I'm surprised to see that no one weighed in on the comments about the Alpha female and Beta Male question. Perhaps it really doesn't matter if the story is good. If you want to, you can still leave a comment on that post.
I popped my cherry at the Erotic Authors Association Conference (Day 1 Recap)
On to day two!
Day two started off, after a cup of hot tea and some breakfast, with an editors panel. The hot topic of discussion there was the anthology. Bread an butter for some publishers, added perk for others, it was touted as an excellent way for a new author to gain some added exposure. Certainly having your story alongside of other popular authors will give you some notoriety, but be warned, anthologies do not pay that much. I'm not saying anyone should avoid them, but as I always caution, keep your head on straight about things. The anthology isn't the path to millions. I do agree though that added exposure is always a good thing (even for us independent publishers) and to submit a few thousand words is not a huge deal. Most of us can bang that out in a day or so.A quick word of warning as well, and this comes from the editors on the panel... Pay attention to submission guidelines. If you don't follow them, your work won't have a chance of getting into the anthology, no matter how good your story.
From there we moved on to the panel discussing Paranormal. As we all know, paranormal is a hot market, but what is it? How closely linked is it to other genres. Urban Fantasy, Magical Realism, and dare I say it, SciFi? Yes, I did say SciFi. All of them are connected by bringing oddities to the common world. Basically anything that is not "normal" can be considered Paranormal. Magic, creatures, aliens, technology. It's the rules that we give these stories that define which specific sub genre they belong to. There were however, some that felt authors take too many liberties when trying to be unique within their chosen sub genre. Twilight was brought up to show what the author tried to do to be unique, sparkly vampires. However the general consensus there was, she went too far! The trick is to be unique without being laughable and that's something hard to do. Heads up for all the writers out there, but another general consensus from the publishers and editors on the panels was that Werewolves and other were creatures are a hot item. Specifically, they want to see unique creatures. Were gerbils anyone? =p
After that it was on to the Taboo panel and this was one of great interest to me. In erotica writing or any writing in general, there are lines that one should be wary to cross. The focus on this panel was not exactly, "do not cross" but what are the limits of these taboos? You have the 5 deadly sins: Incest, Children, Rape, Non Consensual, & Elimination (pooping & peeing). All of which sound pretty bad when listed out. But, lets take children for example. I'm sure everyone will agree that writing young kids and sex is bad, but where does that line end? Can you write a coming of age story where a teenager is exploring their own growth and sexuality? Lets add another layer, what about a young gay male developing the courage to come out of the closet? Not romanticized or eroticized, this could be a beneficial story. An empowering story for someone in the gay community. You can't tell me that teenagers don't struggle with their own issues of sexuality. The reality of it is, we know kids are having sex. Sex is posted up everywhere on billboards. Teenage girls are walking around with Juicy plastered across their ass and no one says a thing about that being bad, but in writing, if characters aren't 18 or older, it is a taboo. I'm not going to defend either way, but this shows you how easily the lines can be blurred and that was the focus of this panel. Each one of the 5 deadly sins, depending on how they are approached have a very blurry line between being horrible, and useful in writing.
As I said, this was a wonderfully informative conference!
The rest of the day was taken by some classes. I took a class that was an introduction to the art of BDSM. It was quite interesting to learn the vocabulary as well as see some of the tools in action. That was followed up by a quick class on blurb writing and then the farewell cocktail party.No, I didn't have a drink, pregnancy and all. But I did stay and socialize a bit!
For my first ever conference, it was an awesome experience. The classes were amazing, the panels informative, and the conversations with other writers, truly inspiring! I look forward to being able to attend future writing conferences, and I truly hope that the EAA comes back to Vegas for next year!
Now that my cherry has been popped, I'm aching for more. =)