Right. So a week or so after starting my blog and going on Twitter, I think I am in the saddle. Actually, that's the title of one of my kinkier short stories...And the best way to get with the programme is to practise blogging so that I am ready willing and able to guest blog for other people. I've had fun following some great blogs, very colourful and professional, and now I have to choose some themes for blogs that might interest others. The theme for this one is how last year I returned to erotica when I was on the point of jacking it all in.
After 20 years of writing novels and short stories for Black Lace, Xcite Books and various defunct magazines, I saw the fees dwindling, and when the temporary demise of Black Lace occurred I thought it was some kind of sign that my erotica had gone far enough. It had become far darker than I felt comfortable with, and I didn't feel myself writing it any more. I had other literary ideas to pursue, so decided to give it all up.
Then came 50 Shades, and the world sat up and got het up. And so did my editor, who about a year ago, after himself moving from Black Lace to Accent to Avon, contacted a group of authors and made an offer, or rather a request, that no serious writer could refuse. He ASKED me to try my hand at a trilogy along the more intense, romantic lines introduced by 50 Shades, toning down the language and subject matter, moving it away from the pornographic (which is why 'mummy porn' is such a ridiculous description) elements that had increasingly weighed down some of the other imprints I'd written for, and focusing more on the relationship and romance between two people, the awakening, healing effect they had on each other, exploring the darkness but in a safe relationship, all wrapped around with delicious and sensuous sex.
How many people can say they've been approached by an editor to write a novel? I couldn't say no, and I have really enjoyed exploring the new Erotic Romance model because it has moved away from the old, dark style into brighter, more compelling, dare I say more intelligent romance. My parents might not lap it up, but, I feel confident that the friends who shied away from my erotica in the past can read this and still look me in the eye at the school gate!
It took several drafts to wean myself totally off the old style, but what I felt able to do was to let fly with my imagination, let rip with my language, be poetic if I wanted, quote Shakespeare if I wanted - without being overblown or pretentious, I hasten to add - and most fun of all was getting into the heads and bodies of my protagonists rather than watching them at arm's length, which is how it was beginning to feel with some of my earlier characters. I could see my younger self as Serena, my heroine, developed and matured, and I could fall in love with Gustav, my hero. I let her fulfill another ambition of mine, to be a photographer, and Gustav is the entrepreneur giving her a professional break - in return for certain personal favours she becomes only too eager to pay back.
I won't give much more away. Suffice to say the trilogy is two-thirds written now - the first volume The Silver Chain comes out in August 2012, the second is at first complete draft stage, and I am straining at the bit - yes, the equestrian imagery again - to write the third one.
Now, a theme for my next blog. How about narrowing it down a bit to my favourite type of heroine - the COUGAR?