I’ve only been publishing for two years now. I got my first acceptance letter almost exactly two years ago. I considered it a slightly late birthday present. (Yes, today’s my birthday. Happy birthday to me.)
I’d been writing for years. More years than I really want to talk about… I’ve written several novels and parts of novels, I’ve written plays, I’ve written essays, short stories. I dabbled in poetry for a while, but I gave it up when I decided they all sounded like New Kids on the Block lyrics…
I started writing erotica and romance to entertain some friends of mine. It wasn’t fan-fic, but it was in the same vein; my friends and I are gamers, we play paper and dice roll-playing games. Dungeons and Dragons and the various other ones you probably haven’t heard of. We’d been doing it for a while, and our characters were not only fairly well-established, personality-wise, but many of them were also dating other characters. Loria was married to Kevil. Glossaria and Vallel lived together. Like that. And since we were usually gaming in public, the good stuff happened behind closed doors.
I opened those doors and looked in to see what was going on. Then I would mail these stories to my friends, we would get hot and bothered, admit that it was silly, and then start badgering each other to write another one. My friend – and fellow erotica writer – Elizabeth L. Brooks – eventually wrote two or three novels based off these characters.
Our lovely, lovely peacock. It didn’t have much plot, but it had a ton of sex and romance.
And here’s where we screwed it up. We didn’t realize there was any sort of market for a fantasy setting romance/erotica story. So we came up with some typical fantasy plot to hang all over it. And then we went back and edited out all the sex.
We had a lovely peacock. We pulled all the feathers off we tied a feather duster to its butt and tried to call it an eagle.
What we ended up with looked more like a bedraggled turkey.
No wonder no one was interested in publishing it.
Personally, the only thing I regret is that 50 Shades of Grey didn’t come out earlier; I didn’t know. We didn’t know that what we were already doing was a genre. That other people read it, and that we would LOVE it. We had to stumble over it – Liz found Torquere’s site first, then directed me there. At first we were readers, and then Liz wrote and published a few pieces with them.
I’d been writing for years. It’s only in the last few years that I’ve known what I wanted to write, what I was good at writing.
Happy birthday to me. Best present I ever got myself was figuring me out.
Lynn Townsend is a geek, a dreamer and an inveterate punster. When not reading, writing, or editing, she can usually be found drinking coffee or killing video game villains. Lynn’s interests include filk music, romance novels, and movies with more FX than plot. She writes romance in every possible genre, from contemporary to werewolf steampunk to the zombie apocalypse. Find out more at Paid by the Weird or Facebook.