13 January 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Guest Post by Tessa Ditner, Author of Charlie and the Latex Factory

How on earth did you decide to write about London’s fetish scene? Are you mad?

This book started as my Masters dissertation. I wanted to write about controversial British artists, like Damien Hirst (pickled sharks and diamond skulls), when my tutor set us some homework. We had to interview someone in an unusual place. I figured I’d get some quotes that I could use in my art research. I went to interview people dressed like carnivalesque characters at a rubber ball. I found myself chatting to drag queens, rubberists and fetishists’s at London’s biggest fetish club. I was terrified, but everyone was lovely and happy to answer all my questions about why they were dressed like that, what their normal job was and what it meant to them to have this other, carnivalesque side to their life.

Do you really think people’s fetishes are a laughing matter?

Yes! There are some very funny fetishes out there like bubbliphia (bubble wrap fetish) or statuephilia (fetish for statues or sculptures). In my experience 99% of people with a fetish see it as adding a fun element to their life. I might like to go to the gym when I’m feeling stressed. A foot fetish friend of mine looks out for ankle bracelets when he’s out with friends. He thinks if a woman wears an ankle bracelet it doesn’t matter how classically pretty she is, that makes her stand out.

How much rubber do you own?

The first time I wore rubber it felt sweaty and uncomfortable. Your skin can’t breath so it’s like those nasty running trousers that you wear to lose weight. But then a rubberist explained that no one minds if you’re dripping with sweat in your rubber. It’s normal and not embarrassing.

I did invest in a pink rubber dress with white rubber butterflies sticking out. They have wire in the wings so you can position the butterflies so they’re about to fly away. It was made by a designer called Amy (AmStatik.com) for a few hundred pounds. I had it made because I was writing for Playgirl Magazine UK. We had organised a night out with all the most handsome men that were appearing in the magazine. All the staff decided to wear pink so that it was obvious we were staff and people could come up to us for questions. It was a really fun night with pink cocktails, pink sweets and a room full of beautiful men. It was slightly overwhelming actually. I can’t imagine how Hugh Hefner does it, constantly surrounded by half-naked women with Jessica Rabbit proportions. I also own a few rubber hot pants from Libidex. They’re great for a night of dancing, but I do feel a bit self conscious wearing them, especially if I’m feeling a bit podgy that week!

What will you write next?

I’m writing another chick lit book, it is set in a dystopian Britain, so I’m reading ‘1984’ and ‘Brave New World’ to figure out how dystopian books work and how to integrate that with a funny chick lit protagonist. I’m also writing the sequel to ‘Charlie and the Latex Factory’ because having lived with my characters bickering in my head for four years, it’s kind of hard to just dump them from one day to the next.

Read an extract of Charlie and the Latex Factory here.

About the Author:
Tessa-DitnerTessa Ditner is half English and half French. She is the Contributing Editor of Skin Two Magazine and loves to find new wearable art and latex couture in London’s vibrant alternative fashion scene.She studied philosophy at Cambridge University then later an MA in Writing at Roehampton University.

She has contributed to Playgirl Magazine UK, the art website aqnb.com, the wine publication Decanter, Sports Diving Australia, the British Institute of Humour Studies and been a primate editor for the African Journal of Ecology. Her plays have been performed in the Cambridge theatre The Playroom and she blogs about London’s culture scene as Culture Kiddo.

Her first novel ‘Charlie and the Latex Factory’ is now available exclusively on Amazon. See the trailer and more at charlieandthelatexfactory.com

About the Book: Join Charlie in pursuit of a humour-filled journey of eccentric discoveries and loyal friendship. For fans of Sex and the City, Kinky Boots and The Devil Wears Prada. Or anyone who would quite like to be handed the key to Lady Gaga’s wardrobe.
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When Charlie musters up the courage to attend an interview at the London offices of Latex Factory Magazine, she has barely heard of latex fashion. Nor had she heard of the notorious design editor Ruby.

She is convinced one of the many Dita von Teese look-a-likes will bag the job. But Ruby certainly does not want some burlesque beauty nabbing all the attention and overshadowing her hard-earned reputation as office diva.

Eight months later, Charlie has become Ruby’s right hand girl. She assists on rubber fashion photo shoots, she slides into the occasional Louboutins and apologises when journalists on nearby desks get roped into being an office slave by Ruby.

Charlie however knows her hunky South African boyfriend disapproves of her job, and that her best friend thinks she’s wasting her life. In fact everyone is bent on saving Charlie from the clutches of fetishists. So why does Charlie enjoy her job as an agony aunt so much, rubbing shoulders with the weird and the wonderful?

To satisfy those dear to her, she decides to quit. But should she take that job at the Financial Times and finally become a proper journalist? Or should she follow her man, who needs to return to South Africa to save his dad’s game farm from ruin?

Besides, she doesn’t want people thinking she enjoys her job. Who would want to use bubble wrap as a bed sheet? Be sent free samples of Coco de Mer erotic toys? Or have a custard pedicure?

And she is so not into latex Haute Couture, leave that to Gaga and Katy Perry.

Charlie’s not a fetishist or a rubberist or anything weird like that. No way. Certainly not.

Rating: ★★★★★

Book count for 2013: 00

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