Marge T Feltcher
I’m a mainstream author with literary pretentions. I like books to be big fat wedges of paper. I’ve never been an admirer of ‘genre’ fiction. I’m also British, with an old fashioned degree in English Literature and Drama from an old-fashioned ivy covered English university.
So what’s my excuse for sending a BDSM story to Sascha Illyvich for inclusion in an American e-anthology? I just couldn’t help it; I’m sorry! (We Brits are always apologising.
There was pain. About ten years ago I was editor at Lief Publishing in Durham, UK, arguing with authors about their texts. I edited ‘Savannah’, a literary Science Fiction novel, for publication as a slim wedge of paper, and tried to bash every genre cliché out of it. I sat with my ‘victim’; the author, in the same room and interfered with his work. I’m not usually driven to violence, but we got very close to committing justifiable homicide.
Here in the old country we do things differently. Webster’s dictionary looks all wrong to us. We think an ass is a donkey (shades of forbidden bestiality!) and prefer an arse. A bum is the Brit equivalent of the US fanny. A Brit fanny is one of our many words for the vulva. Editing for ‘clarity’ can get a little complicated.
I had a career in Genito-urinary and sexual medicine when women only shaved or waxed if they were ‘dirty’. I had to write an instruction manual for patients, to be translated into all major world languages. It required women to sit on the toilet (john) and use a torch (flashlight) so they could see their fanny (vulva) clearly before inserting the product we’d developed. Regulatory affairs in the US had to sign off all ‘directions for use’ before we got translations done, and I got a call from a nice guy who’d majored in Philosophy at Harvard. He said they were substituting ‘flashlight’ for ‘torch’ in case we got sued by patients who accidentally burned off all their hair.
We had an argument. We decided to print two sets of English instructions; one in American, and the other in ‘Commonwealth’ English.
Sascha helped me cross the Rubicon of our ‘common language’, and now I’m published in American. In a ‘genre’ e-book. There’s my story, rubbing its digital bits with a varied selection of erotic tales, each one with its own distinctive style.
Under another name, I got shortlisted for the 2011 Bridport short story prize, for a story which isn’t in the least erotic, and I’m working on a ‘mainstream’ novel. But I still have this problem; when I write about people, characters take on a life of their own, and they often start doing very kinky things with each other. It’s not my fault, honestly.
I always write about how people think, feel and respond when things happen to them, and hope, in erotic and ‘everyday’ stories, my readers find themselves immersed in what my characters go through, and emerge feeling they’ve experienced things that change the way they see life.
Marge's story "Taken for a Ride" details the mental experience a submissive encountered and her transformation of acceptance in Bound for Love