Apparently it’s the time of personal stories for me. This one needs some content warnings, so here’s your heads up: This essay contains mentions of suicide and drug use as well as graphic descriptions of sex. And there’s a little bit of blood.
Writing erotica is, for me, an exercise in self-exploration. It’s finding the things that push my buttons and examining them. Isabel Allende wrote that “For women, the best aphrodisiacs are words. The G-spot is in the ears. He who looks for it below there is wasting his time.” In my experience, that’s absolutely true. Sex, for me, happens mostly in my mind. My imagination is what fuels my engine. I’m not sure yet if that’s part of my problem or part of the solution. Continue Reading
My foray into writing taboo erotica.
Last week, I started an experiment: I want to see if I can make enough money through writing erotica to sustain our current situation as it is without making drastic changes (like getting a day job. The horror).
I’ve started publishing my stories a year and some months ago, but I’m not exactly raking in the cash. There has been an upswing, yes, and I start seeing things move into a positive direction, but I’m still leagues away from the pair of shoes I gave myself as a first tiny goal (which I then had to replace with new glasses, because boy, my eyesight is the worst).
Writing is my passion, the love of my life, and if I could do it for free, I would. But fact is, if I want to keep writing like I do – more or less full-time – then I have to earn some money with it, otherwise this is not a sustainable life. Continue Reading
It’s been a long time since my last post, and I’m so happy to tell you that my new story is finally out! I worked hard and long on this book, and I’m thrilled that there soon will be a paperback edition as well. For now, you can download Salt on Amazon, Barns and Noble, Apple and Kobo. And since it’s almost Christmas, I have a gift for you as well: You can download The Hunting Game, a bonus story set in the Kinky Ever After of Salt for FREE! [Available here]& on [Amazon]
I’ve been fascinated with fairytales since I’ve been a little girl roaming the woods around my grandmother’s house with the apt name Owl Castle. Now that I’m an adult, I love to discover the sensual potential in old tales and twist them into new, exciting stories. I’m dreaming of a series of illustrated erotic fairytales, but that’s something for the future. The first book in my series of twisted fairytales is out now: Salt, a retelling of the tale Love like Salt. Continue Reading
Some of my biggest turn-ons are of the intellectual variety. That’s why narrated fantasies play such a big role in my stories. Reading naughty books to each other, or revealing secret fantasies – that’s the oral sex I lust for. There’s something incredibly intimate in baring your soul, your desires, and fantasies to someone else. And there can be a heady component of shame and embarrassment in it, the secret sauce to my favorite dish. With this oral fixation, it’s no surprise that I would find a story in my draft-drawer (hah) centering on phone sex. Continue Reading
When I told my grandfather that I am writing romance, he made a face and said I should rather write something real, and serious. As if stories concentrating on love and relationships aren’t real and something you shouldn’t waste your time with. It’s an opinion about genre fiction you get to hear all the time, mostly without having asked for it. It’s so entrenched that I still felt I had to apologize for writing it when I had long realized that those are the stories I’m drawn to. I end up writing them over and over again. It’s also the stories I have been reading all my life, so no big surprise there.
I was ashamed of reading romance all my life, too. The cheesy covers sure were no help in lessening the stigma. Each time I got a new one at the railway station kiosk or the supermarket, marked down in price for being remaindered, I fixed my eyes on the floor and avoided to meet anyone’s eyes – especially those of the cashier – at all costs. But the thirst was real, and I needed a new romance novel every few days. I still have them all, cluttering the lower shelves of my bookcases. They’re hidden behind more *respectable* reading material. For some reason, I don’t manage to get rid of them. I haven’t bought a new romance book in a while, but that doesn’t mean I don’t pull out some Christina Dodd, Amanda Quick or Eloisa James once in a while and reread my favorites.
Those books made me feel when nothing else could. I found comfort in stories of feisty heroines fighting for their right to love and to live like they wanted. I found strength in their defiance, and, let’s be real, I discovered more than one kink between the pages of paperback love. So why should I be ashamed of my love of romance? Why are the words about love and two people finding each other and overcoming their differences and conflicts lesser in worth than other words? Lesser even than other genre fiction like Sci-Fi or Crime? Sure, not every genre novel is a literary gem, but that doesn’t mean that the genre as a whole is trash. I still think that Anne Golon’s Angélique series is among some of the best books I ever read, and it was marketed as romance for lack of a better label.
Romance novels aren’t just about love and, well, romance. They’re about women, and for women, and that’s probably the thing that makes them *less* than your average fiction written by the average white male dude. Sexism is as strong in publishing as it is as anywhere else – just take a look at Young Adult fiction.
It’s no surprise, I think, that it’s my grandfather criticizing my choices in the stories I write. He’s someone who certainly never even touched a romance novel and judges the genre as a whole by its cover. I found the opinion so deeply ingrained in myself that I defended my writing of romance to a former – male – lecturer from my university with the apologetic words of “Someone has to write it.”
“I know,” he said. He, for his part, is an unapologetic, avid reader of romance.
I’m still working on emancipating myself from prejudice. Now that I accepted my fate, so to speak, accepted that stories about love and overcoming conflict are not only my jam in reading but also the thing I write most passionately about, I had to do some soul-searching. I had to face the root of my hesitance and my prejudices and question their origins. Once I became aware of the systemic sexism in the publishing industry and the underlying devaluation of women’s words and stories, I refused to let myself feel ashamed for it any longer.
I’m no longer apologetic of my writing, and I no longer hide the covers of the books I read.
In Penelope’s Choice, Penelope’s secret crush, librarian Miss Dearly, catches her stealing a naughty book – and presents her with three exquisite punishments to choose from to make up for her transgression. Penelope could just leave, but something about Miss Dearly’s offer is too delicious to be passed up on, and so Penelope has to make a choice.
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When Penelope follows the captivating librarian into the back of the library after being caught at sneaking out a naughty book, she expects to be banned forever. Instead, Miss Dearly presents her with three exquisite punishments to choose from to make up for her transgression. She can either subject herself to one of these disciplinary measures or leave with nothing but a note on her library card and her dignity unscathed. But what will be Penelope’s choice?
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