I’m thrilled to announce that the first title to be released by I Heart Media Press is the paperback edition of Venice is for Lovers: Erotica from The Miracle in July—Act One! It’ll hit the Amazon “shelf” (and a ton of other places) the 1st Quarter of 2011. That’s very soon, my fellow revolutionaries!
The ebook edition of this erotic anthology has been available in multiple formats since the 2nd Quarter of 2010 on Smashwords, where it’s slowly building up an audience. It’s hard to get reader attention on Smashwords—the tools for promotion are almost non-existent—but I do well enough that they send me a tidy check every quarter. But that’s not good enough. I know we can do much better with our small (but utterly ambitious) press house and international distribution channel.
Here’s the cover of my soon-to-be-released book…isn’t it sexy?
Even sexier? Esteemed and equally revolutionary author and media ecologist Paul Levinson wrote the Foreword for VIFL! Here it is:
Erotic communication online has been publicly known at least since the Minitel in France in the early 1980s. I’d bet there was plenty of it on earlier online systems. In those days, it was all text. As the history of the written word should tell us, text was no handicap. Indeed, the faceless quality of the written word, its capacity to evoke any and all things in the hands and minds of fine writers and readers, gave it a power that exceeded even physical contact, in some respects. The written word also carried with it the possibility of total deception, which made it even more dangerously appealing to some.
In the 21st century, Second Life and kindred avatar systems have endowed online sexuality with a graphic component. But text, irrepressible, was never far from the surface. In Michelle Anderson’s Venice Is For Lovers, text is back in the saddle…though no metaphor or allusion in her sizzling book is as worn as that.
The story is based, Anderson says, on a series of erotic encounters she had with a Danish gentleman. Each instant-messaged detailed sexual fantasies to the other, with both playing their loving escalating parts, though love was not the purpose. The book reproduces some of those exchanges, with a little commentary, before and after, by the author.
Anderson says in this anthology of messages that the gentleman is real, and the exchanges really happened. I couldn’t tell you if they really did, only that they are invitingly written. I’m pretty sure Michelle Anderson is real, because I met her briefly over lunch at an academic conference in New York this past October. As for the Danish guy—enough already with my use of “gent”—I don’t know if it matters. Either way, in any configuration of real and fictional, the anthology-diary works. It’s almost an online, textual kind of Inception, with layers of interwoven virtuality and semi-dream states, including one hot passage in which the guy is in bed with the author (this is the surface fantasy) deep massaging her and then more while she sleeps, which gets her to dream about an encounter with a woman, all while she’s partly aware that she’s really dreaming.
The writing is explicit, poetic, detailed, colorfully tinted. The story gives good insight into how women think (at least, as far as I know), and provides a compelling tableau of erotic life at the intersection of real and virtual worlds. This is too much for CBS to pick up as a new sitcom. But, Showtime, are you listening?
Yours in Provocation,