Monday, 22 October 2012

Erotic Writers' Lunch: a date with Janine Ashbless

This was actually tea in the afternoon a couple of weeks ago with Janine, one of my favourite writers of erotica who, when I met her at the Eroticon event earlier in the year, discovered that she actually lives near me! So we’ve met up a few times since then, but this was the first time I had visited her house.

Janine has three lovely dogs. Unfortunately when I got home I was persona non grata with my house rabbit – I had to bathe and change my clothes before she would let me through the front door!! But it was lovely to catch up with Janine who has been gadding around Europe all summer visiting places like Ravenna in Italy and Cyprus. Unfortunately that meant she’s had little time to get on with her writing L. We decided that life’s experiences helps with our writing so actually it was good. J

At the moment she is busy with her editing hat on working on the Geek Love anthology. Editing someone else’s work is a job in itself, but we both agreed that it can actually be easier than your own work because you don't have the attachment to it like you do to your own. On the downside she talked on her blog recently of the difficulties of choosing one person’s work over another in order to make sure you have variety in your anthology. (By the way I LOVE her blog, in particular her 'Eye Candy
Monday' pics are SO hot).

I was pleased to hear that she is working on another anthology of her own short stories, which I love – personally I think that’s where her strength lies. My all time fav is ‘Janissaries’ from Dark Enchantment. It is very dark and edgy. You feel guilty for being aroused by a story where the heroine appears abused but the tables are turned by the end. I can't say any more and that is probably giving too much away!

We talked about our writing being a second job as we are unlikely to ever make enough, or to be able to rely on it, to give up the day job, but it is more than a hobby as some people seem to regard our books.

How to promote your work, and how much time can you take away from your writing to do it, is a difficult one for writers. We both felt that ‘word of mouth’ is still the best promotion and building your readership. Also, having a good title like I did with ‘Submissive Training’ is good, particularly as it came out at the same time as Fifty Shades!

We giggled at the differences between British English and American English - in England we call it autumn but in America it is fall so, depending on where you set your story you may need to use the appropriate word. Brand names can flummox us British readers (and vice versa) if that brand is not known in the other's country. On the hand we felt we see so much American TV we understand a lot of American idioms, possibly more than the Americans do British ones.

Something else we laughed at was how, when we read other books, watch tv or see a play, we automatically find ourselves listening with the ear of a writer and critiquing it as such, thinking about how we would write it differently! They say at a doctor is the worst patient—well I think an author is the worst reader!

Do watch out for my blog at the beginning of December when Janine is my inspirational author of the month.


  1. Oh, it was great having you round Jennifer!. . . though I had less resistance to the chocolate biscuits than you! I do hope you enjoy your upcoming roadtrip :-)

    BTw, "Jannisaries" is one of my all-time favourites out of the stories I've written, too.

    1. Thanks, Janine. I was just too busy talking to eat choc biscuits! Holiday is going well. Had lots Iof adventures with my writer friends. Tell you all when I'm back in England.