The Circlet Press Retreat, dubbed “Porn Camp West” for hashtag purposes, went from Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon, and as I’d never been to one and only knew Cecilia Tan (the founder and owner of Circlet), I wasn’t sure what to expect. I trusted Cecilia to put on a good event, though, and I wasn’t disappointed.
One of the interesting things about writing what I do is that I move in a variety of fandoms. Generally, when I’m hanging out with furry writers, I am comfortable discussing adult material, though I sometimes feel like the pornographer in the room (though most of the writers I know have at least dabbled in adult and are perfectly happy to read mine). Hanging out with more traditional F/SF writers, I tend to be less forthcoming about the adult and/or furry nature of my stories, depending on the people. At this gathering of adult writers, I was comfortable talking about the porn, and was surprised to find that everyone was pretty open to furry stories as well. In fact, a couple of the attendees confessed that they’d read “Out of Position,” which continues my startling year of randomly running into non-furries who’ve read my books.
Anyway. We talked about writing sex scenes, of course, but a large part of the retreat focused just on writing good fiction(*), marketing your fiction, and connecting with other authors and readers. Each of us was invited to give a ten-minute “TED Talk” style presentation, so I spoke on “Owning Your Weirdness,” relating my journey from “Oh god is anyone going to buy/like ‘Volle'” to, well, sitting in a non-furry writing group discussing my furry books.
* I seem to recall that at the first “Adult Fiction” panel I did, with K.M. Hirosaki at Furry Fiesta 2009, we said, “How do you write a good erotic story? Write a good story and have sex in it.” Still holds true.
I met many cool people, got to see some readings (we went to Writers With Drinks), and was semi-foxnapped to go on a bookstore run after the retreat ended yesterday. I am constantly surprised at how many awesome people live in the Bay Area, and I’ve just met more, so yay.
If you write sexy stories, check out Circlet’s calls for submissions. If you like sex in your SF/Fantasy, check out their catalog. Specifically, if you are kinky (I know that many of my fans are, even though my sex is usually fairly vanilla), they have a lot of great kinky material you should check out.