Erotica Readers & Writers Association Blog

Friday, December 28, 2012

And Now For Something Completely Different...


This blog post is by Elizabeth Black, who writes erotic fiction and dark fiction. Friend her on Facebook and visit her web site at http://elizabethablack.blogspot.com/.

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It's Christmastime, and the man knocking at your door is wearing warm, red clothes. He carries a walking stick. His long, white beard reaches his belt. He may even have horns. When you answer the door, you see a pulkka, which is a type of toboggan pulled by reindeer that can't fly. The man turns to you and asks "Onko täällä kilttejä lapsia?" (Are there (any) well-behaved children here?) You should invite him inside since he came all the way from the Korvantunturi mountains. He's had a long trip.

No, that man is not Santa Claus. He is a Joulupukki, or "Yule Buck", which is a pagan tradition found in Finland. I learned this after watching the Finnish movie "Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale". It's kind of a combination of the story of Santa and his elves and "The Thing". Very bizarre but good. According to the Internet Movie Database, this movie is about the following: "On Christmas Eve in Finland, Santa Claus is unearthed in an archaeological dig. Soon after, children start disappearing, leading a boy and his father to capture Santa and, with the help of fellow hunters, they look to sell him back to the corporation that sponsored the dig. And then there's Santa's elves, who are determined to free their leader..."

Intriguing, isn't it? This isn't your usual Christmas story. I like unusual folklore and it influences my erotic fiction. I specialize in erotic fairy tales. Most people look to Hans Christian Anderson and Grimm for their fairy tale inspirations. I've done the same with my two tales "Climbing Her Tower" (erotic Rapunzel) and "Trouble In Thigh High Boots" (erotic Puss In Boots). I'm about to publish an erotic version of "The Little Mermaid" but this one won't resemble the sanitized Disney version at all. Great pain stabs into the mermaid's legs and feet with every step she takes, like in the fairy tale. She also does not win the prince in the end, as in the fairy tale. Looking to the dark origins of such stories make the erotic tales much more exciting.

Even more interesting are stories based on unusual legends. Two of my earlier erotic short stories were based on Japanese folklore. In the first one, entitled "Mud Licker", rather than rely on the usual (and somewhat tired) vampires, werewolves, and zombies, I created an erotic creature based on the Japanese akaname. This creature lives in bathrooms and cleans them with its two foot long tongue. Imagine what else it can do with that tongue, and you have a cracking erotic story. My other story entitled "Fountain Of Youth" is based on a Japanese shapeshifting tale about a ... you guessed it ... fountain of youth. The lesson of that story is to be careful what you wish for. Both stories are available at Amazon. The first appears in the "Like A Myth" anthology published by Circlet Press. The second is a stand-alone short story published by Romance Divine.

My point is that writers need to look outside the box when they are considering inspirations for their fiction. European folklore tends to be the most common inspiration. Look outside Europe to Africa and Native American folklore as well as Indian, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, and other Asian influences for some very unusual folklore. Hence my interest in Finnish folklore during the Christmas season and Japanese lore. If you wish to write an erotic vampire story, rather than the usual blood-sucker who dresses like a head waiter, why not test-run the Indonesian jenglot? Aren't familiar with it? Look it up. And get excited over the possibilities.

When you broaden your gaze outside your normal comfort zone, all sorts of riches await you. Yes, you are treading in unfamiliar territory, but isn't that the point of writing? You test your resolve and stretch your writing muscles. If you want to stand out in the crowd, you have to do something different. Standing out in the crowd is very important since these days there is a glut of writers creating erotic fiction. It's easy to get lost in that sea of books. Here's a great New Year's resolution: Give your readers the treat of something they've never seen before. Not only will you expand your vision, you will gain some new fans. And new fans are always wonderful.

About Elizabeth Black

Elizabeth Black writes erotica, erotic romance, speculative fiction, fantasy, and horror. She also enjoys writing erotic retellings of classic fairy tales. Born and bred in Baltimore, she grew up under the influence of Edgar Allan Poe. Her erotic fiction has been published by Xcite Books (U. K.), Circlet Press, Ravenous Romance, Scarlet Magazine (U. K.), and other publishers. Her horror fiction has appeared in "Kizuna: Fiction For Japan", "Stupefying Stories", and "Mirages: Tales From Authors Of The Macabre". An accomplished essayist, she was the sex columnist for the pop culture e-zine nuts4chic (also U. K.) until it folded in 2008. Her articles about sex, erotica, and relationships have appeared in Good Vibrations Magazine, Alternet, CarnalNation, the Ms. Magazine Blog, Sexis Magazine, On The Issues, Sexy Mama Magazine, and Circlet blog. She also writes sex toys reviews for several sex toys companies.

In addition to writing, she has also worked as a gaffer (lighting), scenic artist, and make-up artist (including prosthetics) for movies, television, stage, and concerts. She worked as a gaffer for "Die Hard With A Vengeance" and "12 Monkeys". She did make-up, including prosthetics, for "Homicide: Life On The Street". She is especially proud of the gunshot wound to the head she had created with makeup for that particular episode. She also worked as a prosthetic makeup artist specializing in cyanotic blue, bruises, and buckets of blood for a test of Maryland's fire departments at the Baltimore/Washington International Airport plane crash simulation test. Yes, her jobs are fun.  ;)

She lives in Lovecraft country on the Massachusetts coast with her husband, son, and four cats. The ocean calls her every day, and she always listens. She has yet to run into Cthulhu.

Visit her web site at http://elizabethablack.blogspot.com/
Follow her at Twitter: http://twitter.com/ElizabethABlack

4 comments:

  1. Fabulous post, Elizabeth! You and C. Sanchez-Garcia should chat. (He'll be joining the ERWA blog in February). He has some stories based on Japanese legend.

    I didn't know about your real-world occupation! Of course, one might ask how "real world" it is to concoct simulated monsters and fatal bullet wounds. I'd answer - just as real as making readers sweat through your stories!

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  2. Thanks LIsabet! My real world work was just as fantastic as my fiction writing. :) I had such a blast doing that kind of work. I could never function in an office setting. LOL

    Japanese legends are very out there but fun. I also love horror movies and Japanese horror movies are amongst my favorites. I love folklore from non-European cultures. Amazing stuff.

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  3. If you don't know about this demented children's storybook, you should: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Struwwelpeter

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  4. Thanks, Anonymous. I have heard of that one.

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