I learned about Ravenous Romance just a few months before the launch. Being an avid follower of Lori Perkins’ blog, “Agent in the Middle,” I responded to an open call for submissions, for an anthology that would feature creative short stories about Sex and Shoes. I wrote a chancy piece featuring a married couple who appear at first glance to have a shared shoe fetish ... only at the heartfelt end does the twist reveal itself and the real meaning of the story shine through. Ms. Perkins accepted it, and then invited me to submit more of my stories for other upcoming anthologies. I ended up having two stories being accepted in the Men in Shorts anthology, at which time Ms. Perkins requested to see some of my longer works.
My erotic horror vampire trilogy, The Darkness and the Night, had been on the back burner for some time, and decided to add a little romance to the story and see if Ravenous Romance might be interested. They bought the trilogy, and then commissioned me to work on the most delightful project I have ever had the privilege to write: an erotic space trek, inspired by some of my favorite episodic sci-fi shows (Star Trek, Red Dwarf, Farscape, etc.). It was a closet-geek’s dream come true, and to this day my tribute, Lust in Space, campy and kinky in all the right places, has been a fan favorite.
I contributed a couple more short stories (my personal favorite is “Blood and Money,” which can be found in the Sex and Taxes Anthology), and had a blast with those, as well, but nothing prepared me for the next proposition I would receive: Ravenous Romance had teamed up with the Home Shopping Network, planning the first ever television release of an exclusive romance collection. The owners had hand-picked six books each in three different subgenres: paranormal, historical, and contemporary, and they wanted Lust in Space to be among the paranormal group. However, they wanted me to rewrite the story and create a sister book, of sorts: whereas Lust in Space is an experimentally kinky erotic work (I had fun seeing how far I might push my limits), Love in Space was to be romantic, sweet, and completely vanilla.
It turned out to be, in my opinion, my best published work. Love in Space has it all: action, adventure, space travel, aliens, romance, wit, literary “Easter eggs”—and intergalactic war. I can’t thank Ravenous Romance enough for challenging me as they did with this story. Lori Perkins and Holly Schmidt knew how to make a great story even better, and they pushed me to turn a fun and kinky space trek into a heartfelt and fun romantic adventure. Moreover, they gave me the chance to prove myself as an author—in a market of mass closed doors, stiff competition, and form rejection letters, during a time in the recession when being a no-name writer like me would have been otherwise left sitting cold in the dark.
Writing for Ravenous Romance has been an amazing experience. I’m delighted to have so many people reading my work, and I’m delighted to be working with such a great group of people. Happy Birthday, Ravenous Romance—here’s to another great year!