So maybe you can help me with my dilemma – how do you label a writer when all their stories are so different from each other? Take my very good friend Kilt Kilpatrick, the author of the new Ravenous Romance anthology Under the Kilt. Kilt is a literary chameleon who has written first time gay male erotica, naughty romps of a college co-ed, touching lesbian love stories, and even the occasional straight coupling (or tripling…). And though I have it on good authority that Kilt is a straight male, he certainly has been mistaken for some other sex and /or sexual orientation by readers who’ve assumed that only a gay man, a lesbian, a naughty co-ed, etc., could have written the story in question.
If that weren’t enough tomfoolery already, when he’s not gender-bending, he’s genre-bending. I don’t normally look for spicy erotica in my historical fiction, science fiction, fantasy, steampunk or horror stories, but damn if Kilt isn’t part alchemist and somehow manages to blend the most unlikely ingredients into wickedly delish literary cocktails. Come see what I mean:
A few of the twelve stories in Under the Kilt are perfectly contemporary; albeit very hot – but they’re arranged alongside other sneakier stories that seem buttoned down, ordinary and respectable until they quickly slant into the paranormal like a werewolf at that time of the month. Then there are lush historical tales with settings so richly detailed they’re like stepping into another world. And you’ll also wander through stories set in the strange and scary surreal estate of fantasy, science fiction and horror (Yes, horror – who knew?) “The Tiger’s Tale” is a historical fantasy set in the British Raj, featuring romance, intrigue, danger, tigers and gods in Victorian India.
A feisty Berkeley grad student says “Later Days, Saints” when two Mormon missionaries come knocking on her door with surprising results. Next is “Handsome and Grateful,” a fractured fairytale take on the classic Brothers Grimm story of Hansel and Gretel, complete with a celebrity narrator, a slightly more mature Hansel and Gretel, a wicked witch, and a heroic woodsman – or are they? When the zombie apocalypse hits in “Last Times at Ridgemont High,” is it a nightmare come to life or a surprisingly sexy dream come true for our high school hero? Maybe a little of both…
What, two zombie stories in an erotica collection? A Zombacalypse horror story is an odd place to have a tender romance, but Kilt’s readers have especially liked the touching, haunting “Love Bites: A Survival Guide.” A Seattle fireman thinks he may be the last man on Earth after zombies overrun the world – until a mysterious woman appears. But is she real, or just his imagination, or something even worse? Don’t let the title of “Humahumanukunukuapua’a” scare you. It’s actually a charming story of a mainland girl in Hawaii having to cope with her increasingly powerful girl-crush on her best friend.
For the m/m fans, there are three more treats: “Reach Out and Touch Someone” is the “lost chapter” of Kilt’s debut novel, The Manny Diaries; in fact it’s the original opening to the book, but it was so hot the publishers decided to make it a stand-alone story. “That Afternoon” reads like a stand-alone story of a young man’s first time with another man, but it’s actually an excerpt from TMD, as is the sweet and spicy Christmas story “Santa Claus is Coming.”
Three truly fantastical stories round out the collection, including two never before published: “Mutated States Of America” is a post-apocalyptic romance-adventure set in a bizarre, savage but strangely beautiful near-future earth changed almost beyond recognition. “Lady Cassiopeia’s Amaranthine Palace; or, the Aerial Xanadu” is a quirky, baroque little Steampunk tale with a twist, a high-tech Tolkienesque fantasy set in the wild, wild, west of a techno-magical America that never was. Last is a novella, “The Blue Morpheus Inn,” a magical collaboration between Kilt and another popular Ravenous Romance author, the fabulous Inara Lavey (the bold, brilliant, wicked woman who rocks his world on a regular basis). Three college students heading home for the holidays are forced to spend the night at a mysterious motel where dreams come true, like it or not…
Though set in different times and places, and even different worlds, with varying degrees of fun and seriousness, these dozen Kilty pleasures all share the spicy romance elements that Ravenous readers have come to love. Some are wicked, some are sweet, some feature M/F action, some M/M, some F/F, or varying combinations of hot ménages; something for everyone, really. But make no mistake – these stories aren’t for everybody. Just you.
And btw, true confessions time… As you may have guessed by now, I’m not just an acquaintance who sure knows an awful lot about his very good friend’s anthology: I am Kilt Kilpatrick… and I truly hope you enjoy these as much as I enjoyed writing them for you!
All the best,