Tag Archives: Delilah Devlin

Pictures In The Eyes Of The Beholder

19 Jun

Woman Hiding Behind BookIn going through the process of getting my website completed, I’ve been thinking a lot about author photos. For writers of erotic romance, in particular, this can be a tricky decision. To have a photo, or not to have a photo. That is the question. Like many, I have a “day job” unrelated to my passion for writing, and the day job folks  . . . well, let’s just say there’s a certain image in the corporate world which may or may not look favorably upon an erotic romance writer.

So. The photo. In my quest to address this issue as it pertain to my own site, I decided – for inspiration – to go on a voyeuristic exploration of other writers’ sites and see what they’re up to, photo wise. My first stop was at the port of Ms. Misty Dietz.

Now, before I say anything about the photo Misty uses on her site, let me just say that I really love her site in general. First off, it tells me what she’s writing. I know within seconds after her homepage opens that Misty’s stories have a dark side, that she veers toward suspense/paranormal romance versus sweet or inspirational. Her tag line, “Love, Sex & Danger. Buckle Up.” gives me a pretty darn good clue about that. And she does have a picture, beautifully displayed in the bio section of the site. Good on ya, Misty.

Hmmm. OK, that was informative. But perhaps I also need to look at a writer who’s really known for her blistering hot erotic romances. I decided to check out Delilah Devlin’s site.

Like Misty, Delilah chooses not to put her photo on the homepage but instead reserves it for when readers click through to the bio page. There we can learn about her childhood, her writing awards, her loves and interests, even where she went to school. Very informative! And we also get her photo. Unlike Misty’s photo, which is so good it looks professionally done (or maybe Misty is just uber photogenic), Delilah’s picture is more like a good picture that a friend took with a smartphone. Oh, and she also has an adorable picture of her and her sister when they were kids. Love it.

Next stop, Tiffany Reisz. Author of the very sexy and extremely hot The Original Sinners series, Tiffany’s a writer we love here on Lady Smut. (see Madeline’s Q&A with Tiffany here). Tiffany also has a really cool website. It’s moody, all black, white, and grey, well organized, and let’s us learn a lot about her. Going with the theme of no photo on the home page, Tiffany’s pretty mug is revealed on her bio page. The picture, I must say, really goes along with the mood of her writing. It’s a black and white picture of her in profile but looking out at the viewer. Really cool.

In my (admittedly somewhat limited) research of romance and erotic romance writers’ websites, the majority (although not all) of writers are indeed using author pictures. Other sites I looked at include Shoshanna Evers, Erica Chilson, Joey W. Hill, Robin Schone, Ella  Quinn, and Lisa Valdez. Now, I wasn’t born yesterday and am aware that some of the pictures may not be of the authors themselves. For a variety of reasons, some of us just don’t feel comfortable having our faces out there. Hey, I get it. That was the point of this exercise, after all. To photo, or not to photo. How do you answer the question?

What’s In A Cover?

28 Feb

ShameWhat’s in a name? That’s which we call a rose

by any other name would smell as sweet.  

So Romeo would were he not Romeo called.

But what about Romeo’s face? What about his body? As a writer, I know it’s all about the words, but hey, I’m a very visual person too.  Take my office, for instance.  All my projects are out on my desk, with the important ones on top.  If it’s in the filing cabinet, then I’m not thinking about it.  Outta sight, outta mind.  I’ve got to see it to get excited about it.

So I really appreciate a great romance book cover–especially a great erotic romance cover.  I love romance covers that make me take a second look.  An excellent cover makes me covet a book that I wouldn’t have desired otherwise.

Good or bad? You decide. The title is just too much.

Good or bad? You decide. The title is just too much.

I tip my hat to the people who design them.  I bet it’s a lot harder than it looks. For instance, those romance covers where it indicates a woman is in a menage with several guys.  I bet this is a cover design specialty.  Clearly you want to indicate that there are several men here and one woman, but you don’t want to make it look like a dog pile.  Then there’s the way in which a few men are touching the woman at the same time.  You don’t want the woman to look like she’s in a relationship with an octopus–some multi-armed, naked torso mutant.

Looking through some recent erotic romance books out in the world, I noticed that I have 5 categories of romance covers I’m drawn to.  Here they are:

1) The arty cover.  So arty, you might call it Ahhhhr-ty.  I notice that black, red, and white cover designs are really in right now.

Juicy cleavage never did a cover wrong.

Juicy cleavage never did a cover wrong.

2) The squidy shameful cover–but one with taste.  Something that indicates a little wiggling is going on inside the book.Owning Wed

3) The “I just got f***ed real good cover.Dark Destiny

4) The “I’m just about to get f***ed real good cover.Revving Her Up

5) And finally: the emotive cover.  Cowboys

Faces are hard.  I don’t want to de-personalize others, but it’s so easy to have an expression in a woman’s mouth that makes me wrinkle my nose.

Almost coming out of her corset distracts you from her face a little.

Almost coming out of her corset distracts you from her face a little.

A certain tension around the lips can read, well, bitchy.  There’s bitchy hot, of course, which is great, but I’m talking bitchy in an annoying way.  I also don’t care for the “I’m a dumb blonde mouth”.  So anyway, my guess is that it’s a lot harder than it looks to get an erotic romance cover with emotions on the face that work.  This one worked for me, but her eye is a little dead–if you’d started at her nose I wouldn’t have complained.

study 2What kind of cover do you like best? I found an entirely different cover for A STUDY IN SHAME. Here it is. They look about the same in terms of age and color palate, so I wonder if one cover was designed for women, and another cover for men.  What do you think?

Just The Wright Present

6 Dec

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!

editor & author Kristina Wright

editor & author Kristina Wright

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?

LustfullyKRISTINA WRIGHT: I would call my two most recent anthologies erotic romance because there is a romantic relationship that is central to each story.

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?

dutyKRISTINA 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!).

DelilahD

Delicious erotic romance author, Delilah Devlin

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?

Best EroticKRISTINA 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.

Facebook: facebook.com/kristinacw

Twitter: twitter.com/kristinawright

My website: kristinawright.com

My publisher: cleispress.com

Duty and Desire blog: dutyanddesire.wordpress.com

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