The first romance novel
I ever read was Kathleen Woodiwiss’s The Flame and the Flower. I read it in 1977. I remember
sitting on the end of my bed in an apartment where I only lived for six
months and reading the end. My ironing board was up, my iron plugged
in, a dress waiting to be pressed. Wherever it was I was going, I didn’t
make it. I had to finish the book.
Strangely enough, that was the only romance I read
for a long time. I read Colleen McCullough and Phyllis Whitney and
Sidney Sheldon and
Jackie Collins . . . but no more romance. Not until ten years later when
a bookstore owner in Dallas introduced me to Sandra Brown, Linda Howard,
Diana Palmer, and Elizabeth Lowell. From the get-go, I was hooked on
authors who wrote the hot stuff. I couldn’t get enough. I was in
line for their every new release.
Is it any wonder my own writing traveled the same
path? Or that one of the first writing contests I won was for sexual
tension? I sold my
first book in 1993, and during the editing process I was asked to cut
a shower scene. That same scene would be considered tame by today’s
standards, but my editor at the time (who just happens to be one of my
editors now) felt it was too risqué. My, how far we’ve come!
I’ve now written over thirty novels and novellas, almost all of
them published under an imprint showcasing steamy stories. There are
those who contend that certain authors are predisposed to writing with
an erotic voice, style, tone, whatever. In other words, we can’t
help it. We’re born that way. All I know is that this is how I
write. And if you’ve picked up this book, then you know the same
Now, what am I going to do for you? Well, I’m going to guide you
through taking that natural talent you have and combining it with your
love for reading erotic romance so that you come out on the other side
with a novel a publisher can’t wait to snap up. To get in as much
information as I can, I’ve divided this text into six separate
sections discussing the craft of fiction, the erotic component, and giving
readers what they want.
In Part 1: What Is a Romance, and How Do I Know
if It’s Erotic?,
I’ll show you ways to implement storytelling fundamentals within
your erotic romance.
In Part 2: Lust At First Sight: The External Journey,
you through several methods of plotting a novel and how to look for erotic
In Part 3: Who Do You Love?: The Emotional Journey,
on your erotic romance’s love story.
In Part 4: Tangled Sheets: The Physical Journey, we’ll
cover the intimate and sexual components of romance.
Part 5: Talk Dirty To Me: Writing Explicit Sex is
get down and dirty with body parts, toys, and games.
And you won’t want to miss Part 6: Satisfy
Me: Meeting Reader’s
Expectations. This is the section where we look at what a reader wants,
and figure out how to give it to her!
At the end of the book, I’ve included several
appendices. One is a glossary of specific words defined throughout
the text. There is
also a comprehensive list of publishers looking for erotica and erotic
romance, as well as several resources to help you on your writing journey.
I also picked the brains of several published authors and put together
a roundtable discussion on the genre.
I hope you enjoy what the experts have to say!
Additionally, you’ll find extra nuggets of advice in the form
of sidebars sprinkled throughout this book. These little jewels offer
tips, definitions, and words of wisdom from pros in the writing field.
Here’s how you’ll find them listed:
Pillow Talk - This sidebar offers definitions and explanations for terms
and expressions that will help you understand more about writing erotic
Scorchers - You’ll want to check out these
hot tips guaranteed to keep you on track and help you add the sizzle
readers want to your
Naughty, Naughty – These mistakes are ones you’ll want to
avoid in order to write the best erotic romance you possibly can – one
readers will be clamoring for.
Slip of the Tongue – In this sidebar, you’ll
find comments, advice, insights, and anecdotes from a number of authors.