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The Inside Reader: Cat Grant

Show me the books he loves and I shall know the man far better than through mortal friends - Silas Weir Mitchell
I think that Cat Grant is one of the few authors writing bisexual romance that I read, and this says a lot, since it's not usually my cup of tea. Cat Grant's romances are almost classical, meaning that they are true and clear good erotic romances, and I assure you, it's not easy to write them. And reading Cat Grant's Inside Reader list, I had the chance to understand it even better, writing "good" erotic romances is not something that comes easily.

Elisa’s Inside Reader column

Thank you, Elisa, for inviting me to contribute to your Inside Reader series. Instead of picking my Top Ten Gay Novels, I thought I’d do something different, and talk about my Top Five Most Useful Reference Sources.

1) Opening Up – Tristan Taormino. This book was an invaluable resource for me in writing my Courtland Chronicles ménage series. Taormino conducted over 120 interviews with a wide range of non-monogamous people of varying ages, sexualities, and approaches to relationships. Deals with the entire spectrum of issues surrounding polyamorous relationships – managing jealousy, coming out, safe sex, legal and financial concerns, raising children in a polyamorous household, etc.

Paperback: 346 pages
Publisher: Cleis Press (May 1, 2008)
Publisher Link: http://www.cleispress.com/book_page.php?book_id=221
ISBN-10: 157344295X
ISBN-13: 978-1573442954
Amazon: Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships

Relationship expert and bestselling author Tristan Taormino offers a bold new strategy for creating loving, lasting relationships. Drawing on in-depth interviews with over a hundred women and men, Opening Up explores the real-life benefits and challenges of all styles of open relationships—from partnered nonmonogamy to solo polyamory. With her refreshingly down-to-earth style and sharp wit, Taormino offers solutions for making an open relationship work, including tips on dealing with jealousy, negotiating boundaries, finding community, parenting, and time management. Opening Up will change the way you think about intimacy.

Also worth reading:

The Ethical Slut – Dossie Easton & Janet W. Hardy
Open: Love, Sex and Life in an Open Marriage – Jenny Block
The Threesome Handbook – Vicki Vantoch

2) SM 101: A Realistic Introduction – Jay Wiseman. A pretty damned comprehensive overview of the BDSM scene. Covers a wide variety of practices, including bondage, spanking, erotic role-playing, etc. I especially love its focus on safety techniques and safe words. Learn the difference between “submissive” and “masochist.” (This is a huge pet peeve of mine re: most BDSM-themed erotica. So many authors get it wrong!) At 400 pages, it’s a bit daunting for the uninitiated, so I’d advise working through it a chapter at a time.

Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Greenery Press (CA) (December 1998)
Publisher Link: http://www.greenerypress.com/101.htm
ISBN-10: 0963976389
ISBN-13: 978-0963976383
Amazon: SM 101: A Realistic Introduction

The long-taboo subject of consensual BDSM (bondage/discipline,dominance/submission, sadomasochism) is coming "out of the closet" - much to the delight of the millions of adults who enjoy engaging in bondage, spanking, erotic role-playing and similar consensual practices. Jay Wiseman's SM 101 has taught the fundamentals of safe, exciting SM to tens of thousands of people of all genders and orientations!

If you’re in the mood for more in-depth research, check out: www.fetlife.com. It’s Facebook for the kinky set. There are forums on every BDSM and/or alternative lifestyle topic you can think of – and even a few you’ve probably never imagined! You’ll need to join to participate in discussions, but people are usually cool with newbies asking questions, as long as you’re respectful.

I’d also recommend reading The Marketplace series by Laura Antoniou, if you can get your hands on them. Amazon shows only two of them, The Slave and The Trainer, as currently in print. It’s the Gone with the Wind of BDSM fiction, and a great look into the mindset of kinky folk.

3) The Joy of Gay Sex – Charles Silverstein & Felice Picano. If you want to learn what gay men do in bed, this is the book. (Although I prefer the illustrations in The Gay Kama Sutra – but sadly, it’s OOP.) If you want to see it in action – watch gay porn!

Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Harper Paperbacks; 3 Rev Exp edition (May 4, 2004)
Publisher Link: http://www.harpercollins.com/books/Joy-Gay-Sex/?isbn=9780060012748
ISBN-10: 0060012749
ISBN-13: 978-0060012748
Amazon: The Joy of Gay Sex, Revised & Expanded

For a new century and a new generation of readers comes a fully revised and expanded edition of a classic guide to gay sex, love, and life. Invaluable as a sex guide, a resource on building self-esteem, and a trusted aid for coming out of the closet, The Joy of Gay Sex covers the ins and outs of gay life alphabetically from "anus" to "wrestling." Noted psychologist Dr. Charles Silverstein has collaborated once again with critically acclaimed novelist Felice Picano on this third edition, updating every single entry and adding nearly thirty new entries. The authors provide positive and responsible advice on safe sex in all its varieties; on emotional and relationship-oriented issues such as long-term couples, loneliness, and growing older; and on scores of diverse topics ranging from spirituality to online dating. With fifty new line drawings by acclaimed illustrator Joseph Phillips, this landmark reference is a necessary addition to every gay man's bookshelf.

On the gay porn tip, the Sean Cody and Corbin Fisher websites usually offer free clips – but if you want more, it’ll cost you. The guys here tend to be the skinny twink type, which isn’t my preference. If you go for the beefier, hairier type, Raging Stallion Studios is a good bet. For gay BDSM porn, try BoundGods.

4) The Power of Point of View – Alicia Rasley. Every writer should keep this book beside his/her desk for quick and easy reference, and reread it from cover to cover at least once a year.

Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Writers Digest Books; 1st. Ed edition (March 11, 2008)
ISBN-10: 1582975248
ISBN-13: 978-1582975245
Amazon: The Power Of Point Of View: Make Your Story Come To Life

Every Character Has a Voice. Point of view isn't just an element of storytelling--when chosen carefully and employed consistently in a work of fiction, it is the foundation of a captivating story. It's the character voice you can hear as clearly as your own. It's the unique worldview that intrigues readers--persuading them to empathize with your characters and invest in their tale. It's the masterful concealing and revealing of detail that keeps pages turning and plots fresh. It's the hidden agenda that makes narrators complicated and compelling. It's also something most writers struggle to understand. In The Power of Point of View, RITA Award-winning author Alicia Rasley first teaches you the fundamentals of point of view (POV)--who is speaking, why, and what options work best within the conventions of your chosen genre. Then, she takes you deeper to explain how POV functions as a crucial piece of your story--something that ultimately shapes and drives character, plot, and every other component of your fiction. Through comprehensive instruction and engaging exercises, you'll learn how to:
- choose a point of view that enhances your characters and plots and encourages reader involvement
- navigate the levels of a character's point of view, from objective viewing to action to emotion
- craft unusual perspectives, including children, animal narrators, and villains
A story changes depending on who's telling it, and The Power of Point of View will help you determine which of your characters can make your story come to life.

5) Self-Editing for Fiction Writers – Renni Brown & Dave King. The only book you’ll ever need for whipping that first draft into shape. Get out those colored markers and get to work!

Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Harper Paperbacks; 2 Sub edition (April 13, 2004)
Publisher Link: http://www.harpercollins.com/books/Self-Editing-Fiction-Writers-Second-Edition/?isbn=9780060545697
ISBN-10: 0060545690
ISBN-13: 978-0060545697
Amazon: Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, Second Edition: How to Edit Yourself Into Print

Hundreds of books have been written on the art of writing. Here at last is a book by two professional editors to teach writers the techniques of the editing trade that turn promising manuscripts into published novels and short stories. In this completely revised and updated second edition, Renni Browne and Dave King teach you, the writer, how to apply the editing techniques they have developed to your own work. Chapters on dialogue, exposition, point of view, interior monologue, and other techniques take you through the same processes an expert editor would go through to perfect your manuscript. Each point is illustrated with examples, many drawn from the hundreds of books Browne and King have edited.

About Cat Grant: I've been writing off and on ever since I was old enough to hold a pencil. I still remember my very first 'published' story, a Jonny Quest adventure I penned in sixth grade. My teacher liked it so much, she had one of the other students illustrate it. That other student went on to become a Hollywood horror-film director.

I've poked around in many different genres. I've written fan fiction for a number of different TV shows, tried my hand at horror and fantasy, but in the end I came back to what I enjoy most - writing about the intimate relationships between men and women, and how love doesn't always happen the way we expect.

Back in 2004, when I became unable to work outside my home, my incredibly supportive husband suggested that I turn this setback into an opportunity, and pursue my dream of becoming a published author. Several years - and untold buckets of sweat later - that dream's finally coming to fruition.

Triad by Cat Grant
Paperback: 220 pages
Publisher: Lyrical Press, Inc (June 1, 2010)
Publisher Link: http://www.lyricalpress.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=2_12&products_id=188
ISBN-10: 1616501839
ISBN-13: 978-1616501839
Amazon: Triad

It's three times the pleasure - ten years on!

Eric Courtland, his wife Ally and husband Nick have been living the sweet life for the past decade, tucked away in their luxurious Tuscan villa. But when a family crisis brings them back to the States, blackmail and an unexpected revelation threaten the delicate balance of their marriage.

Weathering this storm may take everything they have - and still tear them apart.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 15th, 2010 10:57 am (UTC)
I'll definitely get a few of those (once my next uncut paycheque arrives, that is). Thanks, Cat!
Jun. 15th, 2010 07:16 pm (UTC)
I'm on Fetlife, but not doing anything with it, since I'm not playing.

May I also suggest The Leathermen's Handbook, and Getting Into Character: Seven Secrets a Novelist Can Learn From Actors by Brandilyn Collins?
Jun. 15th, 2010 07:42 pm (UTC)
Angelia, if you want, you can also do a whole list ;-) Just send me a PM and we can book a date.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )


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