Friday, 20 July 2012


At the tender age of 20 I wrote my first erotic story thanks to this book.
The recommended reading at the back then lead me to Anais Nin, and to quote a rather cliche comment, the rest is history.
I'm not sure if this book is still in print (first published 1995), but anyone who fancies having a dabble at writing any form of Erotica, I'd highly recommend it.
I bought this book by Elizabeth Benedict whilst editing 'A Love That Makes Life Drunk'. You would not believe the complications of writing about sex in the 21st Century - consider equality, HIV/AIDS, use of language etc. This book helped put things into perspective, avoiding rather embarrassing mistakes when writing not only a sex scene, but also the plot.
So, having these two books in your collection will help guide you to writing an erotic novel with a sexual reference every 100 words! Yikes!
Happy writing.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Pretty in Pink

I love dresses and cardigans.
I have a lot of dresses and cardigans,
but none like these - Orla Kiely.
Now usually Orla's clothes are out of my reach, but recently whilst browsing I noticed with absolute delight she has a 50% off summer sale.
Just need some sunshine now.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012


I love tote bags. I love bags full stop.
I also know a lot of other people love bags, and so I had an idea for those who love books and bags -
They cost £4.99 each and can be purchased by emailing me at
Stock is incredibly limited, so don't hang about, order now!

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Ana Steele versus Lily Mills

(Lily Mills in the mind of Karen Roderick)
Yesterday I talked about Christian Grey from '50 Shades', and Jefferson Howie from my erotic novel, 'A Love That Makes Life Drunk'. Considering this, I thought it appropriate to say a bit about 'Lily Mills', the sexy intellect that complements the sometimes arrogant swagger of her counterpart Jefferson. 

Five years after creating Lily, I'm happy to admit she still frightens yet intrigues me. She is a beautiful, sexual and intelligent woman; the woman I wish I had been in my mid twenties. There may be some cliche aspects about her, but hey, we are talking love and sex here, but it was important to the story that Lily did not become a stereotype like Ana in '50 Shades of Grey'.
So, to sum up a little, Lily is 25. She is studying for a Masters degree at a London University and is likely to do very well. She also writes contemporary fiction with a lot of sexual detail, something she knows will ensure she'll never be published in mainstream fiction. She's also been writing a Journal for years, something that remains secret until she's forced to disclose it to Jefferson.

Now, the character of Lily is a little different to what I usually write; she is totally a 21st Century girl, and by that I'm referring to her sexual energy. She is a woman who has lived a fairly colourful life considering she's still young, and as she evolved in my writing, I found a role model in the shape of Deanna Baker, Playmate, May 1972 (WARNING! ADULT CONTENT!). In fact, Jefferson likens Lily to Miss Baker as she accidentally stumbles upon a picture he's kept from a book he found in Coco de Mer, he says,

"Now, let me quickly tell you the story behind my "pin up"; she is the spit of Lily. I found her in that Playboy Redheads book; I can't believe how much she reminds me of the beautiful young woman smiling at me right now."

(Deanna Baker circa 1972)
As with myself, one of Lily's biggest female inspirations is Anais Nin, and in the novel she dedicates her sexual awakening to her,

"...when I was younger, I was really restrained, even though I wanted so much more, and to feel so much more, to convince myself it wasn't wrong for a woman to feel such intense sexual I allowed my femininity to inspire me, and only then was I confident enough to express my sexual self."

Lily's sexuality and passion for literacy allowed me to link into the story my life long fascination with the affair between Anais Nin and Henry Miller, by using Nin and Miller's passionate love letters of the 1930's as a back drop to their falling in love. It remains my favourite part of the book.
But it's Lily's sexual self; her intense sexual urges, that allow her to write the journal that shares her side of the story - strong parallels to Anais Nin here and that's no accident, because she was also a strangely beautiful, incredibly sexual and intelligent woman. When I use the word 'sexual', I do not mean 'sexy' in the manner in which we've come to know it.  This was important to me as a woman; I wanted to show that we can be highly charged, educated and successful; that we do not need a man to fulfil all our desires - although useful (!).  I was tired of the usual plot of pretty naive intelligent woman being "rescued" by a man who helps open up her secret sexuality (Ana and Christian in 50 Shades?).   I designed Lily to be feisty, independent and sexual, but she is also young, anxious and kind.

OK, enough of the Sociology lecture, but for me, Lily's character helped uncover some of the issues regarding society, women and sex and the stereotypical beliefs we sometimes still hold, and I have to be honest, the more books I write, the easier these cliches are to spot; but a writer has to remain very careful of them - however millions of copies they sell.


Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Christian Grey versus Jefferson Howie

(Christian Grey according to University of Central Lancashire)

So, with computer science now telling us what '50 Shades of Grey', Christian looks like, and with the prospect of a film of the book, I wanted to come out in defence of the lead man in my debut novel 'A Love That Makes Life Drunk'
the gorgeous Mr Jefferson Howie.

Although Howie often describes himself as 'arrogant and pretentious', because of his ruthless journalism and Henry Miller like novels, there is a charming sexiness about him that makes me swoon. Yes, he's devious, and yes, at times he has no conscience. Yes, he's older than 'Lily', and yes, he walks into 'Coco de Mer' in London to purchase wicked looking objects to please his woman. Financially he's doing well, and he is successful and intelligent.
(Jefferson Howie according to Karen Roderick)
However, Jefferson does not want to dominate his woman. He does not particularly want a woman who doesn't know what she's doing sexually, and he is not that fussed with S&M. He does not want to hurt Lily, and he absolutely does not want her to be his sex slave, if anything, he wants to be hers, and the cool thing about Lily is, yes, she wants romance, and yes, she is in love, but on her terms. She is an intelligent young woman with plans for herself; she does not want to be bare foot in the kitchen.

Writing erotic fiction is a difficult thing. Falling into cliche is easy. With 'A Love That Makes Life Drunk' and 'Hope & Jump' I wanted to show that it's fine for women to lust, love and desire and to act on it, but we do not have to be naive and stereotypical to do so. I like to think I achieved a little of this in 'ALTMLD' by comparing the characters to the acclaimed writer's Anais Nin and Henry Miller's notorious affair in the 1930's.

The creation of characters is very personal to me, as I am sure it is of all fiction writers. Jefferson isn't just one influence, he's many - he's all my fantasies, he's a little Rupert Penry Jones, a bit Tom DeLonge, a little of the guy I see walking around London dressed in a Savile Row suit on his mobile phone, he's the University lecturer, the arty guy in a cafe drinking espresso and scribbling in a note book; I could go on, but I also know that when I pick up someone else's book, that character becomes mine, something probably very different from the author's imagination, and that's cool.

I guess the only attributes a reader can't deny about Jefferson Howie is that he is tall with floppy dark hair and wears uber cool specs, the rest is up to you.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

'A Love That Makes Life Drunk' tote bag!

I am so excited about these new 'A Love That Makes Life Drunk' tote bags.
This one features a quote from the man himself, Jefferson Howie,

"Every sigh, every breath she took I was living the dream, and now I know we're potentially heading towards a full on collision, it's just a case of how hard and when."

And this one from the mind of Evie Willoughby in 'Hope & Jump',

"Evelyn smiled and turned back to the road; Ellery was her philosopher-pirate; her brooding Heathcliff."

Definitely shopping in style.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Amy Winehouse and Red Wine

I love Amy Winehouse.
When I was writing 'Hope & Jump', her 'Back To Black' album was on repeat.
As a result, this inspiration is reflected in the latter part of the novel.
So, while Bridget Jones chooses 'vodka and Chaka Khan', Evie Willoughby goes for 'red wine and Amy Winehouse.'

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

'Hope & Jump' in Cornwall

For those who don't know, my second novel 'Hope & Jump' (2011) is set in St Ives, Cornwall in the U.K.
I love Cornwall. Have loved Cornwall since I was 14 years old, so I consider myself very lucky indeed to now live here in my old house by the sea.
So, back to 'Hope & Jump', because it features all the things I love about my County and more.
There's Godrevy Lighthouse (see front cover by Joe Armitage), the beaches, the cafes, the food and drink, Tate, Art studio's on every corner, surf dudes, old Manor houses, country pubs, Daphne Du Maurier, open fires, deli's, tea shops, sunshine (!!), rain, sea mist, and of course a lot of love and a fair bit of naughtiness.
After the 'sexy and charming' narration of Jefferson Howie in 'A Love That Makes Life Drunk', for 'Hope & Jump' I chose the naive, yet intelligent voice of local artist Evie Willoughby. I like to think of 'Hope & Jump' as my Wuthering Heights in as far as scenery goes, and because of the brooding nature of Evie's handsome new tenant 'Ellery' and the 'obsessive sexual fusion' he evokes.

To me, 'Hope & Jump' makes me think of autumnal evenings in Cornwall, the sea mist crawling over the tree tops, and me curled up cosy with a glass of red wine, or a steaming mug of tea watching the view and breathing in that autumn air. It's a taste of my Cornwall as I've come to know it.

'Hope & Jump' is out now on Kindle and eReader. Also available from Amazon and YPD Books.
'A Love That Makes Life Drunk' available from Amazon and YPD Books.

Geek Dress

I don't know why I keep referring to this dress as 'geeky', because as I'm fairly geeky anyway surely it's no surpris...