21st March 2014 - Friends Friday - 4 Comments

Friends Friday – Bella Settarra and Smut by the Sea Inspiration!


I first met Bella Settarra at Smut by the Sea last year, now she’s going to tell you how the smut event changed her life!

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My Smutty Story by Bella Settarra

 Who wouldn’t want to write a book which was good enough to get published?  I don’t know many people who would turn down the opportunity, to be honest, but it seems to be one of those things that we manage to put off when life gets in the way.

I was in hospital in March 2013, recovering from yet another operation.  I promise you now that this isn’t turning into a sob story!  I am in remission for breast cancer and it’s proving to be a very complicated journey.  While lying in the intensive care unit I started to take stock of my life – as you do – and realized that the only real regret I had was never taking my writing seriously.  I’d always wanted to be a published author, and had always written, but somehow had never taken that massive step between the two, ie sending my work to a publisher.  It sounds simple when you say it, but with an extreme lack of self-confidence, for me it felt more like being asked to climb Mount Everest!

I mainly wrote children’s stories and attended writers workshops and the odd conference when I could manage it, and found it very inspiring but had never felt encouraged enough to send anything off.  Then, following my hospital stay, I noticed the ‘Smut by the Sea 2013’ event advertised on the internet.  I love reading erotic romance but had never written any of it, and thought it would be fun to go along and see what it was like.

My very supportive hubby offered to drive me up to Scarborough and attend with me, as I would only be 3 months post-op, so to speak, and was finding everything very tiring, especially my day-job, where they very ‘kindly’ decided to increase my work load and my hours shortly after I returned to work.

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‘Smut by the Sea 2013’ took place on 22 June so the weather wasn’t brilliant, but then, who would go to a British seaside town without a brolly?  I was relieved that it wasn’t a massive event; I don’t think I could have coped with lots of people and noise at the time, and it had a very relaxed atmosphere.  We were made to feel very welcome by everyone we met, and had lots of opportunity to ask questions in between sessions.  Listening to authors read their work was awe-inspiring, though I didn’t think I would ever be able to do it myself.  I enjoyed their work and bought several books which were for sale at the event – I even managed to get them autographed!  I was surprised at how open the authors were, and willing to offer advice and tips for writing and getting published.  It didn’t feel like you were trying to get a job which would then limit everyone else’s sales; it was more like they were saying ‘come and join our family, we’d love to have you on board!’

On my journey home I was flicking through the book of the event which I had bought, and was amused that the authors had been given the brief to write a short, smutty story centred around or including the sea or other related topics.  I started to imagine what I would have written and started jotting down notes, just for fun.  When I got home I continued with my ‘short story’ in my spare time, and very quickly realized that I had failed the brief.  My ‘short story’ turned into a 32,500 word novella, Last of the Sirens, which I was really proud of.  So proud, in fact, that I took a chance and sent it to a publisher, who informed me within the month that they wanted to publish it.  By then I had already been bitten by the bug and started on the sequel to that book, Scourge of the Siren, which was also accepted by the publisher.  The first book was launched on 22 November 2013 – literally five months after the Smut by the Sea event.  I am now editing the fifth book in that series, which is entitled ‘Sirens and Sailors’ and have the sixth and final book of the series plotted out.

Incidentally, I had to give up the day-job at Christmas when they announced another increase in my hours which I knew would literally cripple me, but with the writing starting to flourish I felt more empowered to make that decision.  I now spend my days writing and being at home for my daughter, which I love and my health has significantly improved, too.

In June 2014 my first two books will be published in paperback, while I am hoping to have the other four out as e-books, and I’ll be reading from one of them at ‘Smut by the Sea 2014’. I think it would be fair to say that ‘Smut by the Sea’ changed my life!

sirens

Having reluctantly been taught to become a Siren on the ancient island of Refrainia, virginal, naive Amaranda gets her sexual awakening in the arms of handsome sailor, Eban Gal, whom she saves from drowning.  The lovers’ attempt to flee the island is thwarted by the elderly leader, Hermandine, who imprisons Eban and forces Amaranda to seduce the sailors with the other Sirens on Destiny Rock.  While Amaranda is being attacked, Eban is bewitched by beautiful Siren, Kalliope.

 

When Eban and the sailors realize the horrors afoot on the island, they challenge the Elders to change their laws and lifestyle.  A treacherous voyage in search of Poseidon is the only solution, so the couple, along with two sailors set off.  A violent encounter with the Teras, a hideous sea-creature, threatens to end Amaranda’s life, and destroy their ship, and, with no sign of the Sea-God, all their efforts appear to be in vain…

 

Available from:

Siren Bookstrand:  www.bookstrand.com/last-of-the-sirens

Amazon:  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sirens-Sailors-Siren-Publishing-Allure-ebook/dp/B00HCOHV04/ref=cm_cr_pr_pb_i

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/last-of-the-sirens-sirens-and-sailors-bella-settarra/1117793941?ean=9781627408295

 

Inspired by Bella’s tale? Then join us at Scarborough library on the 14th June for this year’s Smut by the Sea event! Erotic tombolla, sessions from Erotica greats to inspire your writing, readings to whet your appetite and even a free lunch. See you there!

4 responses to “Friends Friday – Bella Settarra and Smut by the Sea Inspiration!”

  1. Thank you so much for having me over today, Victoria. I can’t wait to see you again at Smut by the Sea 2014 in June! :)

  2. We’re gla

    We’re glad to have you join our merry band of smut authors!

  3. I know, Smut by the Sea is coming around so quickly now, yay! See you there!

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