Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Women's Erotica

On radio last night I was asked if there was a stigma about writing erotic fiction.  I gave an answer but I am very uncomfortable about it and need to think this through.

My answer was yes. I said that there is a term that is used; women's erotica which marginalises erotic writers as something that is just for women. I went on to say that it used to be a boys club of erotic writers and that it was only the intellectuals who were often male who wrote it and published it and distributed it in small print runs in an underground way.

My discomfort comes from the idea that erotic writing for and by women is somehow less than that kabal of male writers who used to be the kings of the form. This idea must be snuffed out. Firstly the idea that eros is a lesser form is insane. Erotic writing is such a powerful form - so powerful that it is often banned.  Erotic writing is also a form that can and should be enjoyed by any gender.  Just because you don't have a vagina does not mean you can't read work that describes vaginas. In fact doesn't it make vagina-centric work all the more titillating if you don't have one? You get to glimpse an area of life that you have little working knowledge of. Female arousal is something that many people have only a passing knowledge of. Even many females do not understand or even experience it. Why should 'women's erotica' be a term that lessens a work?

I don't use the term because it is often used to single out more escapist works and books that focus on romantic eros.  I am not really that interested in romance. I like my sex separated from romantic entanglements for the most part. I like my sex pure.

Still I am both uncomfortable with the term 'women's erotica' and also uncomfortable with my discomfort about the term.  Women's erotica should be a term that refers to some powerful, transgressive, challenging and smart writing. At this moment in our history it is used to differentiate erotic writing that tickles rather than punches.  I prefer a full force punch of sexual pleasure that challenges the status quo. I wish that was a form that we called women's erotica but alas it is not.   Please feel free to continue this conversation with me. I would love your thoughts.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Upcoming events

Taking a deep breath before plunging in to the promotion of The Adventures of Holly White and the Incredible Sex Machine. Right around Australia I will be hanging around, banging on about erotic literature and the power of sex. Please join me along the way.

Thursday 30th April Avid Reader Bookshop - In Conversation with John Birmingham at the launch of Holly White http://avidreader.com.au/index.php?option=com_registrationpro&view=event&did=531&Itemid=136&shw_attendees=0

Monday 4th May Better Read than Dead - In Conversation with Benjamin Law at the Sydney launch of Holly White http://www.betterreadevents.com/#!product/prd15/3793180691/book-launch%3A-krissy-kneen-with-benjamin-law

Thursday 7th May Riverbend Bookshop - A conversation with Ashley Hay about the importance of erotic fiction http://www.riverbendbooks.com.au/products/880982?barcode=RBE07MAY2015&title=InConversationwithKrissyKneen

Thursday 14th May Readings Carlton - In conversation with Christos Tsiolkas at the Melbourne Launch of Holly White http://www.readings.com.au/event/krissy-kneen-in-conversation-with-christos-tsiolkas

Thursday 21st May  Sydney Writers Festival Quickies and Corsets with Lee Koffman, Marie-Morgan Le Moel and chair Jane Caro http://www.swf.org.au/component/option,com_events/Itemid,124/agid,4520/task,view_detail/

Friday 22nd May Sydney Writers Festival Secrets from the Bookshop with Evie Wyld and Brook Davis. http://www.swf.org.au/component/option,com_events/Itemid,124/agid,4508/task,view_detail/

Saturday 23rd May Sydney Writers Festival Writers on Writers: Musings in the City with Amit Chaudhuri and Patti Miller http://www.swf.org.au/component/option,com_events/Itemid,124/agid,4508/task,view_detail/

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Book Trailer

Sure, it is not exactly safe to play this book trailer at full volume in most workplaces but as I am working in my pyjamas in my lounge room I am happy to crank it up.  Hope you enjoy.


Saturday, March 28, 2015


I already get a bit of traffic from people seating for DIY vibrators or true sex stories but I am so looking forward to claiming a few new key word search terms when my book The Adventures of Holly White and the Incredible Sex Machine hits the shelves.

Here. I'll add some in for you.

Sex Machines
Wilhelm Reich
Orgone energy
ORAC (The acronym for Reich's Orgone Energy Accumulator and also the computer from Blakes 7.  Coincidence? I think not)
Sexual UFOs
Blue glowing vagina.
Eye in the arse.
secret pornography
atomic orgy

So many many more. If you find this intriguing, here is a link to a preview to my book which will be released on April 22nd.


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Almost there

So my book The Adventures of Holly White and the Incredible Sex Machine will be published on the 22nd April.

I have a book launch in Qld on the 30th April at Avid Reader (in conversation with John Birmingham)

Sydney: Book launch May 4th at Better Read than Dead with Benjamin Law

Qld: May 7th at Riverbend Bookshop in conversation with Ashley Hay about reading and writing erotic literature

Melbourne: May 14th at Readings Carlton with Christos Tsiolkas

Tonight I will be doing a pre-record with Radio National's Paul Barclay for Big Ideas talking about Reading Pornography in a post 50 Shades of Grey world and on April 9th I will be on Richard Fidler's Conversation Hour talking about pornography and my work and also poetry.

The Adventures of Holly White and the Incredible Sex Machine is a big crazy sex romp and I had to read an awful lot of porn to be able to write it.

Holly White finds her sexual power through reading the erotic classics. This is something that she and I share. I owe a debt of gratitude to those who have boldly gone before me, leaving a trail of crumbs for me to feast on as I picked my way out of the woods and towards to the completion of this book. The books I devoured in order to produce this book include the ones referenced within. These are…

A Book of Dreams by Peter Reich
A Spy in the House of Love by Anais Nin
The House of the Sleeping Beauties by Yasunari Kawabata
Vox by Nicholson Baker
Nadja by Andre Breton
A Sport and a Pastime by James Salter
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
Philosophy in the Boudoir by Marquis de Sade
The infernal Desire Machines of Doctor Hoffman by Angela Carter
Little Birds by Anais Nin
The Lover by Margurite Duras
The Delta of Venus by Anais Nin
The Eleven Thousand Rods by Guillaume Apollinaire
The Dangerous Liasons by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos
The Story of O by Pauline Réage (Ann Desclos)
Quiet Days in Clichy by Henry Miller
The Recollections of a Mary-Ann by Jack Saul
120 Days of Sodom by Marquis de Sade
She-Devils by Pierre Louys
Venus in Furs by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch
Irene’s Cunt by Louis Aragon
Josephine Mutzenbacher by Felix Salten
The Story of the Eye by Georges Bataille
Fear of Flying by Erica Jong
Justine or The Misfortunes of Virtue by Marquis de Sade
Eat Me by Linda Jaivin
The Butcher by Alina Reyes
A Thousand and One Nights by various authors

Friday, January 30, 2015

What happens to your brain before publication?

Something happens to your brain just before your book comes out. The thing is you have had your eye on the end product. You have been writing a book for years then in the very recent past you have been editing it. This process has distracted you. Then in that lull before publication you suddenly realise that you will have a book published. It will be read by other people. It is done. It is too late to tell anyone that maybe you need just one more crack at it.

Then something terrible happens to your brain. It is a complete rewiring. Only days ago you could catch a glimpse of yourself in reflection and shrug. Ah well, you could say to yourself. I'll do something about that later. Now, with a book coming out there is no later. Everything is imminent. A photograph in the paper is a possibility. Criticism is imminent. You don't want to look the way you look. You want to look like someone prettier, taller, statuesque, anyone in fact, except yourself. A weird feedback loop has begun in your brain. Your thinking becomes circular. Every criticism of every book or film or meal or anything at all is a reminder that you will face your own critics very soon. Every bad line you read in someone else's book could be your own.

I have been here before. I know what is happening. Still it happens. I am not the only writer who feels like they are standing suddenly naked in front of a stadium full of people.  I send a pdf of the book to people who are going to help me launch it and I scribble an apology alongside the draft - sorry if you don't like it, you don't have to read it all, I understand if you decide you don't want to help me launch it.  OH IT IS AWFUL. AND I HAVE ALMOST 3 WHOLE MONTHS TO GO!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

How poetry is different to prose

I sit myself at the table and I write. The Muse? I will have none of it. I am more interested in hard work than in inspiration. If I wait for the muse I will be waiting a lifetime.

Poetry works differently. I sit myself down and there is nothing but the words on the page, written in a different, heightened state. Poetry must be seized, it seems. At this desk there is nothing. The strict discipline of the craft will leave me with a gaping whiteness on the page like a scream arrested.

Today I feel on the edge of a poetry. I am unbalanced, dizzy with the heat and the shock of my flesh melting into it. I flick between A Grief Observed and Harwood and Best Australian Science and there is a vague hum as if the books are speaking to each other when I am not looking. I pace. This is how I write poetry when I am not mad or bereft. I have to catch it at a glance, side-on, sidling up to it. My note paper capturing the words, resisting judgement.

I open a painting and it is there, that hum, that image between the spidery letters of a word. I am quick to scoop up three lines. Then my pen turns to dough on the page. I must walk away and let the syllables rise like an unwatched pot.
My grandmother is shaking her head, she of the workmanlike elbows and fists. You must grab it - and the fly plucked from the air.  But my grandmother never wrote a poem. There is no grabbing a poem. It is more like photographic developing than sculpture. It is a quite sitting, half-looking, squinting through dark, waiting for the words to settle blackly on the page.

Today I have written two poems.

My grandmother is behind me. Tsking her tongue.
As always,
She is not impressed.