Why I Write Erotica
The other day, one of my associates on Facebook asked the question, “What drew you to writing erotica?” I’ve had fans ask me that too, and generally I send them a personal response, as I would to nearly any other question sent to me in email. And, simultaneously, another friend reminded me to write more personal columns for my website, not just blog hops or memes. That seemed like a good idea, so I’m beginning a series of articles describing personal views and experiences. I’m not so arrogant as to believe that these things will appeal to a broad audience – why should everyone (anyone?) care about my opinions—but perhaps they’ll click with some of you friendly readers.
Today, I’m going to comment on why I write erotica, as opposed to, say, thrillers, or horror, or YA.
I started writing a long time ago, when I was a child. I was always a writer, it seemed, though, to me, it was easy and I figured just about anyone could do it. It was not a special talent, though I respected people who were my favorite writers. I didn’t associate hard work with writing, therefore I did not believe I had any particular talent. Nonetheless, I kept writing a variety of things: some romance short stories, lots of poetry, school newsletters (printed on mimeograph) and plays. I became a theater arts major in college. My plays garnered attention here and there, but they were not a big splash.
After modeling and acting for about 5 years out of college, and working for the California Living History Center, working and directing at Renaissance Faires on both ends of the state, I went into tech writing. I hoped to make decent money, which, as an actor happens a lot like a lightning strike – rarely.
Tech writing did achieve my goals, but it was flat for me. I found I was good at it, though it was hard to be terribly enthusiastic. I got married to BB, had some kids, and left writing behind for quite a while. I still read many romances and sci-fi books, and plotted out little stories that sparked my imagination. It was a lot like writing out a dream: not much you can do with it.
At one point, I did undertake writing a book. BB was in a creative writing course, and his interest in creative writing made me somewhat competitive. It wasn’t very nice of me, but I didn’t think it would be harmful. (It did turn out to be a sticking point later.) Nonetheless, I wrote a long novel of about 140,000 words. Way too long to get published. Parts of that novel (which you all now know as Daughter of the Moon, Books 1 & 2) were ultra-sexy. I knew a very long novel by a newbie was very unlikely to be published, but I tried and got turned down. Then BB came up with the idea of clipping out the naughtier segments and sending them to an erotic story publisher. Voila! They loved my work and called me to ask me if I could write something for a new imprint of theirs. A erotica F/F imprint. Well, I’d never written F/F, though I had had personal experience with women on an intimate level. But I figured, if a major publisher (this was a big publisher in that industry) actually calls you on the phone and asks, you say, “Yes!” This book was Distant Love by A.L. Reine (it was still a public embarrassment back in 1993, to have your name associated with erotica, especially homosexual erotica). Distant Love sold out its first printing in one week and was reviewed by some of the biggest lesbian publications of the time.
That’s pretty much when I was off and running. I had acknowledged my talent, and it felt awesome.
Then I met my current husband KG (I was divorced from BB by this point). We had a mostly online relationship, and part of that relationship was me writing my fantasies down and sending them to him. We were aiming for a D/s relationship, and he wanted to know what he’d be working with. I thrived with those stories. I wrote them in 3rd person and included many characters I was attracted to or knew from past experiences in my life. They were very sexy stories, all vignettes revolving around the same three imaginary people. They later turned into a book.
My experience with the erotica publisher was several years old, but after a few years writing these little personal stories, KG and I decided I might try the publishing route again. There was a brand new ePublisher starting up at the time. This was a time when ePublishers practically didn’t exist. This new world intrigued me and so I decided to submit an erotic BDSM romance book to them. That was Renaissance E Books, then owned by David O Dyer. Mr. Dyer passed away a few years later, but he’d published a couple of my books by that time. Another savvy person bought Renaissance E Books, Jean Marie Stine, and she’s the head honcho there now. In 2002, she revitalized my work and republished it to Amazon and other sellers. People were buying my books! It made me want to write more…and more…and more. I thought I’d found my niche.
All my books for Renaissance E Books were erotic. That’s what was selling in the eBook market at that time, and it suited my experience and temperament. I’ve been writing for those fans ever since, through Renaissance E Books, New Dawning, Blushing Books (where I started focusing on erotic spanking romance exclusively) and Stormy Night Publications. I hope to continue producing these erotic books for a long time to come.
So, that’s how I got into erotica and why I write it. I stay because it’s something I’m good at, and I don’t believe in hiding your talents under a barrel. They’re gifts from Fortuna, and ought to be exploited so long as they do no harm to others. I love what I do, and especially love hearing from readers who keep me going even when the work is hard and the hours are long.
I hope you enjoy my stories. Please tell your friends that there’s this woman author you know who’s struggling to be the best in her field and who writes uplifting erotic stories; because all my stories have a positive moral and happy ever after ending. Why not smile at the end of a book?
Thank you for joining me here today.