Interview with Erotic Anthlogy Legend Rachel Kramer Bussel
Updated: Aug 20
We are honoured to present you in this interview a specialist, and legend, in the field of Erotic Romance Collections: Rachel Kramer Bussel.
It's not a concidence that Rachel made it with three of her books into our Selection of 8 great Erotic Collections!
And as we said then: having a couple of Sexy Erotic Stories collections or Erotica Anthology books in your library as a 'special collection' is a true treasure trove not only to spice up your reading game, but also as a source of inspiration for your personal Love Life.
Therefore we strongly suggest that you read the interview with one of the most famous and successful Erotica Anthalogy Creater, Rachel Kramer Bussel!
And if you are not yet sure if Short Erotic Stories fit your needs, we suggest that you check out the FREE Excerpt. Could well be, that you will discover your future bedtime read...
We know you for your great Erotic Anthologies like Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Curvy Girls or On Fire. How did it come that you’re so dedicated to providing us all these great collections of sexy stories? How did it all start? Where does your fascination and dedication for anthologies come from?
I got started writing my own erotic short stories back in the late 1990s, and after some of those were published I was asked to start editing my own anthologies. I find the process of anthology editing endlessly fascinating, because I get insight into so many writers’ minds.
I’ve included over 600 authors in my anthologies so far, and hope to get to 1,000 authors as I proceed.
While some readers only prefer full-length novels, for those who like short stories, anthologies can provide the perfect variety, especially for those who either only have a short amount of time for each reading session or just want to get straight to the sexy parts.
Writing a full short story that’s both sexy and reveals character depth is challenging, and I love seeing where authors go with a given theme. My favorite part of editing anthologies is when I receive stories that I’m eager to reread over and over, but that I never would have conceptualized myself.
In total you edited and published over 60 Erotica Collections. The topics you cover range from Erotic Stories for Women, Erotic Romance Stories, Sex Toy Erotica, Oral Sex Stories, BDSM and Spanking to Submission. How do you find your inspiration about all these different genres?
I try to think about what readers want to read and how a theme can be both broad and specific. So if the theme is oral sex, I’ll also try to include some BDSM and some sex toys and plots that readers wouldn’t necessarily expect.
I’m always brainstorming what types of themes readers might enjoy and whether that theme is broad enough to encompass a lot of different stories while still feeling fresh with each one.
Sometimes the themes emerge from the types of stories I receive for a given book, such as the theme of “play” for the upcoming Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 8, which was inspired by submissions I read for Volume 7.
How does the selection process work until you can publish such a collection? How do you choose the stories or authors who can participate to your work?
I post public calls for submissions on my website and authors submit their work.
I usually get around 200 submissions and generally have room include about 20 to 25 stories, depending on length. Then I read them all and look for stories that both fit the theme and are attention-getting, powerful and memorable as well as varied.
Often, I’ll receive amazing stories that are just similar enough to another story I have slated to include that I can’t use it because I don’t want readers to feel like the stories are repetitious.
I try my best to always include a mix of sexualities, settings, personality types and varied characters so that readers are getting a different experience with every story.
I look for stories that surprise me or that touch on the theme in a way I hadn’t considered, or that just have some twist or nuance that I can’t stop thinking about and that I hope readers will have the same reaction to.
Do you see yourself more in the role of an author or publisher? Or do you feel more like a passionate reader who likes to share great stories with others?
I would say I’m both an editor and a reader and fan. While I don’t only include the stories that are my personal favorites, I’m a fan and proud reader of every story in my books.
I love hearing that readers have discovered new authors through my anthologies, and my hope is that they’ll then go on to read other work by those authors.
What keeps you motivated to push forward each day as an author/editor?
I’m always looking for authors creating new and exciting ways of exploring or thinking about sex.
I’ve always said that if I get bored with editing erotica, I’ll stop, but I never have. It’s very gratifying to me as an editor to be able to publish new authors in the genre, especially those who are having their first short story published.
I’m honored if I can be a stepping stone to helping them get published and launch their careers.
Do you have yourself favorite authors or books which deeply inspired you as a person and as an author / editor?
I started reading the Herotica series and the Best American Erotica series, and those are books I still go back to and reread. I’m also a huge fan of the S.E.C.R.E.T. series by L. Marie Adeline and of the writing of Katrina Jackson.
I’m personally a huge fan of Best Women’s Erotica Series and Curvy Girls. First are just great collections of high-heat short stories one can “snack-read”, whereas Curvy Girls is a great example of the variety the Erotic Romance genre provides and, in my opinion, cherishes the beauty and sexiness of every woman out there! Which of your anthologies do you personally like the most?
The Best Women’s Erotica of the Year series is my pride and joy.
It’s wonderful to get to revisit it every year, brainstorm themes, host events and get to know the authors. I decided when I started editing it to include different authors in each volume so I could include as many writers as possible.
I try hard to make each volume different from the last so that longtime readers as well as newer ones will find something to appreciate.
I also have a fondness for The Big Book of Orgasms: 69 Sexy Stories. Those are all flash fiction, 1,200 words or less, and I love how some of the stories incorporate humor but still manage to be sexy, while others are more soulful.
Remark: If you want to find out more why we love both too, check out your special Selection of Erotic Fiction Anthologies here.
If a reader has not yet read an Erotica Anthology: with which one would you suggest to start?
The Big Book of Orgasms: 69 Sexy Stories is a great place to start, because the stories are so short so if someone doesn't like one, they can move on quickly to another one that hopefully is more up their alley.
Orgasmic: Erotica for Women and my July 2021 release Coming Soon: Women’s Orgasm Erotica are also quite varied.
While all the stories focus on women or nonbinary characters, beyond that the plots and scenarios are wide-ranging.
I also recommend Come Again: Sex Toy Erotica because readers will get a sense of quite a variety of toys, both actual ones that are marketed as sex toys, household objects, as well as fictional toys.
For you personally: what is the advantage of a collection of Erotic Short Story for a reader compared to novels or longer stories in general?
I don’t necessarily think they’re at odds with each other, because I read both short stories and novels, but erotica short story collections are great for people who want variety in their reading and want to explore lots of different types of sex within one book.
You’re not investing tons of time into one story line, but instead have the opportunity to try out many different ones.
Anthologies are great for partners who are reading erotica to each other as foreplay or just to get in the mood because they’re short enough to pique your interest and then let you continue to explore in real life.
What do you want to give to your readers with your books?
I want readers to be turned on and entertained, and to hopefully discover or simply appreciate a wide range of human sexuality.
Let's talk about where we can get your books...
My books are available in print, ebook and audiobook wherever you purchase those.
...and your upcoming projects: On what are you actually working? Are there additional books in the works?
I’m always editing more erotica books, with upcoming titles including:
In 2022, flash fiction in The Big Book of Orgasms, Volume 2, an anthology of threesome and group sex erotica, and Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 8, with the theme of play.
Do you want to follow Rachel in order not to miss any of the new releases?
We curated different options where you can follow Rachel Kramer Bussel for your convenience:
Best Women’s Erotica of the Year series
Rachel Kramer Bussel herself
Tumblr Coming Soon Book
And as promised: if you have not yet Excerpt from Coming Soon: Women’s Orgasm Erotica
“Read to Me” by CC Bridges
She heard the strike of a match, and then the air filled with the scent of vanilla. Elise breathed in deeply, letting the action calm her. Footsteps meant Jake was returning. She strained to hear more, but only heard the sound of . . . pages turning?
“Jaqueline gasped when Richard pinched her nipple. She was so responsive. Her entire body shuddered when he touched her. He’d laid her out in his bed, her peach skin flushed against the deep red of his silk sheets. Her arms he’d stretched out over her head to better display the lush fullness of her bosom. She’d closed her eyes and looked away from him. Shy. He liked that.”
Jake was . . . reading to her from that book. Oh God.
She made a sound. It might have come out like a squeak. Jake, bless him, never paused in his reading. “Richard knew exactly what he was going to do to her. He’d make her come so hard she’d be ruined for other men.”
Elise leaned forward to hear better. Jake had deepened and lowered his voice, speaking just above a whisper in a grizzly tone that went right to her center. Her sex dampened, and she longed to squeeze her legs together, to get some kind of relief.
And then Jake was there, his lips on her ear, still reading from that damn book.
“He caressed her breast with one hand, lifting the soft weight of it, and rubbing his thumb over her nipple.” The words were mouthed against Elise’s skin, and then, Jake lifted the edge of her turtleneck, slipping his hand beneath.
She gasped as he made contact with her skin, his hand so warm. First he unhooked her bra, and then he lifted the edges of her top to expose her breasts. The air hit her nipples, hardening them.
“Her breasts were absolutely perfect. Full and round and eager for my, I mean, his touch.”
“Jake, are you still reading from the book?”
“Shhh,” he whispered before mouthing down along her neck, then taking a nipple in his mouth and sucking it slowly.
We still got more for you...
If you are looking for more interview with Erotica authors, you really should have a look at our Author Interview section. Or do you need some reading ideas? Then check out our Top Lists of all the different genres of Erotic Literature as well as our FREE stories section!