Congratulations to Nancy Nunes! She’s the winner of Sacchi’s new anthology. Good luck to everyone else next time!
Hey everyone, Sacchi Green is in the house! She has a new anthology just out from Cleis Press and I’m super excited to let her tell you all about it. Also, she’s giving away a copy of Wild Girls, Wild Nights right here. You want to enter? Just drop a comment into the space below. We’ll leave the drawing open until Friday morning, 6/14. At that point, I’ll announce the winner here at the top of this blog entry.
In addition to the copy Sacchi is giving away here, she’s also giving away three other copies over the course of her twenty-two day blog tour. We’re on day nine now. Check out her website for the tour details and information about how to enter to win one of those three copies.
Here’s the hookup for all things Sacchi and social media:
And of course, buy her books HERE!
Today was supposed to be the first appearance of my latest anthology, Wild Girls, Wild Nights: True Lesbian Sex Stories. As it turns out, and as I pretty much expected, the book came out more than a week ago; I’ve edited six erotica anthologies for Cleis Press, and every one has come out early. No complaints. Efficiency is a great trait in a publisher.
This particular book, though, had a very long gestation period between its first gleam in my publisher’s eye and its final delivery. That was my fault. It took me several years to work up the courage to deal with a book of true stories.
I had co-edited three previous anthologies, for three different presses, none of which are still in existence. Well, I think one still exists, but they merged with a bigger company who didn’t want to deal with fiction at all, leaving many of us orphaned in spite of our contracts. My co-editor and I had sent our first proposal, for Rode Hard, Put Away Wet: Lesbian Cowboy Erotica, to Cleis Press, among others, but were turned down. That was okay; we were new at editing. Our proposal was snapped up by a smaller press, and became our first Lambda Literary Award Finalist.
Four years later, I got a phone call out of the blue from one of the publishers at Cleis. It turned out that they valued efficiency in an editor. They’d had a bad experience with one who’d screwed up the writers’ contracts and payments, and they’d stopped publishing any lesbian erotica beyond their always-excellent Best Lesbian Erotica and Best Lesbian Romance series, but they were ready to try again, and several people had recommended me. They had a title for the new anthology, Girl Crazy, and thought it might work well as true-life stories. I dithered. They relented, and eventually we agreed on coming out and first-time stories, including first times at new things, not just first sex, and no claim of being true. Every now and then over the next few years the topic of true stories came up again, but I’d be reluctant, and we’d agree on something else instead. This time, finally, I had to give it a try.
In my Call for Submissions, I said, among other things:
“You put something of yourself into everything you write. You know you do. Now it’s time to take a deep breath, go that extra step, and write an erotic story firmly grounded in truth. Real encounters, real emotions, real sensations, real people, drawn from memory and transformed by your art into real stories as gripping as any fiction. Some degree of poetic license—or erotic license—is all right. Memories are inevitably filtered through time and experience.”
I was amazed at what I got. Incorporating your memories and longings and secret kinks into fiction is one thing, but putting your name—or a pseudonym your friends may recognize—on a story that exposes intimate, unrestrained details of your own life is something else again. Some great writers I’ve worked with before sent stories under their own names, or at least their usual pseudonyms, although one changed to a new pseudonym at the last minute on her agent’s advice. Authors new to me but with some publication history sent me fine work. Others new to submitting their work were driven by the chance to tell their own stories, and sometimes their work came across as even more believable than that of the skilled professionals.
I’m resisting the temptation to quote my whole introduction here. You can read it, if you’d like, on my blog post of 4/6/13. The most recent posts there are for a Blog Tour the contributors and I are doing, each writer discussing her own story, except in a few cases where the work is reviewed by someone else. Today we’re on Day 9 out of 22. http://sacchi-green.blogspot.com .
What you really want to know is, “How true are these stories, really? How do you know?” Well, in some cases I know the writers and parts of their backgrounds pretty well, and in some cases they’ve given me corroborating details that are convincing. In some cases I really don’t know. Nobody had to sign an affidavit in blood. Some have a great deal of truth to them without being verbatim accounts. One bittersweet May/December romance turns out to be true, with a twist; the author had been the much younger party, but now she’s close to the age the older woman was at the time, so she’s written it very convincingly from the older viewpoint. The most striking example is a story I loved but didn’t believe at all, and didn’t accept at first, but when the publisher asked for an extra story, I mentioned that one, and my contact in their Berkeley office said, “Oh, I heard about that party, and it really happened like that!” Quite a grapevine they have going in the San Francisco Bay area.
You may also want to know if there’s a way to win a free copy of Wild Girls. Commenting on any of the Blog Tour posts will enter you in the drawing there for one of three copies. I’m also offering a separate drawing for one copy here, so comment, even if it’s just to say “Hi,” and you’ll be entered.