The above image is one of several dozen illustrations that were made for my fiction while I was actively contributing short stories to the now defunct Sex Story site called Ruthie’s Club. I can’t actually recall the name of the artist, but the above illustration is one of the better pictures that accompanied my short stories. It was put together to illustrate a set of three shorter short stories I’d submitted to Ruthie’s Club which were published on the same day as each other in January 2004.
The three short stories were New Summer Outfit, Frank Sinatra and Hung Over. They were all included as part of a Bradley Stoke Festival that was featured on the site to showcase the fiction I’d written.
Ruthie’s Club was a sex story website that emerged at the start of the last decade and was founded by the eponymous Ruthie. She was a professional author and editor who wanted to provide a more flattering presentation of the kind of sex fiction that was being featured on alt.sex.stories when the news group wasn’t synonymous with spam and the moderated off-shoot alt.sex.stories.moderated when the number of submissions per day was dramatically greater than it is today. I was paid a modest amount to submit short stories (of a sexual nature) for which several artists of varying degrees of talent submitted illustrations.
After Ruthie died in 2005, the website continued for several more years under the guiding influence of Desdmona and her husband until their ill-health led to the website closing down altogether in about 2010 or thereabouts.
I only mention it because I have started submitting some of my short stories to the website Lush Stories and, because the facility exists, to upload the illustrations that originally accompanied the stories. I’m doing this because I think it’s the only way to give the illustrations some sort of continued existence now that the website where they’d originally appeared no longer exists.
I haven’t used any of the illustrations on my website, though I wonder whether I might not change my policy there. After all, the illustrations exist and many of them make little sense unless accompanied by the story with which it is supposed to be associated.
What do you think?