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Archive for the ‘Vanessa Wu personal message’ Category

phoenix risingThis month I made an astounding discovery. All those WordPress blogs I’d followed throughout the year hadn’t fallen silent. WordPress had simply changed something so the default setting when I followed them was not to send me any updates by email. So those bloggers had been busy all year and I didn’t know. Instead I have been reading the words of just a few old friends.

Well, old friends are important and I don’t feel deprived. But I think this illustrates how hard it is to use social media when you are, at the same time, trying to write.

You might think I’ve not written much this year. When I look back I see I have published only a few short stories. But I’ve been writing constantly and hardly had time to so much as look on Facebook, which has a different layout and a different set of security features whenever I do.

Even without the handicapping hindrances of social media, the fruits of my work may still not appear next year. My two novels are progressing quite slowly and need quite a bit more loving yet. And it seems to me that it’s not very cost-effective to write novels when they are offered at $0.99 or $2.99. I just can’t seem to make the economics of it work for me, after tax and incidental costs are accounted for.

So it is with breathless admiration that I pick up a well-written book by a contemporary writer and immerse myself in its extraordinary depths. How do writers do it? Aren’t they amazing? Much more intimate than the internet, a novel is like a warm hug from someone you thought was a stranger but who turns out to be someone you have known and loved all your life.

So I have been immersing myself in books this Christmas and in the New Year I’ll be sharing some of them with you.

I was going to tease you with some tantalising titles and some links to titillating blogs. But I think I have over-reached myself and I’m going on too long. In fact, I’m desperate to curl up (and stretch out) with a fabulous Italian novel, that ought to make me want to slash my wrists but instead makes me want to listen to Björk and mop the kitchen floor with ripped up pages of Twilight.

Oh, the joys of Literature with a capital L!

This novel and many more will be reviewed on my blog in 2013. See you then, I hope!

And merry Christmas to all of you!

Kiss, kiss!

Vanessa Wu

Ooh, I saw some of my favourite writers doing a blog about My Next Big Thing, so imagine my excitement when I was tagged to do one myself. The generous tagger was Sarah R. Yoffa, who is also known as Webbiegrrl and writes science fiction under the pen name of Marjorie F. Baldwin.

The point of this is to interview myself about my next book. Gulp! So … onto the questions!

1) What is the working title of your current/next book?

Lure of the Feminine

Lure of the Feminine

It’s called Lure of the Feminine. Here is a sneak preview of the cover.

2) Where did you get the idea for that book?

The idea for the book came to me from someone I met online who asked me for some advice about her love life. She had a very powerful way of expressing herself and she really fired up my imagination. So I didn’t give her any advice at all. Instead I asked her if I could put her in one of my stories. Well, it turned into three stories. One has already been published. It’s called Taste of Her. The other two appear alongside it in this new book. They’re called Alexanderplatz and Appointment With Pleasure. Since these are stories about love between women, I’ve also included another story that I wrote on this theme called The Swimming Pool.

3) What’s the genre of the book?

Lesbian erotica.

4) If you could pick actors to play the lead characters in your story, who would you pick?

That’s very hard. If I were to pick just Alexanderplatz, which is my favourite of the four stories, I would choose Ziyi Zhang and Rachel Ann McAdams.

Ziyi Zhang

Ziyi Zhang

5) How would you describe your book in one sentence (10 words or less)?

Four sexy stories about women expressing  their heartfelt desires.

6) (a) How will your book be published, submitted through the traditional route to a traditional publisher or will you be handling it yourself through Indie Publishing methods?

I’ll be publishing it myself on Amazon.

(b) If you’re an Indie Author, will you be publishing through your own Indie Publishing company or in a collective with other Indie Authors?

I’m not part of any collective. I’m too difficult to get along with.

7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of this book?

rachel_ann_mcadams

Rachel Ann McAdams

Oh, ages. These stories have taken about six months to mature. That’s why I had to publish two earlier as single stories. My fans simply can’t wait six months! They’ve been begging me for more. Sometimes I write very fast but these were written very slowly with much soul-searching.

8) What other books within your genre are similar to yours?

Well, I haven’t read any lesbian erotica like this. I have filched this material directly from life. Perhaps it’s similar in spirit to Colette’s Claudine stories but much more realistic and heartfelt. But see below for a list of links to some authors I like.

9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I’ve already answered that question. I’m not going to tell you her name. She’d die if I blurted it out in an interview.

10) What about your book will pique the reader’s interest?

The person telling the stories in this collection is always called Vanessa (or Ness). Readers may wonder if I just ran out of girls’ names or if some of these stories actually happened to me. I’ve written an introduction saying all I’m going to say on that point!  But Alexanderplatz is my favourite story here for a very good reason!

11) Do you know any other fab authors who might like to tell the world about about their next big thing?

Oh that’s easy. Try these for starters:

Guilie Castillo-Oriard

Mark Kirkbride

Leni King

Sweepy Jean

Fulani

Lara B

Just because something is free, it doesn’t mean it’s no good. I have downloaded many free books from Amazon, mainly self-published works for the Kindle. The quality is very variable but that means that some of them have been really, really good. I review the better ones on this blog. I don’t usually say which ones were free as it’s not fair to the author. Some people do have a prejudice, I know. We all do, probably.

I thought for a very long time before making one of my books free on the Kindle. In the end, I chose Lust in Leather, which I’ve only just published. It was one of those situations, so common in my life, where I thought for months about option A and option B, and didn’t really like either of them so then I did option C totally on impulse.

The reason I hesitated to make something free was that I knew it was potentially going to be read by a much wider audience. An unsympathetic audience. An audience that didn’t care. This made me nervous.

The reason you make something free, of course, is for promotional reasons. You can gather new readers. You can widen your exposure. You can boast that your book rocketed to the number 1 slot on the Amazon chart for Kindle/Fiction/Erotica/Asian/Chinese/Leather Fetish/set it Nottingham and featuring Faye Wong.

But the fact that your book is your advert means that it has to be the best you can make it. Many authors fail because their free book is sloppy and full of mistakes. Probably mine has mistakes too, I don’t know. Obviously, I tried to catch them all before I published it.

When I was alerted to the fact that my book had become free (it is difficult to control the timing precisely) I was out at the shops, so I rushed to read a copy on my iPhone just to check everything was OK. Too late if it wasn’t. I was nervous as hell. I stood in the busy make-up department at Selfridges surrounded by seductive scents and pressed on all sides by women on a mission. It was the perfect environment for reading the story. I was captivated and couldn’t stop. Oh my God, I’m aroused by own story, I thought. Is this like laughing at your own jokes? And in public too!

But what I wanted to say was that, although it’s free, it didn’t come easy. It took me months to write and the cover alone went through 5 versions before I approved it. And the story, though it features explicit sexual imagery, is about being a woman and the tough decisions we sometimes face in life, in business and in romance. Like when to give something away.

Lust in Leather will be free to download on Amazon in the US, UK, Germany, Italy, Spain and France until the end of January. I’m delighted to see that I now have some German and French readers, who have gone beyond lust in leather and are trying some of my other books too.

Here’s where you can find Lust in Leather on:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.de

Amazon.fr

Amazon.it

Amazon.es

I have had a lot of fun over the last six months, discovered some really exciting new authors, made some stupendous new friends and been thrilled by the response to some of my somewhat salacious attempts at autobiography thinly veiled as fiction.

I haven’t yet managed to wrestle with a werewolf, get sucked senseless by a vampire or even tangle with a woody wood sprite BUT … that’s why we make new year’s resolutions, isn’t it? That’s why we always start every new year filled with hope and breathless anticipation. There is always something new to discover, something new to try and, best of all, something new to read.

So to usher in the new year of 2012, I would like to say thank you to all the lovely people I’ve met in 2011. And, for those of you who are writers, please take this opportunity to remind everyone of the brilliant book(s) you’ve written and where we can buy it/them. Because buying books is great and can sometimes be even more fun than reading them since you still have that undiminished thrill of heady expectation and never have to suffer the dull slog through an uninspired prologue or the damp squib of a disappointing climax, not to mention a bloated muffin top of a middle.

I always like to have a big stack by my bed. I am stuffed to the gills with soft and hard versions of exciting prospects. There’s just not enough time to read and review everything. But I love to be tempted. I’m addicted to teasers. So don’t be shy. Show me what you’ve got and please don’t make me beg.

If you are ushering in the new year with a promotional opportunity such as this on your own blog, please provide the link so some very special sexy creatures can come and shower you with praise and titillating comments.

A happy and prosperous new year to you all!

If you think it’s hard getting your thriller or paranormal romance reviewed, you should try being an erotic novelist.

I sent my latest work to a reviewer and she was very sniffy about it. “That’s not respectable fiction,” she said. “That’s porn.”

I was not prepared to take that lying down. “I’ve put my heart and soul into that story,” I told her. “Give me one reason why it’s not a legitimate piece of art.”

“Take the opening,” she said. “Three scantily-clad women on a beach are being long-lensed by a pervert. That’s a classic voyeur story.”

Encouraged by her use of the word classic, I said, “He’s not a pervert. What man wouldn’t ogle three near-naked beauties given the chance?”

“All right,” she said, “then there’s the bit where the woman is in the pool and she’s thinking about masturbating instead of going shopping with her friends.”

“Inner conflict,” I said. “All women have to juggle their lives. This is a universal problem. You can hardly call that porn.”

“OK, what she thinks about in the pool might not be porn but that shower scene! That is most definitely porn with a capital P, O, R and N!”

“Character development,” I explained. “The man watching her is a catalyst for change and when she strips off her bikini, she is, if you like, shedding her skin and showing that she is ready to move forward in her life.”

She wasn’t even listening. “And I hardly dare even mention that sizzling sex action on the bed,” she said.

“It’s a metaphor!” I told her. I was getting exasperated now. “It’s a metaphor for empowerment.”

“Did you have to depict everything in such photo-realistic detail?”

“That’s where the artistry lies,” I explained patiently. There is no telling some people. “Besides, I was enjoying myself. Is that so wrong?”

So don’t ask me how to get your book reviewed. Most reviewers are simply on a different planet.

The unreviewed version of My Russian Spy is available now from all good ebook retailers.

Dear friends,

This is just a note to say that I am on a reading retreat. As you know, I am a passionate reader, which means I like to indulge myself deeply from time to time. So I will be in a state of literatus non-interruptus for a few days.

Should you crave literary companionship in the meantime, I urge you to explore all the literary magazines linked by Berit on her blog. Berit gets two links on my blogroll because she’s a literary heavyweight. Or perhaps it’s because she’s indecisive and can’t make up her mind where to host her blog. Whatever the reason, it’s good to have a friend like Berit because she does all the trawling through the internet and we get all the reading pleasure.

I’m not saying this just because she was kind enough to express an interest in me and ask a few stimulating questions. She’s a really cool cultural investigator, just as complex, deep, pure and clear as her beloved fjords.

As proof of my probity, take a look at this Asian Literary Journal, which doesn’t even know of my existence, but to which I’m providing a helpful link. I’m really jealous that you’ll be able to spend time reading all the articles while I’m in a remote hotel room deep in the Gloucestershire countryside with only my e-readers, my zen players and my black silk blindfold for company.

But in case you think I’ve forgotten my blog’s raison d’être, here are some sensual treats for you to help pass the weekend and dissipate the horrors of Halloween.

After Dark Tales

Vida Bailey’s Enthralling Picture Blog

Love to you all,

Vanessa


Books by Vanessa Wu

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