Monday, March 31, 2008

EROTICA PUBLISHERS VERSUS THE BOURGEOIS FORMALIST PRESSES

Michelle, my very close friend of many years, writes literary fiction (novels, specifically) and tells me about how hard it is to publish a novel in Canada -- or, for that matter, to attract the attention of American publishers and agents. That woman can write circles around me and has never yet been able to get a publisher even to look at her novel manuscript.

My own experience is in the world of erotica, which, though frustrating at times, is very different from Michelle's. The long and the short of it is, even though I have encountered publishers ranging from the highly professional to the hopelessly incompetent, I find there are only two requirements to getting one's erotic stories pubished:
1) Write good stuff
2) Send it to the right publisher

In short, the erotica publishing industry is more or less democratic, as far as I have been able to determine. Right now, for example, if you go to a well stocked bookstore with a good erotica or gay and lesbian section, you can find two major anthologies with a total of three of my stories in them. I have been able to succeed without being much of a networker.

The literary fiction presses, on the other hand, seem to have mysterious requirements one can only guess at, unspoken byzantine laws about networking and about who (figuratively speaking) must suck who's dick and how. In short, the literary presses are a Bloomsburian clique. Just to get a fucking agent one needs to get a fucking agent, and to get the first fucking agent one must have influential friends. Yes, even with small, supposedly left wing presses this is the case.
I remember submitting a short essay to a site called rabble.ca. Okay, with a name like that you'd figure they'd publish anybody, as long as the work was good. I did not get an answer at all, never mind a rejection.

My message to writers? For all that I have said, if you are good, don't give up. There is always hope. I know Michelle and I know she will never give up. But I have seen the repeated failures of the publishing world make her mean. As the poet Blake said (roughly quoted) "the world shall have my poems whether it like them or no."

As for all the mediocrities whose query packages clutter the desks of publishers, taking up valuable time that might be used examining genuine talent, just fuck off and find out what it is you are really supposed to do so others can have a chance to make their own contribution. Writing is one of the few professions where the mediocrities actually crowd out their superiors, and publishers let it happen.

Roxy Katt

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

RISING NEW ORGANIZATION: SAPPHIC PLANET. COME AND CHAT WITH US, MARCH 22

Check us out:

http://sapphicplanet.tripod.com/

This is a new and swiftly rising organization of writers of f/f fiction. You can check us out at the above address or drop in for a chat all day at Literary Nymphs on March 22:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LiteraryNymphsChat/

The genre of the day is lesbian themed, and there will be lots of f/f writers there, including some from Sapphic Planet. This is a good chance to talk to us and see some steamy excerpts from our fiction, including some yummy tidbits from Beth Wylde's Torquere Press release, SWITCHING SIDES.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

AND ANOTHER POSITIVE REVIEW OF BEST LESBIAN EROTICA '08

Yes, looks like the reviews are coming in. Check this one out

http://www.eroticarevealed.com/page3.html

written by Jean Roberta at Erotica Revealed.

Monday, March 10, 2008

BEST LESBIAN EROTICA '08 REVIEWED AT ERWA

I have been surprised lately at how few reviews there are of erotica
books, all things considering, including reviews of hardcopy books
put out by major publishers and sold at major outlets.

However, here's Ashley Lister's review of BEST LESBIAN
EROTICA '08 (which I am in -- see the sidebar to your left).
The review is at ERWA, the Erotica Readers and Writers
Association, which, as far as I am concerned, is the web
center of the erotic universe.

http://erotica-readers.com/ERA/SL/BR-Best_Lesbian_Erotica_08.htm

Monday, March 3, 2008

FROM MARX'S ECONOMIC AND PHILOSOPHICAL MANUSCRIPTS

"Alienation is apparent not only in the fact that my means of life belong to someone else, that my desires are the unattainable possession of someone else, but that everything is something different from itself, that my activity is something else, and finally (and this is also the case for the capitalist) that an inhuman power rules over everything. There is a kind of wealth which is inactive, prodigal and devoted to pleasure, the beneficiary of which behaves as an ephemeral, aimlessly active individual who regards the slave labor of others, human blood and sweat, as the prey of his cupidity and sees mankind, and himself, as a sacrificial and superfluous being. Thus he acquires a contempt for mankind, expressed in the form of arrogance and the squandering of resources which would support a hundred human lives, and also in the form of the infamous illusion that his unbridled extravagance and endless unproductive consumption is a condition for the labor and subsistence of others. He regards the realization of the essential powers of man only as the realization of his own disorderly life, his whims and his capricious, bizarre ideas."

Saturday, March 1, 2008

ROXY'S MINI REVIEWS - THE BOYS' CRUSADE


Paul Fussell is probably best known for his THE GREAT WAR AND MODERN MEMORY, and excellent book, by the way.
THE BOYS' CRUSADE (2003) is not a large book (184 small pages) but it is excellent. I have often gotten the feeling, having
read a lot of military history, that the stories that are most
instructive are the ones least likely to be told. Even the literary
"anti-war" canon leaves a great deal to be desired. THE BOYS'
CRUSADE talks about the American infantry in Europe, post D-day. Fussell gives a sense of the utter chaos and confusion of war, what happens when soldiers are overwhelmed or badly prepared. Yes, it is a cliche to say that war is not glorious and that it is hell. Not a few writers say this and inadvertantly manage to make war look wonderful after all. But not Fussell.