Erotica Readers & Writers Association Blog

Friday, October 21, 2016

A Few Kicks



By Lisabet Sarai

Let me entertain you.
Let me see you smile.
Let me do a few tricks,
Some old and then some new tricks;
I'm very versatile.

- Stephen Sondheim, from Gypsy

I grew up singing musicals. When I was still in grade school, I knew most of the lyrics from "My Fair Lady", "South Pacific", "West Side Story", and "The Sound of Music". We had all the records (LPs, of course). My mom, in particular, used to play them while she was doing housework. I've always picked up songs and verse, without really trying. So I can still sing "On the Street Where You Live", "I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Out of My Hair" and "Tonight", as well as dozens more classics.

One of my mother's favorites was "Gypsy". I can see why, nowshe was a bit like Gypsy Rose Lee's mom, flamboyant and stage struck. (It was her idea, for instance, for me and my two siblings to perform on a local TV amateur hour.) As for me, I was fascinated with the character of the famous burlesque star. I must have known even at that young age that there was something naughty about Gypsy's vocation. (I've always had instincts about that sort of thing!) Anyway, I would belt out "Let Me Entertain You" while I was doing the dishes, in between renditions of "Have an Eggroll, Mr. Goldstone" and "If Mama Was Married".

As I was thinking about a post for the ERWA blog this month, I realized that the song above could be my author-ly theme. I don't write to become famous (it'll never happen) or to contribute to the canon of great literature (despite my fantasies). For the most part, I write because I want to entertain my readers - and myself. And like Gypsy, I'm very versatile. I write in a wide range of different styles and genres, depending on my mood.

Want serious BDSM romance? Try The Gazillionaire and the Virgin. Steampunk fantasy? I can recommend Rajasthani Moon. Do you like M/M stories? Pick up a copy of Necessary Madness or Quarantine. For lesbian erotica, sample The Witches of Gloucester. If vampires are your thing, there’s Fire in the Blood, my M/M/F vampire ménage set in Jamaica. Speaking of ménage, my backlist includes Truce of Trust (M/F/M with a touch of BDSM), Monsoon Fever (M/M/F historical), and Wild About That Thing (M/F/M contemporary) among other titles. I’ve written paranormal, suspense, science fiction, and hard core BDSM erotica. About the only genres I haven’t tackled are Western (though my short story “Spank Me Again, Stranger” is set in cowboy country) and sweet romance (though I’ve been tempted to try the latter, just to see if I could keep my nasty streak under control).

I've noticed that many authors seem to specialize, to carve out a niche and stick to it. Not me. I'm easily bored, I guess. Or presenting myself in a more favorable lightI like to challenge myself by attempting to write in new genres. At the moment I have one WIP that's paranormal (vampire and shifter), one that's a satirical retelling of Faust, and one that’s dark BDSM. If that's not versatile, I'm not sure what you’d call it.

There's another song from "Gypsy", sung by several of Gypsy's fellow strippers, called "You Gotta Get a Gimmick":

You can pull all the stops out
Till they call the cops out,
Grind your behind till you're banned
But you've gotta get a gimmick
If you wanna get a hand.
You can sacrifice your saccro
Working in the back row.
Bump in a dump till you're dead.
Kid, you gotta have a gimmick
If you wanna get ahead.

I sure hope that this isn't true. I'm too busy exploring to figure out a "gimmick". My stories have some common features and themes, I guess, but they are all quite different. That's both good and bad. A reader who has experience with one of my books doesn't really know what to expect from the next. On the other hand, for a reader who likes surprises... well, I can show her a few tricks.

(Maybe I should write a story that revolves around musicals...!)

2 comments:

  1. "I have often walked down this street before,/but the pavement always stayed beneath my feet before./All at once am I/Several stories high/'Cause I'm here on the street where you live."
    This is an entertaining post, Lisabet. My mom used to do housework to the recorded sound of the same musicals. I wonder how many of us were influenced at a formative age by those words, and plots.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Not to mention....

    "I'm gonna wash that man right out of my hair,
    And send him on his way..."

    And

    "I was serenely independent and content before we met
    Surely I could always be the same again... and yet,
    I've grown accustomed to the trace
    Of something in the air..."

    I could go on like this for some time...!

    (Talk about useless skills!)

    ReplyDelete

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