Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tart Welcomes Wench! (Liz Crowe)

My guest today is one who wears many hats (though only some of them require literal hats)--she sells real estate, she is part owner in a microbrewery (Beer Wench), and... as you may expect... she writes.

Tarts have an affinity for wenches, sluts, and assorted ne'er-do-wells, as well as other tarts, but this is sort of a funny story. Because you see, this particular wench and I know each other in person... like from before we knew the other wrote (from a time wenches and tarts kept their super secret identities super secret). Our daughters are friends (Tartlet one being the same age as Wenchling 2) and so we met when the girls started middle school—four years ago (I had only a half done book at the time). I think it was my daughter who told me almost two years later that Liz wrote, and that first conversation was very tentative... she wasn't quite out of the closet yet, I think—so I just tried to leave the door cracked and left it at that.

More than a year after that we talked again and she had 'found her genre' if you will... erotica... I smiled and felt like a poser, because a tart OUGHT to be expert in things like that, but my tartiness is... you know... on the silly side. She is a REAL LIVE WENCH!

It is very fun to have another local author—one I actually enjoy (as opposed to the psycho, who is the only OTHER author I knew before BEING one—though I have MET a couple authors since getting out there, yet I digress...). Anyway, Liz has been working on a book come trilogy *cough*, but in the mean time has taken on another sexy project that puts her naughty romance smack in the middle of the microbrew world (YAY!) and I've read some of it—spicy stuff! Liz has made me a convert on erotica. I confess I used to snub my nose, as I'd seen so much that was poorly written, but hers is the real deal. In an email convo with a male author friend who shall remain nameless, he confessed to not being able to get up from his desk after reading one of her excerpts, and if you can turn on a GUY without visual boobage... THAT is how REAL it is. And so Friday, Breathless Press released a short story from The Rookie! And Liz is here to tell us a little about that, and about some OTHER stuff you need to know!

And NOW, Welcome, Liz!

The Art of Selling Beer and Sex

Greetings and salutations Oh Mighty Watery Tart Followers, Fans and Others!

Liz Crowe here a.k.a. The Beer Wench. (www.a2beerwench.com) a.k.a. That Other Wench (www.aabedwench.blogspot.com), friend and huge fan of The Tart and her errant and nearly as naughty as mine ramblings.

Tart and I have a few things in common:
To wit:
We have a house full of annoying humans of the teenage variety.
We write around our day jobs.
We love beer.
We like images of gorgeous men in various stages of undress (we can get into that bit whereby I prefer them dressed in suits FIRST then I undress them later, only to wrestle them into soccer unis before having my way….) [Tart note: you know I am a nudist purist, unless they are willing to dance like I like]

We attempt to balance the many and myriad responsibilities of household, said teenaged annoyances, jobs that pay (well, sort of, in my case as you will soon see) and our One Big Passion – The Writing.

Oh, and we live within shouting distance, which is cool.

I’m a salesperson. I’ve sold art, memberships, warm fuzzy feelings (vis a vis United Way donations), nursing home beds, newspaper advertising, houses and now, beer.

My current iteration is owner of The Wolverine State Brewing Company, a new-ish craft microbrewery right here in our beloved A-squared. I embarked upon this admittedly crazy adventure nearly 2 years ago when one of The Boys (start following The Beer Wench and you’ll know what I’m talking about!) approached me during a serious lull in the real estate market about putting my considerable powers of persuasion and organization (ha!) to work for him and his co-founder. You know, for free. Or for “ownership”,--i.e. For Free.

So I did, and jumped into the swirling vat of cooking malt with both feet. I’ve since become an expert, thanks to The Man, The Brewer and The Brain, on bloody ANYTHING and EVERYTHING relative to beer: from malt grinding to packaging to the highly annoying (don’t get me started) method of selling known as the “three tier system” whereby the dudes in the middle make all the money and we do all the work. (ahem).

Long about the middle of this a muse, looking suspiciously like Don Draper and speaking soothingly in my ear in a melodious Clive Owen brogue ambled into my life and plopped me in front of the computer screen, commanding me to use my near constant interaction with the Men in my Life (and beer is full of men let me tell you) to finally get those hot sex scenes in my head out on to the page, or you know, the screen.

I’ve long been a fan of erotic fiction. I’ve tried it all, from the freebie “Hey watch me fu*k my neighbor in her pool” sort of first person ramblings to the (in my pretty well researched opinion) the lovely and layered complexities of Sunny’s fictional women dominate the world fantasies to the smoking hot threesomes Cat Grant and Shayla Black have, um, laid out for us. I am also a huge fan of the short form hot story. That’s how mine started.

“Brewing Passion” is a series published by Breathless Press (www.breathlesspress.com), that is a long and complex story, told in short form (quickies, as it were). “The Rookie” is the first of three that are written and in some stage of editing/polishing/throwing against the wall—you people are writers so I know you get me here. These three are (so far) the “missing chapters” of The Tap Room—a serialized novel on That Other Wench’s site (see above, I don’t have time to write it out again). It’s hot. It’s women in the beer biz and the men who desire them. As one of my Biggest Fans and a Sort of Big Deal in the Craft Beer Business who Shall Remain Nameless said: “I’ve been in the business 20 years, worked in it from all angles, but YOU Wench have created something entirely new….Beer Porn”!

I of course smacked him and made him say it correctly: Beer Erotica….Beerotica? Perhaps. (He likes it when I do that, but they all do). [Tart note:  Beerotica!  HA!  You know how I love a new word!]

There will be a secondary series about realtors soon…I love folks who work hard for a living and fit the sex in when and where they can. I’ve been told (including by our Beloved Tart and by my cherished editor) that my scenes will melt your eyeballs and send you running for the nearest cold shower or your favorite B.O.B. but I will admit I have a lot to learn still. [Tart note:  it's true, and as I said, I started a skeptic]  So the virtual stack of erotic fiction by my bedside grows (I finally broke down and bought one of those reader thingies), the research continues. Good rule of thumb for erotic fiction: The earlier the break for “personal time”, ah, comes, the BETTER. Also, those “breaks” should be somewhat frequent if the story is, erm, lengthy. And don’t think you get immune to a fully, um, fleshed out sex scene. Yeah, there are only so many words to use and frankly, only one happy ending but oh the ways you can describe it could, well, fill a book.

Drink up! Enjoy! Thanks for listening and reading.

Blurb: [this and excerpt rated PG, no worries... still steamy]

Lisa loves her job in the male-dominated beer sales industry and has built a reputation as one of the best. But she dreads the "ride along" days when beer companies sends their least experienced representatives to see how she operates—until her one bad day turns into something more with The Rookie.

Undercover for his own brewery, Trent has heard of Lisa's prestigious sales prominence and sets out to see for himself—to show Lisa what he is capable of—in business and pleasure. Their attraction leads them to an amazing encounter in the most unlikely place, but will Lisa accept Trent's true identity once it's revealed? Or will she finally surrender and reach out for the unexpected?


She was the pro here. He was the annoying sales rep rookie. Time to start taking her role and showing him his.

When the passenger door opened, she pressed her lips together and flipped the visor back in place. As Trent eased himself back into her car, she resolved to ignore his intense sexual energy and concentrate on work. They were behind by at least half a day for most of her domestic accounts, although he had more than made up for her Michigan beer sales goals in just one morning. She smiled with renewed composure and looked over at him.

As she opened her mouth to tell him about the brilliant new schedule she had just devised, Trent grasped the back of her neck and pulled her lips to his. He eased her lips open with his tongue.

Lisa closed her eyes and gave into the incredible sensation of sharing a kiss, not merely receiving one. His touch was firm—no wasted energy or sloppiness. She moaned and closed her eyes, giving into the need that had been pulsing through her all day long—since she'd first laid eyes on him.

His large callused hands cradled her face as he increased the pressure of his lips. Her hands gripped tighter around the steering wheel as if letting go would imply losing control. When he pulled away, Lisa resisted the urge to whimper and beg him to kiss her again.

"Look at me, Lisa," he demanded. She opened her eyes and met his stare. "I’m not done with you yet."

Facbook: TheBeer Wench
Twitter: beerwencha2

[Tart note:  If you want something a little more... mature, head on over to the Bed Wench link above--there is some great stuff!]

And Thank you my Wenchie friend!


Jan Morrison said...

here I am in the middle of the night -well, truth told, nearly morning AWAKE...our dear new son from Berlin did just as he was told last night and let the dog out when sweet patootie and I went to tai chi. Only he didn't put him on his line. He. just. let. him. out. Drat! I slept for quite awhile with ear plugs in so I couldn't hear him inciting a riot among the other chained up beasties or hear him going after racoons, porcupines or the coyote that has been hanging around as that destroys sleep but then I woke up at 4 AM and thought maybe, sometimes, if I open the back door quietly and call him - he'll be tired and come on in. Nope. But now I'm up. Luckily tartlette - you hosted this wonderful wench. I love reading about your path, Liz. I adore entrepreneurs and am so glad when writers are such AS THEY HAVE TO BE. As the tartlette knows, I'm more of a mojito, g&t, or scotch gal but I do like a well-made beer too. Of course, I'm Canadian, so we like something with a bit more bite than your usual American brew! Ha! A challenge...
Since sleep is ruined I'm going to head over to the Bed Wench link and see what's worth staying up for. Yay for tarts and wenches and w*tches who can't sleep.

Liz said...

@Jan thanks! and I hope your trip to the Bed Wench's world was all you hoped for. As for the American beer comment, I would set you a challenge: go forth and find and consume anything from Stone, Avery, Dogfish Head or even Sam Adams with the word "IMPERIAL" in the name, then get back to me on the "beers with bite" thing....cheers and happy reading!

Hart Johnson said...

Jan-Dogs in Germany must not run amok when set free! Poor Felix-I bet he feels terrible. And darnit, Hoagie, for taking such advantage of the poor boys mistake. (Sorry you didn't get much sleep!) And glad we were here for a little diversion. Hope you enjoyed your trip to the bed wench! (always spicy over there!)

Liz-Jan is a fellow Tart, fyi. And I agree--the nationally distributed Americans pretty much suck, but there are a lot of fabulous micros.

Deb and Barbara said...

Great interview, Tart. Great story and excerpt, Wench. I love that the party has started at 9am!

Lisa said...

This was such a fun post! I really like that excerpt.

Hart Johnson said...

Barbara-you know I try to never let the party die (and the Wench can even wear ME out), so OF COURSE!

Lisa-thank you! Liz is a fellow Firehorse, by the way...

LTM said...

yay! Great stuff--hooray for the beer wench. *sniggle* at you the "nudist purist" w/dancing stipulation. :D

Holly Ruggiero, Southpaw said...

That was a fun interview. I enjoyed the excerpt too.

Cold As Heaven said...

Cool post, Liz (and Hart). Very entertaining.

I think one of the big challenges when writing erotica is to avoid the overused cliches and porn vocabulary, to make it stand out as literature. How do you deal with this? Do you try to put your stories into original settings, or do you try to invent new words (metaphors) and terms? I've tried to do this kind of writing myself, but find it difficult. I sometimes end the story at the point where things start, if you see what I mean, to avoid the pitfalls >:)

Cold As Heaven

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Micro brews are wonderful beers! I'm so excited to be able to get some decent American beers from the store now...our long national nightmare is over!

Thanks so much for guesting today, Liz! Congrats on the writing and beer making--doing everything you enjoy and having fun while doing it.

Hart Johnson said...

*high fives everyone*

CaH-I can give you a little insight on Liz's vocab... she uses the real words, rather than the snort-worthy heaving and throbbing and shafts and rods *rolls eyes* that much erotica counts on. She doesn't repeat words often, swears some, and part of why I find it sexy is she mixes it up with props and locations--in her first novel there is a scene with food props (jalapenos and honey) that is to die for.

Liz said...

Ah yes, the Open House.....sigh...that Jack he is something is he not, Tart? Oh, well, soon we will all share in his Ultimate Yumminess. As for body parts and "mechanical" verbage, truly there are just a few words I use--and I endeavor to mix them up enough and make them seem "real" enough while maintaining that oh-so-important atmosphere that would frankly be imploded by anything resembling "throbbing rods" or "pulsing members" (member of WHAT I ask you? THe C*ck club?) or (my recent fav) "her love cream" Blech.
The Rookie is just a taste, honestly. The 2nd in the Series (Jockey Box) will be out on Breathless Press in January. The story with the food props, well, it's a much bigger project and Wench and Her Beloved Editor whittle away at it nearly daily, when I'm not brewing beer, selling beer, or wondering why the smelly people in the house expect me to feed them.
THANKS FOR ALL YOUR COMMENTS! GO FORTH AND DRINK CRAFT BEER and feast your eyes upon Wench's naughtiness...there is LOT's MORE.

Liz said...

you should all be sure and keep up with your new Wenchie buddy as she makes her way West Thursday to the Great American Beer Festival. A meeting of all the movers and shakers in the craft beer world...I am promised a "private meeting" with (holy shite) my Major Beer Crush: Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head. If you've been reading the Beer Wench blog, you see the theme of Sam Lust that runs through it......will post photos (at least the ones he lets me take) and stuff and commentary on the random naughtiness I'll be up to...I'm up to 6 party invites already! Woot!

Cold As Heaven said...

Thanks for good answers.

Liz, I'll take a look at your site.

Btw, I'm quite happy with the real words, and have used them a lot in my life, but mostly when I speak >:)

Cold As Heaven

Liz said...

fyi for everyone: The Tap Room is the name of the serialized story that is filled in by the published chapters....That group of busy folks is up to Chapter 11 (last posted Aug.23) with links to Chapters 1-10.

Simon C. Larter said...

Ha! Gotta love a real live beer wench. Really, that just about tops it all. I'd consider buying some of your work for my wife if it came packaged with a free six-pack of microbrewery goodness, y'know. (*coughHINTcough*)

What an entertaining guest post, good lady. And by good I mean bad. As in wenchy. Which is awesome.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Liz is quite the character! She traps me in a corner with beer, I'm in trouble...

Helen Ginger said...

Such a fun post. It sounds like the two of you have a lot of fun together!

jenny milchman said...

Huh--I was expecting romance--or porn--and this was neither. Interesting. I could never write it. But I admire those who can, and also the bond between Tart and Wench. I know what coming out of the writer's closet can be--congrats to you both on finding each other!

Cheeseboy said...

Beerotica sounds like a man's dream genre.

clarissayip said...

Great interview! Love Beerotica! We love ya at BP! And can't wait till everyone meets Erin and Jeff next!

Happy writing and Happy sales!


Old Kitty said...

Beer erotica extra strength please!! :-)

Lovely, thank you for making my dull day brighter and more fun. And mine's a pint, cheers!

Bottoms up!

take care