Sunday, 29 September 2013

Erotic books, models, photographers and artists

A have a little space on my bookshelf for the hard copies of my erotic work (much of it is now in e-format only, sadly).  It’s also the home of two postcards of work by one of my favourite photographers and one of my favourite erotic artists. 

When I was a student I did a range of jobs to earn money, one of which was glamour and nude modelling for a Brighton studio.  It was quite an eye opener in some ways and I enjoyed the work, although I am not naturally photogenic and actually hide when someone wants to take pics of me!  In those days (the 1980s!) I had a good figure, loads of sexy clothes (from charity shops and mail order catalogues), taught myself make-up from a book by Britt Ekland, and no inhibitions.  I’d been to nudist venues and saunas, and did nude modelling for an art class, so I was pretty relaxed.  I’ve never really had any hang-ups about nudity.  The money was good, and I still have wonderful photos to remind me I did once have a figure! 

I loved “arty” shots, and was a fan of Helmut Newton and some of the amazing pics in magazines like Skin Two.  Then a photographer associate put me in touch with a photographer called Ian Sanderson and gave me some postcards of his work, which I loved.  Sophisticated, tasteful – and they satisfied my aesthetic sensibilities. I went to see him, and would have modelled for free, but although he took a few shots, I sadly never got to work with him.  But the card he gave me (behind the green goblet) with one of his pics takes pride of place on my bookshelf and inspires me. 

I am also a huge fan of the artist Ray Leaning, and we have a large framed print of his work in our living room, a Christmas present for my partner some years ago.  On my wish list is to one day commission a portrait, but until then I look at the postcard of the girl wearing a top hat and corset whenever I get the duster out and take it to the bookshelf…..

Who are your favourite erotic photographers and artists?  What takes pride of place on your bookshelf?

Friday, 27 September 2013

Kinky Halloween Special Saturday 5 October!

Wanton Words and Burlesque Bombshells 

Join Missy Maybe and Miss Glory Pearl for another night of saucy mayhem. Celebrated erotica writer, Elizabeth Cage will be reading and there will be special guests aplenty. October marks our annual 'kinky special', where we explore the darker side of human sexuality with a look at fetishes, kinks and all the naughtiness Ann Summers built an empire on.

The now legendary Raffle of Dreams returns with an array of truly extraordinary prizes, and of course, our audience competition promises laughs aplenty.

Doors open 7.30pm, show starts at 8pm.

Tickets £10, available from the theatre on 01843 221791 or online at:

Saturday, 21 September 2013

A.K. Anders - A Secret, a Confession and a Guilty Pleasure

Today I'm delighted to welcome erotic writer A.K. Anders to contribute to my series A Secret, a Confession and a Guilty Pleasure and to talk about his intriguing first book, The Pimlico Tapes.

I thank you for inviting me, Eliza. It is a great pleasure to be on your blog.

As sales of my first book, The Pimlico Tapes, have continued to grow, so have the e-mails and Tweets relating to the characters in the book. Some of these enquiries are of a cautiously inquisitive nature, where as others have a decidedly aggressive and accusatory tone. I have also had letters from solicitors.
“Don’t say we didn’t warn you,” my friends say.

Let me first explain, for those who don’t know the book, that The Pimlico Tapes is a collection of transcripts, taken from a box of old cassette tapes found in a dilapidated office building I purchased in Pimlico, South West London. The basement office had been used by an eminent sex therapist during the period of the late 1960’s to the late 80’s. Listening to the tapes I immediately realised how fascinated others would be by their content. They revealed the fascinating lives, exploits and problems of patients and how the therapist had tried to help them. At each new consultation, the therapist explained that he required of his patients complete candidness. Generally he got it. Most conversations were sexually explicit; some were quite shocking. Immediately seeing their literary potential, I set about transcribing the conversations, whilst removing the real names or any other direct links to patients or the therapist. I was aware of the need for confidentiality; despite knowing the therapist was now dead. In fact I took legal advice to ensure I was on safe ground. I didn’t want to be sued, and neither did I wish to harm anyone. On the other hand, I did feel that revealing these cases might be very helpful to those with certain sexual problems. It helped justify it to myself, if not to publishers, who were cautious to the point of asking me not to use their main office entrances. Secrecy and hushed tones was the order of the day and it was this that eventually encouraged me to publish via e-book only – at least initially.

No sooner had the book been published, than I began to receive e-mails. Some were from people who were affronted by the general idea of disclosing such private and sensitive material, but most were from people who felt they fitted the description of a character in the book. Each assured me that their own case was exactly the same. They remembered particular things that had been said during consultation. Some said they were merely concerned to find out, whereas others were outwardly furious and threatened legal action if the book was not removed from sale. In each case, I explained that without identifying names or other more specific details (which I had been careful to remove), nobody but they themselves would know it was them – if indeed it was. In each case, I refused to remove the book, or even the individual case from the book. This has happened many times since – sometimes via solicitors. So far nobody has actually taken legal action, only threatened it. I did have a brush with certain ‘civil servants’ (those in the business of keeping state secrets), regarding a well-known politician (now dead). This was the most threatening so far, but they have since stopped making those threats. “Secrets,” one said, “should not be revealed that might harm the reputation of that sainted lady,” or words to that effect. I confess they did frighten me. I will give you some other examples.

One of the cases is about a political journalist and sometime television newsreader. I have had no less than five different people contact me, claiming that the person I named Amanda in the book, was in fact them. The woman on the tape is obsessive about her privacy and has some very strange sexual behaviour. Without going into too much detail, she enjoyed playing a lifeless ragdoll – her boss and lover finding her lying on a sofa or on bed in a spare room. She also talked on the tape about an impromptu one-night stand with a pedaloe-hire man in a Caribbean holiday resort, where she had felt safe from recognition by the paparazzi.
People would put two and two together, one complainant told me. Another who claimed it was her, was worried by a recollection from Amanda of having watched a couple have sex through a roof-light from the top of her BBC building. She could remember having told her therapist about it, she said. She had also told a colleague. The colleague might read the book and would then know that the character of Amanda was in fact her.
“My secrets are my own,” she said, “and should remain so.”
I told her that four other women also claimed to be Amanda and that all their secrets were safe, since the original name had been removed from the transcript.

Another patient, who I named Samantha, was the wife of quite a well-known London headmaster. She could only enjoy sex if it was with a stranger in a public place. On the tape, she explained numerous lurid exploits in her early years, leading up to the point she was arrested for gross indecency in a Chiswick cinema. A woman contacted me saying she was the woman in the book. This e-mail had a very accusatory tone. The tapes were not mine to use as I pleased, she said, they were private. I think she called me a rat, living in the gutter and sucking off the blood of others. She had reconciled matters with her husband through a quiet divorce, she said, but she had since become a successful woman in public life. Again, I was told people would put two and two together. Her sordid secrets would come out and she would be barred from high office. She had access to those who could make things very difficult, even painful for me, she said. I thanked her and told her I might enjoy that.

There are numerous other examples of such complainants, but those above probably give you a fair idea. What has been more interesting for me, however, is a recent trend for people to contact me, wishing to unburden themselves (as some of them put it) of their strange or extreme sexual histories. After the initial mild success of The Pimlico Tapes, I had begun to worry about being able to follow it with a book using further material. People had immediately begun to ask when the sequel was coming out. While I do have other unpublished material that I had already transcribed from the tapes, there is barely enough for another two books. I need not have worried. The confessions revealed to me will fill a number of future books. I have, in fact already published eight single stories derived from these confessions. You can find them as part of a series named ‘Erotic Shorts by A.K. Anders’. Priced at only 77p they are proving very popular – no doubt due in large part to their uncanny sense of authenticity.

Quite a number of people I know have expressed their discomfort or even distaste for the idea of The Pimlico Tapes. They support the idea that what people disclose to a therapist should remain a secret. I disagree. Yes, I believe that the identity of those involved should be kept secret. In fact, after some deliberation I decided to destroy the tapes after I had transcribed them. The original names were never transcribed – not even in the first draft. Other names and incriminating details were also never written down. Alternative details were inserted in their place when I produced the second draft. Therefore, nobody could ever be even remotely sure of who the patients were. Secondly, I know how hypocritical people are – all of us. We are all compulsive voyeurs. This is our dirty little secret – our guilty pleasure. If we are alone and we hear a couple having an argument in the house next door, we cannot help but listen. When it comes to hearing a couple making love, we may even stand still and then tiptoe closer to the wall to hear more clearly. Can you imagine anyone foregoing the opportunity to watch two people in the throes of having vigorous sex in a haystack, if they feel confident that they cannot be seen from their vantage point? I know only one person, and she has been in serious therapy for years. This is why people read erotic stories or watch erotic films. Believe me, 99% of those who don’t, only avoid them through fear of being caught. This then, is one of our most prevalent and most popular guilty pleasures. And I for one am proud of helping people to indulge in those pleasures. Gorge yourself upon them, I say!

A.K. Anders posts, periodically, on the blog:
He regularly tweets at:

Monday, 16 September 2013

NEW! Slow Poison and other dark tales: FREE for 3 days

I'm taking a side step from writing erotica and have just published a collection of deliciously dark short stories that explore the darker side of human nature.  Infused with black humour, these 7 quirky, twisted tales remind us that some folk just aren't very nice...

The collection, called Slow Poison and other dark tales, will be FREE to download from Amazon TODAY until WEDNESDAY and is available in all Amazon territories. 
Once more Klaus Hartleben has produced a striking cover design. 

About the stories....

Slow Poison
There are people who nourish and people who poison. It can sometimes take a lifetime to realise that...

Keeping Mum
A cautionary tale for anyone who doubts that mum knows best. Perhaps Claire should have listened to her mother?

Four cute puppies in the home - what's not to love? Plenty, according to houseproud Marion. But what's the solution?

Death by Chocolate
Anthony has a plan. But life rarely goes to plan. A story of thwarted ambition, soured passion and murderous intent. And lots of chocolate...

Mother Love
When a mother/daughter bond becomes disturbingly dysfunctional.

Callie has trouble coming to terms with the disappearance of her beloved cat and blames her husband, Frank. But has Boodle really gone for good?

The Kiss
Can a lover truly forgive when his partner has an affair?

Amazon links:

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Vina Jackson Guest Post: Mistress of Night and Dawn

Todays' guest post is from Vina Jackson, a prolific writing duo responsible for the incredibly successful Eighty Days series......  

By the time we delivered EIGHTY DAYS WHITE, the final volume of the EIGHTY DAYS series, we were both exhausted and run down, mentally and physically. We had completed five more or less 340 pages novels in length in under six months!

What had begun as a proposal for just two volumes, involving flame-haired violinist Summer and conflicted dom and university professor Dominik had, by acquisition time, grown into three novels when two publishers fought over the property and one attempted to trump the other by moving the proffered advance sky high if we committed to writing a trilogy. Which the other competing publisher soon matched...

At any rate, within a few weeks of the first instalment, EIGHTY DAYS BLUE, appearing and hitting the Sunday Times Top 10, our hardy literary agent was already fielding frantic requests for us, as we were still in the process of completing the third volume, to expand the series to a further two instalments. So, with an eye to our bank statements and keeping agent and publishers happy -we are ever so obliging- we agreed to write EIGHTY DAYS AMBER and WHITE, albeit featuring other characters who had made cameo appearances in the initial trilogy as we felt we couldn't string along the tortured, on/off/on/off and so on relationship between Summer and Dominik any further for the sake of our sanity!

All the books continued to be popular with multiple bestseller lists and supermarket shelves appearances and have since gone on to be translated into 21 languages, and at one stage we even had four novels in the German Top 10!

Imagine our sense of emptiness and anticlimax when this writing madness, spurred on of course by the unforeseen demand for quality racy romance in the wake of FSOG, finally came to a halt. Days became long and slow, and we quickly forgot how painful writing the novels had in fact proven. We'd become addicts/writing machines/constant spinners of words. Of course, we had to continue.

But we didn't wish to continue flogging a dead horse, so to speak, and be seen as just a BDSM erotica factory at a time when the E.L. James wave was finally beginning to ebb. We wanted to do something new and innovative, while still retaining our 'brand' for rather stronger sexual moods and quality writing that none of our many rivals could match, according to the majority of reviews.


In EIGHTY DAYS WHITE, we introduced a shadowy organisation called the Network which has a close connection to a mysterious ball which takes place every year in a different location and offers a cornucopia of sex and bizarre happenings. We had thoroughly enjoyed writing all the scenes taking place at the Ball as well as many of the rituals and sex scenes as spectacle throughout the whole series and decided from an early stage we wanted to concentrate on that area of our writing and increase its baroque, phantasmagorical, almost supernatural element. So the Ball became a character in its own right in our proposed new book, which publishers quickly came onboard with, understanding perfectly our wish to broaden the attraction of our novels, without abandoning in any way the erotic elements that had always attracted us.

We imagined how the Ball came into existence, which allowed us to scatter 'action' over the course of the narrative with a series of historical interludes which picture the Ball at play during the course of the centuries. Then we had to come up with the principal characters for the novel's major strand, and had to invent the Ball's hierarchy and rules, with ensuing rebellion against its strictures to power the necessary conflict and arrived at the central character of the Ball's Mistress.

At which stage the story became to take off; not so much wrote itself - one of many cliches of the writing trade - but a tragic prologue dictated the scene and mood, and a baby was born, an heir to the Ball's power, with a nod to Great Expectations, and our 20 emails back and forth a day routine resumed, as we quickly began to stray far and away from our skeletal outline and wander into exciting new directions that just made sense, and swapped scenes with barely repressed excitement as this longer novel, in which some of the Eighty Days characters make new and fleeting return appearances, took flight and dominated our life for a further three months.

The book appears in the UK on September 12th and we hope you like it. As to us, after ensuing breaks in Fiji and the Indian Ocean, we're already concocting something new; we just can't stop ourselves!

Buy link for Mistress of Night and Dawn

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Sexy Stats and New Territory

I haven't checked Google Analytics for years for my Elizabeth Cage website. Which is pretty remiss of me. Clearly I don't practice what I preach when it comes to marketing and promotion. Anyway, I'm reviewing the future for Elizabeth Cage - so thought I should see if the website is worth continuing.  I started it in February 2007, a long time before the blog.

To my astonishment, my website gets an average of 4000 hits a month, with most visitors heading for the Reviews, Extracts and Books pages.  That's 48,000 hits a year.  I've really no idea if this is good, bad or indifferent, as it's not something writers generally discuss.  When I started out, it was more like 10 hits a month, so clearly that's an improvement!  However, this does not translate into book sales.

By comparison, my blog, which is considerably younger, having started it 18 months ago, gets around 700 visits a month.

I'm undecided about the future.  Should I stay or should I go? I'm about to bring out a new collection of stories for adults - dark, twisted tales, but not erotica, so a bit of a change for me.

I'm also planning a foray into You Tube.....more new territory.

A further evaluation of where I'm going is likely to take place next February.

So, what are your writing plans, and do your website hits translate into book sales?  I'd love to hear from other writers on this topic.