Hey guess what, friends?
Today is my second anniversary as Bellesa‘s Smut Queen! And to be honest, it’s feeling a little surreal. I was gonna tweet about it but then the thread got so absurdly long soooo it’s a blog post now instead.
I thought I’d take myself on a journey through some of the highlights of my favourite stories and the noteworthy friendships I’ve made since I got here.
And I’d be honoured to have you come (heh) along with me on this ride.
Strangers on a Train was the very first short erotic story I wrote for Bellesa. The one that opened the conversation that would eventually turn into this multi-year affair with an awesome family that welcomed me as one of their own. The story involves a beautiful stranger, conveniently vacant public transportation, and a young woman unabashedly receiving and owning her pleasure.
The Birthday Bash was also amongst the first stories that I crafted, and it’s one I hold the dearest. It’s still one of the most widely read on the site (probably helps that it was picked up by Cosmo UK). But it also played a big role in me starting to own my bisexuality, so I like to think it evokes a little of that in readers who are in a similar state to when I was when I wrote it.
But my favorite of the stories I wrote in the earliest of days is Compliance Risk. I loved these three little vignettes so much that they went onto inspire my first (yet to be published!) erotic novel. Stay tuned for more info on that. In the meantime, feel free to start to get to familiarize yourself a bit with these characters. 🙂
The OG Three
There are three ladies in particular who also really made my first year something to write home about (who are all still with me today!). Frankly, I’ll never run out of good things to say about these incredible, talented women.
Not long after I took on this role, I met Lauren Emily. As I’ve mentioned in the past, she’s the first writer hired and I’m so effing proud of what she’s done since I’ve been able to call her a friend.
Her first story “We Just Work Together” turned into our first erotic serial turned first e-book. Since then, she’s written three more multi-part series and a couple standalone tales. In every story, her characters are beautiful inside and out, and all the colours of the queer and race rainbows. (As many of you may know by now, I have a massive crush on literally every single one of them.) Her overall story world-building is superb, and it seems she’s one of your faves too – she’s one of the most read authors in Bellesa herstory.
So we’re pretty stoked that she found us AND stuck around. I’ve watched her grow so much over the past two years, and I’m just so so so excited to see what she’s got in store for us this year.
The next partner in smutty crime to come into my life was Eva Monroe, blasting onto the scene with her story “To Sir, With Lust” which has become two of our inaugural e-publications.
She’s a mysterious babe who oozes sexuality and doesn’t exist on social media right now, only adding to her mystique. Like most of the people I meet through this gig, I’ve only had the pleasure of connecting with her virtually, but it has no bearing on how infectious her good vibes are. She’s been an absolute joy and inspiration to have on this journey and I’m so glad she’s sailing into this next year with me.
Eva Monroe continues to write incredible steamy scenes heavy on the kink and BDSM elements with genderless characters, and you can expect to see some really big things from her in our bookstore in the not-so-distant future.
The third most noteworthy queen to find me back in that first year is Anne Stagg. This woman, you guys… Not only has she written a very compelling mythos in the fantasy world she has built for us, but she is easily one of the loveliest, most benevolent people I’ve ever met.
She is freakishly tuned into me, or perhaps we are to each other. (Often, I just have to think about her and an email will magically appear.) She’s unfathomably generous with her time, her love, and her support to the community at large. And she never fails to help me add fun new words to my vocabulary collection. Definitely proud to call her sister and have her word witchiness in my coven.
Her ongoing “Mound of Gaia” series is the most magical, most diverse creation we have in our library, and I’m eternally humbled that I get to work with her and her words on a regular basis.
But wait, there’s more!
Towards the end of the year, I was introduced to the legendary Kay Brandt who donated some of her own work, particularly the epically popular first book to the World of Cherry lesbian erotica series. She also brought a few other writers into my scope, most notably amongst them being Dr. J, who would come into much more significant play a little later on in the game.
The last story I wrote in 2017 is still one of my top lifetime faves. Diamonds and Pearls was inspired by the time I spent in East Africa. I felt compelled to captured some of the local scene I was taking in and even managed to find a way to incorporate some smut into the moment. It’s a nice slow burn, and apparently, it’s also a fan favourite.
Though, I can’t decide if the best part for me was when E. T. Costello called it out as a great example of how to make a condom sexy, or when I read it live for a blogger friend in exchange for one of theirs over Skype. 😉
Rolling into 2018, I decided kind of last minute that going to Eroticon was something I really needed to do. (Again, I’ll write more on that soon, I promise.) When I came home from that, I wrote The Edge of Glory, which might have been the most, ahem… feverish bit of writing I’ve ever done. Mostly because I was stuck in a weird loop of suddenly watching exclusively glory hole brothel porn and decided to capture that highly charged energy for creative purposes.
Devotee was the people’s choice for my best story this year, but my personal favourite story to write? It was a tie between Comings and Goings – a bisexual lady-loving Tinder hookup in an airport, and Hey, Babe – the story of a woman who ruthlessly exacts her revenge on a guy who is so not worth her time anymore.
More Sister(and Brother)hood
Eroticon is also where I met Exhibit A who has gone on to become an invaluable colleague and dear friend. Since then, we have featured two of his stories on Bellesa — Dark Sky and Woken — which are two of the most consistently read stories on the site.
(On that note: I really hope to connect with a bunch more smutty wordsmiths at Eroticon this year, so keep me on your radar if you’re attending too!)
High on that conference momentum, I reached out to and linked up with the founding members of the Sisters in Smut which brought a whole plethora of collaborative smutty goodness into my life and to Bellesa, including the epically sexy and endlessly entertaining Horatio Slice care of Oleander Plume, Flipping the Switch and Tease (one of the top rated reads on Bellesa in 2018) from Mischa Eliot, and When the Sheets Talk from the infamous Dr. J.
Aaaand just a couple more things
I launched my blog so I could be even closer to all you lovelies, which I’m sure is one of the biggest reasons why the volume and quality of submissions I’ve received lately have gone WAY up. I especially like it when names of writers I already know to be talented storytellers (and have a good grasp of the written language) pop into my inbox. Bless you all and keep ’em coming! (More submission details here.)
And finally, outside the erotica bubble, I also wrote a couple of pieces for the Bellesa Collective (the non-smutty but still pretty sexy branch of the Bellesa empire) about endometriosis and going to all-women sex parties that may interest you.
Sooo… Round Three?
Oh, man! The amount of schemes and dreams I have a-brewin’ right now, lemme tell you…
I could drone on forever. Instead, here’s a quick list of the top things I hope to accomplish in my third year with Bellesa:
1) Gush over being published in the upcoming Sisters in Smut anthology, Chemical [se]X Vol. 2: Just One More…
2) Attend Eroticon again; reunite with old friends, make new ones; stay for the Meet and Greet, don’t have another panic attack
3) Finish the editing etc. process on my manuscript so y’all can finally read it
4) Meet the Sisters in Smut in person
5) Get my ass to Chicago to hold Lauren Emily in real life (and if I drive, maybe take a little detour to pop in at Anne Stagg’s en route.)
6) Connect with and feature even more amazing smutty wordsmiths in our ever-growing collection of high-quality erotica
7) Double-down on the continued honing of my editor chops — maybe even find a mentor and/or take some classes
8) Draft the sequel to the aforementioned first manuscript
9) Properly launch the Bellesa Publications and complimentary Bookstore initiatives to diversify how I can collaborate with authors and the opportunities ($$$) we can offer them
10) Fall even deeper in love with all of you ?