Even if you write well, have a good cover, title, and blurb, and market your book like crack (here’s a little taste sweetheart, ooh you want more? then pay up…) it may not skyrocket into the stratosphere. Even if you get excellent reviews, people may just pass it on by.
And that’s not a bad thing because I’m still learning. I’m still writing shorter works. My longest stories are Caught Supervisor and Supervisor’s Submissive if you don’t count Bundles – then it would be the Supervisor Sexcapades Bundle. I’m building a catalog. If someone finds one thing they like, then they may cruise on by to find another thing, then another, and perhaps they mention it to a friend or get caught reading something naughty and say ‘oh yeah, check it out.’
I love my covers. My titles are straight forward. I probably need help with blurbs, but I don’t really always know what to say because… I wrote the book, what am I supposed to say? I promise if you give it a chance it’ll get your heart pumping fast and your inner voice whispering naughty things. But I’m supposed to tell them about the book, so I try to do that as best I can and make it interesting, too.
Now, I will admit, the writing I’m putting out now is much better than when I started. I’ve done a lot of audiobook listening and erotica book reading. There’s a lot (A LOT) of bad writing out there. Stories full of people who I want to slap or strangle and I tell myself that I can do better. I want my characters to be relatable but if you make them all whiny little bitches that trip over dust bunnies it’s going into the ‘don’t bother continuing’ pile.
And the asshole guys… what the holy fuck? If someone treated me like some of these guys treat the women in these books I would kick them to the fucking curb. And then just to make a point I may stomp them into it. I don’t care how hot his body is, how devilish his grin is, or how amazing his body feels against mine – No Fucking Way. I’m not going to apologize for saying this, either. If I’m against being controlled in my real life I can’t see being supportive of a fictional character allowing someone to control her. Or vice versa… Yes, I can write bitchy or controlling characters, but I try to find a way to put them in their place. Sometimes they get what they want, but usually not in the way they expect.
Real life has a push/pull to it. I try to use that. Not always (sometimes) in a manipulative way, but you can only stomp on a character so many times before they find a new person to write their story the way they want it to be written.
I think I’m also tired of the Ooh he’s hot. Ooh she’s sexy. Let’s fuck. Let’s fight. Ooh make-up sex! Oooh, we’re madly in love forever now stories. Sure, I guess you could consider that a happily ever after type of ending, but I bet they don’t make it to their fifth wedding anniversary and that’s only if they actually make it down the aisle without tearing each other apart.
I write erotica. Some of my erotica is short. And yes, some of those people fall in love in under 4,000 words. Or they were in love before the story was written. Or they’ve decided to give it a real chance and maybe they’ll fall in love. That can happen in real life and that’s why I use it in fiction. Someone you dated in high school may come back around several years later and all of a sudden that spark is there, not the old one where you fumbled while groping and kissing, but a new bright spark that settles into a long burning flame. Or that guy you found hot at work that you don’t work with any longer – perhaps it was lust then and when you run into each other again, both single, Bam… you’re thinking of giving it a hell of a lot more than lust.
Yes, I know, people read fiction for the fiction. They read that naughty, extra-gooey taboo story because it’s so naughty they feel the flames of hell wrapping around them while they finger-fuck themselves until they can’t see straight. They read the scary erotica because ‘what if?’ and it probably freaks them the fuck out if they find themselves getting turned on when they’re reading something that’s dubious consent or outright non-consensual. And that’s okay. Because you’re in a safe place except in your deviant dirty mind. We all need a little escape now and then. And as long as you aren’t harming anyone with what you read in the real world, or shoving it down someone’s throat (uh, metaphorically, of course) then it’s not a problem for you to do what you desire in your own personal space.
I guess, deep down, because I truly want everyone to be happy and find their bliss, it means I want fictional characters, fake people I am supposed to FEEL something for, get their true blue happy ending, too. Because when they find that partner it makes me feel that fuzzy warm with gooey goodness on the inside. Yes, I want rough sex – make it consensual. Yes, I want them to fight for what they want – as individuals and as a couple – but I always want them to figure out if they belong together and then I want them to earn it. That means give them a reason to stay. Does being with this other person make them a better version of their self? That’s what makes a happy ending, when the other person makes a better version of them. Not into someone who can’t live without them because they’re so broken they would end up dead without that other person.