Book Reviews

Since anybody can comment on/review a book, why should you read my reviews?

Your choice of course, but I’d like to set out a little of the background:

Recently returned to ERWA, the Erotica Readers and Writers Association (www.eroticareaders.com/‎), after a long absence, I’m hoping to get back to reading and critiquing the work of writers and aspiring writers.  ERWA has always been the place to go to learn and to improve your writing – a writing community where members are supportive, where many members have extensive experience and knowledge – often having started their writing careers with ERWA – where newcomers are welcome and kindly received.

Without ERWA my own “Aphrodite Overboard” – a book which I am endlessly proud to have written – might never have come into existence.  Without the confidence some of the readers and writers there gave to me a number of anthologies might well have been published without my contributions, and my up-coming new book, ‘Islands’ might never have been written.

ERWA helped me to discover that I knew a good story when I saw one and, before my life became both hectic and difficult there was a time when authors there were very glad of my critical input.  When I began to host other writers’ work on my website some years ago, in a section called ‘Velvet Tongues’ (Les Langues de Velours) I was happily able to help one writer transform a story that didn’t quite work into a story nominated for an erotica award.

I want, now, to take the art of constructive criticism one logical step further.

I write – and read accordingly – with an agenda.  I will not pretend otherwise.  That agenda is informed by the fact that I believe human society, by and large, has ‘got sex wrong’ and the effects are sometimes just sad, sometimes catastrophic.  There is little more catastrophic than a child being driven to suicide because of the fixed and unquestioning prejudices of those around him (or her or whatever), than an individual being scourged, imprisoned, executed, for no more than being different to what the perceived majority thinks they should be, than a human being suffering rape and abuse, physical and mental, because fundamental and stupid prejudices are insufficiently challenged.

Like others I have my own definition of erotica and pornography.  Pornography cynically exploits, metaphorically sends its children to beg on the streets in order that it may itself live in comfort.  Erotica collaborates affectionately, facilitates fantasy that oppresses no-one.

On such bases, then, and time permitting, I hope to critique more books and stories and to respond genuinely to what I find.  I hope it will prove useful.

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