When people ask me where I get my inspiration from, well, like all erotic writers I've lived a little, sure. I also mine my travels, my part time work, my friends and neighbours, stories about celebrities, but mostly my stories spring from an over-fecund imagination. Have I been in a threesome, or been whipped by a mask-wearing dominatrix? Well, read my stories and tell me how convincing they are! Any erotic writer worth their bondage gear can, with rounded characters and real situations, take you right into the heart of a story and keep you there.
If that story happens to canter into a slick penthouse suite in Manhattan or a back-street convent in Venice, well, so much the better. The imagination is a great alternative to travelling.
Erotica, unlike porn, should be about atmosphere, suggestion, anticipation and the senses, a climax in the real sense of the word with a beginning, a middle and a satisfying end.
So what do my family and friends think about what I do? My 23 year old son, far from finding it cool, is embarrassed by the whole idea and hides my books if visiting mates are likely to see them. A chosen few of my more 'broad minded' sisters and friends have read them, but others would never look me in the eye again if they knew how expert I am in finding sexiness in strawberries and olive oil!
As to the nuts and bolts of getting published, the world of erotica revolves around the efforts of individual writers. Unlike mainstream publishing, fees for erotic short stories and novels are non-negotiable, fixed by the publishers, so there is no call to share 10% of your precious royalties with an agent. And once you've proven your credentials to an eager editor, then there will be no stopping you.