Just The Wright Present
Ho-ho-ho readers, Madeline here. Tis the season to be giving & I’m a big believer in women gifting themselves first. After all, it’s not elves making that holiday magic happen, is it? ;> If you’re the one making sure visions of sugar plums are dancing in their heads, you deserve a treat–so we’re giving away a copy of each anthology–leave a comment and you might win!
To that end I’m talking today with Kristina Wright, editor of two erotic romance anthologies that might fit in your Christmas stocking.
MADELINE IVA: Kristina, would you call DUTY AND DESIRE and LUSTFULLY EVER AFTER erotica anthologies or erotic romance anthologies? Is it hard to infuse romance into a short form of fiction?
I think it’s a challenge to write short fiction in general– every word counts– and especially so when there is a romantic relationship to craft. But it can be done successfully, whether through showing a lapse of time or the tried-and-true reunion story.
MADELINE IVA: I talk a lot about what’s sexy with my fellow bloggers, Liz Everly and Elizabeth Shore. Although on the surface of things it seems like war could be really romantic because it’s so intense, in fact, your writers are dealing with shattering subjects that have the potential to lose that lovin’ feeling. Did you ever have to push writers away from some of the more extreme moments and encourage them to get things back to a place where sex/romance/erotic tension could take hold again?
KRISTINA WRIGHT: I would never suggest a writer avoid going where their imagination takes them. Having said that, I will add that it was a delicate balance to make sure the anthology portrayed a variety of military experience, from the intensity of war to the joy of homecoming.
Many of the stories in DUTY AND DESIRE offer an unflinching portrayal of military life; stories like Shanna Germain’s “Shattered,” Anya Richards’ “Thunder of War,” Sacchi Green’s “Sergeant Rae” and Michelle Augello-Page’s “Home.” These stories reveal the very real challenges facing military couples– and each story shows the power of love and limitless desire.
MADELINE IVA: How did you decide which stories to put first and which to put last in each collection?
KRISTINA WRIGHT: Truth? I used to write each story title on a Post-It note, put the Post-Its on a wall and rearrange them for balance. Male or female protagonist, first or third person POV, lighthearted or intense, even the type of emotional and sexual relationship of the characters plays a role in how I compile the anthology.
Generally, the first and last stories are the ones that best represent the theme of the collection. There is the mistaken idea that the first story is the best story, but choosing a “best” story in one of my anthologies is like asking me to choose my favorite child (and I only have two children!).
But if a reader picks up my anthology at the bookstore or reads the sample on Amazon, they will usually read the first few pages to get a “feel” for the book. Sometimes a particular story lends itself to being the opening story– it feels like a greeting, a hello, a beginning. Delilah Devlin’s “The Long Ride Home” is the first story in DUTY AND DESIRE– and it’s a homecoming story as well as a story of a new beginning for both characters. (Plus, there’s the added bonus of saying Delilah Devlin is the first story in the anthology– ha!)
MADELINE IVA: Right! I noticed exactly that myself, (erotic romance writers sometimes involuntarily genuflect when you say Delilah Devlin’s name. ;>) Then, when I read her story, it was so well written and very gripping I was definitely compelled to read more.
KRISTINA WRIGHT: In LUSTFULLY EVER AFTER, Anya Richards’ “Rosa Redford” felt like the perfect opening story because it conveyed the fairy tale “feel” in a fresh, contemporary way. Sometimes, I want a story that feels like “goodbye”– in a positive way. In LUSTFULLY EVER AFTER, my story “A Sea Change” is about a woman saying goodbye to her old life in favor of something exciting and otherwordly. My story “For Better or Worse” rounds out DUTY AND DESIRE with a story about a couple who are both in the U.S. Navy, just as Delilah opens the collection with a couple in the U.S. Army.
MADELINE IVA: Fabulous! What’s next for you in your editing career?
KRISTINA WRIGHT: The second edition of BEST EROTIC ROMANCE series is due out next week. I’m very excited about this collection– I wanted stories that were not only erotic and romantic but that also felt realistic. It’s a scorching hot anthology full of very real people falling in love and lust.
In 2013, I have a short-short collection of erotic romance coming out from Cleis Press called XOXO: SWEET AND SEXY EROTIC ROMANCE.
I also wrote and edited a book for Cleis called BEDDED BLISS: A GUIDE TO LUST EVER AFTER, which is a married sex guide unlike anything you’ve ever read!
Thanks so much for inviting me to visit LadySmut.com–I invite your readers to get in touch with me on Facebook, Twitter or my website or the DUTY AND DESIRE blog, where you can also find out more about the book and the authors.
My website: kristinawright.com
My publisher: cleispress.com
Duty and Desire blog: dutyanddesire.wordpress.com