From Top to Bottom is a short tale about three sexually adventurous men who, um, well, decide to become more sexually adventurous. I originally wrote this for my last publisher who, when first contacting them, was told that erotica and romance are what sell best. I wrote a romance that has been both praised and critiqued for not being true to the genre. As for this naughty novella, it was a challenge set by my partner and two friends.
It wasn’t easy.
My first contemporary novel, Drama Queens with Love Scenes (relaunching on April 17), was originally contracted to a small general publishing house in Boston. When it was first edited I received a nasty note from the head of the company complaining about the lack of sex in the book. He went on to say ‘How can you call this an erotic novel?’
That book was magical realism, and anyone reading that would have worked that out. There was never any discussion about it being erotic.
So the editor encouraged me to add sex scenes.
I protested once. It was my first book contract so I didn’t protest beyond that. I added three sex scenes to that novel, which to this day I don’t believe are needed. But they’re light scenes so they don’t distract too much.
She gave me advice on writing these erotic scenes, which I didn’t follow, but thought I should add in this blog for others who might like to know. Apparently, you sit on a towel, naked, in front of your laptop and just type whatever comes into your head. Don’t censor it.
Three days later go back as the author and tidy it up.
So how did I write the scenes for From Top to Bottom?
I’ll keep that a secret but will admit I had to find various ways to let loose and write. What I was more interested in was the characters and their journey during the story. Each one comes to terms with something different during their sexual exploration, each finding their new path with humour.
3 Replies to “Writing Erotica”
I have to say, I do write sex scenes in my books and I have never sat naked in a towel to write them. That is such weird advice. So is forcing sex into a book that doesn’t need it.
I’m so glad you stuck to your guts and didn’t do what some authors do, with sex in every other chapter, just because it “sells”. But From Top to Bottom is fantastic, for that reason, because it has sex but it’s more about the characters, which I loved!
I’m looking forward to your re-releases, too.
Thanks very much Elle. It’s going to be fun seeing my old books revamped.
I never had that problem with writing erotic scenes, and maybe because I have been online so long that I have had real experiences that allow me to write sex freely. I think it just takes some desire to write those scenes and maybe have a focus of someone you have always wanted to be with, like you are close enough to touch but you can’t. great post btw