Claiming of Sleeping Beauty Sequel

Claiming of Sleeping Beauty Sequel

This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series Anne Rice

novel beginning to new year

Claiming of Sleeping Beauty author Anne Rice

Claiming of Sleeping Beauty author Anne Rice aka A. N. Roquelaure

Author Anne Rice announced plans for a 4th installment in the notorious Claiming of Sleeping Beauty series of erotic books yesterday, a novel way of ringing in 2014.   Rice originally penned three books in the series, The Claiming of Sleeping BeautyBeauty’s Punishment, and Beauty’s Release under the pen-name A. N. Roquelaure.  Earlier novels in the series were released between 1983 and 1985.

Rice is the author of more than thirty books, with total sales of close to 100 million copies.  Her work includes five erotic novels under two pseudonyms, she also wrote Exit to Eden and Belinda as Anne Rampling circa 1985-1986.

Rice’s most popular writings to date have been The Vampire Chronicles series, of which Interview with the VampireThe Vampire Lestat, and The Queen of the Damned were adapted into a pair of major motion pictures.

” claiming of sleeping beauty” announcement

Rice’s announcement wasn’t made in a press conference, nor did it come from a publicist.  Rather than using traditional media sources to declare her newest project, Anne Rice instead made a couple of posts at Facebook announcing the new effort.

And when I was writing these erotic novels, I did indeed meet sympathetic members of the BDSM community and found them inspiring and kind. My best friend at the time of writing was John Preston, a very famous S&M erotic novelist. And he was always an inspiration. The Wikipedia article on “The Sleeping Beauty Trilogy” needs to be corrected and updated. And I will be writing a new Roquelaure book in 2014. I’m working on it now.

She also made another Facebook posting referencing an article titled – We Were Kinky Long Before 50 Shades of Gray where she also referenced the new Claiming of Sleeping Beauty project.  Then picked up on Rice’s Facebook posting creating an article – Anne Rice to Write New Roquelaure Novel – which Rice promptly reposted.

30 year anniversary

“The Sleeping Beauty books are causing no end of excitement, really. It’s kind of amazing. I had no idea people would care that much.”
~ Anne Rice

When it was first released, The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty seemed almost transcendent.  It was easily the best erotica I’d ever discovered.  I found it to be better written than The Story of O, far sexier than Venus in Furs, and much more relevant to my interests than either Lolita or Lady Chatterly’s Lover.  But that was then.  While they were certainly exciting reading in their day, to some eyes the original trilogy hasn’t aged especially well.  It’s been whispered in some circles that Rice obviously had an active and fertile imagination, but precious little (if any) real experience with BDSM.  I’m not sure that the erotic retelling of a fairy-tale calls for perfect realism, to be very honest.  And, it wasn’t Rice’s original ambition to be realistic, it was to write the sort of erotica she wanted to read herself.

I wrote it because I thought most pornography was 1) Victorian classics revived and repackaged or 2) Hack work by people who didn’t share the fantasy. So I decided to write the pornography I wanted to read, to prove that good S&M porn could be done without murder, burning, cutting or any kind of real physical harm; that a delicious pornography of detailed S&M games — dominance and submission, humiliation and love —- could be made, all of it with elegance, refinement, and some romance. I created a fairytale kingdom of luxurious chambers, gorgeous costumes, and handsome and beautiful royal slaves, a world filled with romance, some intrigue and a lot of detail as to sexuality. I wanted it to be fun.

And truly, great fun it was!

can it be the same?

claiming of sleeping beauty - bookcoverBack at the time of their release, Rice’s books seemed to be a revelation.  I once owned first printing copies of the entire series, and two of the three still inhabit my erotic bookshelf, albeit a bit worn around the edges.  And, it’s true that the Claiming of Sleeping Beauty trilogy literally helped some of us to find ourselves, and the BDSM community.  I used the series as part of introducing my ex-wife to BDSM back in 1989, and it was her penchant for loaning the series out to friends as a part of introducing others to BDSM that caused the loss of one of the originals.

Yet, I have to wonder, if after the passage of 30 odd years, if any return to the concept is likely to work.  I’m not alone in asking that question.  Once again, using Facebook as a source, here’s what sex educator, author, and publisher Janet Hardy had to say in response to Rice’s announcement:

 The Beauty books led very directly to my finding the scene, and to my career as a sex writer and educator – it’s not at all an overstatement to say that they changed my life. I wonder if the new one will work for me at all, or if I’ve left that newbie enthusiasm behind me.

Yes, books like the Claiming of Sleeping beauty were once life changing, and not just for folks like myself, they had their effect on Janet Hardy too.  With that said, in light of the entire 50 Shades of Grey phenomena, will simply being life changing ever be enough?  I’ll never consider E.L. James’ books to be life changing works of fiction, but there’s no denying that the phenomena was an agent for change at the societal level.  Never again will kink and BDSM be looked at in the same light, the vast popularity of the 50 Shades series even spawned a local billboard for an upscale eatery.  Would you have imagined, just a few short years ago, an ad campaign based on “Your Safeword is Meatloaf” as a slogan?

Anne Rice Posts Link to My Site!

Anne Rice Posts Link to My Site!

This entry is part 2 of 3 in the series Anne Rice

When I was growing up, my Mom commonly used an expression designed to keep me from getting too full of myself – “Don’t break your arm patting yourself on the back.”

Well, I have to confess to you, my dear reader, this particular post is the kind of thing that would have elicited that phrase from her.  If a few moments of self-congratulatory rhetoric are bothersome for you, this would be a good post to skip.  I don’t want to get carried away, but I really would like to bask in the glow of a serendipitous occurrence.  Early yesterday evening, around supper time, I noticed a sudden increase on traffic to the site.

To be very honest, if twenty people showed up to here in an hour, it would have been a jump in viewership.  Michael Samadhi’s Joy of Kink isn’t much more than a week old, and I really haven’t been doing much to publicize the site.  So, the few friends that have stop by to read didn’t actually account for a lot of traffic.  Then suddenly I had 620 unique visitors in a single hour . . .

Anne Rice sends readers

Anne Rice

The reason for the sudden increase in viewership?  Bestselling author Anne Rice posted a link to yesterday from her account on Facebook.  Suddenly, instead of 60 total viewers for the day, I had 1500!  My post was about an announcement Ms Rice made just after the dawn of the new year, that she was working on a 4th installment of the Claiming of Sleeping Beauty series of BDSM erotica.

And, my oh my, was the link from Ms Rice appreciated! Not only is Anne Rice part of a very select handful of authors writing BDSM erotica that I truly admire (Laura Antoniou being the other big name) she also seems to have appreciated my essay.  In linking to my essay, here’s what she said:

Here’s an interesting discussion of my decision to write a fourth Roquelaure novel. My Roquelaure novels (The Sleeping Beauty Trilogy) are pure erotica. They don’t claim to be anything else. Comments welcome. (If you weigh in on the blog, please do be polite and respectful. I found this to be a very respectful article.)
~ Anne Rice 1/11/2014

I don’t want to sound too much like what the media these days are calling an “overzealous fan”1 but I did write a fairly “gushing” type response over on Rice’s page at Facebook

thank you

Thanks for the link to my writing. And thank you for all the wonderful writing you’ve contributed, erotica included! I’ve read your work for a long time, and I applaud your courage in returning to write another installment in the Sleeping Beauty Series!
best regards,
Michael Samadhi

beautys punishmentThe truth be told, every author desires readers.  My writing is a very personal process, but it’s also my way of sharing my journey and  passing along some of the wisdom I’ve accrued.  But, I don’t write for myself, I write for an audience.  I write simply in order for my voice to better be heard.  So, readers sent my way are always a blessing.

Ever gracious, Anne Rice even responded to my gushing note:

Thanks, Michael. I liked what you wrote very very much.

Now, from the perspective of a journalist, I do have to guard against letting Anne’s kind attitude affect me.  With the re-release of the entire series last year, it seems to be a good time to get the series out and read them again myself, and I don’t want to be biased in favor of the series anymore than I already am.  The phrase “fair and balanced” is an excellent goal to aspire for, despite it being tainted by cynical television networks.

Anne I really am looking forward to revisiting your writing, and I very much look forward to the nest installment.

Michael Samadhi

Autographed Claiming of Sleeping Beauty

Autographed Claiming of Sleeping Beauty

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series Anne Rice

Being Facebook friends with a famous author can have it’s benefits.  Earlier today, Anne Rice told her friends on Facebook about a special offer involving autographed copies of The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty:

Personally autographed copies of “The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty” in trade paperback are still available at some Target stores in the country. Can’t tell which ones have sold out, which ones still have the book, etc. But books are out there, some signed in blue ink, some in black. This is the first novel in my erotic “Sleeping Beauty Trilogy” and these books are not for everyone. They are erotica and a bit extreme. But I hope some of you will be responding to the offer at Target. It is an “in store” offer only. And only in the US.

special offer @ Targetautographed copies of the Claiming of sleeping beauty available at target

Of course, Rice also announced the promotion on Twitter as well, so it’s not exactly a closely guarded secret.  Still, it’s good to know that autographed copies of The Claiming of Sleeping are out there waiting to be purchased.  With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, an autographed copy of The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty makes a great gift idea for that special Dominant or submissive in your life.

I once had a first edition first printing copy of “The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty“, but it was lost when my ex-wife loaned it to a coworker.  I’m going to be stopping by a Target tomorrow, perhaps an autographed copy of “The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty” will properly replace that long-lost first edition.