It’s Fun to Write Dirty
I remember writing my first real romance, back in seventh grade. The amount of actual experience with sex I had at that point equated to seeing a couple of copies of Playboy and a clandestine viewing of Last Tango in Paris (I didn’t get it), but I was determined to write a sex scene.
I do wish I still had it. I don’t remember it well, but I do recall one line, which I in the wisdom of my twelve years on Earth thought was fantastic: “They moaned and kissed and moved.”
Now that’s HOT.
My writing got better (at least I hope so), but I still have to admit, when I’m planning a new book in my head, the sex scene is one of the things I’m most excited about. That’s what got me into erotic romance to begin with. I was writing “regular” romance, and one day I discovered Ellora’s Cave. I still remember that, reading excerpts (the excerpts were more explicit then), studying everything on the website, with my heart pounding. I could write those! And it would be fun—really, really fun!
And it was. And it still is. But…it feels so strange to admit this…
It started not being enough. It wasn’t an issue with the genre itself, or anything of that nature. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to write it anymore, because that was not the case at all. It wasn’t that I didn’t think (or don’t think) writing good erotic romance isn’t a challenge—believe me, it is. It was quite simply that I wanted to try other things, too. I wanted something new.
Not to move away from either romance as a genre or erotic romance in particular. But to spread my wings a little and see if I could do it. I’m far from a master of erotic romance. I get pretty good reviews. I have decent sales. It’s not like I reached the pinnacle of a genre and decided there was nothing else for me there. I just wanted to try something else.
So I wrote my first urban fantasy, Personal Demons, which will be released in a few weeks by Juno Books. My first mass-market paperback; that’s pretty exciting! And it’s funny, because when I was writing it I considered it to be straight urban fantasy with a dash of romance (and of course a sex scene). Now, looking back, I think it actually straddles the line between urban fantasy and paranormal romance pretty neatly.
And it was fun. It was exciting not to be plotting out the arc of a romance so the end and the “I love you” came at the same point. (I of course have the entire romance planned, and know everything that will happen, but I didn’t have to put that in the book and that was pretty cool.) It was exciting to focus on one character and write the entire story from her POV (a little constricting, I admit, it took some getting used to). I really enjoyed myself.
Even more exciting is the idea that I can actually let my parents and family read Personal Demons—I don’t allow them to read any of the December Quinn stuff. Well, really, would you want your parents to read it? Romantic as it is—and I hope it’s pretty damn romantic—it’s still graphic and explicit. I really don’t want my Dad reading that and wondering if I write from experience.
So will I ever stop writing the erotic stuff? I don’t think so. It’s too much fun for me. But writing urban fantasy is just as much fun, and now I have an agent (my heart still stops when I type that) who wants more urban fantasy, and it looks like my experimenting might have taken my career in a whole different direction.
Which is fine with me. I love it all.
Stacia Kane’s debut urban fantasy, Personal Demons will be available in bookstores nationwide in the first week of April. To learn more or read a sample chapter, visit her website.
For erotic romance, check out the December Quinn website or her Books page at Ellora’s Cave.