Ordeal By Pagan Passion

Wednesday, the day of Wodin, the most powerful of the Norse gods. Who could feel secure on a Wodinsday? I guess I could just hang about to see if I could get selected as a Valkyrie since I’ve had rejections slips from the other big six publishing gods. 

But even more worrying is the pagan ordeal that lies ahead. Rather than diving down to collect dead warriors on my horse, all I have to do is meet the book buying public. They will be able to poke and question me. They will be able to mock my prose and ask me to expose my purple literary cellulite. Writing of love and passion in the warm air of France with a glass of wine, responding to the remembered thrill of new love and a view of a muscular sun bronzed young man forking his harvest is easy. Presenting my somewhat experienced and time washed persona to the masses is NOT.  All the same, I have signed up to attend the Festival of Romance in the historic city of Bedford, UK. I just know I can do it….

The good news for all you scribes out there is that if you are not already a block busting mega stegosaurus you can enter their New Talent competition. Check out the details below.


New Talent Award aims to uncover romantic fiction authors of the future
The Festival of Romance is delighted to announce that the New Talent Award will run again this year. The industry judges are Georgina Hawtrey-Woore senior editor at Cornerstones, Random House and Diane Banks, literary agent at the Diane Banks Associates Literary Agency. The Festival of Romance New Talent Award aims to cast a spotlight on the authors of tomorrow and is open to all writers who have not yet had a book commercially published. Writers may submit the opening chapter (up to 3,500 words) of a romantic novel of any type by 30th September 2012. The winner and runners-up will be announced and presented with trophies at the gala Festival of Romance Awards on Friday 16th November 2012. There is a small entry fee to cover the award administration. Entrants may also gain a critique of their entry written by a professional novelist.
“As part of the Festival of Romance we want to help new writers with talent get their break into the commercial fiction world,” says Kate Allan, chief romantic at the Festival of Romance. “At the Festival of Romance in November we are running writing workshops, an industry conference and chance to meet publishers face to face as well as the New Talent Award. I’m delighted that Georgina Hawtrey-Woore and Diane Banks have agreed to judge this year’s entries.”
Winner of the 2011 New Talent Award Henriette Gyland subsequently garnered a book deal from publishers Choc Lit. Her debut novel Up Close will be published in December 2012.
For more details about how to enter the New Talent Award please see www.festivalofromance.co.uk
Anyway, here I am back in the UK. I’m trying to drive on the left 

and live without plat cote de boeuf cooked in a full bodied red. I 

had severe warm baguette withdrawal symptoms this morning. It is 

tough but I’m coping.



Emma thinx:  Never stop doing within what you can’t do without.



Writing the Sex in the Text



Shall we talk about sex? Oh OK – if you really want me to. I write Romance. Well – love and sex actually. In “Knockout” there is a story but it is a story about a sexy woman going headlong into a passionate sexathon with a beautiful guy. They do it in her bed. She does it all on her own. They do it in his bed, in Paris, several other places and they do it on a boat. They kiss and caress the burning totality of each other’s lips. They adore each other’s skin and musk. She craves the untiring hard knot of his controlling, urgent muscles. He longs for her abandon, surrender and softness They eat highly flavoured food and breathe the garlic of shared ecstasy. They drink champagne and lie naked in the warm open air almost as a sacrifice on the altar of lust. Oooh….if I don’t stop tweaking the knobs I’ll have to jump in a cold bath. And just think – it was me, a middle aged working woman who wrote it.

self portrait

 The basic reason why I write this kinda stuff is that I love it in life and I love it in fantasy. I know it may be a brazen to say that, but it’s true and if I’m honest then in my writing about sex I’m not short changing my readers. When I write a sex scene I am there and willing it on. Actually, it’s writing itself.


There are technical problems in writing about sex. The big one (Oooh steady on) is the line between artistic, pornographic, anatomical, purple and naff. Different generations and cultures have different levels of frankness and taste. In the supermarket today I noted that I could present myself for chlamydia venereal disease testing while I was waiting for a new batch of granary wholemeal bread to reach the shelves. All those intimate swabs quite put me off the idea of a nice buttered crust.  I was reading some supermarket Romance where the young lady presented her sexual arousal by way of her “dampened swath”. That brought me out in a fit of the giggles. I figured if things didn’t gel with the guy at least she could wipe down the kitchen worktops. In another similar epic, the young lady exposed her “creamy crevice” – so far this is the worst image I have ever encountered. Well, at least there is some classy alliteration. Finding the words, the euphemisms and the poetic passion of human juice is not always easy. Just this morning I encountered a curly triangle of love. Well, I suppose if your car broke down you could prop it up in the road to warn other drivers of an obstruction. It’s all about context is it not?

knobs and shafts

When it comes to the male side of the park, obviously a female can only guess and ask a lot of questions. My lover man is never shy. His only complaint is that males only get to ride one wave while  females can stay in surfing all day. – (Hmmm – depends on the quality of the water). Males provide more vocabulary problems. I have a few dislikes – such as swollen manhoods. It always makes me think of those old naval war films where they wear 10 layers of clothing under a duffle coat.. Luckily, my readers are mostly female and factors such as size of hands, width of shoulders and tone of voice can excite more response than shafts, lengths and pulsating needs. For fun I googled “knobs and shafts”. Not quite what I had in mind. With males it’s just so easy to get lost in engineering. 


But here is the core of the issue. People like sex. Even people who do not want actual full contact sex are interested in it. Sex is us. We are born what we are and half the world has the opposite set of bits. 

And then, of course there is love. Oh Love, oh love, love, love. This purest thing, rejoicing in the pollution of its own sense, losing focus so as to see nothing but the other. It is where the ego both asserts its power to give and shrivels in a humility of powerless longing. Our love finds expression and escape in physical sex. Cold sex is what my friend the poet Oscar Sparrow describes as the “gaping gash of loveless love”. Getting this blend right is the work of the humble hack Romance writer. 

“Knockout!” my romance novel on Kindle is FREE on Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th January if you want to check out how I deal with these tender literary parts.

Amazon USA
Amazon UK


Emma thinx: Love me – love my love.