Recently I read a really hilarious book called Fondled and Gobbled: Someone Had to Do it. Um…with a title and cover like that…why wouldn’t you read it? LOL. Basically a handful of erotic romance writers got together to write spoofs of …what else? Erotic romance stories! The result was five over-the-top, crazy, silly stories. I had the opportunity to talk to these gals about the concept for the books (the second volume, Going Back for Seconds released February 22), and I’m thrilled to be able to share my first “blog interview” with you today. Joining me are the fantastic Danica Avet, Lea Barrymire, Cassandra Carr, Anya Richards, Piper Trace, Sasha Devlin, Cristal Rider, A.M. Griffin and Amy Ruttan.
Mari: Where did you come up with the idea for this anthology?
Cassandra: I wasn’t even there for the original conception (heh) of the idea. It’s possible I was monopolizing the time of a Caveman. *whistling* But Lea and I drove to Romanticon together and I think she told me about it on the way home. My memory of those few days is a little fuzzy. *shakes my fist at Vicodin*
Danica: Meh, I wish it had been my idea. I always like to take credit for awesomeness, but in this case I have to give kudos to Lea for getting the ball rolling at RomantiCon with a “You know…”
Lea: In all honesty it started with a ‘OMG, wouldn’t it be awesome if’ conversation at Romanticon 2012. AM Griffin, Danica Avet and I were sitting around shooting the proverbial shit and laughing about our favorite erotic genres.
Sasha: It’s a cliche that writers drink a lot, but I’ll be honest. This all started in bar…with copious drinks.
Anya: I wasn’t in on the very beginning because I didn’t go to RomaniCon last year, but from what they said, I made a video I hope sort of explains it. And I can say, after emailing with these ladies, the talking points I bring up in the video are pretty accurate!
Amy: I was roped in. There I was, minding my own business and Cristal Ryder dragged me in kicking and screaming and held a gun to my head … just kidding. I was glad Cristal asked me to be a part of this great series. The emails were crazy and the stories freaking hilarious.
Cristal: You know, it all seems like a blur to me. One minute there was no Cabal and the next we have two books with more on the way! Honestly, I can’t even pinpoint the start time.
Piper: I didn’t! I came in at the end and I am so thankful the girls thought to include me! I think I won them over with all my sausage jokes at Romanticon… So I wrote my story about sausage.
Mari: If you had to sum up this series of stories in one word, what would it be?
Anya: CrazyHilariousAwesome! (from Mari–there’s one in every group, right? lol)
AM Griffin: Hilarious (Ed note: Are you sensing a theme here?)
Amy: Only one word? Sexylarious, which is not a real word, but I wanted to combine the both. Sexy and hilarious.
Cristal: Zany, hot… oh that’s two. Sorry.
Piper: RIDICULOUS, but in a really good way! Ridiculous ideas, ridiculously funny, ridiculously hot!
Mari: How closely did you work together when writing these stories? Did you have to form a “forced to write bad” support group? LOL
Cassandra: You know, we weren’t really “forced to write bad”, more like a “step out of your comfort zone – way, way, way out” support group. Oftentimes when one of us sent an email to the others we were encouraged to take the zaniness even further than we had, and that’s saying something, as readers will see when they get the book. But we each came up with our concepts etc ourselves. Lea, the organized one, kept a spreadsheet so we knew we weren’t using the same character names or basic premise.
Danica: We actually did our own thing, except once in a while we had a “What do you guys think of this?” email that turned into a “OMG, that’s hilarious! You should…” and of course when Lea did her “What flavor cum should he have?”, everyone had an opinion. I think that might have turned into a 68 email kind of day.
Lea: We gave each other a lot of emotional support. Once we have the ideas we just ran with them. [As for a “forced to write bad” support group, the writing came really easily to us, but we’ve had lots of conversations about what was funny and not.
Sasha: We were pretty much free agents with our stories, but there were lots of “Am I going too far? I think I may have gone too far this time.” messages. Thankfully we just kept pushing each other to up the ante.
Anya: There are soooo many rules we’ve had dinged into us over the years, the hard part was trying to decide what bad writing not to include!
AM Griffin: We worked rather close. We had deadlines and even an Excel file to keep our progress and due dates in. We were so efficient that it turned a lot of us on. Whenever one of us got stuck we would throw the scene out to the group and about 100+ emails later the problem was solved and about 5 more spoof ideas were thought of.
Amy: We were constantly emailing. Seriously, the emails were crazy, crazy and hilarious. I’m surprised we actually got any of the stories written. There were lots of brainstorming and ideas and just all around fun.
Cristal: LOL. No seems we were all born with it and didn’t know it. Or we did, I guess and we all gravitated together. Like minds an all I suppose. We were very close, commenting, supporting, giving ideas and it was a wonderful experience. I’m loving my Cabal!
Piper: We all wrote them individually, though sometimes we bounced ideas off each other. The faster writers got the stories done in time to share them with the group, but the slower writers (me!) got it done just in time to screech in at the deadline! The second part of your question…. Oh my god, these stories were so much fun to write!! It was like the bad ideas just kept coming! It’s very fun to purposely try to make something ridiculous. Just when I thought I’d taken it as far as I could, I’d start laughing and make it worse.
Mari: Did you have to do a lot of reading to gear up to write your story? Feeling brave enough to tell us whose books you read? Please don’t say Mari Carr books (snort!).
Cassandra: Well, my story is an obvious spoof of Fifty Shades of Grey, so I guess that means I read Fifty Shades. And found spoof-worthy material in it. Imagine that? We would never spoof your books, Mari. We spoof silly things, like guys who can come a dozen times a night into their thirties and forties. *checks Mari’s books to make sure there’s no character like that*. So yeah, we’d never spoof your books!
Danica: Uh, well actually hm, my story was sort of a compilation of uh, no I’m not going there. Heh
Lea: Nope. LOL I already had the idea stuck in my head from our conversations. I LOVE science-fiction romance, so the triple-cocked hero was really easy to come up with.
Sasha: Nothing recent. But as readers, you remember the books that are awesomely good, as well as the ones that are awesomely bad. I think everyone remembers the book that lacked any sort of common sense…and we just cranked that up to an 11.
Anya: Nope…not I…nary a one… *shifty eyes*
AM Griffin: None. The stupidity flowed naturally. Is that good or bad? Hm...
Amy: LOL! I actually was stuck in the cave working on a deadline and haven’t really read anything for fun in a long, long time. I write about shifters, so I made fun of shifters.
Cristal: Mum. Actually, no reading. I was still in my Romanticon glow and needed to feel more lap dances, and male strippers and hot male bod’s. It all came out in Keep ‘em Coming.
Piper: No…not at all. It’s so easy to pick out tropes or silly things we’ve seen. I think we all had enough material…even stuff we were guilty of ourselves! We’re pretty good at laughing at ourselves too.
Mari: Are there any tropes you considered spoofing, but didn’t?
Cassandra: There are some tropes you really can’t spoof without it coming off less as a spoof and more as offensive. So we have to stay away from certain things, because there isn’t a good way (that I’ve found anyway) to make some of these funny.
Danica: There are so many I can’t keep them all straight.
Lea: Historical erotic rom is one that we haven’t touched yet. Umm, cowboys, kickass heroines, ghosts… We’ve got lots of things to go after still.
Sasha: Nope. Nothing was safe from our depravity.
Anya: I REALLY wanted to spoof a historical, putting them in clothes that wouldn’t be invented for another hundred years, using modern sayings and giving them ridiculously current names (I once almost broke an e-reader when the regency heroine’s name was Tiffany). Maybe a Victorian where the heroine is always in the bathtub just before the hero wants a piece, or perhaps a marriage of convenience where the hero is the one who doesn’t want to do his husbandly duty. Oh, the possibilities are endless…
AM Griffin: No, I’ve got a whole list of ideas brewing about.
Amy: There were so many tropes to choose from, it was hard enough narrowing it down and only to write about one.
Cristal: At this point, I’m spoofed out but it seems that in my other writing, that edgy spoofiness has crept in. Is this good? Not sure yet but time will tell. Oh and the funny thing, I never thought I was funny. At. All. A couple of reviewers said I infused humor in my books and I’m thinking, huh where? And the Cabal reassured me I did have some funny bits. (whew)
Piper: Hmmm…we had a MILLION ideas! And I don’t want to give any of them away because we might still use them!
Cassandra: Oh gosh…how many stories? Twelve? Eesh. That’s a lot of spoofage! We added authors and no one dropped out. Why would we? These are so much fun to write. I read Justin Whitfield’s story before he sent it in – you guys are gonna love it!
Danica: Er, we actually have another set in the works right now and this time around we have twelve authors. The same nine who were in the first two volumes, plus Sky Robinson, Cara Carnes and Justin Whitfield.
Lea: We have 12 more stories coming out soon. They’ll be three volumes of four stories each.
Sasha: This all depends on how our schedules and levels of interest go. We could easily have 10 volumes as there is just so much out there to have fun with.
Anya: We have the second volume, Going Back for Seconds, with Amy Ruttan, Cristal Ryder, Sasha Devlin and A. M. Griffin, coming out on February 22nd, and we’ve been contracted for another round of Fondled and Gobbled books. I believe that one, because of the lengths of the stories, will be in three volumes, and we have a couple of new and exciting authors joining us. Who? I’m not sayin’! Stay tuned…
Amy: There will be another set. A few more authors and the stories are even more fun.
Cristal: I’m in volume two Fondled and Gobbled: Going Back for Seconds, I have Keep ‘em coming and I have another story with the publisher now, titled Midnight Dream Lover. I’m keeping my fingers crossed it gets contracted. We have other ideas but you’ll have to wait for us to spill the beans.
Piper: So far, one more round of three volumes. I’ll be in one of them!
Mari: Can you give us any behind-the-scenes hints at what you have in store in the future books?
Cassandra: My story is actually a spoof of a trope I love – gay for you. But as with all the other spoofs, I just went further and further with it. Did you know that semen kinda stings when it gets in your eyes? Not that I’d know. I did research. *clearing throat* Let’s just say this line is part of the story: “My eye! My eye!”
Danica: Heh, err, well let’s just say Holly and Cade make a return in the second set of anthologies, but this time around they’re bringing Cade’s best friend.
Lea: Oh, we’ve got androids, shifters, vampires, male dancers, penis-phobic heroines… LOL The next set is going to be awesome.
Sasha: Hijinks. Shenanigans. Tomfoolery. And possibly some spankings.
Anya: In my next spoof I take on the erotic suspense genre, BRWHAHAHA!
AM Griffin: I have a shifter spoof coming up. My heroine considers herself to be a detective of sorts. She has combed New Orleans for this particular shifter clan and has finally found them. I can’t say any more, but what I will say is that she gets what she deserves.
Amy: Well, I can’t speak for the others, but I know my next one is about a pregnant man!
Cristal: Sexy night time lover. Sex club moresome. A hot backseat in a cruiser sex story. Uhm… gothic/historical shifter dude and numerous completed stories that need a polish and then send. Gee, I’m a pantser with a crap load of ideas that’s impossible to give hints at. But, there are two very special projects that are non-erotica which need to be told. I’m afraid of them and that is making me procrastinate telling them. I need a kick in the butt – takers?
Piper: My next story is about a debonair vampire who falls in love with a hard-core redneck woman. Need I say…it’s pretty funny.
The Fondled and Gobbled books are available at Ellora’s Cave! Check them out!