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Monday, June 1, 2009

Switching Gears in Writing

I write romance books. Always loved the "happily-ever-after" books and movies.

I started writing "sweet" romance stories, having decided I could never create a book showing what goes on behind closed doors. My first books always left you wondering as the bedroom door closed at the end of a scene or chapter.

In 1994, I went to my first Romance Writers of America conference in New York City. Loved every moment of my hectic and confusing time there. I had a roommate, unknown to me before we shared a room, who wrote, what I considered, "hot stuff". She had sex in her story and actually wrote about what happened after that bedroom door closed.

I told her I could never do that.

Boy, have I changed!

I gradually wrote books that let the reader enter the bedroom with the hero and heroine. Sometimes they even opted for sex in a tub, shower, living room. Once I got started throwing descriptions in my books, just hinting about sexual encounters never crossed my mind.

Heroes and heroines had sex. Readers wanted to know what they did and in order to "feel" that emotional connection the lovers obtained. The more books I wrote, the bolder my writing became. I finally ended up selling my first book to Ellora's Cave (Cerridwen Imprint) and told my editor I could never write an erotic romance.

Once again, I denied my ability to tackle a new edge in how sexually explicit my writing could get. After selling three books, my editor said that since they were all "very sensual" in nature, I could probably write an erotic book.

Dilemma. Would readers who knew me as Marianne Stephens, mainstream romance author, accept me as an erotic romance author? I decided to use another pen name, April Ash, and wrote "Strip Poker for Two".

Now, this did not please everyone. Some people thought I'd "sold out" to the dark side in writing erotica. I've decided I kinda enjoy explaining exactly what goes on and can follow guidelines so I don't cross that line of porn for porn's sake only. These books, erotic romance stories, are just that. Romance books written with erotic, graphic descriptions.

As I told one friend, I know all the correct names of body parts and how to use them. I'm not ashamed or embarrassed by what I write. Questions about where I get my descriptive ideas from always have me answering, "Some come from experience and then again, I'm very creative."

I have to keep everyone guessing about that...can't divulge all my secrets!

April has sold another erotic romance book, "Sexy Games", to Ellora's Cave. No release date yet!
Check www.aprilash.net for more information.


3 comments:

Amber Skyze said...

Recently I had a guy tell me he read one of my books. His comment was, "you must be highly sexual." I responded with the same line you use. :)
Congrats on the new contract. I'm sure it will be a hit.

Marianne Stephens said...

Comments like that from guys makes me glad I use a pen name! Vague responses seem like the right way to comment.
Thanks for commenting!

Molly Daniels said...

That's also how my alter-ego, Kenzie Michaels was born. Molly's books are for the twelve and up; Kenxie's are for the over eighteen crowd!

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