We’re nearing the end of our Backlist Bash and in the hotseat today is a rare treat – a male erotica writer. KEN CHARLES is up today to tell us about his erotic short story collection Slightly Twisted Sisters.
SHR: What makes this particular book your favorite?
KC: This is a collection of cp stories that really didn’t fit into other collections, but fit very well together. Unlike the other collections, while these character driven stories revolve around corporal punishment, the focus is on the heroines’ mind sets.
SHR: Who published it? When?
KC: Slightly Twisted Sisters is published by No Boundaries Press (February 2012).
SHR: Tell us a little about what you went through to get it published.
KC: Getting published wasn’t a problem. Putting the collection together was the problem. Several of the stories were in other collections. Each time I organized the stories in those collections, these stories wouldn’t quite fit. So I’d pull them out and put them in a separate file. Eventually I figured out that they fit together. Most significantly, this collection provided a home for one of my favorites stories, “Psyche and Metaphysic”.
SHR: On writing in general: What’s the hardest part for you? Why?
KC: Aside from trying to type with a cat on my shoulder? Erotica aims at the mind. Porn aims at the groin. The trick is to treat erotica like any other writing, paying attention to the storyline and the characters. When setting each scene, I have to avoid going off half-cocked.
The key to writing erotic is a keen grasp of frigging euphemisms. There was really no need to use the word “frigging” in the last sentence except as an example of a euphemism. Ah, that got your attention. Now you’re thinking more along the lines of “Copulating A!”
Repetition and redundancy are major turn-offs for the average reader (and a corresponding gluteal pain for an editor). No erotica author should attempt to create multiple sex scenes in a story without access to a thesaurus.
Biology 101–okay, class, the fundamentals of a sex act are pretty uniform whether the scene is M/F, M/M, F/F or F/M, or various combinations or permutations thereof. Essentially, at some point in each sex scene, one or more of some sort of rhabdoid projection is going to be inserted into one or more openings and passageways. Euphemisms allow the author to return to that same refrain over and over again without boring the readers. They also help the readers connect with concepts with which they are intellectually capable of comprehending, but are otherwise tempermentally indisposed to grasp.
Like any other word choices, the choice of euphemisms can enhance a scene or destroy it. The author must consider the connotations of a particular euphemism as well as its meaning, and determine whether it is well suited both to the characters and the nature of the scene. Is it likely that your character would use the particular word? Does it fit in context? For example, according to “The Etymology of Slang Sexual Terms”, http://www.takeourword.com/pt.html, the word “pussy” referred to women as early as the 16th century, but didn’t take on a sexual meaning until the 19th century. Accordingly, a modern reader would understand the author’s intent if the naughty, 17th century duchess invited the knight to “lick her pussy”, but it would be anachronistic at best, and would probably ruin the scene for a reader with a penchant for history.
Similarly, certain common euphemisms come with highly emotional, negative connotations, such as the dreaded four letter “C” word. Inserting such a word into a sex scene can lose some readers outright.
Euphemisms apply to both things and actions. Characters can mate, screw, couple, fornicate, schtupp, do the nasty, and even fuck when all they really want to do is engage in sexual intercourse. Her breasts are not only like two young roes, they’re also like “juicy, juicy mangos”(Bend It Like Beckham, inter alia). Things need not actually be as they appear in the mirror of written text.
Euphemisms abound, but when the need arises, the author can always create a new one. In Sex Tales from West County: Billy’s Tale, I wrote a scene in which Missy is riding Billy cowboy style, while singing to herself a song with a line about “gigging frogs”. Billy assumes that “frogs” is a euphemism for “breasts”. Whether replacing an anatomical structure or a physical act, a well turned euphemism can keep a scene rolling without reducing it to the level of a freshman biology lecture.
SHR: Unrelated: What’s your favorite color?
ABOUT SLIGHTLY TWISTED SISTERS:
This collection of fourteen short stories is a bit edgier than many of my stories. The heroines are haughty, headstrong, bitchy and even outright sociopathic. There is sex, but sex isn’t the focus.
The Black Pearl’s review
Feb 21, 12
“Ken Charles is a great author with the ability to change the ‘voice’ of his stories….By far, the star in this short story collection was Psyche and MetaPhysic –absolute genius. The story’s execution was brilliant!”
The vizier unfurls the scroll, clears his throat and proclaims, “By order of His Royal Highness, the King and Lord of the Realm, your Father, you are sentenced to two dozen strokes with a birch rod for repeated willful disobedience.”
The princess fixes him with an icy stare. She would spit on this lackey, but that would demean her royal station. Father indeed! That barbarian cur that forced her royal mother into a sham marriage after the accident that killed her royal father is not fit to work in the royal stables, much less claim the title of King and Lord of the Realm. Certainly, he will never be her father!
Her royal mother is in attendance by order of her bastard husband, but she is too ashamed to meet her daughter’s eye. It is just as well, since the princess would not want anything to dilute the venom in her glare. Dear old nurse is present also, with tears in her rheumy old eyes. The princess knows that nurse would gladly take her place if she could. Nurse, at least, remembers her honor and duty to the House of Ixlan.
At a nod from the vizier, the teary maids in waiting turn up the dress and lace petticoats, revealing a plump round alabaster bottom. The maids take straps attached to the block and fix the condemned legs sixty degrees apart, while another strap across the small of the back locks the target in place. Another nod, and the executioner steps forward. In his hand is a wicked birch rod. Each branch has been hand selected and soaked in brine for three days. Nothing less will do for a royal birching!
A final nod and the executioner draws back his massive arm, and brings forth the first stroke. Dozens of lightening like flashes of pain blaze across both white cheeks, but the princess holds her head high and does not utter a sound. The vizier nods again, and another vicious slash adds a maze of welts to the poor strapped down backside. The princess sends daggers from her eyes winging at the vizier, but still remains silent.
After three more vicious strokes, her royal highness can no longer bear to look, and hides her visage in nurse’s shoulder. But the princess, unbowed, remains silent. The vizier is determined to break her to the king’s will. The vizier gestures, and the executioner delivers two quick blows across the tops of the pinioned thighs. Several more cuts, and the princess’s breath comes more rapidly. But she is determined to prove that a true Daughter of the House of Ixlan cannot be beaten into submission. Her eyes remain fixed on the vizier, taunting and baiting him to do his worst!
A slash across the left cheek draws the first ruby droplets of blood, but nary a sound from the princess. Two quick cuts to the inside of the thighs raise deep black welts, but fail to even make the princess blink. She knows that she will prevail!
At a final desperate gesture from the vizier, the executioner grunts and puts the whole of his three hundred pound bulk into the last three cuts, ripping and tearing the red flesh that only minutes before was so smooth and soft. The princess smiles at the vizier, and nearly causes him to choke in anger. The vizier would continue, but only at peril to his life. Two dozen strokes were decreed and delivered. The vizier would duly report to His Royal Highness the efficacy and wisdom of his judgment.
The princess’s heart is soaring. She has shown the true worth of the blood of the House of Ixlan. She will continue to defy the usurper in her mother’s bed. Still, she will insist that nurse find a stronger whipping girl, one who will not faint after two dozen strokes while the princess is making a statement.
WHERE TO GET IT:
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And be sure to check out NO BOUNDARIES PRESS!