intense sensations

Posts Tagged ‘Vanessa Wu

The Flamethrowers: A NovelThe Flamethrowers: A Novel by Rachel Kushner
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am always interested in what the competition is doing and, being on the verge of publishing a new story called Playing With Fire, I couldn’t help but be drawn to this coruscating new novel from Rachel Kushner which has as its epigraph Fac ut ardeat – Made to burn.

The narrator is an artsy biker girl. She breaks the women’s speed record in the Salt Flats in Utah. She has the hots for young firebrands and trailblazers. She mixes it up with artists in New York. She writes scorching prose.

I can’t drive, I have to admit, and I have never ridden a motorbike, except once as a terrified passenger, going at 17 mph in congested rush-hour London. (Never again!) But yet I could relate to this book and this heroine, who is called Reno, although that isn’t her real name.

In Nevada she meets a man called Stretch (possibly not his real name), who lets her sleep in his room because the motel he runs is full. He doesn’t take advantage of her. Instead he only comes into her room to shower.

While the water ran I hurriedly pulled on my leathers. I was making the bed when he emerged, a towel around his waist. Tall and blond and lanky, like a giraffe, water beading on skin that was ruddy from the hot shower. He asked if I minded covering my eyes for a moment. I felt his nudity as he changed, but I suppose he could just as easily claim to have felt mine, right there under my clothes.

This is hot, very American, very rakish – almost masculine – modern prose that doesn’t bother about predicates but has lashings of flair and attitude. There is an authentic cadence to the dialogue that made me shiver.

“I never met a girl who rides Italian motorcycles,” he said. “It’s like you aren’t real.”

(I get that a lot. “I never met a Chinese girl who writes erotica. Are you for real?”)

Reno doesn’t have sex with Stretch, even though he’s almost poignantly desperate to rub his nearly naked body up against her leathers. Instead she has imaginary conversations with him years later in which they say very American, seventies things to each other in a romantic setting.

“Were you ever in Vietnam?” I’d ask, assuming some terrible story would come tumbling out, me there to offer some comfort, the two of us in the cab of an old white pickup, the desert sun orange and giant over the flat edge of a Nevada horizon. “Me?” he’d say. “Nah.”

This is an ambitious book. You can tell it’s ambitious because many reviewers mention how brilliantly it is written while admitting that they struggled to finish it.

(That’s a reason that I write short stories and novellas, by the way.)

But I recommend this big, sprawling, hardback treasure of a book. It’s a great inspiration for writers and if you’re truly hungry for great writing, its length isn’t an obstacle at all. Prose like this can be consumed greedily and in haste, the way a well-oiled engine sucks in air and petrol and spews out a great whooshing tongue of flame.


The Age of Innocence (Oxford World's Classics)The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’m feeling altruistic today so I’ve decided to share a secret.

Oh, all right, that’s a lie. I’m not altruistic I’m big-headed. Someone just wrote this comment on my blog:

Vanessa is the greatest writer of this sort of contemporary genre.

It’s in reference to my story Black Silk Blindfold.

What, you might wonder, has this to do with Edith Wharton’s Age of Innocence?

I’ll tell you. If you want to become a great writer in any genre, you have to read great books and this is one of the greatest books ever. Can you believe there are people reviewing this book on Goodreads and not giving it 5 stars?

This book is sheer genius from beginning to end. It’s one of the books that inspired me to become a writer. The dialogue is simply thrilling. I’ve always wanted to have conversations like the ones in this book. I try, God knows I try, but I keep ending up with the wrong sort of men.

In addition to having great dialogue, this book has Edith Wharton’s precise, polished, beautifully understated prose. She has one of the finest minds in the universe but she pays you the tribute of letting you draw your own conclusions. She never hits you over the head with her ideas. They emerge, clear, compelling and irresistible from her brilliantly constructed scenes.

So throw away all those how-to books. If you want to write hot erotica, this is the book you need.


As part of a special promotion for all ebooks distributed through Smashwords, I am giving you the chance to get a FREE copy of my sensational erotic memoir Love Has No Limits.

You can follow the link below to Smashwords and use the special coupon code RE100 to get the book FREE in various ebook formats.

Get the FREE book here

This FREE promotion will be available from one minute past midnight Pacific time on March 4 until the stoke of midnight Pacific time on March 10.

The coupon code only works at Smashwords, not at retailers served by Smashwords.

Here’s what some readers have been saying about this book.

“The sex explodes!”

“Vanessa Wu has just become my new favourite author.”

“Really loved this story. A good plot coupled with erotic and sensitive sex scenes.”

“I got a little too stirred up thinking I had discovered the next literary genius.”

“We are certainly going to be hearing a lot more of Vanessa Wu.”

“I usually put at least one area where I believe the book could improve. In the case of Love Has No Limits… I just want more of it.”

“Beautifully written, sensuous and honest, this is a truly modern erotic gem!”

“After discovering this by chance, I went and downloaded everything by Vanessa Wu.”

“Hot, hot hot!”

“The writing style is very cinematic – I kept thinking of long tracking shots through the streets of Berlin and Amsterdam and what kind of soundtrack would suit it. It’s always wonderful when you come across a writer you enjoy by accident.”

“Her style is lovely to read. I so often don’t get past the first couple of pages of a new author… and to find myself devouring her writing was quite a surprise.”

MetronomeMetronome by Veronique Tanaka
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I needed a well-scrubbed, de-cluttered, pristine flat before I could appreciate this fine graphic novel, which had been lying around in a pile of clutter for several months until today.

The author is Bryan Talbot, who was a comic artist with, I am told, a god-like reputation in England at the time he decided to publish this under a pseudonym. It was a departure. But if you are familiar with Bryan Talbot’s work you will know that he doesn’t fit comfortably into any genre and that he likes to take risks and go off at a tangent even within a single work.

This story is very focused, though. I like it a lot. It’s wordless and told in crisp, black and white images that are playful, repetitive and poignant. I found it very moving. It’s the story of a man and a woman whose natures make it impossible for them to be together. Some people might see the story as simplistic but I like the simplicity of it. It strips down the relationship to its essential constituents of erotic need and emotional isolation. Some of it is funny. I laughed out loud on page 52 and my flatmate dashed across the room and started reading over my shoulder. “Let me scan it and post it on Facebook!” she said.

“No, certainly not!,” I cried. “It’s important to protect the artist’s revenue potential! This has not been a big earner for him.”

I read the rest of it in silence in my bedroom, which was most appropriate given what happens on pages 66 and 67. (The 64-page story starts on page 4, by the way.)

I’m intrigued by successful artists and writers who, at the height of their fame, publish quirky little books under a pseudonym. On page 35, in panels 13 and 14, the shadows behind the bridge crossed by the lovers spell HOAX. This hoax may not have made much money for Bryan Talbot, but it has made me want to read more of his work. He’s still alive, I think, so I hope he’ll get a little frisson of pleasure when he gets his next royalty cheque and notices a slight uptick thanks to the largesse of a certain erotically inclined Asian by the name of Vanessa Wu.

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.

AFF Asian Factual FictionAFF Asian Factual Fiction by Jess C. Scott
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is not your run-of-the-mill erotic fiction. Jess C. Scott has invented a new genre. That’s worth 5 of anybody’s stars, isn’t it?

If you don’t believe me, try typing Asian Factual Fiction into Google. Jess completely dominates the first page of results.


Jess seems to be very good at marketing. She has even written two books on it. They’re called something like “Building Your Brand” and “Developing a Positive Mindset.”

I haven’t read them but I’m so impressed by her Google ranking I’m going to drop her a line after this and ask her to be my Brand Consultant. (This review is just to butter her up.)

I’m also hoping she’ll have contacts in the Taiwanese underworld who can help me bump off a certain Taiwanese rock star with a name disturbingly similar to mine.

Oh, but the Wu clan is everywhere. You can’t kill us off.

Anyway, back to the book.

We all know that sex in real life is full of problems. The hot chick you lust after treats you like a douchebag in the great toilet of life. The guy you send your risk-everything nude pics to after weeks of flirtation tells you that you jumped to the wrong conclusion. Although you’re a girl with lesbian sympathies, you feel nothing at all for the luscious lesbian babe who wants to show you the meaning of Nirvana. Besides, you want to lose your virginity and doing it with another woman doesn’t count!

Factual sex is sometimes not quite so much fun as fantasy sex. And so it is with factual fiction versus fantasy fiction.

What I like about the three stories in this book is that they show what it feels like to want to have sex, with all the tortured self-doubts and frustrations that entails, without ever becoming pornographic or lewd.

If there’s one word that comes to mind when I read these stories it’s realism. I suppose that’s the “Factual” part. Then again, the stories show imagination. Hence the “Fiction.”

You can probably guess why the word “Asian” is in the title. If not, here’s a clue. The young Chinese girl lying in the window is stark naked. Yes! Stark naked! And she wants you to look at her.

Is that hot?

Vanessa Wu is the author of Love Has No Limits

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,


Books by Vanessa Wu

Lure of the Feminine

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