According to event organiser, Kev Blisse, Scarborough is the "spiritual home of smut". I believe they put that on the tourist information brochures these days.
I'll tell you something else about Scarborough, It's really, really far up North. I'm very much a Southerner. I consider anywhere north of London to be "The North." A while back one of those quizzes circulated round Facebook asking "How Northern are you?" I answered the questions and got back the result that I was 0% Northern. That seemed fair.
It's not like I think there's anything wrong with The North. I don't consider you to be backward or primitive or anything. I fully respect your commitment to "speaking as you find" (as opposed to our southern custom of "being polite") but I do tend to think of the North as being strange and foreign and populated with people with funny accents and odd notions regarding what time of day 'dinner' should be served.
|Although, Yorkshire's contribution to food cannot be underestimated.|
Victoria and Kev Blisse (along with their close family members and their close family member's dog) are the tireless organisers of the Smut events. I am completely in awe of the amount of work they must put in to make these things happen.
This particular event was held in the rooms above Scarborough library. Anyone entering Scarborough library last Saturday would have seen a bunch of signs saying "Smut" with arrows directing them upstairs. I'm surprised that we didn't find ourselves gatecrashed by a herd of inquisitive twelve year olds following the "Smut" signs like cartoon characters following a particular delicious smell.
There were some great workshops. Jennifer Denys gave a workshop on writing about werewolves in erotic fiction. She started off the discussion by writing "Doggy-style Sex" on a flip chart and then asking the audience what other advantages we could name by having lycanthropic heroes. Personally, I just like to think that Jennifer always writes "Doggy-style Sex" as the first item every time she writes on a flip chart. Regardless of context.
There was also an interesting workshop given by Slave Nano on historical research. Given that I primarily write historical fiction, this sort of thing just makes me worry that I am Not Taking Research Seriously Enough. I tend to have a cavalier attitude to research and assume that as long as I don't give my characters iPhones, it's probably OK. I believe the writers of BBC's The Tudors were of a similar opinion.
|Their Xbox is just out of shot.|
I read a bit from my second book Lady Westbrook's Discovery. I was more than usually nervous before doing so as I was reading it from my Kindle and had remembered far too late in the day that my Kindle had been acting up lately and skipping ahead pages without warning which would be slightly problematic in a reading out loud scenario. Really should have got round to printing out my excerpt beforehand. But my Kindle behaved impeccably when it mattered and I now love it dearly in an entirely non-sexual way. Oh who am I kidding? My Kindle is 99% porn. Our relationship is entirely sexual.
There was plenty else going on at Smut by the Sea including a burlesque act and an awesome bit of entertainment from the astonishingly beautiful Bea Noir, a bed of nails and (briefly) a cucumber.
|The cucumber did not fare well.|
|Not that kind of paddle.|
There are far better write ups than mine which you should go and check out - ones with proper pictures and everything. Have a look at Slave Nano, Jennifer Denys and Jacqui Brocker's blogs to find out more about this excellent - and altogether smutty - event.
And, in case you are worried, I did successfully manage to get my way back down South again afterwards.