Update and Call for Submissions

October 6, 2010


Yes, it’s me. I’m still here. Still crazy busy. Have two books coming out with Ellora’s Cave in the near future, so working on edits for those. Just finished submitting a short story last week and will be writing a new short story for a submission call, deadline 11/1/10. And there’s still NaNo to get ready for. And, of course, working at the J.0.B. And more writing!

Speaking of a submission call. Here’s one that’s perfect for this time of year.

Red Velvet and Absinthe: Gothic Tales of Erotic Romance
Editor: Mitzi Szereto
Publisher: Cleis Press
Deadline: January 1, 2011
Payment: $50-70 (payable on publication) and 2 copies of the anthology

Author and anthology editor Mitzi Szereto is currently seeking original stories for an exciting new anthology of Gothic Erotic Romance.

What I’m looking for:

Well-developed story lines and well-crafted prose told in a unique voice and containing interesting characters and settings. Think atmosphere, passion, desire… imaginative stories that send a shiver up your spine and make your heart beat faster. Readers should be able to feel the red velvet beneath their fingertips and taste the absinthe on their tongue! Tales that contain supernatural beings such as ghosts, vampires, werewolves, witches, shapeshifters, demons, and other entities of a paranormal nature are welcome, as are those of the Wuthering Heights variety with tormented heroes and dark secrets. Stories may be set in the past, present, or future. Stories from female and male writers are welcome, as are those written from the POV of characters of any gender and containing characters of any sexual orientation (including those that haven’t yet been created!). Take your inspiration from the pens of the Brontë sisters, Mary Shelley, Daphne du Maurier, Bram Stoker, Anne Rice, Poppy
Z. Brite, Stephenie Meyer, Laurell K. Hamilton…

Note that sexually explicit content is acceptable as well as a more subtle approach; however, no stock sex scenes or formulaic writing/terminology. Please refer to my previous anthologies to get an idea of the variety and style of content I look for. No excessive gore or violence. No reprints.

Deadline: January 1, 2011 (I’ll be selecting stories on a rolling basis, therefore earlier submissions are strongly encouraged, though I’ll still consider stories that make it in by the deadline).

Publication date: Autumn 2011

One-time payment in the range of USD $50-70 (payable on publication) and 2 copies of the anthology.

Word count preferred: 3,000 to 6,500.

Submission requirements:

Stories should be formatted as follows: double-spaced Arial 12-point black font Word or RTF document. Indent the first line of each paragraph by half an inch. Do not add extra lines between paragraphs or any other irregular spacing. American spelling and punctuation only (i.e. quote marks, etc). Include your legal name (and pseudonym if applicable), postal address, and a fifty-word maximum author bio written in the third person. Contract is for one-time, non-exclusive anthology rights with one year’s exclusivity from date of publication. (This may be waived if your story is selected for a “Best Of” collection). No simultaneous submissions please.

In the subject line of your email, please state: Red Velvet and Absinthe

Send to: submissions @ mitziszereto.com

I look forward to reading your work!

Mitzi Szereto is an author of erotic and multi-genre fiction and non-fiction, an anthology editor, blogger for her own blog “Errant Ramblings” (http://mitziszereto.com/blog), and creator/presenter for the web TV channel Mitzi TV (http://mitziszereto.com/tv), which offers a quirky take on London. Her published titles include Pride and Prejudice: Hidden Lusts (spring 2011); In Sleeping Beauty’s Bed: Erotic Fairy Tales; Getting Even: Revenge Stories; Dying For It: Tales Of Sex & Death; Wicked: Sexy Tales Of Legendary Lovers; The New Black Lace Book Of Women’s Sexual Fantasies; the Erotic Travel Tales anthology series; The World’s Best Sex Writing 2005; and the M. S. Valentine erotic novels, which have seen several reprints and have sold more than 100,000 copies.


Writing Stuff

September 5, 2010

I received a nice review from Night Owl Review for Madison Avenue Vampire. Here’s what Angibabi4 had to say about it.

What a great book, I couldn’t get enough of it. I finished it in one sitting. I loved the characters and the story. Totally awesome… Keep up the good work. The story flowed well. I thoroughly enjoyed the book.

She gave it five stars, which made it a Night Owl Top Pick!

Thanks, Angibabi4! 🙂

Well, I’m in the middle of my three day weekend. Have to keep reminding myself I don’t have to go into work tomorrow.

I finished up final round of edits for Kiss of Honor, which is my erotic fantasy novel for Ellora’s Cave. I should be getting a release date soon.

I submitted a 12,000 word erotic contemporary the last day of August to EC, which I’m waiting to hear about. It’s for a holiday series they’re doing.

For September, have lots planned. For one, I’ve set a goal to submit something every month for the rest of 2010. I also plan to do NaNoWriMo this year. So far, I’ve not had luck with NaNoWriMo. The last time I actually “won” it was 2005. I didn’t participate at all in 2006 and 07, 08 and 09 I started but didn’t finish. But I’m determined this year to do it and finish it.

Especially since my son, (yes, my son who is usually totally dismissive of my “vampire porn” as he calls it–he’s in his twenties, by the way) gave me a great idea for a werewolf story.

I was totally flabbergasted as not only did he give me this pretty awesome idea, but because he’s also usually very critical of paranormal movies and books. As a result of his criticism of the genre, he gave me ideas as to how to make it not just any old werewolf story.

So, hey, I liked the idea and my son’s critiques of the werewolf genre, so I’m going to run with it come November. I need to do some world-building this month and next based on his suggestions, but I’m pretty excited about it. So, hey. What the hey? 🙂

Of course, squeezing all this writing in while working a 40-hour week will prove verrrrrrry interesting. Especially since, once I get permission, I also plan to work some overtime at the J.O.B. We get time and a half and I desperately need a bit more money in order to catch up on some bills that accumulated while I was unemployed for so long. 😦

So, anyway, a busy, busy Fall ahead. But I love Fall. I always get more energized in the Fall. I also plan to start my walking regime. I sit ALL day at work in front of two (count ’em two!) computer monitors and then, when I’m at home, I sit when I’m writing. Not good. Not good at all!

I know I also need to lose weight (more than 20 pounds!) and all this sitting, sitting, sitting doesn’t help the situation. I do try to walk on my breaks at work (actually, it’s almost a necessity because I get so darn tired of sitting) but I’m also hoping to join a new gym that’s opening not too far from where I live. It’s going to be open 24/7 and maybe I can go to it after work (early mornings are for writing).

Ciao for now!

Just Checking In

March 21, 2010

We actually got close to 3 inches of snow on Saturday. I was not happy to have to brush the heavy, thick stuff from off my car. But, fortunately, it only coated the grass and not the street.

A woman was walking her dog as I was cleaning my car of snow and greeted me with a “Happy First Day of Spring!” But, today, the sun is out, although still a bit chilly, and the snow is all gone and temps will be in the 50’s this week. Not too shabby.

Let’s see. What am I working on? Oh, yeah. I’m doing Script Frenzy, which starts in eleven days on April 1st. I have a bit more prepping to do before then so that’s my #1 priority. It’s a fantasy that’s dealing with both religion and science, one of my fave things to mull over.

I’m also going over a novel I wrote back in 2004 for NaNoWriMo. It’s a wild and wooly space opera which I’m thinking about rewriting. It really needs a LOT of work but there are some seeds inside it that I think just might sprout into something interesting.

I’m also writing a short erotic Western. A cowboy menage a trois (MMF). Why? I have no idea. It’s only going to be about 15,000 words but it’s like a burr under my saddle and I gotta write the darn thing or go crazy.

Oh, and my steampunk. *sigh* I haven’t given up on it but the world-building is proving to be very, very challenging. To me steampunk has to be about the world or it’s not steampunk. So I haven’t given up on it but I need to spend some time working on the world in order to feel comfortable writing it.

So, trying to stay busy in order to stay out of trouble. 🙂

17+ Inches

December 10, 2009

That’s how much snow we got yesterday. The city pretty much shut down. Even the city buses weren’t running!

But the streets seem to be clear so kudos to the snow removal guys and gals. Great job!

Now we have to deal with -25 wind chills. Brrrr! I just hope my car starts. She’s a sweetie but, like us all, the years are starting to pile on.

I got another submission out yesterday so I can take that off my checklist of Things to Get Done. Now back to my other projects, including my NaNo novel.

Stay warm if you’re wherever it’s cold and enjoy the weather if you’re wherever it’s warm. 🙂

Let it Snow

December 7, 2009

…since it’s going to anyway. We’re looking at our first major snow storm of the season this upcoming Tuesday night into Wednesday. At least a foot if not more. Ugh! I’m no big fan of snow but I’ve been dealing with it every winter for far longer than I care to remember, so I’ll just have to drag out my boots and coat, hat and gloves from last winter and deal with it.

I hadn’t realized it’s been nearly a week since my last blog post.
I’ve been busy writing. I have a submission going out this week, which I’m in the process of finishing up revisions for.

I’m still working on my NaNo novel and finally broke 25,000 words on it. Yay me!

I did take some time to watch some movies. Last week I watched Akeelah and the Bee, which is a heart-warming story about a girl from South Los Angeles who is in love with words and decides to take a chance and try for the Scripps National Spelling Bee or “the Bee” as it’s apparently called.

The actress who plays Akeelah, Keke Palmer, was wonderful in the role, as was Laurence Fishburne, who plays the professor of English who tutors her for the Bee. Angela Bassett, who plays Akeelah’s mom, was teamed up with Fishburne again. The last time these two were in a movie together it was in What’s Love Got to Do With It, the biopic about Ike and Tina Turner. The rest of the supporting cast was just as great and the movie is a joy to watch in every way.

I tell you, I do wonder if the words those kids have to spell are really, truly actual words, but watching the movie brought to mind how much I love words. I like the quote on the poster above. “Changing the world one word at a time.” Amen.

The other movie I watched was Public Enemies, starring Johnny Depp and Christian Bale. Depp played John Dillinger and Bale was the FBI agent, Melvin Purvis, who brought Dillinger down.

I have to admit a weakness for the fashions of the 30s and 40s and this movie delivered that up in spades. Depp was very good as Dillinger and so was Bale as Purvis, but the movie could have been edited down from its 2 hours and 20 minutes running time and, to be honest, I didn’t start to feel emotionally invested in the movie until the third act. The movie was filmed around this area so it was kinda neat seeing places I recognized. I’d say if you’re a Depp fan or a fan of gangster movies, give it a looksee. If not, you can probably safely pass on it.

Anywho, that’s about all that’s going on in this neck of the woods. Oh, I did get another review for Sweet Spot, but this is one I don’t mind sharing. It’s from Joyfully Reviewed


NaNoing On

December 1, 2009

NaNo is officially over and all total I came to 22,558 words.

But, a couple of women in my local RWA chapter also wound up with about the same number of words so we’re going to keep NaNoing (unofficially, of course) into December. I’ll have to find another word counter so if anyone knows where I can, just point me in that digital direction.

Meanwhile, in addition to continuing on with NaNo I’m working apace on other projects.

There’s actually quite a few movies coming out this month and the upcoming months that I want to see. I’m especially looking forward to Benico Del Toro as The Wolfman, which is coming out early next year. And there’s a vampire movie coming out called Daybreakers, which I think I also might want to see.

Heath Ledger’s last movie, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, is also slated for release next year.

NaNo Day 28

November 28, 2009

Well, I’m most definitely not going to “win” NaNo this year. I’m only at 19,502 words. I had hoped to get 30,000 words done by 11/30 but I’ll be lucky to get 25,000.

But, again, I’m cool with it. I’m really excited about this story and I will be continuing on with it into December.

This weekend, however, I’m finishing up final touches on another novella that I need to get back to my editor. I’ve been tinkering with this one for a bit and it really needs to finally leave the workshop.

I’m also starting a brand spanking new novella in December (which is next week!), so I’m chugging along with that. I had downloaded a writing software called Liquid Story Binder, which was suggested to me by Lori Devoti, whom I’ve known for the past six years and is a prolific writer of romantic comedies, dark paranormals and urban fantasies.

I’ve been using LSB to prep my new novella. LSB has got a pretty steep learning curve but I think I’ve got a handle on the software now. I like the program because it doesn’t tell you how to write. It just gives you the tools to organize your writing. They’re having a sale, by the way. 50% off, so you can get it for $22.95 but the sale ends on Monday.

Oh, I’ve discovered a new guilty pleasure. Well, guilty in the sense that I’m ashamed of how much I love this show. 🙂

I was channel surfing one day and came across a rather interesting scene between a handsome man, dressed like Oscar Wilde, chatting up another man at what looked like some sort of country club. The men were dressed in Victorian fashion and I surmised the setting was also Victorian.

Then the handsome, dandified man, after agreeing to go “somewhere private” with the other man, pulls out a badge and announces he’s a detective who’s investigating the murder of a man who was murdered on his wedding day. The man, however, was living a secret life in that he was gay.

Thus was I introduced to Detective William Murdoch, star of The Murdoch Mysteries, which are set in the 1890’s in Toronto.

Murdoch is described on the show’s website as a “dedicated autodidact”. I love that word. Autodidact. A self-taught person.

Murdoch is, as I said, easy on the eyes, a staunch Roman Catholic, very cool emotionally (maybe a bit too cool emotionally in the eyes of Dr. Julia Ogden, the pathologist, who clearly has a thing for the handsome detective), very analytical and who is quite eager to use in his investigations such new-fangled forensic methods and devices as a lie detector, fingermarks, bloodsplatter, etc.

It’s kinda like Sherlock Holmes meets Gus Grissom from CSI. I love it. First, because I’m nuts over anything set in the Victorian era, I love mysteries and the show is very well-done with engaging characters and fast-paced scripts. Plus, I gotta love a detective who gets around on a bicycle. 🙂

It’s on my local PBS station here but I’m sure it can be found somewhere. The first season is also on DVD.

This show comes at just the right time, also, because in December I’m going to be world-building for my steampunk novella. I started it earlier this year but set it aside. However, I’m going to tackle it again in January.

Here’s an interesting blog post about the The Steampunk Romantic Hero

And look. Kate MacAlister has a steampunk romance coming out in February. Steamed: A Steampunk Romance

Not sure if airships, corsets and nefarious villains intent on ruling the world are going to take the place of vampires, werewolves and nefarious demons intent on destroying the world, but we’ll see.

I know that I sure wouldn’t mind adding my two bits.

Full steam ahead! 😉