This past weekend I attended the Baltimore Book Festival. (It was three days, but I was only able to make it for all of Saturday and one panel on Sunday.) I even
Now, back to business. Yes, I had a great time in Baltimore. As I said on FTWA, it was part street fair, part book conference. It was casual, but there was definitely plenty to be learned at the industry panels and events. But really.... orgasmic?
Okay, maybe not orgasmic. But I had this tingly, feel-good moment that was a little bit of epiphany, a little bit of excitement, and just a twinge of longing. So yeah. Almost orgasmic.
The last event of Saturday night for me was a panel of erotica writers talking about... sex, obviously. The subject of the panel was taboos in erotica, but they ended up talking about all sorts of things regarding erotica, thanks to some great audience questions and equally great answers from the panelists. I recently got a bit geeky in an interview where I talked about why I write erotica. (Read it here if you haven't already!) Hearing similar things from each of the panelists was amazing. I was among my people! I loved hearing the authors talk about why they write what they do, the boundaries they push (and the ones they don't), and what makes them tick as writers.
|L to R: Megan Hart, Molly Weatherfield, Caridad Pineiro, Eliza Knight, Stephanie Draven|
They interspersed readings with the discussion, which gave the audience a taste of their styles. But you know what was kinda cool? Hearing and seeing successful erotica/erotic romance authors, grown women, laughing at themselves and giggling with nervousness about reading the "really dirty" bits. I think it was author Stephanie Draven who said that it was one thing to write the scenes, but another thing completely to read them out loud in public. I didn't know of any of the authors previously, so I wasn't exactly starstruck or have this idea of them as larger-than-life kinds of people. But the laughing and nervousness was a very humanizing aspect. I felt like I was sitting around with friends, reading and having a good time. And I liked what I heard so much, I bought one of Megan Hart's books the next day, and I have a feeling I'll also be checking out Stephanie Draven's in the future.
|Megan Hart, reading from her book The Space Between Us|
As an introvert, I'm not always the most talkative person. Until you start asking the right questions. Want to talk about sex in writing? Hope you've got all day. Getting paid to write books about topics I love, and having an opportunity to present on a panel like the one I attended sounds like a dream job to me. I felt like I could personally have talked all night about relationships and sex and writing and characterization and all of the rich depth to be found there... and that's when it struck me.
This is what I want to do. That is where I want to be.
Maybe one day I'll make it there.