

They
walked hand in hand down the wooden pathway and across the bridge to the fine,
warm sand. Hot sun beat down on her shoulders, making her sweat. The heat was a
bit overpowering, and she wanted to swim to cool off from the sweltering
weather as well as her own arousal.

The
chill from the waves lapping at her feet made her jump; the water was colder
than she expected it would be. Jackson took her by the hand and the two of them
ran headfirst into the waves, splashing water all about them. With a flying
leap, Alex plunged into the waist-deep water, shrieking as the chill shocked
her. Once immersed in the water she felt cool and comfortable. She enjoyed the
much-needed relief from the smoldering heat.

Alex
smoothed her wet hair as Jackson approached her to wrap his arms around her
waist. Holding her so tightly she couldn’t escape, he lowered his head and
kissed her full on the mouth. Not expecting the embrace, she struggled to pull
away from him but soon surrendered to her passion. She wrapped her arms around
his back and sank into his kiss. His tongue slipped into her mouth and she
greeted him in kind, tongues dancing a duet to music only the two of them could
hear. Her head spun and sparks exploded behind her eyelids as her blood rushed
through her veins.

No
man had ever gotten such an excited response from her from his mere kiss.

They
pulled away from each other, lips unlocking, and she stared into his eyes. She
couldn’t read his expression. He gazed at her with an intensity she hadn’t seen
before. It was as if he wanted to see through to her very soul and possess it.

And
she would let him if he insisted.

A
warm breeze brushed her skin as she and Jackson walked along the beach.
Bubbling surf washed over her feet, cooling her in the hot sun. They walked
hand in hand as if they had been partnered for years instead of only days.
Amazed at how comfortable she felt in Jackson’s presence, she strolled by his
side, not talking, but only enjoying his company and the smell of the ocean
surf. Her other lovers paled when compared to Jackson. He was all she ever
wanted in a man – worldly, handsome, accomplished, and drop-dead sexy. He
treated her with respect and gentleness; not that she expected anything less.
If he had been less kindly toward her, she never would have taken up with him
in the first place. She wasn’t one to believe in soulmates, but Jackson came
very close to being hers.

He
squeezed her hand, bringing her back to the real world. Pulling her toward him,
he wrapped his arms tightly around her and kissed her lightly on the lips. What
started out as a gentle caress grew into a fevered embrace; fingers entwined in
her hair, her hands massaging his back. She wanted to implant the memory of his
body and his touch in her mind forever so she could easily remember him when he
was away. Their romantic setting set her head spinning with delight. A handsome
man on the beach. Her dream come true.

Elizabeth Black –
Bio

Elizabeth Black
lives a dream life in a small home on the Massachusetts coast. She tries to go
to the beach every day. When in the Zone, she writes erotic fiction, romance,
dark fiction, and horror. She aims for la Dolce Vita and lives every day as if
it were a feast. She shared her life with her husband, son, and three cats. She
is published by Xcite Books, Cleis Press, Circlet Press, Bold Strokes Books,
and other publishers. You may find her on the web in the following locations:

SIGN UP FOR MY
MAILING LIST ON MY WEB SITE

Elizabeth Black –
Blog and Web Site

http://elizabethablack.blogspot.com

Elizabeth Black –
Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/elizabethablack

Elizabeth Black/E.
A. Black – Facebook Page (Like me please!)

https://www.facebook.com/elizabethblackwriter

Elizabeth Black –
Twitter (Follow me please!)

http://twitter.com/ElizabethABlack

Elizabeth Black
–  Erotic Fiction Amazon Author Page

https://www.amazon.com/author/elizabethblack

Elizabeth Black
writes in a wide variety of genres including erotica, erotic romance, horror,
and dark fiction. She lives on the Massachusetts coast with her husband, son,
and her three cats. Visit her web site, her Facebook
page, and her Amazon Author Page.
 

Her new m/m erotic medical thriller Roughing
It
is out! This book is a sexy cross between The X Files and The Andromeda
Strain. Buy it at Amazon!

—–

It’s finally feeling like spring. The weather here on the
northeast Massachusetts coast has been cooler than average for this time of
year. It’s also rather wet. I like the cool temps, though. Now that the leaves
are sprouting and the forsythia has finished blooming, it’s time for me to get
into my warmer weather routine after being cooped up in the apartment the
entire winter.

I look forward to spring every year. That’s the time for me
to replenish myself and to assess my progress in life. I’ve begun my beach
walks again, complete with a stop at the beach ice cream shop. The shop has
been open for about two weeks. I like to run plots and characterizations
through my head as I walk in the waves. The very, very cold waves. LOL The
ocean up here is far too cold for me to swim in even during the dog days of
August. My husband and I are talking about moving to Hawaii when he retires in
a little over three years. We can swim in that water. Pacific, here we come!

I believe writers need a safe space where they can listen to
the quiet inside and work out their stories. The beach provides that solace for
me. I worked out a horror story in my head over this past weekend, and I
finished the first draft Monday morning. It’s one of those stories where the
movie version kept getting in the way of my imagination. I finally got past
that. Think outside the box, as my husband says. I’d go today but there isn’t
enough time. Until Wednesday.

I also relax by gardening, which I’m into full swing now.
Spring brings forth the herbs and veggies I like to grow that won’t survive in
the apartment over the winter. I’m growing tomatoes from seeds for the first
time. If you write to University of Florida and donate $10, the horticulture
department will send you tomato seeds. This department is developing tomatoes
that actually taste delicious. Most mass-grown tomatoes you buy in the
supermarket are so bland they’d might as well not have any taste at all. The
two tomato strains I bought are Garden Gem and Garden Treasure. The seeds have already
sprouted and are doing well. I bought more seeds in the hope they’ll take and I
can plant them in pots. I bought more tomato seeds (Roma and Best Boy),
chamomile, and cilantro. They’re planted but the seeds haven’t sprouted yet. I
also buy starter plants. This year I picked up sage, rosemary, oregano, and
three varieties of thyme – lemon, orange, and English. Then there are the
pineapple sage, tarragon, and marjoram. My jalapeño peppers from last year
survived and they’re just starting to flower. The peppers grow from the
flowers. My bay plant needs to be transplanted since it’s root bound and it’s
complaining. I have a huge plastic pot for it. My tiny avocado I grew from the
pit three years ago is now almost five feet tall. That one is adjusting to a new
pot and the great outdoors. Here are pictures of my herb garden, which I keep
in pots since I can’t plant them in the ground.

Getting outside myself and away from the computer only makes
my writing flow easier. I need time away from writing so that I may continue to
write. It’s easier for me to do this in the spring, summer, and fall since
there are so many opportunities out there for exploration and enjoyment. I
don’t get that sort of thing during the winter. It’s too easy to hole up up
here, and I’m reclusive by nature.  It
also doesn’t help that I took on far too many projects recently, and I need to
finish them before the end of the month. Hopefully by the time this article
posts, I’ll be mostly finished. One can hope. By getting away, I come full circle
to meet my muse and the words flow. I need that.

Elizabeth Black
writes in a wide variety of genres including erotica, erotic romance, horror,
and dark fiction. She lives on the Massachusetts coast with her husband, son, and
her three cats. Visit her web site, her Facebook
page, and her Amazon Author Page.
 

Her new m/m erotic medical thriller Roughing
It
is out! This book is a sexy cross between The X Files and The Andromeda
Strain. Buy it at Amazon!

Ten months ago, I
began my new job as one of four hosts of a radio show called The Women Show. It doesn’t seem that long ago. This is an internet
radio show – a podcast. My first guest was Gina
Kinkade, the owner of Naughty Nights Press. I was scared to death! I had written
down far too many questions for the half hour show, but I like to be prepared.
I had a glass of champagne before the show and one during so I could stay calm.
Gina was more scared than I was since I don’t think she’d been on the radio
before. Now, she’s a regular on Marsha Casper Cook’s A Good Story Is A Good Story, with others in the Naughty Nights
Press crew. My most recent show on The
Women Show
was with some writers from Broad Universe, a networking group
for women who write speculative fiction. I’m a member.

I got my start with
Marsha as co-host, and I enjoyed myself. Her shows last an hour or more, and
she has multiple guests talking under a common theme. Those themes include
romance, erotica, horror, writing in general, screenplay writing, young adult,
and numerous other writing-related topics. Marsha was and still is a great
influence and teacher. I learned how to chat up guests to keep them talking. I
ask questions that require detailed answers rather than a simple
“yes” or “no”. I’ve never had a guest clam up on me, even
the ones who were nervous. Most of my guests have been on the radio before,
including well-known and talented horror writer Jack Ketchum and fantastic mojo
storyteller Joe R. Lansdale. I’ve also had Trent Zelazny as a guest several
times. For the fantasy lovers reading, he is the son of award-winning fantasy
writer Roger Zelazny, of the Chronicles
of Amber
fame.

I also talk about my
own writings on theses shows. Sometimes we do readings, which is great since I
get to introduce my listeners to my own work. I’ve read both horror and erotic
fiction live on the air. These readings are great practice for longer readings
in public places like bookstores and conventions. Radio is an unusual way to
get writing exposure. As I gain listeners, more people hear about my books and
buy them. I do need to talk about my own works more often so that my listeners
know I’m more than a radio host. I need them to know I also write and they may
buy my books. My problem is I focus so much on my guests I forget to hawk
myself.

How did I become
interested in radio? Well, it fell in my lap when I met Marsha, and she asked
me to co-host. I was delighted. A bit scared, but delighted. I had also read an
erotic memoir years ago called Wetlands,
by Charlotte Roche. The book received the usual type of criticism an erotic
memoir gets. From Wikipedia: “For supporters
it is an erotic literary novel; for critics it is cleverly marketed shock
fiction bordering on pornography with a previously exhibited habit of the
author of offense for the sake of offense.” Roche was a presenter
on Viva (a German equivalent of MTV) in the mid-’90s, and she had developed
quite a following. So when her book came out, it sold well. It was picked up by
a U. S. publisher and it did well in the States. Now, I understand a movie
based on the book is coming out soon. I will definitely see it. So, using other
forms of media aside of the Internet can help you develop a following in order
to sell books. Being a guest gives you exposure. Being a host does the same
thing.

I appear on The Women Show once per month. I appear
pretty much at will on Blog Talk Radio when I have a show idea to pitch to
Marsha. I am indebted to her and to Bennet Pomerantz, the producer of The Women Show.

Want to listen to
some shows? Pick any one of mine from Blog Talk Radio. Here is an archive of my
past shows – Elizabeth
Black on Blog Talk Radio
.

Below is a list of some
of my favorite shows.

Madeleine Shade –
Erotic Fairy Tales

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/bennetpomerantz2/2015/08/13/the-women-show-with-your-host-elizabeth-black

Madeleine Shade,
Dellani Oakes, Melissa Kier – Erotic Romance (with host Marsha Casper Cook and
me a co-host)

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/worldofinknetwork/2015/08/06/sexy-hot-romance–world-of-ink-network-hosts–marsha-cook–elizabeth-black

Valentine’s Day –
Elizabeth Black (me), Melissa Keir, Lindsay Downs, Bernard Foong, Walter J.
Bissett, and William Maltese. (with host Marsha Casper Cook and me as co-host)

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/worldofinknetwork/2016/02/10/hot-sexy-romance–happy-valentines-day-a-good-story-is-a-good-story

Broad Universe –
Terri Bruce, Morven Westfield, and Trisha Wooldridge. BU is a networking group
for women who write speculative fiction. I’m a member.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/bennetpomerantz2/2016/04/14/the-women-show-with-your-host-elizabeth-black

Trent Zelazny – noir, crime, horror, and dark fiction writer

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/bennetpomerantz2/2015/05/14/the-women-show-with-your-host-elizabeth-black

Joe R. Lansdale –
mojo storyteller and author of the Hap and Leonard books. These books were
recently turned into a TV series on Sundance.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/bennetpomerantz2/2015/12/17/the-women-show-with-your-host-elizabeth-black

Jack Ketchum –
horror writer, author of The Girl Next
Door
.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/bennetpomerantz2/2016/03/24/the-womens-show-with-your-host-elizabeth-black-guest-jack-ketchum

It’s good to be busy.

I just returned from a retreat and a networking evening.
Both events took place on the Massachusetts coast. I’ve decided that I prefer
retreats to conventions now. Less unpleasant commitment and much cheaper, if
you work the retreats the right way. The retreat in Hampton, New Hampshre two
weekends ago was free because it was for members of Broad Universe. That’s a
networking group for women who write speculative fiction (and other forms of
fiction). I worked on Full Moon Fever,
my bisexual male werewolves erotic romance novella I’m turning into a novel. I
also worked on Neighbors, a lesbian
short story reprint for a new submission call about sexy neighbors. I’m also
going to submit a new story for that one. I learned of the submission call from
the Erotic Readers and Writers Association. I get lots of use from this group.

The interesting thing about Full Moon Fever is that it employs “The Other” (or
“The Double”), which is an archetype of twins who are really mirror
opposites of each other but aren’t related at all. They are two people who look
very much alike but they compliment each other. Two men in Full Moon Fever are
dead ringers for each other, but they are very much different. One man, when asked
if he’d like to get it on with his look-alike, says “I’ve always wanted to
have sex in the third person.” Two women, who are lovers, are also
look-alikes who are very different. One is quiet while the other is chatty. One
is pensive while the other is boisterous. I have a thing about “The
Other”. There is another set of opposites in a WIP family saga thriller
I’m working on.  These two women are
mirror images of each other. One is dark – dark hair, dark eyes – while the
other is light – blond hair, eyes so pale blue the irises disappear into her
whites. She looks blind but she sees all. I want to explore this archetype much
more. It’s a fascinating one. Are they related or not? Why is the blonde so
interested in the brunette? What’s her secret? Those are some questions driving
the book.

The Broad Universe retreat was the first retreat where I
actually did any writing. LOL My first retreat was the Stanley Hotel Writers
Retreat last October in Estes Park, Colorado. This one is for horror writers. My
husband and I had such a good time last year we’re returning this year. The
Stanley Hotel is where Stephen King stayed, and the hotel in its then rundown
condition spooked him so much it inspired him to write The Shining. I didn’t get a stitch of work done. I went to talks,
meals, hangouts, and even had some marijuana cookies and cream cake balls since
pot is legal in Colorado. I learned I can’t write worth spit when I’m stoned.
All I do is stare into space, drool and giggle. Someone recommended I eat half
a cake ball (or a quarter) the next time and see how I feel. It would be
interesting to write when stoned. I write when tipsy which is fun. Maybe my
writing will end up looking like James Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake. LOL

Here are pictures of North Beach in Hampton, NH which was in
front of the beach house where I did my writing. I walked on the beach each morning. Talk about inspiring!

The networking event is called the Writers Coffee House New England and
this month’s meeting was held an hour away from my home at a bookstore. The
meeting room was packed! I met old friends and made plenty of new ones. This
was a networking meet-and-greet discussion event. Although the majority of
writers wrote horror (including myself and this is New England we’re talking
about – home of the witch trials, Shirley Jackson and H. P. Lovecraft), the
advice applied to any writer. I picked up more tips about how to promote my
upcoming releases. I also learned that if I find a publisher for my family saga
thriller, I should write to the agent at the top of my list and pitch my book
before I sign the contract. Say I need an agent to look over and negotiate the
contract for me. Apparently, it’s easier to find an agent for a book that has
already been accepted. That’s news to me. I need to investigate the best
cozy/mystery/thriller publishers and send the book out, but first I need to
divide it in two. It’s a mega novel and far too large to sell as one book. One
agent who rejected me told me that. He was right. But that’s a fixable problem.
My husband came with me. We ended the evening at dinner at a restaurant with about
15 of the attendees. Then, we headed to a hotel where I had booked a jacuzzi room
for under $100 per night. We spent our time soaking and drinking – he Campari,
me Fra Angelico. Now that’s a weekend get-away!

Next month I attend the When Words Count retreat in the
mountains of Vermont. I won my stay at this one so it costs only for food. I’ve
never been to Vermont. This will be my first time. Maybe I’ll run into Bernie
Sanders. LOL I plan to finish Full Moon
Fever
and hand it in to Xcite Books after Xcite publishes my new erotic
romance novel No Restraint. That one
is a corporate and food porn erotica with elements of billionaire erotica. I
plan to write, takes walks on the mountain trails, and relax with some wine
when I’m not writing. We write all day and eat dinner together and chit chat
about our work at night. I’m going to enjoy this.

Finally, in June, my husband and I are attending No-Con. It
was originally Anthocon, a horror convention, but the organizers aren’t able to
do it this year. Two of them moved on. There were four total. They were
nicknamed The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Sadly, Anthocon is no more. Despite
the lack of convention this year, the regulars wanted to get together anyway,
so No-Con was born. It’s just a gathering where everyone can get together and
hang out. We got a great rate on the hotel, which I have to reserve soon. I get
to see everyone I hung out with last year. No pressure of manning tables,
readings or selling books. Just hang out in the bar, eat, and drink and
schmooze. I can get used to this!

I definitely like these retreats and get-togethers. I want
to make a habit of them. If you can get away to retreats, I highly recommend
them. The networking opportunities are phenomenal and I find them to be less
stressful than conventions. Plus, they’re just fun. Fun is always a good thing.

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