When I first envisioned this project, I had another title in mind. The V Word. I wanted something edgy and dark. I approached Cleis Press with the idea. I’d written shorts for other Cleis anthologies, appearing in Lesbian Cowboys, Girl Crush, Fairy Tale Lust, Passion, Lesbian Lust, Lesbian Cops, Carnal Machines, and Dream Lovers. I thought I had a pretty good feel for what they were looking for and what might sell. I shipped the proposal. This is what I pitched.
The V Word performs double duty for the concept of this collection. While volumes of erotic vampire collections flood the market, a book of lesbian vampire erotica will provide a different twist. Vampire—Vagina. A more perfect sensual pairing couldn’t be imagined.
Dark hungers, shocking thirsts… For blood, for connection… A sharing of nourishment and comfort… Infliction and acceptance of pain…
Whether the story depicts a traditional blood-drinker seducing a meal, a psychic vampire stealing life-force from an unknowing host, or a real-life sanguinarian seeking a partner to share a ritual bloodletting to cement a bond, the stories will be varied and unexpected. Writers will be encouraged to investigate vampire myths from around the world, looking for something fresh to add to the pantheon.
I have a pretty good ego, but I still thought it was a long shot. Cleis isn’t a romance publisher. Other than a few appearances in their collections, they didn’t really know me. Imagine my surprise when I got an email. Let’s talk! Apparently, they did know me. And they weren’t looking for another erotica collection. They wanted erotic romance. Vampire erotic romance. I had some experience there—it was a match made, well not in heaven, but still a damn good fit.
But the title had to go. I put out a call to my friends and readers. I’m pretty sure my sister came up with Girls Who Bite. A contract came very quickly, and then I had that “uh oh” moment. I had never done anything like this before. I would have to read the submissions, choose those I thought best worked within my vision, and let the rest of them go.
It was harder than I thought it would be. Sure, I received some poorly written stories, but I also had many wonderfully written and imaginative stories I still had to cut. It was a painful process. So many of my friends and colleagues had answered the call. I forced myself to be ruthless.
In the end, I had a stories that were unique, varied, brimming with energy and distinctive voices. I can’t wait to share the stories with you. September 13th can’t come soon enough!
Be watching this blog. I’m working on putting together a contest with some fantastic prizes. In the meantime, any comment on today’s blog counts as an entry for a grab bag of prizes I’m giving away on my personal blog. Check out my website for a list of the contents of that bag!