I’d like to introduce Sacchi Green’s short story collection with a very short exploration of irony. I rarely read short stories and almost never buy erotica. Here’s where the irony comes into play. I’ve blogged before about where’s the love for other sub-genres such as sci-fi, fantasy, or honestly anything but traditional romance because selfishly I write in all those sub-genres. Sometimes people read my sci-fi or paranormal books and are surprised how much they like them. Well…in preparation for the honor of being a part of this wonderful blog tour, I read Wild Rides and Other Erotic Lesbian Adventures. To say I loved this collection of shorts would be a huge understatement. I am sufficiently embarrassed that I’ve been such a erotoshortphobe (my made up word)! I will never, ever bypass erotica or shorts again. Oddly ironic, huh?
Please hang in there because guess what, there’s a giveaway link (in addition to what Dirt Road Books is giving away, I tossed in one of mine as well – The Book Witch) at the end and an audio clip! So…without further delay in Sacchi Green’s words…
Short Stories In a Sea of Novels
Thanks for letting me ramble on here about writing short stories and erotica, a subject I never seem to tire of, especially now when my collection Wild Rides and Other Erotic Lesbian Adventures has just been published by Dirt Road Books. And many thanks to the wonderful folks at Dirt Road who are willing to take a chance on me, and on short stories.
Not that short stories are in danger of disappearing entirely; genres like science fiction and fantasy still welcome them. With readers of lesfic, there’s still a bit of interest in them, though not as much as there used to be. In romance, especially, readers understandably want to be immersed in the worlds of the characters for a very long time. In erotica, which is also seeing diminished attention, that novel preference may hold as well, although I’m not as familiar with those.
What I am familiar with is the general preference for novels, and the long-imbedded opinions that erotica is a lesser form of fiction, sometimes referred to as “plot what plot?” or similar catch-phrases. I don’t deny that there’s some cause for that, but there are still excellent authors doing fine writing that includes that vital part of our lives, sex. I know that because I’ve edited fifteen or so anthologies of their work.
General whining and moaning aside, I’ve seen some discouraging data. For example, in the sources of awards in LGBT+ writing, nominations of erotica have dwindled, and in some cases the categories have changed because of that. I’ve won the Lambda Award in erotica twice, and had nine Finalists, but that was out of a small range of nominations, and now the gay and lesbian erotica categories have been combined to just barely make one category worth saving. The all-lesbian Golden Crown Literary Society has now dropped anthologies from its erotica category, leaving only erotica novels (which may not make up enough to stand alone) and placing the erotica anthologies in the general anthology category. I’m willing to champion the quality of erotica anthologies to be equal to that of any others, but I’ve also been told that they have a great deal of trouble in getting judges willing to read any kind of erotica at all. I don’t know that the same holds for short stories in general, but I do occasionally get one-star reviews on Amazon complaining that the reader hadn’t realized that the book had only short stories. Even though it was labeled as an anthology. Sigh.
So onward, in defense of short stories, erotic or not.
First, short stories are a fine way of finding new writers that you might want to follow. Second, some writers just happen to be short story writers at heart, the way some find novels their more natural form. There is excellent, even brilliant, work being done in short stories, and it doesn’t take much time for a reader to read one to discover that. Third, maybe the last I’ll try to explain, there are times when less is more, when carefully constructed scenes, where each word counts, can be more intense than drawn-out wordy ones, like vivid miniature paintings, or small gems in just the right setting.
How can a reader find the good ones? All I can advise, for erotica, is to search out the publishers who seem to produce the best books, and sometime follow your favorite novelists when they write the occasional short story. I can say with no modesty that scanning the table of contents of the anthologies I’ve edited for, say, Cleis Press and Lethe Press, will show you names of writers whose stories are well worth looking out for. And getting back, at last, to the new collection of my own work, you can decide whether you like my style or not (or styles, for that matter—variety is my best trait,) and even if my work is not to your taste, you can be sure that any other editors’ anthology you see my name in will include many more writers whose work you really shouldn’t miss. And that includes some anthologies edited by several of the folks at Dirt Roads Books, some of whom have also contributed to my anthologies in the past. A small world, right?
Whew. Rambling, or rather rant, off. Thanks for putting up with it!
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Sacchi Green is a Lambda Award-winning writer and editor of erotica and other stimulating genres. She lives in western Massachusetts, with an alternate retreat in the mountains of New Hampshire and occasional forays into such real world spots as NYC for readings. Her work has appeared in scores of publications, including multiple volumes of Best Lesbian Erotica, Best Women’s Erotica, Best Transgender Erotica, and Best Fantasy Erotica, and she’s also edited seventeen anthologies over the last fourteen years, most of them lesbian erotica. Nine have been finalists for Lambda Literary Awards, and two of those have been Lambda winners, while four have won Golden Crown Literary Society awards. All these awards, of course, are actually due to the fine writers who trust her with their work.
Sacchi has most recently edited Best Lesbian Erotica of the Year 20th Anniversary Edition, Best Lesbian Erotica of the Year Volume 2 and Volume 3, and, possibly the most fun of all, Witches, Princesses and Women at Arms: Erotic Lesbian Fairy Tales. Her very first novel is Shadow Hand, a superheroine book that puts a new twist on the genre, and her newest publication is a collection of her own short stories, Wild Rides and Other Lesbian Erotic Adventures, from Dirt Road Books. You can find her online at: https://www.facebook.com/sacchi.green and http://sacchi-green.blogspot.com, and contact her at email@example.com.