Monday, December 27, 2010

Praise be the Kindle!

Ugh! Now that was a horror journey. Stuck in Schipol airport for over twenty-four hours while KLM did a passable impression of a headless chicken repeatedly running into the same brick wall. To be fair, I can’t really begrudge an airline when their planes are grounded by snow. The frustration arose when the snow cleared, the sun came out and KLM’s systems went into meltdown trying to clear a day’s backlog of passengers.

I say system, but there was little evidence of any system or process here.

I’ve always hated the automated systems airlines have been sneaking in to replace human operators. Machines are only really useful when they’re carrying out the same simple function every single time. Deviate from this and the machine becomes useless, which was exactly what happened here. Want a new boarding pass for the next available flight because your last flight was cancelled? Gronk. Fizzle. Klunk. Bleugh.

So it was time to join the queues. Oh, the queuing!

Thank god for my shiny new kindle. Amazon have done some fairly bone-headed things of late, but they’ve got a winner here (unless they keep up with the bone-headed practises of going in and deleting books their punters have already bought—sigh). I picked mine up about a month back. As a replacement for print books, it’s a little on the expensive side, but I was fortunate enough to have a $100 gift voucher lying around after coming second in one of Literotica’s competitions.

Buying new books was a little on the non-intuitive side, mainly because the little shopping basket appears to have vanished and it took me a little while to find the Download-to-Computer option (no Orwelling books I’ve already bought, thank you Amazon!). .pdf files can also be uploaded to the kindle, but I found the display of them to be extremely variable (and I haven’t got round to reading the manual to figure out anything beyond Open, Read, Go!).

I couldn’t determine if there was a back light option, so when the lights went out on the plane, that was the end of reading for me (and those extra hours of Zzz’s turned out to be damn useful as it happened), but this is no different to dead-tree technology anyway. While queuing the kindle really came into its own. I worked through more books than I’d normally carry and it was slimline enough to fit in my jacket pocket without threatening to burst it like the latest Stephen King doorstopper. One downside is either the extreme cold weather or being bashed in my bag has caused the on/off switch to stick a little.

It’s a nice piece of tech anyway and I’m hoping to catch up on some reading and maybe discover something fresher than the usual bookstore dross. Please don’t kill it through your idiocy, Amazon.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Censorshit in Japan?

I was sad to read this article on Japan passing restrictions on the sale of manga and anime. I've been a fan of both for some time. I love them for their 'anything goes' ethos. The stories always felt more vibrant and alive because nothing was ever out of bounds. The plots are weird, often incomprehensible, but this makes them a better reflection of the often chaotic real world we live in.

To see what I mean, ditch the Disney (okay, you can keep the Pixar) this Christmas and show the kids Princess Mononoke instead. 'Goodies' and 'Baddies'? Um, it's a little more complex than that.

Okay, something like Princess Mononoke is hardly going to fall foul of the new restrictions, but they're still blocking off potential avenues and roads a story can run down. Block enough of them and all you're left with is following that same dull highway every damn time.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Not Gone Yet

I saw a comment on a recent succubus story on Literotica bemoaning that I no longer write for the site. This isn’t actually correct, but given that the only story I’ve posted in something like the last six months was “A Succubus for Halloween”, I can see why people might think this.

I haven’t stopped posting stories on the site just yet, but I’ll be keeping some back for the books. Got to have something to reward the nice folks that chip in with financial support. ;)

I feel a bit more caught up now (aside from Succubus Summoning 201, but I’ll get to that in a mo). My first collection had one brand new story, “Arachne’s Web”. There’s a second collection coming out in February with three original stories and the third collection I submitted to eXcessica a week ago has five brand new stories.

I might post some of these online. I haven’t decided yet. Crashing the competitions with my nastier horror stories is always fun, although one of new ones is so depraved the ‘bad end’ haters will probably lynch me if I ever submit it. :D

Succubus Summoning 201 hasn’t been abandoned. It’s off hiatus and I’m back to scribbling down lines in a notebook. I’m not going to post anything until I’ve got the whole arc out of the way, or at least a good chunk of it. Dribs and drabs with months between chapters is something I want to avoid as it screws up the flow of the story and I grind to a halt whenever I start to feel pressure to get something finished by a certain date.

Monday, December 13, 2010

More Amazon Censorshit

Amazon is at it again.

Selena Kitt and other writers have reported some of their titles have been pulled from Amazon's store with little warning or explanation. You can follow the discussion here.

This time the offending subject matter appears to be incest. I'll be honest and admit incest isn't really my cup of tea. I don't read stories featuring it and I won't write stories about it. That's my decision and my choice. What I don't agree with is when that choice is taken away from someone who wants to read this material, especially when it's fiction and nothing more than harmless fantasy.

I wish Amazon would grow a spine or draw a line in the sand here. They're either selling erotica or they're not. Currently, they're constantly tying themselves in knots trying to second guess public opinion. Some people complain about a book, so they remove it. More people complain about censorship, so they quickly reverse the decision in order to save face. It's all very wishy washy.

They're a bookseller; they don't have to be the public's moral compass. They sell books. Some of those books are going to be offensive to some people. Sorry, but those people are going to have to accept being offended. After all, they can always make the choice not to read the book in the first place.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Fighting Distraction Behaviour

Okay. Hands up, who stole November?

I’m rubbish when it comes to deadlines. Actually, I’m rubbish when I put myself in the mindset where I think I have to write something. The moment it starts to become the thing I’m supposed to be doing, even if I enjoy doing it, it starts to feel like a chore, I slow down to a crawl and start looking for excuses to do something else.

Classic Distraction Behaviour.

Normally I have some very sneaky strategies for throwing off Distraction Behaviour. I trick myself into thinking there’s something else that’s absolute highest priority, something I absolutely must be working on right now. Then, when Distraction Behaviour comes knocking, I have a nice empty word document all ready for it to plunge right into.

This doesn’t work so well when the thing of absolute highest priority is the manuscript I’ve been chipping away at over the last few months and no amount of psychological chicanery is going to trick me otherwise.

Further extra negative bonus points if this period of time also overlaps with the month after my first book has gone out and I should be online, pimping it like a maniac. (Psss -Buy it here)

I guess I’m one of those people that can’t resist veering off the path to jump down the nearest pit. Wouldn’t want to make things too easy...right :).

Anyway, it’s done, in and I’m back. One book out (Psss – Buy it here too), one in the pipeline and a third equally unhinged (or maybe more unhinged – Self Censorship downed tools and legged it for the hills on this one!) collection finally complete and waiting to be unleashed.

Now I can put my feet up and grab a cold beer.

Nah. I’ve got a fourth collection of stories to start working on. (And the further misadventures of a young warlock I keep getting asked about).

Saturday, October 30, 2010

More vote whoring for Rosa and Verdé

Literotica's Halloween competition is over. I didn't place, but the story did well considering it has a very dark ending. Next up is the Winter Holidays competition, and I've got a really nasty idea brewing for that one...

Yeah, I know I'd stand a much better chance if I entered one of my nicer tales, but where's the fun in that! :)

Voting for the 11th Annual Literotica Awards is still in progress and it's running very close in the Erotic Horror category. Succubus Summoning 114 is just behind the leader at the moment. If you haven't already voted and like the series, you can put in a vote for Verdé and company right here.

I really should get back to working on 201...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Literotica's Halloween Competition 2010

I didn't quite finish the two stories I wanted to get done for this year's competition. It's a shame as they both complement each other. You'll see what I mean when my third collection comes out next year (providing I finish it first and the sales of the other two aren't so bad I get canned!).

In the meantime I got one in before the deadline and you can read and vote for it right here.

The succubus from the black stone tablet is back and she's as naughty as ever.

(naughty might be a teensy bit of an understatement...)


Saturday, October 23, 2010

"A Succubus for Christmas" is available!!!

It's out!!!

I've been waiting for this moment for a long time. My first collection of short stories is out from eXcessica.

You can buy it directly from them here.

The ebook is also available from smashwords here.

The print version can be bought from Amazon right here. Currently it's ranked #5,585,978 in books. There could be room for improvement there... :)

If you have one of those new-fangled Kindle things (I envy you!), you can even get the Kindle version here. I have no idea how good/bad being ranked #42,575 is, but having a ranking means someone's at least already bought a copy (I think), so yay!

Huge thanks to Selena and eXcessica for the formatting and getting the book out there. I hope everyone enjoys the anthology as much as I did writing it.

This is where I go out drinking to celebrate.

In a few months I'll be out drinking again to drown my sorrows when I find out I've only shifted five copies. :)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Closing the gap

Long time followers of my writing on Literotica and Storiesonline (Eep - I didn't even get round to posting any of SS201 on there!) will notice I haven't exactly been prolific for 2010. This is because I've been busy creating short story collections for eXcessica and they run a year in advance. I was hoping to fill in the gap by continuing Succubus Summoning 201 but...more on that later.

Anyway, the good news is that the gap is about to close. New Many-Eyed Hydra material is on the way. "A Succubus for Christmas" is out in two weeks time. A lot of the stories will be familiar already, but there's a brand new story that's long and packed to the brim with the usual mix of sex and horror. I'm currently finishing off the new stories for the third collection, the unsurprisingly titled "A Succubus for Halloween". I'm thinking of entering one or maybe two of them into Literotica's Halloween competition running at the moment, mainly to show I haven't dropped off the face of the planet.

The bad news is that the reason I've looked like I haven't been as prolific as usual, is because I haven't been as prolific as usual. Some combination of real job impinging, deadline allergy, tricky story plots and other things have put a ball and chain on my writing. Still working on fixing that.

Phil's adventures in Succubus Summoning 201 are on hiatus at the moment, although you might have already guessed this since it's been a few months since 202 came out. Don't be alarmed. This isn't 'hiatus' as in 'the lead singer slept with the drummer's girlfriend and now the band all want to kill each other' hiatus. I don't think it's fair for me to continue to release the chapters in the stuttering dribs and droughts that are happening at the moment. When it comes back, it'll mean I've got a good chunk of the 201 arc written with the next few chapters already in the bank.

Hmm, NaNoWriMo starts next month...

Friday, October 01, 2010

Didn't anyone think this was likely to be a massive own goal...No pressure

These are the good people at the 10:10 campaign. They have an extremely admirable aim: Get everyone to reduce their carbon emissions by 10% in a year.

To help them do this they produced this little mini movie...



Once again the Green movement inserts foot in mouth, applies shotgun, pulls trigger.

The film will go viral, but I suspect it will be the deniers doing the spreading. It's fuel for their paranoia. "Look," they'll say. "It's as we told you. It's a con. It's an excuse for these people to get in and take control of YOUR life."

Maybe that was the aim. Maybe I'm suffering from a critical funny bone failure. I have a reasonable sense for horror though, and thinking about how this film will go down in a culture as fiercely individualistic as the USA has me watching through splayed fingers. Not going to be pretty, folks.


A massive own goal. With the goalkeeper and central defender both stretchered off with concussion.

Dear 10:10 peeps.

Here, take this story.

It features both porn and gratuitous violence. That'll tick the 'edgy' and 'controversial' boxes the media types are so fond of. It also raises the points you really need to be raising.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Escaping the Writing Doldrums

I suppose we all get stuck there at some point. A combination of real life and a heavy workload have left me becalmed for what feels like a couple of months now. That’s maybe the thing that frustrates me the most about my writing. I’m fortunate in that I never have any shortage of ideas. There’s a black pool of sludge at the back of my mind that spits out new and ever more inventive pieces of depravity at regular intervals.

Unfortunately, when it comes to the actual process of setting words to paper (or typing them onto a screen), I’m painfully slow. I’m a chiseller. Each word has to be painstakingly chipped out of stone rather than flowing freely from my fingers.

Okay, sometimes the words flow freely and it’s a wonderful thing.

And then there are the other times...

It’s almost like a natural lifecycle of the creation process. At the beginning the idea is fresh and new and I thrash out the first few pages in a burst of excitement. Then it depends on whether I can ride that crest of excitement to the finish or not. I’ve started a number of stories thinking, ‘it’s only a quick one, 3,000 words at most, it’ll only take a couple of days’, only to see those stories balloon to around 4,000 words with the ending still off somewhere in the distance.

Then it starts to get tough. I start to get antsy. The story’s too long. There must be too much padding in there. I get scratchy. Doubts set in. Is that the correct grammar? Maybe this sentence would be better, or this one.

That’s the worst by the way, getting stuck on That One sentence. By the time I’ve got it down to my satisfaction, I’ve invariably forgotten what I was going to write next. Cue another lengthy pause while I try to remember what that sentence was supposed to be, because obviously it was perfect and much better than the alternates I’m thinking of now (it wasn’t, I just think that). And then, yeah, the whole thing grinds to a shrieking halt. I look at the clock and realise an hour’s gone by and I’ve written a couple of lines.

I think it’s mostly impatience. I want to move onto the next idea. The current idea is fully formed, a solved puzzle, I just haven’t got round to committing the actual words to the screen and until I do it’s clogging up the pipes. Normally I can get round this and beat distraction behaviour by having another story become my distraction behaviour. It’s fine unless I’m around a deadline. Then I’m stupid and tell myself I should only be working on the one story, and then end up getting nothing done as distraction behaviour sends me off to play computer games or randomly surf the internet.

I’ve got two stories holding up an overdue third collection (and other projects!). They’re good ideas, but they’re also complicated and they’re at that point where scratching out each paragraph seems to drag out longer and longer. It was the same for “Arachne’s Web” in my first collection (out next month if you’ll excuse the shameless plug), but I dragged it over the line and was ultimately pleased with how it turned out. It’ll be the same for this pair I’m sure.

So, has anyone else experienced the same? How did you escape your own writing doldrums?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Self Publishing Revolution

Selena Kitt has set up a blog for eXcessica authors to post their experiences in the world of ebooks. My first post went up today, which I'll also include right here...

A Second Bite of the Cherry

Times change and when they change, they often change fast.

I’m M.E. Hydra, writer of twisted succubus tales, and what’s happening for me at the moment is the fulfilment of a dream. I imagine a lot of people have the same dream. They want to write and they want that writing published and out there for people to read. Too often those dreams end up dying alone and forgotten in the slush pile of an uncaring publishing house.

When I first started out I was very sceptical about Self-Publishing. It seemed like...well, cheating. Sure, you could go to a vanity press, dump a wad of cash and then see your words in print, but did it really count? Who would read it? Who would want to buy it? How would you know if you were any good or not?

That was an important distinction for me. I didn’t just want to be published; I wanted to be published because I was good enough to be published. So I did the obvious thing every budding writer does and researched how other writers got to where they were. My genre of choice was Horror. I started out a Sci-Fi and Fantasy junkie, then moved onto Horror and never really left.

A lot of horror writers—Stephen King, HP Lovecraft, etc—all followed the same path. They wrote short stories, shrugged off the inevitable barrage of rejection slips, got their work published in the small press magazines, then the higher profile magazines, before finally landing the book deals and cranking out novels.

I tried the same and at the start it seemed promising. Sure, I picked up a ton of rejection letters to start with, but I’d been warned to expect that. I dutifully filed them away, learned what I could and focused on honing my craft. It paid off and I started to get acceptances from small press magazines, although some of those magazines were so unstable they folded into oblivion before the publication date.

Then I smacked into a wall.

The problem was moving up to the next level. A friend of mine had similar ambitions, but in Sci-Fi. He took out a year’s subscription to one of the premier UK magazines for science fiction short stories. One year later and he’d seen only one story written by a writer not previously published in the magazine.

This is not a fault of the magazine, or any of the anthologies that were floating around at the time. They’re in the business to sell copies, and stories by established and recognised authors are more likely to do this. The flaw in my route became apparent. To get there, you had to already be there.

Even once you got there it didn’t seem so rosy. The horror section in my local bookstore was starting to look a little anaemic. Outside of the big names, who are admittedly massive for good reason, there was little in the way of fresh meat. Where were the new writers?

Then there was no more horror section. King and Koontz departed to the K section of general fiction and I browsed bookstores less and less often.

The message seemed clear enough. If I wanted a future that involved being able to eat and pay bills, then it probably didn’t involve writing horror books.

And that might have been it. I’d given it a shot and it hadn’t panned out. Time to move on to other things.

It was finding online sites like Literotica that rekindled the flames. I went back to basics, wrote some short stories, posted them and—encouraged by the positive feedback—wrote more. That feedback is invaluable, as is knowing there are readers out there enjoying your work. In this respect the internet is a fabulous opportunity for new writers. The old routes don’t work anymore, but writers still need a training ground to hone their art. Online story sites can help with this in a similar way to receiving a good review for a story in a small press magazine. They can also reach a much larger audience. Yes, it does involve giving some of your work away for free, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. After all, if you can’t get people to read your stories when they’re up there for free, you sure as hell aren’t going to get them to pay for them.

And now I’m here, with a collection of my short stories coming out in October, a second collection scheduled for next February and a third collection nearing completion on my hard drive. I’ve held the print versions of the first two books in my hands already, and it’s a wonderful thing I can tell you.

What happens next I don’t know. I’m happy to get a second chance to finally do something I’ve always wanted to do. Not many people get to rescue a dream from the scrapheap. I might sell well enough to consider taking it up full time or I might only sell a few copies. Either way, it’s still more than would have read them had the manuscripts been buried in a slush pile somewhere.

The times are a changing. They barred the gates so now we’re climbing over the walls

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Rosa and Verdé need your votes!

It's the 11th Annual Literotica Reader's Choice Awards and Succubus Summoning is up in the Erotic Horror category. Actually, two chapters of Succubus Summoning (113 and 114) are up, which is a little awkward.

If you like the series and want to show your appreciation, then please vote here. 114 is probably the best choice to avoid splitting the vote as it's the end of the first story arc.

I haven't forgotten the 201 arc. It's just that pesky real life thing gobbling up my time. Must write faster!

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Win a Kindle 3!

Excessica is running a Scavenger Hunt to win a Kindle 3 and other goodies. You can read about the details here. The kindle will come pre-loaded with a collection of e-books including my very own "A Succubus for Christmas".

To enter you need to find the little scavenger hunt graphics. One of them is buried (okay, lightly covered in some fallen leaves) somewhere on this blog. Happy hunting!

Hehe, now I bet you're glad I only post something like once every week!

Friday, September 03, 2010

Of Succubi and Incubi

A question I saw on Twitter (that I'm too technologically feeble to work out how to answer there):

@manyeyedhydra What would, in ME Hydra's world, happen if a Succubus tried to feed off an Incubus? Surely the Inc would be able to last.

Some fairly epic fucking is my guess. Bring a camcorder, make a fortune from the porn industry... (hello, plot idea!)

Hmm, so what would happen? I'm not really sure.

If the demons were soul eaters would they even be interested in each other? I can imagine a world setting where incubi and succubi had no interest in each other because they couldn't feed off each other. (you can put the camcorder down, two demons doing nothing is not going to ignite the porn universe)

My succubi tend to be semen vamps. They make you ejaculate over and over until you run out of bodily fluids and die. How to fit an incubus in a universe that works like that? He's at a disadvantage. They fuck, he comes, she swallows, he comes, she swallows, he comes, she swallows, repeat until...he dies. Alas poor Inc, you do not work in this faux-biologically realistic setting.

Unless we get creative.

Get a woman excited and she'll get wet. Give our Inc a cock that also doubles up as a sponge or mouth for absorbing this... ahem... wetness and now we have a feeding mechanism that makes an attempt at suspension of disbelief. They fuck, she gets excited, he absorbs, she gets excited, he absorbs, she gets excited, he absorbs, she finally runs out of fluids and expires.

Now our Inc can fight!

And the winner is... whichever demon is individually more powerful in the hierarchy in use for the current setting I reckon. They fuck, the more powerful demon makes the other come themselves to oblivion (camcorder overheats and blows up at this point).

There's a hot story there.

Incubi aren't absent from the settings I write about, I just don't get round to writing stories about them because:

a) I'd rather write stories about sexy femme fatales.
b) There are already approximately a zillion animes featuring girls being raped by demons.
c) I'm really really bad at writing from the female POV.

Yeah, it's mainly c). Maybe someday, when I'm more confident in my (limited) abilities as a writer. There are some hell-space tales that need to be told...

Monday, August 30, 2010

In the realm of the succubus queen

I've been meaning to post something on this before, but didn't get around to it (Like most of the story ideas I really need to get written up before they rot in my brain and foul effluvium dribbles out of my ears...)

If you haven't already found it, this wiki over at is a fantastic resource for everything succubus related. Want to know where you can find succubi in films, books, TV series, games, etc, then you need look no further as the wiki contains a fairly comprehensive list. I also check out Tera's blog from time to time for useful little tidbits, reviews, pics and the continued mission impossible to find a classy succubus outfit.

A great resource, but I am slightly biased as she wrote some very nice things about my writing... :)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Is a hard-bitten horror writer allowed to go Squeee!

The author copies of "A Succubus for Valentine's Day" came through today. There are few things better for a writer than to see their words in print so I love seeing the finished books. It'll be a while before this one's actually ready as the scheduled publication date from eXcessica is February next year (around Valentine's Day and a perfect antidote to Valentine's Day if you like your erotic tales with a bit more teeth).

Thankfully the CreateSpace glitch didn't activate this time and make the book available prematurely as with "A Succubus for Christmas" (apologies to anyone that fell foul of this), although it's a shame the books get tagged as "Limited Availability - Out of Print" on Amazon. Sort of makes them sound forgotten and past it, when in reality they're lying in wait to burst out on the world when the official publication date rolls around.

I'm still battling with the third collection - "A Succubus for Halloween". Real life keeps weighing in with the usual distractions. There's some absolute crackers lined up for this one - some seriously freaky ideas dredged from the black depths of my mind. The last couple are proving a little tricksy - setting one in the Byzantine era was probably a little too ambitious - but hopefully I'll have them finished and ready soon.

I haven't forgotten about Phil. As soon as I get the other stories out of the way I'll get back to the Succubus Summoning 201 arc.

So many ideas and I write with the speed of a clapped out tortoise... :(

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Now there's a trap I wouldn't mind triggering!

The rest of the webcomic is a fantasy themed sex-comedy (NSFW!) centered around a hapless apprentice to a sorceress queen.

I wish I was good/fast enough to do artwork. I think the Succubus Summoning 101 series I write would look good as a hentai doujin/web comic. Sadly, all the artistic ability in me belongs to Horror Head and whatever those pictures are, they certainly ain't erotic!

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Bad Nanny Apple

This sucks. They censored the erotica from their bestsellers list. It’s Apple’s toy and they can do what they like with it, but I think this kind of control freakery will only end up biting them in the ass. Amazon didn’t exactly cover themselves in glory when all the gay books ‘vanished’ or when the big grab fairy came and took back George Orwell’s ‘1984’ from people’s ebook readers, but at least they had the decency to mumble something about a ‘glitch’ in the first place and a rights fuck up in the other.

Apple, nope. They swept them away and tried to tell us reality was something else, which is never going to work as somebody is going to spot it, and then everybody else will know about it and pretty soon everyone will be looking at their bestsellers list and singing: “We know you’re lying...”

It’s silly. They could have handled it sensibly in any number of ways. Don’t sell the smut in the first place (although that’s bound to result in endless hilarity when someone gets over-zealous and blacklists “Lady Chatterley’s Lover” or “Lolita”). Filter your bestsellers list by price to remove the cheap little novellas. Filter your bestsellers list by genre (Both fine as long as the filtering is stated).

Or suck it up and show a sense of humour in the “Gosh, who’d have thought adults would buy ‘adult’ titles” vein.

Instead they tried to pretend the world is basically flat.

I don’t hate Apple. They make a lot of cool stuff and I love my iPod to bits. But they also have a habit of building nice walled gardens and putting machinegun nests on the walls. And then wondering why the masses deserted them in droves for a competitor’s knock off that doesn’t come with a built-in nanny.

Nice to see erotica ebooks doing well against the big boys anyway.

Here’s hoping to hit the #1 spot in the invisible ‘real’ bestsellers list sometime soon ;).

Friday, August 06, 2010

A Bizarro challenger emerges

This caught my attention in the Guardian a week or so ago. They describe it as the literary equivalent to cult movies, which piqued my attention as it brings back fond memories of staying up late to watch whatever weirdness was showing on Channel 4 or Alex Cox’s Moviedrome. Titles like ‘Shatnerquake’ and ‘Ass Goblins of Auschwitz’ are clearly not meant to be taken seriously, but are they not as bad as they sound, so bad they’re good or so bad they’re just terrible?

They have a nice website and I liked the two articles by Carlton Mellick III. Good storytelling is universal, no matter how weird the concept might be.

I noticed they also feature a few of Edward Lee’s books. I remember his “Mr. Torso” being far beyond anything else in Hot Blood IV for sheer deranged inventiveness.

Ah, is this where all the horror writers ran off to when their genre was overrun by sparkly vampires?

And yeah, the mercenary bastard in me was wondering if this was a market I could try and hawk my wares in. One of the book ideas I’m chipping away with at the moment does have the working title: “Porno Fighters from Planet Earth” :).

Also I see it as another challenge. Even though it’s fairly juvenile, I often write with the aim of trying to take on and beat the worst excesses of Japanese manga/anime for weird and freaky sex. It’s an impossible mission. Every time I think I’m getting close I run across another Apocalypse Zero and realise I’ve got a long way to go.

I hadn’t really thought about films/books from the west. I thought they were lacking that essence of WTF imagination. Only goes to show I wasn’t really looking hard enough... :)

Dum de dum de dum de dum...

Nothing to see here...


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Answering Anonymous: 202

I try and answer most comments I get through email, which covers most questions (the ones I’m prepared to answer anyway). Same goes for the public comments left on stories posted on Literotica. This is for the anonymous questions I couldn’t respond to. Not sure if ‘anonymous’ will see this, but hey, I tried!

I covered the queries on Verdé last time round. The other common question was along the lines of “Where is this story going?” or, to borrow a Monty Python catchphrase, “GET ON WITH IT!

I’m glad people are keen to read about Phil’s lessons at Wargsnouts. There is a plan and it will (may) make sense at the end. I took a slight detour because it seemed like a hot scene and to give myself some breathing room while I plan out how the arc is going to play out.

I was a little surprised at one comment wanting the story to move away from Phil’s constant harassment by deadly demons. It’s good that the story is holding up well enough to interest readers as well as the obvious sexual titillation, but I don’t want to let the plot start to crowd out the sex scenes. It’s still supposed to be erotica!

I don’t think Rosa would let me anyway.

There’s a reason behind everything anyway, even what might seem like a little filler scene with two smoking hot daemons. It will all become apparent.

203 is in progress, but will be delayed. I’m frantically trying to get a third anthology (with mostly new stories) finished for eXcessica and that’s running a little behind schedule. Normal (slow!) service to be resumed soon!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Dilemma with Verdé

She's sweet, nice, warm-hearted...and she kills people.

As a writer it creates a dilemma for me. Verdé is liked because she appears nice and good-natured, and seems to care for Phil rather than wanting to suck out his soul at the first opportunity. She isn’t a Nicole or Amanda though. She’s still a succubus, which means some of what she does is going to be unpalatable to most readers.

Now I could hide those aspects of her character off-screen, or try to justify them with plenty of they-had-it-coming’s, but that would feel like a lame cop-out. As much as I don’t want to prick the fantasy, I don’t want to shy away from what she is either.

The end of 202 was intended as a gentle reminder. She’s not quite as nice as you think.

If the lovely Verdé was on a bed in front of you in all her seductive glory and there was an open door behind you, the sensible thing – for a long and hearty life – might be to run for that door. Fast!


Maybe she might decide she likes you. Maybe she won’t kill you. She’s not Rosa after all. She’s capable of having some feelings towards her human ‘snacks’. It might be worth the risk...

It's those contradictions which I hope make her character complex, intriguing and appealing.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I Write Like...

...James Joyce, apparently. Or is it Stephen King, or maybe Margaret Atwood, or possibly H.P. Lovecraft and maybe sometimes even a smidgeon like Anne Rice? Sometimes I even write like Dan Brown or Stephenie Meyer.

Yes, it's the funky, hot-trending, salve-for-aspiring-writers-everywhere, IWriteLike tool!

It's all a bit of harmless fun really (or a sinister idea-harvesting machine of diabolic proportions). I'm not sure what's whirring away behind the screen, although a previous incarnation of me would postulate they're using some kind of vector space model with maybe some extra doodads to score other metrics such as sentence length, etc.

How useful? Probably not very. It's a nice boost to be compared to someone successful and famous, but ultimately the program is only returning whichever writer in their database (I believe there are 40) you happen to be closest to. Close in this case being relative. Even if they’re all clustered tightly together at a position in space marked ‘publishable and famous’ and you’re way off in the void of ‘never-to-be’, one of them is still going to be the closest to you.

What they needed to do was raid the slush piles of a big publishing house to create some more realistic reference points such as ‘rejected for lousy grammar’, ‘rejected for overly flowery language’, ‘rejected for unbearable dullness’, ‘rejected because it doesn’t contain any vampires’ and ‘rejected because our intern fell behind and couldn’t be bothered to read it’. In the absence of those points Dan Brown and Stephenie Meyer appear to have been designated as the badges of shame. Not sure why really. Personally, I’d be quite happy to be told I write like people who’ve amassed bank balances large enough to capsize small islands. :)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

You know I meant submit on the 13th...

Ugh, sigh.

I thought I'd make it. The first draft was done with days to spare. All I had to do was edit it and then submit around the 10th.

Then I hit a wrinkle.

I follow the same pattern for nearly all my stories. First draft, then a second draft, then final editing to clean up typos.

The second draft is necessary because my first drafts are, let's be honest, messy. A second pass cleans up some of those awkward passages, removes the stuff that isn't necessary for the story and hopefully makes the whole thing flow better.

In theory. Sometimes I wonder if I lose some of the raw heat with the second pass and introduce blandness. I know I was far too brutal in chopping Pussy-Wrapped down to what I thought should be the correct length and readers noticed the intro wasn't telling the whole story. As an exercise I might throw up two versions of the same story to see where I'm being a little over-zealous with the pruning shears. Something for another time.

Sometimes the second draft has sections that require a fresh rewrite and sometimes those sections end up being an obstacle. And yeah, I ended up posting the later Succubus Summoning chapter three days late.

I suppose you're all used to it by now.

Succubus Summoning 202 has been submitted though. It usually takes around three days for Literotica to post new stories so look out for it around Thursday/Friday.

Sadly, 203 might be even later as a deadline for my third anthology is looming. Perversely, that might even be a good thing. Knowing how my mind works I'll probably end up writing that instead of the short stories I should be writing... :D

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Anonymous expects...

Hehe, it's that time of the month again. I can usually tell when it's been around a month as I start getting the emails and comments telling me how much they like the Succubus Summoning series and when is the next damn chapter coming out!

I always feel a bit guilty at how slow I seem to write nowadays. After finishing 201 the idea for 202 came straight to me and I thought I'd be able to hammer it out in a few days. Unfortunately, for some reason, if I don't manage to get the story finished in those two days I go into this terribly scratchy writer mode where it feels more like each word is being chiselled out of granite rather than flowing smoothly from my fingers.

Very frustrating. I've had a couple of ideas that have come fresh (rather than the many many ideas I've got stored up and half-written in notebooks) and gone at them thinking I'd hammer out a 3,000 word story in a night, only to find the damn things have become 5,000 word monstrosities and dragged out for weeks instead.

Very ill-disciplined of me. I hate scratchy-writer me. The worst part is it's usually for silly paragraphs at the start of the story that end up getting cut anyway because the lead-in is too long.

Anyway. 202 is nearly done and features some new sexy characters I hope you'll all enjoy. Just cleaning out some grotty grammar and rewriting some of the more sloppier paragraphs. I'm aiming for a regular release date of the 13th of each month, guaranteed to no longer become regular when 203 overruns... :)

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Why the shame?

So I was on one of my night time internet trawls – distraction behaviour when I should be writing – and I came across this.

It was the marketing blurb that interested me:

“Longing for sizzling stories of sexy demon lovers, seductive vampires seething with oral metaphor, kinky succubi ready for nameless sins? Are you slavering to taste the obscene forked kiss of tales that titillate and terrorize?

Wow, sounds scorching. Where’s the button with the little shopping trolley icon?

“This isn't it.”


“If you want unsurprising, comfortable "erotic horror," you've got the wrong book Go back to reading Fangs For The Mammaries XXIV

Um...yeah. Guess I’ll slink off with my tail between my legs. Thanks for the slap on the face.

Okay, so you checked the date, saw the anthology is about ten years old, probably out of print and are wondering why I’m blathering about it now.

I think because it struck me as a perfect example of the inferiority complex genre fiction – always a whipping boy for the critics in their ivory towers – suffers from, and that’s just as true then as now. It screams defensiveness – “We’re not like those other stories you think might exist, we’re important, serious work.”


Seductive vamps and their ilk are the bread and butter of the horror genre. People buy horror books and pay to go and see horror movies because they want to read/see those tales. One of the things that used to bother me back when I was devouring horror anthologies was so many writers were trying so hard to avoid the usual horror conventions their stories ended up being not what I bought the book for in the first place. Why the shame? Isn’t the purpose of Erotic Horror to ‘titillate and terrorize’?

Nothing against the book. I’m sure it’s very good. There are a lot of good writers amongst the contributors. I found it odd they chose to define it by what it isn’t rather than what it is.

Wouldn’t mind reading that hypothetical Fangs For The Mammaries XXIV though...

Friday, June 25, 2010

Mystifying Comments

I like comments. I get them regularly on stories and email feedback. Mostly they're positive and it's great encouragement to know there are people out there reading and enjoying my stories.

I don't mind negative feedback either. If it's constructive then I'll take it on board and look to improve my writing. If it's crazy rant about how my soul is damned for consorting with demons I'll have a good chuckle. (I don't get enough of those - I'm not trying hard enough)

Then there's this for SS 201 which puzzled me:

"The opening of the first series was amazing.
This one was just OK, and seems to have plot holes.
But hoping it will find magic the 1st series had."

Plot holes, damn. Better get those filled. It's a shame the comment was anonymous as I'd have liked to have got back to the author to find out either which bit they'd misread or which bit I'd screwed up.

I had a similar comment halfway through the Succubus Summoning 101 series that reminded me two bodies were found at the end of the first chapter, which is possible as the first story was originally written as a single short story and the rest of the series just sort of happened. Thankfully for Phil's long term future, the comment writer had misread/recalled the first chapter as I ended up with Dahl describing Phil and Jake as missing.

That's not to say I'm infallible. Usually I plan out stories with meticulous precision, but the Succubus Summoning series sort of lurches to where it wants. It's also probably why the series actually exists while all the other meticulously planned out novel ideas never reached a computer screen, but that's probably a subject for another post.

As Succubus Summoning is a little chaotic, it means I'm probably going to screw up and forget something (usually the Japanese style mini-wings the succubi are supposed to have growing out of the side of their head) or get something wrong. Hopefully someone will let me know where or what without me being left scratching my head in confusion over which bit went wrong. :)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The bane of online writers... Civilization IV.

Wait, no, that's not what I wanted to talk about.

Formatting. Bloody formatting. Try and move anything that isn't a basic letter or piece of punctuation from one computer application to another and watch it get mangled into something incomprehensible.

I kind of expect it for Cέrμləa. She's... complicated, and I got a bit silly with the special characters to reflect that (which are probably even now being lovingly rendered as '?''s by your browser).

Special characters are a pain in the ass. Even simple things like emdashes and Verdé's 'é'. You never quite know how they'll get rendered.

While Literotica is the main site I post my stories, I also use Stories Online. They don't have as large a readership as Lit, but they post fast (usually a couple of hours) and I often get good feedback emails. I haven't posted on SOL for a few months. I was going to fix this with Succubus Summoning 201 but when I converted the file to plain text Verdé became Verd? and other weirdness occured. On most machines plain text can handle (some) special characters.

And it would on mine, except I tinkered with the language settings in order to display Japanese characters for games like Succubus Quest 2. It's kind of cool to save documents as plain text and see random Japanese symbols appear in the text, but not so useful when I need to post the thing for people to read.

Non-universal text formats, grr...

Civilization IV (or any Civilization game for that matter) is still the bane of all creative process.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Sources of Inspiration: #1 Artwork

If anyone's ever wondered where the ideas for the stories come from, the answer is there's a big black pool of sludge sitting in the back of mind. I don't like to look too deep inside it - I'm afraid of what I might find in the depths - but occasionally ideas bubble up to the surface like bubbles of noxious gas.

Yep, as pretentious and wangsty as I thought it'd read.

I get inspiration from all sorts of places. Let's start with the artwork.

Monster-girls Uploader is full of various monster-girl pics.

I love the Japanese; they're completely crazy. One of my goals is to write stories that are as equally wierd and bizarre as Japanese films/anime/manga. Every time I think I'm getting close I come across something else that blows my mind with its warped audacity and realise I've still got a way to go in the insanity erotica stakes.

The MGU board started mainly as fansite for the Monster Girl Encyclopedia entries of Kenkou Cross. It's also a good resource for other succubus/monster girls artwork. They've recently moved so the picture threads are in the process of building back up again. There's also plenty of fanfics, some of which should be looking for a wider audience.

Hentai foundry also has the occasional gorgeous succubus pic show up from time to time.

Deviant Art goes without saying. I don't check it as frequently as I should because it's so freaking large.

Like everything on the internet, the quality is variable but there are gems around if you look hard enough.

I'm not lying about that big pool of sludge at the back of my head. I don't ask; I just fish 'em out and type them down.

Monday, June 07, 2010

That proof-reading/reviewing process

Last week I got round to proof-reading the second collection of short stories I submitted to eXcessica.

I find this a useful exercise aside from the obvious benefit of eliminating all the typos and other mistakes that slipped through with the first submission (Some, but thankfully not that many). This is the first time I get to review the anthology and see how it hangs together. It might sound strange considering I wrote the stories in the first place, but while actually writing the stories it’s easy to get caught up in the mechanics of letters and punctuation and lose sight of the whole story.

Coming back to the stories after a few months gives me a chance to reflect on what worked and what still needs improvement. At this point it’s too late to break out the pen (or word processor) to make changes bigger than correcting spelling mistakes and the like, which is as it should be. There has to be a point when you accept a story is complete, warts and all, otherwise you’ll spend the rest of your life rewriting and rewriting the same five pages over and over again. Better to let it loose and apply what you’ve learned to the next creation.

Seeing the first collection, “A Succubus for Christmas” (out this October), at this stage was a huge relief. First and foremost my aim is to write erotica, but it’s nice when some of the stories are also nice little horror stories in their own right. I was especially happy the brand new original novella I wrote exclusively for the collection was good and did not suck as I feared it might while struggling to scratch down all ten thousand words of it.

There are more brand new stories in the second collection, “A Succubus for Valentine’s Day”, and I was also a bit more active in retuning some of the old stories. Although in one case maybe not active enough, but that’s what a learning process is. The new stories came out okay. I think I was maybe a little too cynical on one and a bit too eager with the anvil dropping. Another tick in the column of things to watch out for in future. Another story turns out sweet and nice (a rarity for me), is a good solid story, but is just missing that little bit of heat so important in erotica.

That’s not to say the stories are bad, but I’m always on the lookout for things that could be better. Even for something like “A Summer Dance with a Succubus”, which is one of those beautiful things for a storyteller—a flash of inspiration that drops perfectly into place as a tale.

The existing story I tinkered with the most was the title piece. The original ending is deliberately unpleasant—the see-saw tipped more to horror—but that wasn’t enough. Based on feedback I saw a possibility for something even worse and went for it. I still don’t think I quite nailed it, but that might be a good thing considering what I was aiming for was to rip the reader’s heart out of their chest and leave it beating in a pile of bloody gore on the table in front of them.

I’m really a nice person when you get to know me. Honest.

Anyway, if Valentine’s Day is normally a time of the year that fills you with a sense of nausea over the mass-marketed, cloying sentimentality that infects everything, then I’ll have the antidote for you right here. Boy, do I have an antidote.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Jupiter's Cock!!!

Hehe. Started watching Spartacus: Blood and Sand recently. It's refreshing to see a TV series that comprehensibly flicks two fingers up at family-friendly viewing and ratchets the exploitation dial to past eleven. I'm not really bothered by the critical merits, or lack of them. It's entertainment. It's got blood, boobs and some hilariously fruity dialogue. My inner sixteen-year-old approves heartily.

It's got me thinking I should get that sex-gladiator idea I've had kicking around in my head for the past few months down on paper:

Sex Fighters: 13 porn stars are abducted from Earth and forced to battle a range of deliciously sexy and deadly monster girls in gladiatorial sex combat.

Now that's a pitch!

If only I had the artistic drawing skills and command of the Japanese language to find it a home.

I suspect Esqeta will inevitably return in "Gladiator vs Succubus" to outfox another stereotypical hero-type (always did feel a bit sorry for the knight though... there may be some loose ends still to be tied with that tale)

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Bad Blogger

I'm not really getting the hang of this blogging thing.

I'm sure I'm supposed to update this thing more frequently than every ten days or however long it is at the moment.

Probably doesn't help that every time I have an idea for a post it starts to come out like a horribly complicated essay and then I get frustrated and leave the thing on the side like a wretched abortion.

Oh well, practise I guess. Practise. Practise. Practise. Write. Write. Write.

Monday, May 17, 2010

And the crickets did chirp...

Actually, the response was pretty good. I've got a winner and a character will wear their skin and name in the forthcoming (and much delayed!) Succubus Summoning 201.

Thanks for the emails and apologies to those that missed out this time. I might try and sneak the spare 'skins' in at a later date anyway ;)

Of course, in an ideal world, the chapter would already be out and available to read. Last week didn't exactly proceed to plan. Which is pretty much par for the year so far sadly. Work, blah blah, and other assorted feeble excuses. Need to get writing dammit!

And update this a little more frequently than once a week.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Who wants a cameo appearance in Succubus Summoning 201?

A daft idea, so please indulge me.

Succubus Summoning 201, or the continuing misadventures of Phil the warlock, is still going to happen. It's five months late I know, but it will happen. The original planned story arc needed a little tweaking as it was good on plot, but way too light on sex. Actually the original planned story arc needed a lot less planning and a lot more 'just write the goddamn thing!' But more on that later...

Anyhows, I'm deep into chapter one (it'll be out soon I hope!) and there's a supporting character and I had one of those silly brainwaves. Why not let somebody put their face/name onto this guy. (a guy this time round, sorry ladies - I'll try and open up something for you next time)

Before anyone gets too attached, this is a human character that isn't called 'Phil', so we can safely assume their chances of making it to Succubus Summoning 202 are fairly minimal. But if you'd like to read about your fictional likeness succumbing to a succubus then send me (manyeyedhydra at a brief description of how you looked/wanted to look at around age twenty and a name/nickname that doesn't sound out of place if a character uses it to introduce themselves at a fresher's fair (or equivalent). I'll use the first appropriate one that crashes into my inbox.

This is just a skin. The character will behave how I planned for them to behave and that doesn't include anything from their point of view. I thought it might be a cool thing to offer by way of an apology to the long suffering readers who've been waiting months for me to restart this series.

This is in no way a cynical attempt to test if anyone is reading this or gauge the level of interest in a followup to Succubus Summoning 101. No sir. Honest Guv.


I may regret this when I hear nothing but crickets chirping next time I open my inbox.

On the crappy legalese front to attempt to appease the people that exist purely to suck all the joy and fun out of existence, by sending me something, if I choose to use it, you're giving me consent to use whatever description/name you give me and forfeiting the right to sue my ass off for using this description/name in the highly unlikely event Succubus Summoning 201 becomes a major hollywood blockbuster. On a more serious note, Google is everywhere and this is a series that runs on an adult stories site, so bear that in mind for whatever name/description you'd like me to use.

Hopefully, this will give me some impetus to get the next Succubus Summoning arc kickstarted anyway. And if it turns out to be fun I may do something similar again in the future. Go for audience participation!

(I have a ghastly feeling I'm going to wish I'd never written this in a week's time.)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Lacking a bit of Real Fear

I failed to make the cut for the final twenty in the Campaign for Real Fear. It's disappointing, but hardly surprising. There were a hundred entrants on the last day alone. To stand out amongst that would take something fairly spectacular and I think I only managed to muster okay.

Here's the story anyway:


It wasn't a race hate crime. I know what they're saying, but they're wrong. What happened to Abdul Razzaq had nothing to do with the colour of his skin.

It was because of the other...stuff.

We knew. We all knew. Word gets around.

The authorities never do anything though. Not until it's too late.

We weren't going to let that happen.

It was Bill Jackson's idea. He got it after visiting some museum in Europe.

We got the cartwheel from Roger Carter's pub. It was a huge wooden thing that took up most of the back wall.

We got Razzaq as he was shutting up his shop. John Cooper shoved a bag over his head and we bundled him into the back of Dave Shirley's van.

There's a big flat rock out by the edge of the common. We tied him to it with his arms and legs stretched wide. He put up a fight and cussed us good and proper, but there were too many of us.

He looked puzzled when we rolled out the wheel. I was puzzled too. It was just a wheel - big, wooden, solid, maybe six feet across.

And heavy. Really heavy.

Bill got the two biggest men - that was me and Dave Shirley - to pick it up and carry it over Razzaq's body. Bill gave the signal and we smashed the edge of the wheel down on Razzaq's arm. I thought it was the worst sound I'd ever hear in my life, like a cleaver coming down on a slab of meat, only wetter. But it wasn't. That came later.

We ignored Razzaq's screams, lifted the wheel back up and then brought it back down again with another of those thuds that travels right up through your bones. All told I reckon we dropped the wheel on him maybe twelve or thirteen more times - three for each arm, four for each leg.

Then we put him on the wheel. That was the worst part - threading his arms and legs through the spokes. His limbs were all floppy and flexible. I remember thinking he was just like that Mr Men character...what's his name? Mr Tickles, yeah that's it, the one with arms like snakes. As I twisted his arm between those thick wooden spokes I heard his splintered bones grind together. It's the worst sound you'll ever hear. It's more than a sound, it's a feeling - like nails down a blackboard or broken glass in a sock - that gets right inside you, rucks up the skin on your forearms, sets your teeth on edge.

We hoisted the wheel up on a stake and left him there, mumbling to whatever god he worshipped, while the sun went down behind the trees.

It wasn't because he was black. We're not racist.

We did it because he was a kiddie-fiddler.

We wanted our kids to be safe. If you've got any of your own you'd understand.

You'd know he deserved it.

He was a paedophile.

Wasn't he?


Trying to get below 500 words was an interesting exercise. I think this was a story that needed to linger over each thud of the wheel coming down to make the reader wince with each strike. In that respect it's probably not the right story for the length.

Not bad, but not good enough. And yeah, it is exactly one of those 'nothing as scary as us humans' stories I railed against a couple of posts ago. Serves me right then. :D

Ah well. A nice distraction, but now it's time to get back to the girls with horns, wings, tails and insatiable sexual appetites.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Don't be too clever clever...

More competitions. This time Literotica's Earth Day competition. After missing the last couple of Lit comps and not really posting any new stories for a few months, I thought it was a good time to finish off the Earth Day story I failed to finish for last year. Inevitably, the short little 3,000 word story I envisaged mutated into this monstrosity. Inevitably, it's also receiving a battering in the score department.

Which shouldn't be a surprise. Normally I save the nastiest and straightup bizarre stories for the competitions. Why? Winning for me is whacking someone in the happysack when they weren't expecting a horror story. What can I say. I'm a little perverse.

But...I liked this one.

It was all clever clever stuff. Poe's Masque of the Red Death mixed in with environmental issues, a truly bizarre monster and maybe some allegory about mankind on the planet as a whole. And, and, and...what about the erotica?

Ah yeah.


Bad Horror-head.

Somebody on the MGU board gave it to me straight:

Not your best work. You made me hate the characters with a passion, and the monster just made me want to take a shower. There's a reason you're getting thrashed.

Yep. Clever clever is fine, but don't lose sight of people's expectations. Don't lose the 'erotic' in erotic horror.

But on the other hand it sounds like I did indeed whack people in their happysacks. So all is not lost :D.

Now where did Rosa and Verdé get to...

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

New monsters...or another tired old look in the mirror?

I caught a nice article in the Guardian about the Campaign for Real Fear short story competition. I don't know much about Maura McHugh, but I read a few of Christopher Fowler's books when I was younger, with "Disturbia" probably my favourite.

I like what they're getting at though. Where are the new monsters? Damn right, there're only so many vamps, woofs and brain-munchers you can take before you want to decapitate the lot of them and shove silver-tipped stakes through their skulls just to make sure they stay dead for a good decade or so.

I'm interested to see what comes out of this. My worry is I've heard arguments like this in horror before and all that comes out of it is a slew of "there's nothing more monstrous than us humans" stories. To be fair, there isn't. When it comes to sheer gut-wrenching nastiness, real life puts a shiv in the guts of horror fiction every time. However, just like vamps, there's only so many humans being shitty to other humans stories you can read before it starts getting tedious. Like tuning into Doctor Who only to find out you've got Eastenders (a dreadful, dreary, miserable British soap) instead.

Vampires, Werewolves and Zombies are popular for a reason. They might not possess the same shock value as stories grounded more in reality, but they do offer escapism. Personally, I think the challenge is to continue to shock an increasingly genre-savvy audience, without boring them with the same grim, mundane everyday existence they're trying to escape in the first place.

I'm biased though. I like my monsters. The weirder the better. Hopefully they'll turf up something as exotic, terrifying and downright strange as China Mieville's slake moths and insane multi-dimensional spiders.

I might give the competition a try. That 500 word limit is a real bitch though. At least it'll keep horror-head occupied, which might leave erotica-head free to write some stories where the main character gets to have sex and not get their soul ripped out, all their fluids drained or any of the other bizarre and unusual deaths I seem to subject my characters to :D

And rather predictably, the first idea I had - A "there's nothing more monstrous than us humans" story.


Saturday, April 03, 2010

On the delights of being published... and the frustrations of not being able to tell a soul

Last week a special box arrived for me in the post.

The contents of this box are very special to me. Ever since I was a small child, one of my lifetime ambitions has been to get a book published. In this box is proof I’ve achieved that goal. It’s something I want to yell from the rooftops. Look! I did it! Look at all these lovely pages; the words written on them are mine.

But I can’t.

It’s like this. In this box is a print copy of a book I wrote, but now this box needs to be dropped down a very deep shaft and kept in darkness lest its evil contaminates the world. No, you can’t read it. The contents will flay your mind and rip your brain out of your ears in wriggling chunks.

Actually, it’s not really that bad, although I imagine it would raise a few eyebrows amongst people who know me.

On telling friends and family I’ve got a book coming out, the conversation usually goes like this:

“Can I read it?”

“ don’t think it’s really the kind of thing you’d like to read.”

“Oh, is it really gory?”

Grabs lifeline.

“Yes yes, really gory and unpleasant.”

It’s funny that, hiding behind a screen of blood and gore rather than owning up to writing a little bit of kinky erotica. The problem is, if you write a bit of kinky erotica, people automatically seem to think, “Oh, I never knew you were into that”, as if all erotica is written with firsthand experience. Whereas, with horror, nobody seriously thinks Stephen King is a mass-murdering psychopath.

My concerns are of course exaggerated. No one in my family, if they read one of my stories and realised it was me, is going to string me up from the family oak and curse the day I was born. The real reason is me. When I first started writing these stories I knew I wanted to combine horror and erotica in such a way that the outcome would be both arousing and disturbing in equal measure. And to do that effectively I knew I needed to smash the levers of self-censorship, to rip the whole machinery out of my mind. Thus, Mr Hydra entered the world.

Pseudonyms are great. Now I can write what the hell I like and not worry about what people might think of the real me in the real world. ‘Too far’ no longer exists. I can be as kinky, filthy and weird as I like. I can describe the golden arc of a stream of piss as it loops and flows within the transparent body of an alluring water spirit, a scene both revolting and weirdly beautiful. I can describe a sexy demon with the lower half of a spider as she straddles and fucks her helpless silk-bound prey, a scene both terrifying and weirdly arousing. The freedom to be as bizarre as I like is fantastic.

Except when the book comes out and I really want to tell everyone I know, but can’t.

Oh, well. I guess it’ll have to hide away in a quiet little corner on my bookshelf.

I know. That’s all that matters.

M. E. Hydra’s “A Succubus for Christmas and other tales of Devilish Delights” will be out later this year.