Writing, writing erotica, tongue in cheek commentary on love, life and anything else that comes to mind.
When I introduce myself as a writer I don’t follow up with ‘I’m not a nymphomaniac’, ‘I’ve never been to an orgy,’ or ‘I’ve never had a one night stand.’
But as soon as I say I write Erotica I do have to explain that I’ve no more than the average interest in sex, have never had a threesome and don’t do a full strip tease every time I get undressed.
I can and have vividly imagined doing all of these things though and, where imagination isn’t up to the task, I’ve done some pretty ear curling research.
Once my book, Follow Your Fantasy, comes out with Harper Impulse this autumn, I’ll never meet anyone ever again that doesn’t think I have a handbag full of sex toys for train rides over an hour. And new boyfriends are going to have expectations that only a professional could meet. I’m prepared for that, and maybe it’s a good thing for sales, but I can’t decide if playing up to this image is necessary. Online forums and Twitter are full of Erotic writers that sound more like they’re advertising their services than their books while E. L. James remains quite bashful about her sex life. Maybe coyly rejecting it would fuel the fires more. In the end, being myself is the only role I’m going to be able to pull off with any conviction.
But this Real Me seems to be disappearing in the minds of even the people that know me. Friends who’ve known me for years are already altering their perceptions of me now I write Erotica. The sexier the tale, the readier people are to think you live in a perpetual state of arousal. The only other genre where people equate the writer with what they’ve written is Horror. The more gruesome, the more likely the assumption the author collects human heads. Those saucy or twisted ideas come from somewhere, people think, and that place apparently has to be character not imagination.
I recently met a (very cute) Horror writer online. He writes humorous thrillers and slasher stories. By lucky coincidence I am going to be in Montreal where he lives and so we’ll meet in the flesh. All my friends think he’s going to chop me up and store me in his basement. All his friends probably think I’m going to have him peeling my stockings off with his teeth before we’ve finished our drinks.
I tried to reason with a friend’s suspicion of the guy. Of course his writing doesn’t mean he’s a psycho. For one thing, publishing books and having a public blog about it more or less preclude that, unless he’s got a really brazen double bluff going on. I pointed out that I write Erotica and am not sex mad. And he said that I have a lot of sexual energy and an above average interest in sexuality. That wouldn’t be how I’d describe myself. Do I? I’m very curious about people and sexuality is a huge component of most things related to people, so I suppose I can’t say those two things aren’t a bit true.
Does that same reasoning mean every fan of Horror and Erotica has a darker than average mind and a higher sex drive? Since two of the highest selling authors ever are Stephen King and E. L. James the world must be a much scarier and sexier place than I thought. Which is great news for me ahead of the launch of Follow Your Fantasy.
As long as I make it to the end of my date with the hot horror guy in Montreal.