The Curse of the Introvert - a short true story

Whilst the kiddo was in her gymnastics class the other day, I and a bunch of other parents were sat in the reception area. Normally I take my laptop with me and knock out a few words, the other day, a chatty lady began chatting. She was nice, we got on well. Then she asked me what I do for a living. I was brave for a change and instead of just telling her I'm an accountant (which usually ends the conversation then and there because that's boring as fuck) I said, "I have two jobs, I'm an accountant and an author".

Of course, I should have known that would lead to more questions. "What sort of books do you write?"

Me internally: oh god I can't say erotica, I'm in a room full of people I don't know and there are little kids playing nearby and I don't know this woman, she might be a bible thumper who hates that kind of stuff and then we'll have to spend the next hour sitting opposite each other in awkward as fuck silence... then I can't say steampunk because I'm pretty sure she won't know what the fuck that is and then I'll have to try and explain it and I really can't be arsed to do that, I just want to fucking write.

Me: "Fantasy."

"Oh. Have you published anything?"

Me internally: you gotta be fucking kidding me? I mean, I want to make a sale, but shit, I don't want to spend a whole hour of my life trying to sell one fucking book. Besides, I still can't explain what my books are about without people giving me totally confused looks... fuck, shit, fuck...

Me: "I have published 5 books with a sixth on the way... What do YOU do for a living?"

Having successfully deflected the conversation for the next five minutes where I listened politely as she told me about her photography business and showed me the pictures on her phone (which were actually very good) then her daughter came out of the class and moved the conversation away. I opened the laptop, wrote for an hour while they played chess (she had two kids so her son was still in a class)

At the end of the hour I closed my laptop down and was about to go collect my daughter when she hits me with...

"So can I buy your books online?"

Me internally: whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy?

Me: "Sure, google E.C. Jarvis and you'll see all you need to see."

I disappeared as quickly as fucking possible after that.

Oh the plight of the introverted writer.

Things To Avoid When Writing Erotica/Love Scenes

I've been lazy and not updated this blog for a while.

I'm not going to apologise, sometimes life just gets in the way and that's ok.

Instead I'll share a guest post I wrote recently for Our Write Side

It's a little guide for anyone who has trouble writing those naughty scenes that sometimes creep into their books. Check it out Things to avoid when writing Erotica/Love Scenes

The Underdog Genre

When I began writing my erotic romance book,  I started it for no reason other than I had this story in my head that wouldn’t go away. I viewed it simply as an exercise in writing with no intention of writing a whole book, let alone a series, and certainly wasn’t considering publishing. Well here we are several months later, the first book is out, the second is half way done and the series will be a trilogy – this damn story just will not go away.

What I have learnt since embarking on the next phase after the first draft was completed – you know the phase no-one tells you about, the networking, the marketing, et cetera – is that erotica is generally looked down upon by the literary elite. I tell my authorly friends that I’m publishing an erotic romance and watch their noses screw up in disgust. I know why. There are lot of badly written books in the world, especially when it comes to erotic works. It is very easy to write a bad erotic book with one dimensional characters (and that’s being generous) and a non-existent plot. Add to the fact that erotic books – in spite of having a humongous audience – are still seen as a guilty pleasure, a naughty taboo, something people just don’t admit to reading. Most writers who do publish erotica do so under a pseudonym. So for me to stand up and proudly announce that I’ve written one and stuck my name on it in big letters, people look at me like I’m mad.

But guess what folks? I’m not. I approached this book as with any other. I began first and foremost with the characters. I’ve said before that the thing readers connect with in a book is the characters. Not the plot, not the worldbuilding, not the situations – the characters. I didn’t even start to think about sex (even though there is a sex scene right at the beginning of the story), until I knew a lot about who my starring people were. Then followed the plot, which is born from the characters and their needs and desires, then the worldbuilding and so on. The sexy parts of the story are entirely relevant to the plot. This – I hope – is what takes my work, and any other good erotic story, and sets it apart from the plethora of ‘bad’ erotica out there.

Additionally, my approach to the actual naughty bits was considered. I avoided the overly graphic descriptions, any that you might spot are sparsely scattered and carefully placed. You can write erotica without being vulgar. Neither do I sugar coat it, I call a spade a spade, nobody gets ‘deflowered’ the sexy parts are sexy.

Am I still glad to have stuck my name on it? Absolutely. I stand by the work. I’m not ashamed of it in any way shape or form and if you think I should be then you are the one with the problem, not me.

Here’s to good erotic literature. It is looked down upon, sneered at and thought of as the underdog genre. Pushed to the darkest corner of bookshops (if at all) and condemned as poor writing for horny housewives by literary snobs who secretly like a good hard hump just as much as anyone else. Don’t discount erotic work without first reading one of high-calibre, and if you don’t know where to start, I can make a good recommendation ;)

Check out the look inside feature and see if you get hooked…

Write on!


Ok, let’s talk erotica.

Book three of the Blood and Destiny series has been ceremoniously shoved in the hands of the publisher.  So, today I’m picking up on my partially written erotica story. It’s a fantasy set in a made up version of the Victorian era in a world called Kienia. We follow Lenora, the Emperor’s wife, as she embarks on a quest to get knocked up after realising her husband is plotting to bump her off because she hasn’t given him a child (of course he doesn’t think for one minute that he could be the problem). Doesn’t sound like a very romantic premise for an erotica story does it?

It’s different, granted, from the myriad of erotica books out there. The knock off versions of 50 Shades, the repeating themes of a dude who suffered some trauma leaving him unable to love until he finds this one special girl and blah blah BORING.

 I wanted (as ever) to write something a little different. A story from the woman’s perspective where sex is arguably, her only tool against oppression. It’s about a young woman learning the boundaries of her sexuality. A woman in a male dominated society where the place of the woman is simply to breed and look pretty. Naturally she is far more than that and so she embarks on a red hot journey to regain control of her life, and along the way lots of hot and horny things will occur to get your blood boiling.

Will it sell well? I don’t know and I don’t care. I don’t write to make sales, I just write for the love of it. I also feel it’s good to have a different perspective. The market is flooded with repeating tales because people write what sells. There’s no integrity in that. Did I just say an erotica book can have integrity? Sure, why not?

Am I writing to pleasure myself? (pun intended). Naturally, if one writes a comedy and doesn’t find it funny then it will not be funny. If one writes a drama and doesn’t think it dramatic then it isn’t. So it only makes sense that one should find oneself all hot and bothered when writing an erotica, otherwise you’re doing something wrong.

Underpinning all the sexy scenes my focus is on the two most important elements of any book, character and plot. I’m enjoying writing it and I hope the readers will enjoy it twice as much. Here’s to whatever floats your boat or gets your blood pressure up, and never look down on an erotica novel, they sell well for a reason ;)

Next week I may tease you with a section from the book, but only if you’re good.


Write on!