I’ve been invited to participate in the baton blog hop, a collaborative effort of erotica writers to promote good stories and better writing. I am going to answer the following four questions, and then pass the baton to three other writers you really ought to read.
- What are you working on?
- How does your erotica differ from other erotica?
- Why do you write erotica?
- How does your writing process work?
What are you working on?
I’m putting the finishing touches on a dark erotic thriller, about the sex lives of people who live in a small town called Carnal, and how their lives intertwine over the course of one summer. I’m still looking for a name for it, but it’s a collection of previously released titles, including American Girl, Dirty Business and Bench Warrant.
Here is a little snippet:
Gloria Dean goes to Carnal to escape the harsh judgment of her family and friends, but soon discovers she can’t escape her harshest critic. Rafia Saad is a shy girl who wants to transform herself into someone new, but she doesn’t realize that these transformations always come at a cost. Joe Murphy thinks of himself as a straight shooter, always eager to help his neighbors, but he is a man and sometimes even a good man loses his way. As summer closes, these three find their lives hopelessly intertwined. In the small town of Carnal, everyone is driven by desire, and no one leaves town a virgin.
How does your erotica differ from other erotica?
Almost all my stories take place in a small town named Carnal, where none of the rules for Romantic Erotica apply. I like exploring the line between a character’s own desire and society’s expectations of them. My work is often dark and realistic. A lot of my male characters are married men, cheating on their wives. The women in my stories often know exactly what they want and how they’re going to get it. If there is a teenager in my stories, that person is typically trying to come to grips with his or her own powerful needs, in the face of some trickster working against them for their own benefit. I like power plays. I like Devil’s Deals, blackmail and dubious consent. My stories are like the Breaking Bad of erotica. It’s not that I hate happy endings, it’s that I don’t like telling bad stories.
Why do you write erotica?
I find it very empowering. I have been an intensely sexual person all my life, but have always had to hide my desires. Now it feels good to write the stories I’d like to read. Because of my experience, I feel as if the stories I write are uniquely mine. No one else is going to write about the things I write about, in the ways I write about them. My biggest limitation is my own writing ability, but I am getting better with every story I write. I am teaching myself to write fiction by writing what interests me most. Right now it’s erotica.
How does your writing process work?
Sometimes I take something that happened to me and embellish it. Sometimes I take something someone told me and go in a different direction. Often the stuff that happens in real life is weighted by a complicated morass of conflicting feelings. I try to keep as much of that as possible. If you want to tell a good story, it’s got to have a basis in reality. But I also try to keep my eye on the purpose of the story—it’s got to be hot. You have to find ways to keep the reader engaged.
Sometimes I take something that turns me on. It can be anything. Sometimes it’s a scene from a porn flick I watched at a friend’s house many years ago. Sometimes it’s a newspaper article. Whatever it is, it’s just the raw material. You have to invest in the characters, imagine what they’re saying, what they’re feeling, what they’re wearing. I often do a treatment to get started. I try to write anywhere from 50 to 500 words about the story. If I can find some way in, I take the story on. For me, finding a way into the story means finding a character that comes to life in the treatment, or a situation that seems really interesting and doable. If any of that happens, I start drafting the opening scene. I tend to write in sequence from first scene to last. Once I have a complete draft, I cut the stuff that seems to slow the story down, even if it’s a scene I really like a lot. You have to ruthlessly commit to the story or it just doesn’t work.
And now it’s time for me to pass the baton.
Check out these awesome erotica writers!
Sybil Rush is currently a research scientist and erotica writer. However, she has been, at various times, a striptease artist, an enlisted soldier, and a midwife. Her stories can be found in Valentine’s Day (Stringybark Press), and Shameless Behavior (Go Deeper Press).
Michele Micheal Rakes lives in a small town in the shadow of a big mountain. She works as a surgical technologist assisting in the removal of testicles and penile implants. She has three grown children, two psychotic Egyptian Mau’s, a husband with hair down to his ass, and two Harley’s. Her latest release is Cold Darkness (MuseItUp Publishing).
Elliot DeLocke was born in small town Australia and raised in big city Asia. He works in an office by day and writes by night. He’s interested in fantasy, horror, feminism, history, and how sexuality connects them all together. He’s battled wildfires and insomnia to be here and is grateful to have the chance to share his stories.