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Finalists announced in the 2013 NLA-I Writing Awards

As many of you know, I’m a previous winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Leather Association, a leading organization for activists in the pansexual SM/leather/fetish community. Right now I remain active by helping to judge the nonfiction entries for the annual writing awards. I just got the press release announcing the finalists for the 2013 entries and I’m pleased to notice that two books published by Circlet Press have made it onto the lists! House of Sable Locks by Elizabeth Schechter is a finalist for the Pauline Reage Novel Award, and No Safewords edited by Laura Antoniou is a finalist for the Samois Anthology Award!

Winners will be announced this fall at the NLA-I general assembly (date/place TBD).

Here’s the full list of finalists:
Continue reading →

SLOW SURRENDER has won the RT Award for Best Erotic Romance!

Ok, remember how I squeed when I found out SLOW SURRENDER was nominated for Best Erotic Romance of the year by RT Magazine? Well, UP THE FONT SIZE FOLKS…

BECAUSE I WON!!!

I’ll be going to New Orleans for the award ceremony and everything! Now what the heck am I going to wear…?

See all the RT Award winners here:
http://www.rtbookreviews.com/rt-daily-blog/announcing-2013-rt-reviewers-choice-and-career-achievement-awards-winners

(How cool to see Mary Robinette Kowal, Nicole Peeler, and lots of other writers I love on the list, too!!)

Authors After Dark is coming in August! Registration info…

Authors After Dark is coming up before you know it! I’ve posted on Facebook and Twitter a couple of times about it, but here are more details! This year looks intense!
AAD is about the readers. It’s basically 100 romance authors come up with ways to meet, entertain, and delight the 400 readers in attendance. We throw parties, we have giveaways, we have games, we do panels and talks… and more! The amount of awesome we have put together this year is truly wild, with more being planned all the time! Posted below is the word straight from Stella Price, AAD’s head honcho! We’re trying to get 100 readers registered in today’s drive and unlock some special prizes as a result! -ctan

Continue reading →

Daron’s Guitar Chronicles, new omnibus paperback Kickstarter! $3,500 goal!

Yes, it’s been two years since the last Daron’s Guitar Chronicles Kickstarter and it’s time for another. Daron’s Guitar Chronicles is my ongoing web fiction serial about a gay guitar player and his various life struggles with love, fame, music, internalized homophobia, family dynamics etc. in the 1980s.

In 2012 we did an omnibus collecting the first 200 chapters into a big-ass book, and now it’s time to do the next 200 chapters, basically. Click here to donate: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ceciliatan/darons-guitar-chronicles-second-omnibus-paperback

And here’s a short link to share! http://kck.st/R31kCx

Here’s the video I made for Kickstarter! (Under the cut, if it will embed properly…) Continue reading →

Nnedi Okorafor’s ICFA Guest of Honor speech

The wonderful guest of honor luncheon address was given at ICFA today by Nnedi Okorafor, the author of many books and the winner of many awards, including the World Fantasy Award, Carl Brandon Parallax Award, and others. She is Nigerian-American, is a graduated of the Clarion sf workshop, and got her PhD at U. of Illinois over 10 years ago–I missed the exact year in the introductions. The woman introducing Nnedi described her work as books which “blends magical fantasy and political realism.”

If you read my post earlier today about the Night Vale and creepypasta panel I went to, you know that the takeaway from it for me as a writer was the idea that the concept of the protagonist (or scholar ) as a passive observer who is untouched by events in a book (or by the subject being studied) is a highly colonial one, whereas both feminist and postcolonial modes of thought accept the necessity of both the subject and the environment being changed by their interaction.

Not too surprisingly (because synchronicity), this idea came up also in Nnedi Okorafor’s speech. What follows here is a partial transcript of her speech. I don’t actually type fast enough to get 100% — I can capture about 75%, and then I have edited this down to about 50% for clarity and relevance. Also, hey, if you want ALL the good stuff, you should be coming to the conference.

Everywhere you see words in square brackets [like this] it’s where I paraphrased something she said because I couldn’t type fast enough.

Excerpt from Nnedi Okorafor’s ICFA guest of honor speech: Continue reading →

ICFA, Night Vale, creepypasta, and post-patriarchal consumption of stories

I am at ICFA (Int’t Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts), a longstanding conference of academic research and critique in science fiction and fantasy. I’ve wanted to come to this conference for a long time, ever since Bernadette Bosky talked my ear off about it around 1993. (I was in grad school myself at the time, getting a masters in writing and publishing, and Circlet Press was about a year old at that point.)

Here we are, 20+ years later, and I’m finally here. Why this time? I actually got invited as an author guest. So here I am. I’m reading on Friday (tomorrow) at 4:15. I still haven’t figured out what to read, but I might read an abridged version of a steampunk erotic story that has never been published. The theme of the conference is Fantastic Empires and, well, of course I want to read a story that critiques the British Empire and the patriarchy.

The panel of papers I attended this morning was on creepypasta and the Welcome to Night Vale podcast. I am only passingly familiar with either, which made it fascinating, as both Night Vale and the world of creepypasta are both media that can be enjoyed in passing.

Creepypasta, if you’re not familiar with it, is the art form of bite-size horror stories (kind of like urban legends) in text or maybe an image that can easily be copy-pasted and shared on the Internet. Line Henriksen from Linkoping University presented a very coherent paper that drew together concepts from Derrida and Donna Haraway, and I can’t even begin to summarize it, nor should I since you really should be here yourself if you want to get the good stuff… but the central idea I’m taking away from it, given that I’m a non-academic and I’m here as a writer who goes to see these kinds of papers because I love to have my intellect stimulated, is this:

The idea of a detached observer who can glean any kind of “objective” truth by observing from a distance without contaminating what is being studied or being contaminated by what is being studied is a false contruct and one based on the Western patriarchal idea that the ideal observer is a white able-bodied property-owning male. Whereas both feminist critical theory and postcolonial critical theory posit that it’s in fact impossible to study a subject without engaging with it and it’s impossible to understand a subject without becoming a part of it and it becoming a part of you.

This relates to creepypasta and to Night Vale in a couple of ways, including the fact that the audience for both are not mere passive receivers of the media but are necessarily a kind of participant in the experience. When you hear the Night Vale podcast, which is done as if it is a public radio program in Night Vale itself being broadcast to its citizens, you as a listener become one of those citizens. When you read a piece of creepypasta and pass it on (or don’t) – some of these take the form of cursed chain letters that you can only lift the curse by passing it on to others – you are part of the story and the life of the meme.

More later if I have time?

Kerry Adrienne’s Book Launch: Artist’s Touch

Today’s the launch day for the new m/m erotic romance from Kerry Adrienne, Artist’s Touch! The book is the first in a new series (The Guild) being published by Ellora’s Cave. I got to talk with Kerry for the occasion and ask her about her writing and about what drew her to writing Artist’s Touch.

Cecilia Tan: Artist’s Touch is the first book in your series, The Guild. From the look of the forthcoming books you’re exploring not just painting, but music, sculpture, and other arts. How did you get the idea for this series?
 
Kerry Adrienne: I love all the arts and dabble in most of them (except cake decorating, which I really, really hate). The idea of an artists’ guild in NYC (the best city in the world), filled with creative men, just hit me as a great place to lose my writing self in. I love the city, the brownstones of the upper west side, and the varying cultures and people of the area. Lots of things to spark stories, and I get to write about all different kinds of writers. Though only three books are contracted right now, I have a couple more ideas for the series.

Cecilia: What drew you to Kenon as a protagonist? 

Kerry: I love a good-looking jerk who is hiding behind his jerkiness. I love unmasking a flawed character.  Continue reading →

Barcelona Trip, tons of slideshows

It’s February 2014 when I am finally getting a chance to post my photos from the Spain trip back in September. I’ve put slideshows from my Picasa albums into the previous posts, but after the sixth day of the vacation I ran out of time to write up anything we did! So here are just some slideshows!

CARDONA, Salt Mine and Castle

FIGUERES, The Dali Museum:

GIRONA:

LES COLS, OLOT:

BARCELONA, VIA VENETO:

BARCELONA: LA PEDRERA

BARCELONA, 41 DEGREES

BARCELONA, PARK GUELL

I read my lesbian BDSM story “Penetration” aloud (NSFW)

In the world of funny coincidences, a short story I wrote almost 20 years ago got two shout outs in the media last week!

The story is “Penetration,” which first appeared in Best Lesbian Erotica 1997, was later reprinted in “Best of Best Lesbian Erotica,” and also appeared in my collection of erotic short stories that HarperCollins published in 1998, Black Feathers. The story became somewhat infamous at the time, especially since I used to read it aloud to squirming audiences everywhere.

At For Books Sake, Ali Williams wrote an article about “Everyday Objects in Erotica,” ranging from food & drink to detachable shower heads.

Then over at Bon Appetit (yes, the gourmet food mag), Rachel Kramer Bussel wrote about “Food in Erotic Literature.” And picked “Penetration” as one of the “12 Examples to Make your Mouth Water.”

Since it’s been so long since the story was published, and right now you can only get it in the ebook of Black Feathers, I thought maybe I’d re-visit those days when this was a staple of the stories I read at women’s bookstores and sexuality conferences and BDSM events and make an audio recording of it.

So here you go, through the magic of “SoundCloud”, seven minutes of Penetration:
https://soundcloud.com/cecilia-tan-author/penetration-short-story

Not Safe For Work!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

People often ask me what I think about Valentine’s Day and I think they expect me to go “ack! p’tui! I hate pink and gooey sentiment and cheap chocolate!”

While all those things are true, though, I love true sentiments, excellent chocolate, and the fact that we HAVE A HOLIDAY SPECIFICALLY ABOUT LOVE. Why wouldn’t I love that? We have how many holidays that are about war? Death? A bunch. We have exactly one holiday which is expressly about love and about appreciating the people you love, and that’s today.

Now, while I think it would be best if people were always so open and free with their emotions that saying “I love you” every single day would be a matter of course, I know not everyone lives in the utopia that I do. Sometimes it’s hard to know what to say or when. There are times when love hurts. But on Valentine’s Day everyone has permission to say it, to express it. Some people need that permission. I don’t begrudge them a holiday that gives it to them.

Yes, I’m the one who told my high school boyfriends that if they ever brought me flowers I was breaking up with them immediately. Why? What I told them, actually, was this: 1) I wasn’t a “girly girl” and if they were going to treat me like one we should not be dating. 2) If they ever felt they had to use flowers as a way to say something, anything, that they felt they couldn’t just TELL ME, then the relationship was already lost. So it wasn’t the flowers themselves I objected to. It was the stupid ways that flowers were often used that I didn’t want to be a party to.

You’ll note I never told them not to get me chocolate, though. I’m not crazy.

Cecilia Tan's books on Goodreads
The Siren and the Sword The Siren and the Sword (Magic University, #1)
reviews: 16
ratings: 88 (avg rating 3.60)

Boys of the Bite: A Gay Vampire Anthology Boys of the Bite: A Gay Vampire Anthology
reviews: 9
ratings: 55 (avg rating 3.65)

The Velderet The Velderet
reviews: 11
ratings: 49 (avg rating 3.98)

The Prince's Boy: Volume One The Prince's Boy: Volume One (The Prince's Boy, #1)
reviews: 21
ratings: 49 (avg rating 3.88)