- Blog articles & book reviews
- Racism hurts writers
- The story behind Flowers for Kate in Rainbow Desire
- Author interview: Eileen Troemel, USA Today Bestseller
- Secret Love by F. Burn
I want to share a story with you, and it explains a little why I doubt myself as a writer and struggle with confidence sometimes.
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember because it’s cathartic, not because I wanted to make a career out of it. Yet, it’s what I do for a living.
Growing up, I did well in maths, science, history, and other subjects, but I didn’t enjoy them as much as I loved English. I was an avid reader who used writing to scream out my emotions, while I remained the shy introvert who listened rather than talked.
I moved around due to my parents’ expatriate career and lifestyle and became accustomed to different styles of writing and British and American spellings. My English teachers at the international schools were great, motivating me to meet my potential via advanced English programs.
When I hit my teens, my parents split, and my mother moved to Australia to raise three kids while going to night school and working a day job. We dealt with many struggles, yet I adapted to the new life and did well academically.
Now, here’s the thing. I am not purely white. My mother is 100% ethnically Chinese, making me a 50-50 split between Asian and European (Dad’s heritage is English, Welsh, Irish and Scottish).
During my mid-teens, I had a new English teacher. When I first met her, I thought the world of her. She appeared to be gentle, angelic, and youthful. However, she was anything except angelic to me after meeting my mother at a parent-teacher social event.
What shocked me was when I received my English results. I went from being a straight-A English student to getting nothing better than a C.
I confronted the teacher, asking her why I was getting average marks.
Her response? I was not Australian.
I remember feeling gobsmacked as my brain processed what she had just said. Of course, I was (and still am) an Australian citizen! So I asked her why she did not believe I was Australian. She said it was because of my mother.
My mother is Chinese (but an Australian citizen!); therefore, my teacher saw me as an English as a second language student. I explained to her that I was raised in an English-only environment, and I did not speak any other language at home. Instead of listening to me, she said that I would not receive anything higher than a pass (C) because of my ethnic heritage.
She alluded to me that I did not have the talent to write in English and suggested I write in my native language instead. I thought that English was my native language. I studied German and Japanese as second languages at school.
Now, here’s another thing I had to consider when it came to the prejudices I had dealt with and why being an academic was my survival card. I went to an all-girls Christian private school where most families were affluent and influential.
There were only two girls in my grade whose parents were divorced – I was one of them. Of the two of us, I was the only one whose mother was an Asian woman.
This particular English teacher frowned upon people like my mother, an Asian single mother, far beneath her ideal. I was a teenager who stood no chance of excelling in that teacher’s class.
My confidence was shattered in one fell swoop.
I hated being a mixed-race student of a single parent in that school. I was berated, belittled, and bullied that semester. I was called a half-breed and half-caste, among other things, by both students and that particular teacher. She broke my self-esteem, and I stopped writing. I lost my joy, and I lost my passion.
My mother took action and raised the issues with the school, who apologized. I had a new English teacher the following semester, and it took months to rebuild my confidence.
There is a happy ending in this story. In my last two years of high school, I had the most amazing English teacher who believed in my work.
At the start, I was petrified when my mother and I first met Mrs. Morrison at a parent-teacher social event. Mrs. Morrison came across as the classic strict teacher from an English boarding school. She dressed perfectly, had flawless hair, and spoke in a refined way. She had a reputation for being one of the school’s toughest teachers, unafraid of failing her students.
She approached my mother, and at that point, I wanted the earth to swallow me. I wished my mother had not attended the event because I dreaded the stigma of my ethnicity rising again.
Instead, Mrs. Morrison smiled at my mother, gently placed her hand on my elbow, and spoke kindly about me.
Mrs. Morrison saw through my physical appearance. She saw my soul.
I enjoyed my final two years of high school, excelling in English and topping the class in literature such as Hamlet, Wuthering Heights, and A Doll’s House. When we studied Gallipoli, I wept when I handed my assessment to Mrs. Morrison. In turn, her lips twitched when she returned my marked assignment – another top result. I then confided in her that my great-grandfather was an original ANZAC soldier, something I hadn’t said to any other teacher.
It’s incredible how beautiful things can happen when people look beyond ethnicity. Mrs. Morrison helped me fill out my university application form, encouraging me to study journalism, one of the toughest courses to get into. At the time, a few students laughed at me, saying I wouldn’t get in. And yes, I studied journalism at the University of Queensland.
My last conversation with Mrs. Morrison happened when she called me to her office on my last day of school. I thought I had bombed in my last exam, and she rarely called anyone into her office unless it was a serious matter.
I was surprised and relieved by what she said. Mrs. Morrison told me how proud she was of my achievements and advised me to pursue a writing career. She told me she believed in me and that I had a talent.
I still get my bad days from the damage done by the other teacher, and that memory is imprinted, a part of me.
However, my memories of Mrs. Morrison remind me of who I am. I have a talent. I can write. I can read. She never saw me as a lesser student because of my ethnicity. She never held me back; she pushed me forward. She created an author.
Maybe one day, I will have the opportunity to tell Mrs. Morrison how much her words still mean to me. I think I will write her a letter. 🙂
You can find me and my books here.
I enjoyed writing Flowers for Kate, a short story about a fictional character named Kate Calloway, who seeks true love in the late 1980s. No, her love interest is not a dashing man, but Dahlia, a stunning woman who would make your mouth water with desire.
It’s 1988, a decade after video killed the radio star. Disco’s out of fashion, and pop music dominates the dance floor.
At twenty-two, Kate Calloway is a bangle-loving university student finding her way in life with her friends. She’s allergic to pollen and hates flowers until she meets the mysterious Dahlia, a florist who takes her breath away.
Kate wants Dahlia, but does Dahlia feel the same for Kate? Will they forge an unbreakable bond of love, or will circumstances tear them apart?
>> Find out in this short story about finding true love.
It was an incredible experience! I felt so free writing the story, and the flow was amazing – everything went smoothly. Flowers took an unexpected and eerie turn, with a surprising twist about 80 percent into the story when I was writing it.
I’ve written about characters who are heterosexual, pansexual, and bisexual, but Kate was the first woman I wrote about who had zero interest in men. A few people asked me if this would be challenging, but I shook my head and simply got to know Kate – she’s a welcoming character, bringing me into her world.
Despite people-driven doubt on my ability to write Kate’s story, I immersed myself in her world as I burned the midnight candle. Of course, there is research in the stories I write (as a former journalist it’s important to get your information right). The fun part about going back to 1988 was listening to music from artists/bands such as Bananarama, Eric Carmen (remember Hungry Eyes from Dirty Dancing?), U2, Cyndi Lauper, and The Bangles.
Kate brings a message of empowerment (of course! It wouldn’t be me writing any other way), hope, and friendship. And, love is a given – always in my stories.
Kate showed me the power of friendship and how our friends can be the family we need in times of trouble. However, we need to pick our friends carefully – the true diamonds from the fairweather friends. You learn who your real friends are when you put yourself first – your physical and emotional health. Kate can count on three friends (Andy, Frances, and Jasper) who are her family by choice. Friendship works both ways, and she proves to be a loyal friend from start to end.
Friendship is such a powerful gift and we must always treasure our true friends.
I’ll leave you with an awesome tape mix – Guardians of the Galaxy, which features songs from the 70s, 80s, 90s, and early 2000s – whichever decade you fancy. Yes, I’m a Marvel comics fan. 😉
Sex/Life was okay.
Billie Connelly, a suburban housewife, can’t stop fantasizing about her ex-boyfriend. The former career woman sits in her upper-middle-class home, breastfeeding her baby and wondering what life would be like if she married her ex-boyfriend instead. What if her life was with bad boy Brad Simon instead of cute hubby Cooper Connelly? Sweet Cooper is the safe choice, but he’s boring. Brad is fun, wild, and he’s toxic. He’s the kinda guy you want your friends, daughters, sisters, etc., to stay away from. Still, Billie is obsessed and cannot stop thinking about him.
Let’s start with what I liked about the story. The acting was pretty neat. Sarah Shahi convinced me that her character, Billie, was worth remembering. While the stunning actress is likable and comes across as confident/self-assured, the character she portrayed was the opposite. Billie was scripted as weak, insipid, and emotionally stupid. Sure, I empathized when I watched scenes of her crying over her miseries. I related when I watched her stand against the “perfect moms” in their suburban bubble. However, she knew what she got herself into when she married Cooper, a rebound from Brad.
Then there’s the delicious Aussie actor Adam Demos, who plays Brad. I had seen him in a few other movies and shows, including Falling Inn Love, a super-cute romance, but a little too sweet for me. He did a great job portraying Brad, a far cry from other characters he had portrayed previously. I was not too fond of the character Brad (I’ll explain later), but I appreciated the good acting from Sarah and Adam, who are dating in real life, which is sweet.
Now, what didn’t I like about the plot? I had hoped for plot twists that would surprise me, but nope. So disappointment sank in. I was also confused by the lack of ownership of consequences, and in some cases, there were too many things going on at once. In real life, there would have been less forgiveness between Billie and Cooper and the friends who had somehow gotten involved in this web of lies and deceit. I doubt that any of my friends or family would be that forgiving in real life. Yeah, I know it’s called TV. Still, we try to grasp and hold onto relatable concepts.
And the thing about friends sleeping with the ex you’re clearly not over? In my single days, my friends and I had one rule: we don’t touch what the other had. It’s a good rule.
The lines were corny, the plot was all over the place, and I wouldn’t say I loved any of the characters. Billie’s best friend, Sasha, was probably the most relatable character. She seemed to have some sense (except for sleeping with Brad). Don’t watch this series if you’re hoping for a strong and empowering female role model. Billie was weak, like smashed layer cake that can’t be put together again. She’s insecure and indecisive, with no backbone for when the going gets tough.
Brad’s more than just a player with daddy issues; he’s selfish, psychologically destructive, and an emotional crusher trapped in the body of a sex god. Cooper is that preppie asshole I couldn’t stand. Plus, I didn’t know if I should have laughed or cried at the faces he pulled when he came during the sex scenes.
If I had the choice of picking Cooper or Brad, who would I pick? None.
Now, on a more personal note. Why did I watch the entire season one? My husband knows I can’t sit still for too long, let alone watch an entire season in the series. It’s because Sex/Life got to me. I’m not talking about the sex, but the emotional hold that Brad had on Billie.
It was a bit like a horror movie, where I wanted to watch more, not sure if I could handle it. It scared me that a woman could want to return to the very man who destroyed her life in the first place. He was a cheat and a scumbag. He fucked with her mind, and even years after they had broken up, she still wants him!
Then, there was talk around the “have you wondered…what would you do if you saw your ex again?” concept.
I don’t think about my exes because when things didn’t work out, they didn’t work out for very good reasons.
Who didn’t have a bad ex-boyfriend who tried to fuck with our minds? Except, unlike Billie, I closed the door for good. I said, “No” forever.
Years later, I found another kinda guy, and he wasn’t interested in playing dangerous mind games. Nor did he want me to be the perfect suburban mom. He’s fun, wild, daring, and we do crazy, thrilling things together. That’s a much more enjoyable story. 🙂
For many of us, the Easter holiday gives us a bit of time off work or study to relax and spend time relaxing. During these COVID times, it may mean a different way of celebrating Easter.
My partner and I decided to stay ‘in town’ instead. We picked up our swags (bags) and slept in a hotel for a few days. Our time away from home meant that we let go of cooking, cleaning, or doing the laundry for a few days.
We also celebrated the launch of Cowboy Desire, an anthology of sweet to raunchy romances by 14 authors with romance publisher Black Velvet Seductions. It was a fun day of interaction with authors and readers, as well as old friends I hadn’t spoken to for a while.
My partner and I watched Gunda, a brilliantly constructed documentary directed by Viktor Kossakovsky about the circle of life in a barnyard. My partner didn’t quite enjoy it so much (he groaned loudly when I showed him this part of the blog article 😕) … Just as I don’t enjoy many popular films.
What else did I do? Yep, I read. And read. And read.
If you’ve got time off this Easter or any holiday, I hope that you make time to rediscover the things you love most.
Don’t let anyone or anything steal your joy.
Have a peaceful, safe, and happy holiday. 😊
Monday, March 8, is International Women’s Day in 2021.
According to UN Women, all women deserve an equal future free from stigma, stereotypes, and violence. We’re talking about equal rights where women should have an integral role when it comes to decision-making.
The media play an important role in influencing our thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors when it comes to perceptions of the roles women and men play at work, at home, and in relationships.
I am thankful for podcasts such as Speak Seductively, hosted by five-star romance/erotica author Kyle Canon and his partner Lilly. Lilly Canon is a model, narrator of audiobooks a naturist, and, with Kyle, a swinger. Their podcast explores relationships from a #sexpositive perspective.
The topics on their show include the ‘difference between art, erotica, and pornography’, BDSM, and bring up themes of empowerment in their interviews with various authors.
I was recently interviewed by Kyle and Lilly, and we had a wonderful chat about strong voices in romance novels. We also talked about my female character’s journey in embracing her femininity and emancipating from controlling relationships. Finally, we discussed the importance of trust and communication, which are empowering factors in relationships.
As a romance reader and writer, International Women’s Day is a personal reminder of the stories that made a lasting impression when I was in my teens and early twenties.
Back then, I was influenced by romance novels where the woman came second to the man. He was the rich guy. The smart guy. The strong guy. The playboy. He was the guy with a career, may it be business, law, or a hotel empire.
The female character would, of course, be a virgin or celibate. She would try to outwit her playboy love interest with halfwit jokes. She pretended to be dumb, played silly mind games, and came up with failing tactics. She was less powerful socially, depended on her hero financially, and her voice faded like wallpaper losing its luster as the story progressed. Ultimately, she needed him to ‘save’ her (and the story plot).
Right now, I feel angry at my younger self for being such a gullible reader. Yes, I admit that I wanted the hero to stomp into my life, throw me over his shoulder, and ‘rescue’ me. Back then, I was someone who accepted the status quo and took in all the kicks in the gut that came my way. Looking back, I’m glad I abandoned the books and waved good-bye to my old life.
I started reading a different type of romance book, thanks to a few good friends. I had never read an erotic romance until this point, and the books my friends put in my hands were eye-popping. The novels transported my curious mind to a place where women could dominate their lovers (both men and women) freely.
In addition to the BDSM books, I read other novels that had great messages on equal rights. These books helped me strengthen the voice I have today. I learned that the hero and heroine cooperated and communicated to achieve their journey together. These stories were enjoyable to read and I would read them again.
I want to challenge every romance reader on International Women’s Day and every other day:
Later in the year, on November 19, we will celebrate International Men’s Day. This year’s theme is “Better relations between men and women.” The day celebrates the positive value men bring to the world, their families, and communities.
I believe it’s important that men are portrayed accurately and that stories show their sensitive side. A man who shows empathy, kindness, and feelings is a man of great strength.
Let’s do both genders a favor and portray them as equals. After all, together, we are stronger.
Loving Jack in Cowboy Desire, an anthology of country and western romances by 14 talented romance authors.
Anyone who’s wearing these shoes can tell you that it’s just part of life and you keep at it. I’ve always been running on a high metabolism, so I enjoy juggling a couple of balls in the air – it keeps my momentum going. I’m an introvert by nature, but once you get a conversation started with me, I can talk a million miles an hour and tap into all kinds of crazy topics; it’s like a multi-track where there are several trains running at full speed. Stories come to life in my head, and my characters urge me to write their stories – something I can’t resist.
But what happens when chronic pain strikes? How do you deal with it? How does it affect you? Do you get depressed? How do you live life with chronic pain? Can you still write?
I’ll answer the questions in this blog article.
All seemed well until chronic pain came into my life a few years ago. The first was cubital tunnel syndrome (like carpal tunnel syndrome), which I had surgery for, and the healing took six months in 2017. Thanks to exercise, training, and relaxation techniques, my arm is good now.
Then, at the end of 2018, unexpected back pain struck me like an insidious evil carving through my skin and scorching wildfire into my left muscles, nerves, and upper spine. At first, I thought the pain would go away after being prescribed anti-inflammatory medication.
The pain did not go away. In early 2019, an MRI scan revealed a prolapse that required immediate surgery. So, I had the surgery.
Things were meant to improve, but they did not. Now, two years later, I’m still living in pain. These ‘best-of-the-best’ private-sector doctors have all played roles of the gods – there was Apollo, then Asclepius, followed by Sekhmet, Wu Tao, Airmed…and the list goes on for the number of ‘expert’ doctors with numerous degrees and university teaching records who were haughty and oh so omniscient. They claimed to know exactly what’s wrong, but their advice and treatment did not work. What amused me was their arrogance when I dared to say I was still in pain!
Then, there were natural healing therapies by chiropractors, naturopaths, physiotherapists, etc. – including one who left me semi-paralyzed for a few hours and my whole left arm bloated in swollen pain – I had to take my wedding ring off because of the swelling that night and suffered from a blinding headache, attached to the nerve pain stemming across a gridlocked highway from my upper back, down to my arm.
My new local GP is fantastic. He’s like Dr. Gregory House from the TV series named after the character. He’s gone above and beyond the ‘expert’ doctors to try to find an answer and treatment. He’s called different experts in his network, and now, after a six-month wait, I’ll be tested for nerve damage and muscle damage by the head of neurology at a local hospital next week. They may not find an answer, but I live with hope every day.
Of course, I get depressed and anxious. I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t feel any sadness associated with the long-term pain. However, I live for a better day and try to do as much as I normally can without exerting myself. I make use of the outdoors and fresh air.
I work in my day job as I normally would, with the aid of heat packs, ibuprofen gels, and a strong medication that I take for the worst of days – which I take in the evening as it knocks me right out and I wake up feeling groggy after about 12 hours. When I take that medication, I know that I won’t be writing, editing, or doing anything after work hours.
The other thing I do is switch off from social media when needed. I’ll do the best I can to promote my stories, prioritizing my publisher first – but everything else is placed in the ‘noise’ basket. There are so many social media channels and people with questions I don’t always have answers for.
I don’t answer all the questions – only the important ones and yes, I do connect with readers and authors who hold a special place in my heart. I prioritize them first when I’m well enough to be online socially.
I know my limits and switch off when I need to. I don’t give when I cannot give. I know when my tank is running on empty – so that’s when I say to myself, ‘stop now’.
Yes. Of course! There are windows in my free time when I get a good stretch of minimal pain and that’s when I’m most productive – I’ll prioritize the tasks I need done first, and get these done. Everything else can wait.
I’ve learned to prioritize what I can take in, working with my strengths and weaknesses. As a professional author, the first writing priority is my publisher and activities around my published work. Everything else can wait.
I realize that the least painful days are like windows of opportunity that come – I’ve got a certain amount of time to really focus on completing my writing tasks before the pain intensifies again.
I also have an author PA who does an amazing job promoting my published book, and she’s wonderful. When my pain medication kicks in and it’s lights out for me, I can rest assured that my book is being promoted. It also means that I can use the “feeling well” days to write – again, a focused approach.
I’ve learned to put myself first – that means my health and my family. They come first and that’s not negotiable. We all have our challenges during these COVID times and I need to tackle these challenges with my family first. What would you do? Leave a crying child while you answer a message from a writer who needs feedback on their story? Of course, not! The kids always come first. 🙂
As I said earlier, I do get my ‘blue’ days but I take advantage of my surroundings. If it’s a sunny day, I go for a walk. If there’s a hailstorm outside, I watch my favorite TV show with my husband or read one of my favorite books – right now I’m reading A Merman’s Choice by Alice Renaud, one of the best fantasy romance authors in today’s world – her books are on Amazon.
Will there be better days ahead? Of course, there will be! I plan on doing so much more as an author. As for my health, I know I’ve got a good doctor who’s earnest and he does his best to refer me to the right people – even if it takes time.
I’m hoping for treatment to minimize/mitigate the pain after my visit to the hospital next week. Here’s hoping and praying for the best!
All good things take time.
Okay, so I’ve been asked a few times: what’s all the hype about bad boy characters in romance novels?
Well, it’s not news. The ‘bad boys’ have been around for centuries and they are appealing for various reasons. According to the Oxford Dictionary online, a bad boy is “a man who does not conform to approved standards of behavior, especially in a particular sphere of activity.”
In fact, they’ve been in literature for a while, including the biblical times. Let’s take Moses; I mean, c’mon—the guy killed a man, talked to shrubbery, turned his staff into a snake, and divided the Red Sea! Now, that’s pretty badass and impressive, if you ask me.
Let’s skip centuries forward to Dorian Gray. He was hedonistic, vain (yup, that portrait!), indulged in debauchery (oh, poor Sibyl!), and yeah, he killed a guy.
Okay, let’s travel to the twentieth century: Dirty Dancing. Wasn’t Patrick Swayze a dream? His character, Johnny Castle, makes me swoon. Who can forget the line “nobody puts Baby in a corner?”
Today, we have characters like Christian Grey from the Fifty Shades series, Massimo Torricelli from 365 Dni, and Kylo Ren in the Star Wars series (yes, I’m a Star Wars fan!).
A study led by Gregory Louis Carter of the University of Durham (cited in Psychology Today) provided insights, revealing that women found men with dark personalities attractive. The results of the study offered two possible explanations. First, sexual selection might be at work; women responded to signals of “male quality” when it came to reproduction. With respect to short-term mating, women may be drawn to “bad boys” who demonstrate confidence, stubbornness, and risk-taking tendencies. Secondly, sexual conflict may be at play.
Stories with sexual conflict, risks, and a bad boy sounds appealing, right? It seems to work for many successful romance stories. The bad boys are exciting and fun, according to psychologist Robyn McKay, author of Smart Girls in the 21st Century (quoted in Good Housekeeping).
Can the bad boys have their happily ever after (HEA) in romance stories? Or will they end up like Heathcliff, Dorian, or some other kind of roadkill?
Carter and his team reported that there were limitations of their study, indicating that the sample they selected were likely to be oriented toward short-term relationships.
Moreover, studies by Urbaniak and Kilmann (2003) and Herold and Milhausen (1999) (cited in Edward Horgan’s Harvard University project “Exceeding the Threshold: Why Women Prefer Bad Boys”) indicate that women adamantly claim to prefer nice guys. Horgan further states that there is an apparent discrepancy within current scientific literature on the subject of female attraction, with regard to the bad boys.
There seems to be hope, depending on the circumstances. Psychologist Forrest Talley, Ph.D. (quoted in Good Housekeeping) stated that women desired to have someone in their life who was tough enough to face the world and punch back when necessary.
In other words, we don’t mind the tough guys who have a protective side, when they’re on our side. They have an even bigger chance of winning our hearts for good if they are kind, sensitive, and romantic. Interestingly, niceness itself is not an unattractive characteristic but is simply insufficient to garner female attention on its own, according to Horgan.
In my erotic romance novel Lessons on Seduction published by Black Velvet Seductions, my male MC, Julian—a guy who sold his body to pay off his college debt—takes his new girlfriend, Sapphire, for a wild ride before he realizes just how much he loves her. However, he makes some pretty big mistakes. Is it too late for guys like him, though?
Well, not if he’s brave enough to punch back at the world, show his sensitive and sweet nature, and fight for his lover. However, if Julian continues taking Sapphire for granted, then there is no hope for him.
I’m proud of Jules for one thing, though—he’s not an abusive man. I’ve met abusive men in my life, and I can tell you firsthand that it’s not a pleasant experience. Abuse comes in different forms: mental, emotional, and physical. That is one thing no one should tolerate from any person, bad boy or not, in fiction or real life.
I’ll admit my weak spot: I’ve always liked the vampire Lestat from Interview with a Vampire and The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice. The Lestat I read in her books has more appeal and sensitivity than the movie version played by Tom Cruise in the 1990s film Interview with a Vampire (sorry!).
I also don’t mind hot and charismatic Dracula, played by Gary Oldman in the Francis Ford Coppola film version. While others might swoon over Keanu Reeves, who played Jonathan Harker, I’m more interested in none other than Vlad himself. Why? He’s enigmatic, dangerous, mysterious, and yet, he’s protective of sweet Mina—with all his heart. It’s his capability to love (some may disagree, but I believe Irish author Bram Stoker’s Dracula is a love story as much as it’s a horror fiction), his vulnerability, his protectiveness, and his hungry passion for his true love that I liked.
I can honestly admit I’m a sucker for bad boys who are sensitive, protective, and loving—as long as they’re not abusive.
Over to you: Have you ever imagined riding off into the sunset with a bad boy (or bad girl) character in fiction?
If you’re looking for a hot romance with a bad boy, or a hunky good guy, check out the diverse range of romance books, from sweet to erotic, on publisher Black Velvet Seductions’ website: https://blackvelvetseductions.com/
I’m enjoying the experience of authorhood with my publisher Black Velvet Seductions. As an avid reader who enjoys writing, I find writing mentally therapeutic.
However, I’ve also learned a few things about exposure and how to deal with it, especially in the erotic romance subgenre.
A number of assumptions come along with being an erotic romance writer. There are those who believe that erotic romance writers are open to illicit proposals, or that we aren’t as intelligent as MBA graduates, or that we write about unsafe sex. I’ve received a growing number of direct or private messages in different channels related to all the above-mentioned assumptions.
Well, sorry to disappoint, but these assumptions of erotic romance authors are usually just myths. Here are a few myths that I’d like to dispel:
Um, no. We’re regular people who have ordinary lives and we don’t gregariously swing naked on chandeliers while sipping champagne. It does sound rather fun though, but no. In my case, I’m a shy introvert who loves to read books. I’ve been reading romance novels since I was fifteen. Like many erotic romance writers and readers, I also love other genres, including thrillers, gothic horror, classics, poetry, history, politics, and nonfiction books (biographies, business and management books, etc).
Nope. I can vouch for this one because I’ve done both. So have many of my other author friends. Many erotic romance authors I’ve met are highly educated people (both women and men) who have impressive CVs, broad and diverse. They are highly intelligent and can engage in just about every topic on the planet, from anthropology and sociology to psychology, politics, economics, and business.
I can tell you from personal experience that I found writing erotic romance novels to be harder than writing a Master’s paper. I have an MBA from a top Australian university and have had my academic work published on the topic of leadership. I apply the same analytical techniques of plotting a story as I did with outlines during my postgraduate days.
Strong emotions and character development are involved in writing a romance novel, and I have to admit that the sex scenes can be extremely challenging to write. When I start writing a chapter on the intimate parts, I procrastinate more than I did when I wrote economics or financial management assignments.
I have had this debate with a few people, especially with regard to popular novels and movies where there are blurred lines, and in some cases, misrepresentation of communities. I remember the saying that it takes just one rotten apple to spoil the whole barrel.
When I started reading erotic romance novels, I remember the feeling of disillusionment and the need to research the truth (that is a trait from my journalism days, when I was a newspaper reporter). So, I did my research and found documentaries by journalists, as well as other erotic romance novels along the way, where I learned new things on topics such as BDSM, voyeurism, ménage à trois, swinging, and other kinks that come in an erotic romance.
One author whose work I highly recommend is author Annabel Allan, who really knows her stuff when it comes to writing about BDSM and thrilling, suspenseful erotic romances.
No. When I see these messages come through, they are often harmless. Still, there is no service to provide, except for the service of delivering enjoyable books to read.
We are writers of erotic content, which includes novels, short stories, prose, and poetry. We are not interested in engaging in personal sexual role play or any other kinky requests.
People who read books as a hobby do it because the stories are pleasant and interesting to them. Our stories are written to give people something of interest to them, which they can read and enjoy.
My publisher, Black Velvet Seductions, has a wide range of quality romance novels on their website, which include erotic romances.
As of July 30, 2020, my novel Lessons on Seduction, will be available on Amazon and other places in ebook and paperback formats. Buckle up for a wild, emotional ride with a thriller plot.