Launch Parties and Torsos

So, I had my launch party for my latest release.  I didn’t want to do the usual, author takeover, marketing spam thing, it’s been done and overdone, and no-one’s interested, so, instead I asked my friend A. M. Leibowitz to torso bomb the event.  Regular visitors to my site will remember The Grumpy Badger Guide to Book Covers, where we took some (genuine) advice we were given about torsos on book covers improving sales, and satirised that baby to death.

Well, not quite to death.  There are so many books out there that could really benefit from a torso cover.  Rather than be negative and put those books up for mockery, we teamed up once more, to help the hapless authors improve their lots.  I would like to thank all the brave authors who put their covers forward for improvement.  And thank those who had their books put forward by others for being such good sports and taking this in the spirit in which it was intended. I have also spent some time improving their blurbs, so hopefully you can see the difference. Let us know what you think in the comments.

So, the first torso cover was a complete surprise! Amy created a cover for my Flash Fiction piece, Vehicles and Torsos. As there was no original cover, I simply created a blurb off the cuff. I will have to release a flash anthology, just so I can use this cover!


 Step into the steamy world of vehicles and torsos. There isn’t a dry seat in the house.

It even has a cover, thanks to the incredibly talented A.M. Leibowitz.

Our next victim… er… subject was the brilliant Darkly Dreaming by Chloe Hammond.

New Blurb:

Stuck in a dead end marriage, with a flabby torso’d husband, Rae longs for the adventure that death brings her. Step into a sexy story of the undead. Chloe Hammond writes vampires with real bite!

See how much better this is than the original cover by clicking here.

The next reimagined book cover was Watership Down which has been reimagined as Watership Down With Shifters… Yeah, it was a special request by a family member, sorry folks.

New Blurb:

Who doesn’t love a furry bunny? But you need a strong man too, right? Well, in Watership Down, Adams provides just that, and brings a new meaning to the phrase “doing it like rabbits”. Warning, you’ll probably cry…

See how much of an improvement this is on the original (which is not a shifter story, just a rabbit story) by clicking here.

The next book in our torso collective is The Wag and the Scoundrel by Debbie McGowan, imaginatively  retitled The Wag and the Torso.

New Blurb:

Gray is a man’s man, who likes sleeping with men. Step into this sizzling torso romance, from the author who brought you To Be Torsos, and Hiding Behind The Torso, is another hot bod…

Find out how much better this is than the original by clicking here.

Our next brave volunteer was The Elixir of War  by Margena Adams Holmes.

New Blurb:

War is hell, but when there are torsos it can be slightly more bearable. From the author who brought you Dear Torso, comes this epic, of torsos and drink, and more torsos.

Find out how much better this is than the original by clicking here.

Undisturbed by previous torsos, our next volunteer was author J C Steel with her vampire novel Death is for the Living.

New Blurb:

What is sexier that vampires? Vampires on boats with French accents, of course. Blood has never been so slick in JC Steel’s sexy vampire story.

And as this book doesn’t appear to be on Amazon yet, here’s her original cover idea. Maybe she’ll change it for a torso before it’s too late.

We also did a poll to find out which classic should be reimagined at a torso.  The winner, by a landslide was Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.

New Blurb:

Victor couldn’t get a man. He’d tried TINDER, Match, and all of the traditional sites. No luck. Not to be defeated, he decided to dig up a corpse and make his own, but has he made a man, or a monster…?

You can see how much better this is than the original by clicking here.

And finally, a reimagining of Curtain Call! I love this so much I contemplated changing my original cover, but then, I may lose my target audience…

New Blurb:

Jim has it all. Successful career, money, fans. The one thing he is missing is the perfect woman to share it all with, and well, he doesn’t find her here, because this is lesbian fiction, fools.

You can see how much better this is than the original by clicking here.

And if we can get Curtain Call into the top 10 on Amazon UK for Lesbian Fiction, Amy will do a Shrek torso poster, so get buying, let’s make this happen!


The Grumpy Badger Guide to Book Covers

Welcome to another epic collaboration by A. M. Leibowitz and C H Clepitt, the team that brought you “The Grumpy Badger Guide to Dinosaur Erotica“.


Foreword (by C H Clepitt).

Those of you who follow me across social media will know that recently one of my book covers was put up on a website and labeled “bad refrigerator art”.  A lot of *coughs* well meaning people commented on what a shame it was that what looked like a good story was marred by such a bad cover. I am not particularly bothered by these *coughs*… er people, because they don’t ‘get’ what I’m trying to achieve with my covers, which is a consistent recognisable brand. You know my covers as soon as you see them, and anyone who is not a *coughs* ‘professional’ (read actual potential customers) thinks they are really fun, which they are.

However, some more well meaning folks suggested that if people don’t like my covers, I should change them, and as I always give in to peer pressure, I thought, what does sell? Answer, torsos.  So, I have teamed up once more with fellow author A.M. Leibowitz to create new, improved covers and blurbs for not only our books, but some classics whose covers are quite frankly, below parr.

Now, let us begin:

I Wore Heels to the Apocalypse: Tyrone Torso Edition

Tyrone takes his shirt off at one point towards the end, the author is capitalising on this.

Step into a sexy post apocalyptic world, where danger leads to bisexuality and sexy kissings of multiple genders. There is also a badger and possibly zombies, but no-one kisses them.

New blurb:

The apocalypse, danger, badgers, but who can you trust? Follow our hapless heroine as she experiments her way through the apocalypse, with sexy, yet terrifying consequences!

To see how much better this is than the original, visit the book’s Amazon page.


Lower Education: Phin Torso Edition

A.M. Leibowitz and I have worked together on several projects, so they have accepted this constructive criticism of their current cover as clearly having too many clothes in it.  Please keep in mind that if you don’t know the author, your negative thoughts are probably best kept to yourself…

Now, the main point when thinking about adding a torso to your cover is, does your book contain a man? You don’t want to deceive your reader. Fortunately, a quick look at the blurb tells me that there are a number of men in this story, so we’re golden.  Next we have to draw our torso loving reading in with a good blurb. The current one is frankly, too wordy.

New blurb:

Phin is boring and he knows it. One last job, then he’ll get a life, maybe, but will this job lead to the man of his dreams? Read this steamy story to find out!

To see how much better this is than the original, visit the book’s Amazon page.


Pride and Prejudice: Darcy Torso Edition

Jane Austen knew it, that’s why she told Colin Firth to dive into that lake, then step… out….

There are so many men in this book, torso is surely the next logical step in its cover arc.  It will open it up to a whole new generation of readers who have yet to see the BBC version…

New Blurb:

Lizzie is a modern girl in a world that’s failing to catch up.  She must get married or die a spinster with a ‘tude. She has all but given up hope when not one, but two sexy beaus enter her life, but how will she choose between the down on his luck soldier and the proud, incredibly rich Lord of the Manor? Er… they managed to flesh this out for how many words?!

See how much better this is than others by visiting the book’s Amazon page…


The Book of Abisan: Torius Torso Edition

Torius gets changed at one point, revealing that he has a tattooed torso, and we think this is the money spinner for the entire book.

This book is mostly about kick ass women, fighting the patriarchy, but where you have patriarchy you have torsos, so don’t be disappointed. There is also a hairy soldier who takes his shirt off at one point, but no actual kissing in this one, maybe next time, folks.

New Blurb:

Enter a world where women are tough and men are super manly, occasionally hairy, and there’s swords, lots of swords. Not as much nudity as Game of Thrones, but as you can see from the cover, we have torsos…

See how much better this is than the original by visiting the book’s Amazon page.

Pink in the Mirror: Random Torso Edition

OK, so, this one is more tough. It’s lesbians, so torsos are more hard to come by.  Still, there is a polite young man, and as most young men know, it’s only polite to remove one’s shirt when asked, so let’s go with that…

This seems to be mainly about girls and cars, so the torso is fairly tenuous, but we have a torso cover, so we still need to draw in our torso loving reader with a good blurb!

New blurb:

Girls, grease and cars, what more could a polite young man want? But when it turns out your girlfriend prefers girls, can your torso save the day? Spoiler… no.

See how much better this was than the original by visiting the book’s Amazon page.

Moby Dick: Torso Edition

They’re on a boat, right? They’re gunna get wet, so shirts will have to come off.  Let’s breathe some life into the old sea dog.

So, sure, it’s about some bloke who goes nuts whilst hunting a whale, but who doesn’t love a whale hunt, made all the sexier by this torso on the cover?  And check out the size of his harpoon! If you were on the fence about buying this one, the torso edition has sealed the deal.

New, improved blurb:

Size matters when it comes to Whales, and Ahab has a point to prove.  The one that got away is the one that will make or break him. He’s on a mission, but will Moby Dick be his downfall?

See how much better this is than the original by visiting the book’s Amazon page.

Life Begins at 48: Tim Torso Edition

Tim never actually removes his clothes in this cozy romance series of shorts, but working under the assumption that he must wash occasionally before leaving the house, we’ve taken some creative license with these covers.

A series of 3 short stories about a woman who has to take care of her mother after a stroke, and meets a very nice vicar. The vicar is a man, and where there are men there are bound to be torsos…

New Blurb:

Getting sacked leads to love for Linda, who proves getting old doesn’t mean you can’t still get it on, in this sensual series of shorts.*

See how much of an improvement this is by visiting the book’s Amazon page.

*Disclaimer in tiny print: There is no actually sex in this story.

Anthem: Trevor Torso Edition

And we’re back to men and easy access torsos.  We have definite MM one night stand going on here, so we could even have two torsos, but we don’t want to overdo things.

The main problem with the current blurb is that it’s just too angsty to draw in your average torso fan.  No-one cares about personal demons or finding yourself, or they might, but they don’t think they do, and won’t buy a book based on that, so, we need to reblurb immediately.

New blurb:

Trevor thinks his steamy one night stand with a musician is just that, until a song gets written about the experience.  Now Trevor needs to decide if he wants to fight for the man of his dreams, or share him with his girlfriend. From the co-author of “Can’t Help Lovin’ the Lizard” comes this latest sexy story.

See how much better this is than the original by visiting the book’s Amazon page.

Of Mice and Men: Torso Edition

If Steinbeck knew then, what we know now, he’d have put a torso on it too.

This book contains many men. And mice. Farm hands get hot, so they take their shirts off, thus, torsos. It’s not even tenuous here.  So, we have two torsos, (Lenny and George, obvs), a bale of hay (because, farm) and a mouse. Not a dead mouse, because that’s just sad, and let’s face it, if people knew what actually happened they wouldn’t read this one.

New Blurb:

Drifters George and Lenny find work on a farm, where the men are men and the women are sexy and no-one at all is killed.*

See how much better this is than the original by visiting the book’s Amazon page.

*Disclaimer in really small print: Almost everyone is killed…

Do you need a torso edition?

Is your book a bit blah? Have sales been a bit slow? Submit it to us in the comments and we’ll sort it out with a sexy torso cover and new blurb.  Seeing your sexy new torso cover on our blogs may increase your sales, you never know…

The Grumpy Badger Guide to Writing Dinosaur Erotica

Featuring special guest writer A.M. Leibowitz.

Well, it turns out Dino-porn is a thing. Like a real thing. People write books about humans having sex with dinosaurs, and it has a following.  There are people who want to read about people having sex with dinosaurs.  In the spirit of education, I have teamed up with intrepid author A.M. Leibowitz, who is a braver badger than me, to create this handy how to guide for writing your very own dino-porn.  I would like to say right her and now that they did ALL the research, but I have spoken to them since and they seem fine, apart from a new fetish for people with VERY short arms, which is something to be worked out within their marriage… As with actual erotica, being anatomically accurate does not appear to be a priority in dino-porn, so don’t worry yourself about that, just jump right in.

The guide below is based on A.M. Leibowitz’s extensive research on the genre, which I totes made them do… For the purposes of this guide we have taken examples for our fictional dino-porn story “I Can’t Help Lovin’ that Lizard”.  As always, if we can get ten comments on this post we may be persuaded to turn it into a real book.

The events in “I Can’t Help Lovin’ that Lizard” are purely fictional, and the characters and places are products of our very warped imaginations.  Any resemblance to people or lizards you know is just a coincidence.  Also, because it’s got sexy bits in it, you have to be over 18 to read this. If you are under 18 please go away and come back when you’re old enough.

Note, for the asides and conversation, A.M. Leibowitz is in blue, and C H Clepitt is in red, to hopefully quell any confusion. You know, other than the confusion of how dinosaur erotica is an actual genre. You need to get over that. As always, we’ve done the research so you don’t have to…

So, without further ado, here is your guide to writing dinosaur erotica.

The Title Tells the Story

A potential reader should be able to gather the entire premise based on the title alone. A good title incorporates either the kidnapping or the sex, depending on which you want to emphasize. The title should be either alliterative or rhyming. Softer words are preferable for female protagonists: Taken by the Troodon; Swept Away by the Sauroposiedon. More aggressive words can indicate a male protagonist: Drilled by the Deinonychus; Banged by the Bambiraptor. A great title may include multiple plot elements: I Was the Spinosaurus’s Secret Sex-Slave, for example.

OK, well, I’m already rather proud of our title, so maybe we should just subtitle it “a story of dinosaur sex in the most implausible plot ever. We regretted doing it the second we lifted a pen, but quitting is for losers”. Does that work for you?

Yes, great subtitle.

There Must Be a Kidnapping/Captive Element

This is extremely important, as it sets up the situation for how your hero ends up in the boudoir of their dinosaur. It also gives you the tools you need for an attention-grabbing title.

Kidnap element? Eeek… really… And I agreed to write this shit, this is my punishment for making you do the research right? OK… here goes…

“Look, there’s one!” Kevin peered through his binoculars at a triceratops that was contentedly munching on a bush about fifty feet away from their hide.

“Do you really need the binoculars?” Lizzie rolled her eyes. “It’s a dinosaur, Kevin, it’s massive. Now you’ve seen one, can we go? I think I left the oven on.”

“No!” Kevin snapped. A sweat was forming across his brow, and he could feel a throbbing in his underwear at the sight of the twenty foot lizard. “I want to see a T-rex!”

“You would!” Lizzie snapped impatiently. “I have gone along with it this far, Kevin, all the dinosaur posters, the films, the t-shirts, the bedding. I even let you build a time machine, but really, I think enough is enough. I’m going!”  She stormed out of the hide.  As Kevin turned in exasperation he was scooped up by a pterodactyl and carried away.

How’s that? Do I need to describe the boudoir too or does that come later?

Nope, that bit’s later.

Great, I’ll look forward to it…

Predators Over Prey

Also very important. Stolen by the Stegosaurus has a nice ring to it, but let’s face it, Stegosauruses are simply not terrifying enough for this sort of story. You can’t bargain with them not to eat you because they wouldn’t be interested in the first place.

Righto- so, I need to bring in the t-rex with his tiny tiny arms and brain the size of a pea… on it….

Kevin came to in the nest of the huge lizard bird that had just grabbed him.  Below was a stage with various cave people lined up. One diplodocus with a gavel in his teeth was standing at one end auctioning them off to bidding carnivores…

What? This is unrealistic? Come on, nothing about this genre screams realism. Now shut up, I’m running an auction.

“You are the star attraction,” the birdtile hissed. “A hairless body is very desirable, especially to the T-rex. Goes down easier, less hairballs.”

“Wait!” Kevin begged. “You can’t auction me off for T-rex cuisine! I’ll do anything! ANYTHING!”

“Anything…?” his captor asked lecherously.

There Must Be Time Travel

This is only logical. How else do you expect your protagonist to hook up with their hot dinosaur lover? This can be accomplished in two ways. Your hero can travel back in time for a prehistoric hook-up, or your dinosaur can appear in modern times. There’s no need to explain the alternate reality in which dinosaurs still rule twenty-first century earth and also know how to use Twitter.

Hey, badgers can tweet, dinosaurs probably can too, so.. *shrugs*. OK, so I briefly touched on the time machine element earlier, does it need further explanation here, or are we good?

Nah, we’re good. Poor Kevin may not be, though…

Anatomy Doesn’t Count

There’s no need to fuss about a small detail like research on lizard mating, or lizard biology at all. You can ignore the thousands of results from a simple Google search on “how did dinosaurs have sex.” As long as you can give your T-Rex or your Equijubus a giant schlong, you’re good to go.

OK, giant dangly bits. Here we go. Are you sure you aren’t trolling me right now?!

Nope. Dino Dudes are “gifted” in the nether regions. Because why wouldn’t they be?


“Anything…” The lascivious look on the creature’s face caused the throbbing in Kevin’s undergarments to return.  Suddenly, a giant snake like organ appeared from between the lizard’s legs, it’s eye looking right at Kevin.

How’s that?

Perfect. Clearly Kevin’s not straight, which is a step up from how these dinosaurs usually operate.

Unless You Have Lesbian Dinos

In which case, all you need is a species with a very, very long tongue.

Aw, really? Whose idea was this, anyway? OK, here goes…

Lizzie stumbled through the bushes back towards the time machine.  On her way her attention was grabbed by a diplodocus. It was using its long tongue to extract the highest leaves from the trees, and the sight of the long pink organ gave her pause.

“What are you doing here, tiny human?” The creature looked down, its voice distinctly feminine. “They will auction you off if they catch you.”

“They… I… your tongue…” Lizzie gabbled.

“Come with me,” it looked at her and reangled its tail for her to climb up. “I will keep you safe. Very safe…”

Oh, god! Is this what it’s come to? I’m an artiste for crying out loud!

Consent Also Doesn’t Count

Is your dinosaur having trouble courting the ladies? No problem! Just introduce one to his massive wang, and she’ll be begging for more. Did you know you can also turn a man gay by putting him alone in a room with a talking velociraptor? It’s true. Dinosaurs are notorious for convincing even the most reluctant of partners. They don’t concern themselves with something so trivial as asking first. On the other hand, consent is sexy, and it’s in vogue right now, so giving your dino some basic decency could very well boost your sales.

Oh ffs! Really? I have been making our people attracted to lizards! You telling me I have to get all Son of the Sheik on this shit? I thought rape fantasies like this were a thing of the past! I am so not OK with writing dinorape. Or any rape. It’s not OK, especially not for voyeuristic reasons. Nope. Sorry. I Can’t Help Lovin’ that Lizard is going to be 100% consensual all the way.

Unless You Have Lesbian Dinos

The canon for this genre is exactly one book, but so far, the consent track record is 100%. Lesbian dinosaurs are more nurturing than their gay or straight counterparts, and they care more about making sure their partners are into it. No word on bisexual dinosaurs yet.

Did you make this bit up after what I just said so I’d have to write lesbian dino sex? I’m not gunna… I’m just not. Here, you can have a morning after scene…

“Wow,” Lizzie stretched luxuriously on the mammothskin rug. Her head was resting on the long neck of her lover. “That was, I’ve never… Kevin is so short and stubby in comparison. And, well, I… so many orgasms.”

The diplodocus made a contented sound and looped its neck around her shoulders, resting its head on her chest.

Keep It Short

You want to leave your readers wanting more. A story of 3-6k is all you need to get the point across. Dinosaurs have tiny brains; they can’t keep pace with a long novel, and they certainly shouldn’t be overwhelmed with something as tricky as an actual plot.

Well, we must be thankful for small mercies I suppose.

Keep It Fresh

These stories have a short shelf life. Next week, people probably aren’t going to be talking about Undressed by the Urbacodon like the classic we know it’s destined to become. This is a genre which requires constant new ideas. Some people branch out into mythological creatures or inanimate objects because they fear losing their audience. But if you stick to the formula, you won’t have anything to worry about.

Watch this space for I married a pizza oven. Coming to a bookstore near you!

Someone, somewhere, is going to write that. It won’t be me.

Never say never! Set up a crowd funder and see if you get interest!

If you enjoyed this how to guide, don’t forget to tell us what you thought in the comments!

And you can read more from A.M. Leibowitz on their blog, and find out more about C H Clepitt at And don’t forget to check out My Books before you go!

The Grumpy Badger Guide to Getting Online Attention

You voted, this is what you want to know about, so here it is!


Today’s Grumpy Badger Guide focuses on how to get attention on social media. Clearly there are lots of you out there struggling with getting adequate online attention, feeling unloved, dejected, in need of a virtual stroke.  Fear not, the Grumpy Badger Guide to getting attention on online is here to help.

For the purposes of this guide, I will be using the fictional account of one Vince McCool. He will be modelled by prolific fantasy author and friend of Newsnibbles, Samuel Z Jones.  Vince is one cool dude, and has the whole getting online attention thing down, so hopefully you can learn something from him. Newsnibbles would also like to thank “The Master”, for donating a photograph of a plate of chips for the purposes of this illustrated guide.

As with the Grumpy Badger Guide to Writing Erotica, all characters in this guide are completely fictional. Any resemblance blah blah blah.

So, without further ado, let’s begin.

Be Ambiguous

There’s no point revealing everything.  If you give out all of the information straight away no-one will have a need to comment.  You might get the odd like or share, but that’s not what we’re after here, we want proper interactions, so the more vague the better.  Below is an example from Vince’s page.  On this particular day, the local corner shop was out of full fat milk, and Vince had to buy semi skimmed.

OMG, I have no idea how I’m going to last the week! LOL

Here, you can see that Vince has reacted badly to the need to purchase semi-skimmed milk, but he hasn’t actually given us anything to go on, forcing us to ask.  He has finished the post with a LOL to show it’s nothing serious and not to worry.  You may want to leave the LOL off depending on how much attention you want.  This particular post lead to a comment from Sharon Peebody, one of Vince’s many friends.  She asked.

OMG, babe, what’s up? U ok hunni? lol xxx

Here you see that Sharon is so concerned, she hasn’t even taken the time to write full words.  Her lol is lower case, and more of a nervous titter than the uppercase guffaw that Vince used in his original status.  Girls are more likely to comment with kisses than boys, but using three here has she has, Sharon is most likely also flirting with Vince.  We will observe flirting in a later section.

Put yourself down so that everyone else can build you back up.

Vince takes a long time taking mirror selfies, arm length phone selfies and laptop selfies.  He knows his fans want to see him, but he doesn’t want to appear vain, so he posted the following caption with this one:

Just testing the camera on my laptop, LOL! Reckon it’s got an ugly filter, hehehe.

Obviously Vince knows he’s not ugly.  No-one with self esteem issues would post as many selfies as he does, but a post like this received 39 hearts and 27 comments telling him how good he looks.  Sharon was one of the first to comment with:

No, babe. It’s got the well sexy filter on. lol. Love your tshirt hehehe.

So, you see, by posting with a self deprecating comment, Vince ensured compliments whilst not appearing vain. Also, he is maintaining the interest of the lovely Sharon. 

Everyone is fascinated with your life, don’t be afraid to share.

Vince already has an extensive fan base, which is why we’re using him as an example, but you have to think big.  Be like Vince. Your friends are not just your friends, they are your fans.  Any little tidbit you give them is like virtual gold.  Nothing is boring, pointless or annoying to share.  See below for an example of Vince trivia gold.

OMG, I just put my dinner in the microwave, and accidentally set it to defrost instead of high!  It was still cold! LOL

Vince also included photographic evidence to prove he really did have dinner, and was not making this up. You may want to evidence your posts too.


Here you see that Vince wants to share the hilarity that has just ensued at home in his kitchen with his fans, so that they can feel like they were there too, and somehow, in some small way a part of his life.  This latest status resulted in a total of 220 “likes” and 144 comments, but we will focus on Sharon again for consistency.

PMSL babe! Ur soooo funny. xxxxx Did u eat cold chips? LOL

Here you can see that he has amused Sharon so much he earned 5 kisses in the middle of a comment. This definitely says flirting, Vince will play it cool for a bit longer, but the defrost comment has definitely earned him points. She has also included a question, so he has to respond.  You have to give to get, it’s no good getting a reputation for not responding.  See below.

No, babe! LOL! I put em back in on the right setting. PMSL.

Here you see Vince has answered her question and acknowledged that she was making a joke. Both important in developing the relationship.

Be vulnerable. Have no secrets.

In the world of online attention, there’s no point having secrets.  What’s the point in having a feeling or an emotion if you can’t tell everyone about it?  After the chip conversation, Vince privately messaged Sharon, asking her out for chipshop chips, and promising they would be hot lol xx. Of course, this happened in private, so his fans didn’t know.  This can be rectified with a single status, see below:

Got a date with the prettiest girl online! So excited and nervous! Can’t wait to see you babe xxxxx. – Sharon Peebody

Here you can see Vince has declared his love to all of his fans, making it official, and also tagged Sharon to ensure she doesn’t miss his moment of vulnerability.  Fortunately she has found a way to set up an alert, and receives an email every time someone tags her, so was able to respond virtually immediately, to reassure Vince that his feelings are reciprocated.

OMG! Me 2 babe! cant wait 2 c u! So excited about chips. Hope they’re hot like you! xxxx

So, Sharon has reassured and complimented him, and all his fans can see just what a ladies man he is.

Things happen fast, don’t be afraid to tell everyone.

In a world of superfast broadband, microwave meals and instant messages, one date does a relationship make, and you immediately need everyone to know how happy you are.  Change your relationship status immediately, and tell the world.

Vince McCool is in a relationship with Sharon Peebody.

This particular status resulted in 798 likes.  There were also 294 comments of “congrats” and “u guys r so cute”.  Sharon also commented:

OMG babe! I luv u sooo much! Can’t wait to c u tonight. I’ll bring the chips, lol xxxxxx

Even when you’re with the person, the world still needs to know.

Vince and Sharon now live together, but as they met online they still find it easier to communicate on statuses, and that way the fans still get to observe, partly envious, partly glad to be, in some small way involved in the fascinating lives of Vince and Sharon.

OMG, LOL! Vince just farted so loudly I thought it was an earthquake! I knew we shouldn’t have had beans with our chips! It’s a good job I love him! – Vince McCool.

Wot can I say? Better out than in! LOL! Love you too baby.xxxxx

Here Sharon’s status and Vince’s response collectively received 1982 likes and comments.  Not only does it show they’re real people, but it proves that they have someone in their lives that loves them. All it needs is one person to love you for everyone else to love you too.

That’s it from this Grumpy Badger Guide.  We hope you found it useful.  If you have a topic you would like covered in a Grumpy Badger Guide, please comment below and let us know.

The Grumpy Badger Guide to Writing Erotica

Grumpy Badger guides are going to be a new section of Newsnibbles, where Badger will write “How To” guides on request.

Having mentioned to several friends that I have now inadvertently ended up editing not one, but TWO erotica novels, (not on purpose, not my genre of choice, I did not need to know ANY of that about the authors’ inner workings), I now feel that I am amply qualified to write a how to guide, on producing an erotic novel.

For the purposes of this guide I will be using examples from a fictional novel

Cover Model: Chimp Jones

that is from my brain, set at a livery yard, called Broken Bareback.  Should you enjoy these examples, I could be persuaded to write and release it as a proper book, or at least short story.  Let me know in the comments.  Obviously my examples will be X Rated, so if you are under 18, please stop reading now, and come back when you’re old enough.  Thank you.

I would also like to add that Broken Bareback is pure fiction, from the slightly deranged mind of a badger, and any resemblance to people, places of business or actual events are purely coincidental.

So, without further a do, here is the Grumpy Badger Guide to Writing Erotica.

The Heroine Must Always Be a Virgin

This seems to be the most important and unbreakable rule to writing erotica.  She must never have known the touch of a man (or a woman, depending on what type of erotica you are reading).  There can be as many unrealistic reasons for this as you like, but it’s a rule.

All Characters Have Facial Features

And must be described by them, it’s only fair, you need to know about face, eyes and lips, not necessarily in that order.

Tell Don’t Show

You hear authors and writing teachers say all the time, “show, don’t tell”, but the opposite is true for erotica.  Only take opportunities to show if you have no other options. And lay as much background out at the beginning as you can.

See below for examples of these points from the opening paragraph of Broken Bareback.

Eva sat at her desk, tapping away at her computer. She pursed her cherry red, plump lips thoughtfully.  Blinking her ocean blue eyes she stared at the screen, twisting her corn coloured hair around her finger.  Despite being in her early 40s, she had never known the touch of a man.  Being brought up in the convent, she had only had the nuns for company until the age of 36, and been quite contented with the company of God.  However, a recent unrealistic tax hike on right wing religious organisations had meant that, in order to help support her sisters Eva had been forced to get a job administrating the yard.  As most horse owners are women, Eva had not been troubled by any male attention whatsoever in her four years in the office.  In what was a weird, yet in no way unrealistic coincidence, all contractors, delivery people and even the farrier were female.

You see here, how, although we’re only a paragraph in, we already know that Eva has eyes, hair and lips, and has never known the touch of a man, and is a good religious girl (middle aged woman). We know she is ripe for the plucking, and we are set up nicely, which brings us onto our next points:

There Must be a Promiscuous Best Friend

There has to be an adviser to the heroine, someone she trusts, someone with experience who knows how it’s done.  Someone she shares her most intimate thoughts and desires with.  Someone, who’s been around the block a few times.  Enter, the promiscuous best friend:

Lela slammed the office door and bounced in.  Her dyed blue hair shone in the florescent office lighting, her thin lips spread wide in a grin, and her dark brown eyes sparkled with the glow of someone who had recently had sex.  Lots of sex.

“Guess who I did last night!” She grinned, spinning Eva around on her chair.

“Who?” Eva smiled patiently at her friend.  In the four years they’d known each other they had had no secrets, and Eva had held Lela’s hand through numerous STD treatments.

“Who didn’t I do?” Lela said triumphantly, collapsing back in her chair.

The Hero Must Be Manly

Even if the love interest is a woman, she/he must have archetypal man traits, such as confidence verging on arrogance, a commanding “take charge” attitude, and behaviour that verges on controlling, because apparently, that’s sexy.  He must conflict with the heroine initially, before she quickly realises she wants him to own her.

Enter Hubert:

Hubert strode into the office, his jodhpurs bulging with manly assertiveness.  He wore leather knee length boots, a fitted tweed jacket and carried a whip.  His red hair shone with the colour of fire and passion, and there was a sadness in his eyes that suggested he’d been hurt in the past.  He slammed his whip down hard on Eva’s desk.

“I have been waiting here 2o minutes!” He said furiously.  “I am accustomed to being obeyed.  I have not met a filly I cannot break, yet you keep me waiting!”

“I am not keeping you waiting,” Eva snapped back.  “We are waiting for the grooms to get the horse ready for you, since you’re too important to tack up your own damn horse!”

Sex Scenes Must always be a revelation

To both characters.  There is no room for average sexual experiences, they need to be epic and go on for hours longer than anyone could realistically survive.  Long after any mere mortal would have shoved him off and said “come on, I have work tomorrow” our heroic couple is still going strong.  I won’t be quoting a sex scene here, as anyone could ignore my 18+ warning.  If you want the sex scene, better get commenting for the full length release (no pun intended).

Never Use the Actual Word, Where a Synonym will do just fine.

You want to discuss the penis in great detail, but never use the word penis, if you can possibly avoid it.  Examples could be shaft, member, man staff, control rod, sword, sabre, in fact, anything that pokes.  Same applies for lady parts, but they need to be less weapon like, her moist creases, or furry lips?! Yeah, it’s tough, but you’re writing erotica, people, suck it up! (no pun intended).

Erections as Sexy, and in No Way Disturbing

You might think your hero has a medical condition, wandering around with a permanent hardon, but no, this shows how attractive your heroine is, and is thus very sexy.  Similarly, she could constantly need underwear padding to compensate for the moistening effects he has on her.

See, the first passionate encounter:

Eva pressed her back against the wall of the tack room, breathing heavily.  If it hadn’t been for Hubert arriving when he had, that attacker could have killed her.  Her whole body was shaking.  She gasped as the door creaked open.

“Are you alright?” he asked, coming so close that she could feel his breath on her face.  The bulge in his jodhpurs was palpable, as he pressed himself against her.  She felt her heart beat faster as she clung to a saddle for support, her underwear moistened.

“He could have killed me, or worse,” she swallowed hard.

“He’s gone now,”  Hubert’s breath was almost as quick as her own as he brushed a strand of corn coloured hair away from her face.  “Everyone’s gone, it’s just us…”

“I’m not sure the nuns would approve…” she breathed as his tongue slipped free from his lips and made its way, serpent like to hers.

“I hope not,” he said, and penetrated her lips with his speech instrument.

Eva gasped, it was so unexpected, the sensation of another person in her mouth, yet the warm smoothness of his tongue was both comforting and exciting.  Soon she found herself penetrating him with equal zeal, her whole body tingling with excitement from his touch.  After what seemed like an eternity he pulled away and stepped back.

“Well, I must say goodnight,” he said calmly, and left, the protrusion in his jodhpurs the only sign that he wanted to stay.

Eva slid down the wall, gasping for breath, all she could feel was a yearning that she didn’t understand.  Why did he leave her?

There are no coincidences in erotica

You may think that Eva’s escaping attack in the earlier paragraph was just a technique with which to initiate first sexual contact with Hubert.  No, this also needs to be integral to the plot as a whole, and we need some ridiculous device whereby our heroine is kidnapped, and requires rescuing.  Erotica requires both damsels and heroes.

“I understand,” Lela hung up the phone and looked at Hubert.

“Well?” he asked urgently. “Is she ill?”

“No,” Lela chose her words carefully. “She’s been taken.”

“Taken? What do you mean taken?”

“They want that racehorse back,” she said quietly.  “The one you won in that card game, if they don’t get it, they’ll kill Eva!”

“They can’t have it!” Hubert sounded panicked.  “I sold it on, it’s in America!”

“God damn you Hubert!” Lela snapped. “Why did you have to pick Eva?  You could have any woman you wanted, why her?”

“Because she’s perfect,” he breathed.  “Don’t worry, Lela, we’ll get her back!” He said decisively. “Call the yard, tell them to saddle my horse, I’m bringing her home!”

Sex Sells, Always Leave Room for a Sequel, or 12.

Make sure you leave it on a cliffhanger, there’s always room for more erotica at a later date, after all, the money’s in the sequels (and the film deals).

Lela chewed her biro seductively as she watched the exchange between Hubert and Eva.  She wondered if there would be room for one more in the relationship.  When the passionate kiss ended, Hubert mounted his steed and galloped off into the sunset.

“Are you OK?” Lela asked as Eva returned.

“Of course,” Eva smiled at her friend.  “You can’t keep a man like Hubert in one place too long, he yearns to be free.  But don’t worry, I have a feeling we’ll see him again.”

If you enjoyed this Grumpy Badger Guide, and feel that there is another genre that could benefit from similar treatment, then get in touch.  If you would like to read Broken Bareback in its entirety, then comment below.  If there’s enough interest, I could maybe be persuaded to write it…