Posts Tagged ‘eroticwriting’

Hurricane Mitzi Hits Miami

Monday, November 26th, 2012

Everyone knows that South Florida is prone to hurricanes, and I’m afraid I made matters worse during my recent appearance at the Miami Book Fair International, where I was invited to speak on The State of Erotica panel. Erotica is the hot topic these days, thanks to 50 Shades of Grey or, as I refer to it in my blog post, 50 Shades of Nothing New. Since I had a new book to promote (Thrones of Desire: Erotic Tales of Swords, Mist and Fire ) and since people are always asking me when I’ll be doing more appearances in America, I figured this would be a good way to show that I’m making an effort to be more visible in the former colonies.

Thrones of Desire: Erotic Tales of Swords, Mist and Fire

Thrones of Desire: Erotic Tales of Swords, Mist and Fire

Well, the red carpet was laid out; however, it was not laid out for me. On the contrary. In fact, I had no idea that the real motive for my being invited to appear at the Miami Book Fair was, to put it bluntly, nothing but a thinly disguised plot for them to cozy up to someone I’m very closely associated with.

I knew the writing was on the wall when I arrived at the author hospitality suite and was asked almost immediately where Teddy Tedaloo was. Even the woman in possession of the media interview schedule remarked with forced politeness that I should have “brought the bear.” After all, how could I possibly expect her to come find me in the crowd when the photo on her printout was of both Teddy and myself? I had to concede the point.

If that wasn’t bad enough, I’d barely shaken hands with SiriusXM’s Kim Alexander from the Book Radio programme when the first thing out of her mouth was: “Where’s Teddy Tedaloo?” I felt like slinking beneath a chair. This continued throughout the day, even when I was speaking on the panel. At least two people in the audience asked where Teddy was – and need I say that he was very prominently mentioned in my introductory bio that was read off before the whole thing had even begun. Oh, the shame of it!

It appeared I’d made a major error by not bringing him with me to the book fair. A very major error.

May I take a moment to defend myself? I was operating with the best of intentions. By not taking Teddy, I thought I was sparing him some grief. You see, I normally do appearances in the United Kingdom and mainland Europe – and he always comes along for these events, be it literature festival, book festival, talk, or writing workshop. They’re very bear-friendly over on that side of the pond. However, I wasn’t too sure how welcoming of bears an American audience would be, or, for that matter, a Miami audience. (Have you met any bears in Miami? I haven’t!) Plus I generally do solo appearances, so there was the issue of whether Teddy would be happy being on a panel with several writers (all female) as opposed to only sharing the spotlight with me. And if the venue hadn’t thought to provide a chair for him to sit on… well, it could have been highly embarrassing for all parties concerned.

Normal for Norfolk (The Thelonious T. Bear Chronicles)

Normal for Norfolk (The Thelonious T. Bear Chronicles)

There was also another problem – and this was the real sticking point. Teddy felt snubbed. You see, he too, is now a published author. He’s the co-author of the quirky crime novel/cozy mystery Normal for Norfolk (The Thelonious T. Bear Chronicles) – and he felt (and rightly so) that he should have been invited to appear at the Miami Book Fair on his own merit and given his own slot, not playing second fiddle, or even third fiddle. Therefore he flat out refused to go to the book fair at all, opting to stay in bed in his pajamas all day and sulk.

A dubious Teddy Tedaloo as he checks out my author badge

A dubious Teddy Tedaloo as he checks out my author badge

If you think that’s bad, it gets worse. No one enjoys a pint as much as Teddy Tedaloo, so when he found out that I’d met up with Scottish novelist Irvine Welsh for a post-book-fair drink, well… he was none too chuffed, let me tell you. I, however, was. It was such a relief to run into someone from the homeland that when Irvine invited me along for drinks, I couldn’t say no. So in true British fashion, we headed on over to the nearest pub (or in this case a well-chilled downtown bar), where thankfully there were some decent beers on tap. Unfortunately I couldn’t stay out too late since I was tired and I had a testy little bear waiting for me back at the home of my Miami friends. I was in enough trouble as it was and didn’t want to exacerbate the situation by returning in the wee hours of the morning.

Mitzi Szereto hanging with Irvine Welsh at a local watering hole post-Miami Book Fair, minus the trainspotting!

Mitzi Szereto hanging with Irvine Welsh at a local watering hole post-Miami Book Fair, minus the trainspotting!

In retrospect, I suppose it’s just as well Teddy hadn’t been there or I suspect he and the Scottish wordsmith might’ve been going hand-to-hand in the drinks department until the joint finally kicked us outside into the street. As for the Miami Book Fair, hopefully next time the selection committee will know better not to snub a critically acclaimed author and major media personality. After all, it’s not as if they have a lot of ursine authors to pick and choose from, especially an ursine author with as much charm, good looks and talent as Teddy Tedaloo!

50 Shades of Nothing New

Monday, May 14th, 2012

bow tie

I figured that since so many journalists and broadcasters keep interviewing me and asking me for quotes about the recent publishing phenomenon of 50 Shades of Grey, I thought it was time I put in my two pence’ worth right here at my blog.

Now I’m the last person to rain on anyone’s parade, especially another author’s. Those of us who toil in this usually thankless and poverty-stricken profession know all too well how difficult it is to make a living, let alone garner the kind of phenomenal success now being enjoyed by 50 Shades author E. L. James, who, up until this time, wasn’t even a professional author (and there are many who would argue that she still isn’t). However, as a writer and editor who does quite a bit of work in the area known as “erotic literature” or “erotic fiction” or “erotica,” I’m truly in the dark as to what all the fuss is about.

James’s novel (and their many continuations) focus on a BDSM relationship between a “submissive” young woman and a “dominant” man. The book evolved from her fan fiction site for Stephenie Meyer’s bestselling novel Twilight. Though unlike Twilight, 50 Shades of Grey has lots of sex in it.

Explicit sex. And some of it is considered kinky depending on what church you go to.

Err… okay. So what? Is this anything new? Has no one ever written these kinds of novels before? Has no one heard of the similarly themed classic The Story of O? Has no one seen the gazillion erotic novels that have been published over the last few decades detailing precisely the same plotline, replete with salacious details? Has no one noticed the amount of explicit sex to be found on the pages of what are considered to be “mainstream” as well as “literary” novels, not to mention “women’s fiction”?

The fact that 50 Shades appears to be geared toward women readers also seems to have raised eyebrows. I guess all those Black Lace erotic novels written by women for women never existed, not to mention the many similar publishing imprints that have been doing the exact same thing for years, all vying for the exact same audience – an audience which appears to be reading content that has now become commonly known as (*gags*) “Mommy Porn.”

What I’d like to know is, where have all these goggle-eyed readers and journalists been living – in a cave? Even if you’re sweet sixteen and have no literary history under your belt, a visit to the local bookshop or a perusal of the steamy books on offer at Amazon will be sufficient to educate you that these kinds of novels have been around for eons. Some are well written, some poorly written. But this phenomenon is nothing new. For the media and reading public to suddenly make out as if Ms James has invented the erotic novel is a slap in the face for the multitudinous authors both past and present who have been doing the same thing – and quite possibly doing it better!

Of course many of these authors are hoping that the huge success of 50 Shades will translate into greater success for their own books. And perhaps it will. Whether it does anything to improve the actual quality of material being written remains to be seen.

Frankly, I have my doubts.

Talk Radio Europe interview with Mitzi Szereto

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

Mitzi Szereto takes some time out of her schedule to chat with Talk Radio Europe presenter Hannah Murray about books, writing, Jane Austen, and sexy vampires. Find out more about Pride and Prejudice: Hidden Lusts, In Sleeping Beauty’s Bed: Erotic Fairy Tales, and her autumn release Red Velvet and Absinthe: Paranormal Erotic Romanceas well as Mitzi TV!

The interview can be found at:

http://mitziszereto.com/Talk-Radio-Europe-interview-with-Mitzi-Szereto

 

Mitzi Szereto chats on BBC Radio Shetland

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011
Mitzi Szereto and Teddy Tedaloo with the BBC Radio Shetland "Sideways" crew

Mitzi Szereto and Teddy Tedaloo with the BBC Radio Shetland "Sideways" crew

During my recent appearance at the Wordplay book festival in the Shetland Islands of Scotland, I had the pleasure of being interviewed by BBC Radio Shetland presenters Jonny Polson and Amz Fisher for the “Sideways” programme. Topics discussed include how I got started writing, teaching erotic writing workshops, my upcoming books (including Pride and Prejudice: Hidden Lusts), and pretty much everything else I get up to that’s suitable for broadcast on the BEEB!

Listen to the interview here:

http://mitziszereto.com/Sideways BBC Radio Shetland with Mitzi Szereto

Interview with Mitzi Szereto

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

Check out my latest interview at Eden Fantasys, where I discuss writing, blogging, Mitzi TV, erotica, my new book In Sleeping Beauty’s Bed: Erotic Fairy Tales, the publishing business and, of course, being a social media maven! There’s even some advice for aspiring writers.

Mitzi Szereto is best known for writing which mixes classical elements with current trends. How does combining the past with the present inspire Mitzi’s creative process? How does she see the erotic genre evolving in the future?”

Click here for full text of the interview.

Mitzi Does Shanklin: Inflamed Passions

Sunday, November 22nd, 2009
Shanklin, Isle of Wight

Shanklin, Isle of Wight

Now I ask you, what better weekend to head to an island off the southern coast of England than a weekend predicted to be filled with gale-force winds and slashing rain?

Being Britain, you can never count on the weather or, for that matter, the weather report. However, this time the Met Office didn’t lie. It was everything they’d predicted and more. Good thing I was headed to the Isle of Wight to teach a writing course, not rooftop yoga! Despite the ominous warnings, the crowded ferry ride from Portsmouth Harbour to Ryde wasn’t nearly as exciting as I’d hoped. In fact, it was highly uneventful. We didn’t sink.

Shanlin, Isle of Wight

Rude local drink

I’m pleased to say that this year the island was really geared up for my arrival. They’d even brewed up a batch of some special stuff in honour of Literotica, my erotic writing workshop at the Old Grange. Hell, I was lucky to get the last bottle – apparently they were flying off the shelf at the local shop (which isn’t just for local people!).

Yeah, I know: everyone thinks I schlep down to the Isle of Wight every autumn just to teach my Literotica workshop. The truth is, I actually go there because I adore the local pub in Shanklin’s old village. Oh sure, I do find some time to teach, but I live for Saturday night when I’m done for the day and can go chill out with a pint of real ale and listen to some live acoustic music.

This year I was disappointed to learn that my usual pint of Village Idiot would not be happening; apparently the brewery had gone bust. So I opted for a very agreeable Caledonian ale, which had somehow made its way from Scotland all the way down to the Isle of Wight. Those Scots are robust folk, I’ll grant you that. Must be all that haggis.

It seemed the pub was expecting me. Heck, I should’ve brought along copies of my new book “In Sleeping Beauty’s Bed: Erotic Fairy Tales” and had a book signing! My usual table situated right next to the musicians was empty and virtually had my name on it, so I settled in for the evening, getting up close and personal to the lead singer/guitarist, whose repertoire this year was far better than in previous years. He also looked far better too. Not quite sure why that was, but hey, who am I to complain? The sight of his nicely bulging… umm… tricep as he strummed his gee-tar was a right treat after the rather mediocre pub meal I hadn’t particularly enjoyed. Unfortunately Vampira, his apparent girlfriend, was hovering around like the proverbial vampire bat, putting a damper on everyone’s evening!

Despite the musicians finishing up an hour earlier than scheduled, we were in it for the duration, and yet more Caledonian ale kept appearing in front of me courtesy of one of the workshop participants, a lively Irish lass who clearly didn’t want me to leave. And the sudden downpour outside wasn’t exactly encouraging me either. However, with the music over and Teddy waiting impatiently in our giant bed back in our room, I was getting edgy. So too, were the pub staff, as tables were suddenly being polished right in front of our noses, chairs set upside-down on table tops, and lights switched off.

Like can we take a hint or what?

Teddy Tedaloo decides to go boating

Teddy Tedaloo decides to go boating

And so passes yet another Literotica erotic writing workshop on the Isle of Wight. I wonder: will my regular table be waiting for me next year at the village pub? Will the same musicians be there entertaining the punters? Will I get guff off the bear for returning to our room so late?

Guess I’ll have to wait till autumn 2010 to find out.

BlogTalkRadio Interview with Mitzi Szereto

Thursday, August 6th, 2009
Mitzi interviews engine

Mitzi Szereto on a Mitzi TV shoot in London

An entire hour of talk on subjects ranging from the internet, world travel, culture shock, life as an expat, books, fairy tales, erotic writing, Las Vegas, British drinking habits, English football, blogging, sex, and Mitzi TV! (Originally broadcast on 4 August 2009 on the “Sin City Sessions” programme with Marq Piocos, BlogTalkRadio).

 

Yet Another BBC Radio Interview with Mitzi Szereto

Wednesday, August 5th, 2009
In The Big Smoke

Mitzi Szereto on a Mitzi TV shoot in London

A chat about my grand passion the internet, along with email etiquette, social networking, geekdom, and all things Mitzi TV; (broadcast on 4 August 2009, the Dave Monk programme, BBC Radio Essex).

Click to listen: http://mitziszereto.com/Mitzi-Szereto-BBC-Essex

FM4 ORF Vienna Radio Interview with Mitzi Szereto

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009
FM4 ORF Radio Vienna

Mitzi Szereto with Teddy Tedaloo in the FM4 ORF Radio Vienna studios

An interview with Mitzi Szereto about books, erotic literature, “The Bad Sex in Fiction Award”, and my erotic writing workshops (broadcast on 17 July 2009, the Reality Check programme with Kerry Skyring, FM4 ORF, Vienna, Austria).

Listen at: http://mitziszereto.com/FM4-Vienna

Wrecked on the Isle of Wight (Minus a Ship)

Thursday, November 27th, 2008

Let me just say that rumours of my death have been greatly exaggerated.

It was like a scene from out of an Agatha Christie whodunnit: an old manor house, a howling wind blowing in from the raging sea, mysterious and menacing creaks in the night. Whispers of “Let’s kill the erotic writing tutor” could be heard emanating from dark corners – corners where hands might jump out at any moment to wrap around your neck.

Or rather MY neck.

Six women and one man, all locked up for Literotica, an erotic writing weekend on the Isle of Wight. Sure, they looked so innocent and friendly on arrival. So who would suspect that beneath these civilised veneers lurked a bloodthirsty desire TO KILL? I myself suspected nothing. (Mind you, I rarely do.) I conducted my workshop just as I’ve always done, imparting a bit of professional and personal wisdom, and inspiring participants to write freely, to strive high, and to leave behind their erroneous assumptions that erotica is nothing but poshed-up porn. I could see I was winning the battle. These people were actually creating work that would have been equally at home in a respectable literary novel as it would in a respectable sexy novel. “Get rid of the top shelf!” I cried. “No more one-handed reads!” I cheered. And the crowd roared back, hanging on my every word.

So why should one of these nice people wish to kill me – and to kill me in one of the most slow and agonising ways possible – by poison? Was I too hard on them? Did I give too much homework? Did they take offence at my bear’s critiques of their work? Or indeed, was it even one of the workshop participants at all? Perhaps the mild-mannered Greek proprietor of our windswept country house was behind it. Now I’ve heard of not wanting to pay someone for services rendered, but come on – isn’t this taking things a bit too far? (Actually, I did kind of wonder why that plumber’s van hadn’t moved out of the car park for the entire weekend.)

I admit they were clever. They waited until after I’d signed their copies of Getting Even: Revenge Stories-(Christ, I knew I shouldn’t have brought that one along) – and The New Black Lace Book of Women’s Sexual Fantasies. Just think how much these copies would have fetched on eBay had their sinister murder plot actually come to fruition!

It’s hard to believe that the people with whom I’d enjoyed a friendly Saturday night pint at the local pub could, within only a matter of minutes, turn on me like that. I was fine up until then. Had they put poison into my untended pint while I nipped to the loo? Had they coated the rim of the glass with some deadly nectar so that when I raised it to my unknowing lips, I’d ingest the substance? Had someone truly NOT enjoyed reading their copy of Getting Even? I mean, everyone kept saying how they couldn’t wait to get stuck into it, especially the story I wrote. So what gives?

I suspect the physicist. As the only male in a group of women, he was already anticipating the worst from before he’d arrived on the island. Yet I did my best to make him feel welcome and comfortable. I even spent extra time with him chatting about such things as parallel universes and cloud computing as we sat drinking cups of milky tea. What more could I have done? Hey, was it MY fault that someone said (no it wasn’t me!) that all men are crap in bed? Okay, so I nodded to be polite. I mean, wouldn’t you have done the same if you’d been in my shoes?

As you can see, I survived the weekend, albeit quite the worse for wear. And yes, I’m booked again for yet another erotic writing workshop weekend next November. I wonder though if someone might be trying to tell me something. For on the final leg of my journey home, the man seated behind me on the train kept singing about Nosferatu.

Hmmm… I have been looking rather wan of late.