Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Other Side of Taboo

by Cara McKenna

Sorry to be plugging yet again, but I've got four books coming out in just over a two-month period, so the promo train chugs on!

This is a strange post to be writing on the heels of my last turn up at bat. Two weeks ago I blogged about "how far is too far?" in the erotica genre, spurred by my experience writing a controversial novel that included rape role-play. Oddly enough, Ellora's Cave, which published that book, passed on the release I have coming out on Tuesday. The taboo subject at the center of that one? Drumroll…

Conception!

Funny, huh? And actually taboo has nothing to do with EC's aversion to publish stories centered around babies, motherhood, pregnancy, and conception. It's all about sales and reader demand. Readers don't clamber for reproduction-centric erotica. Neither do I clamber to write it, normally… This story came out of nowhere, hot on the heels of Brazen. I got clued in early on that EC wouldn't be interested in this book because of its theme, so I shelved it before it was even finished. I was bummed, too—I really liked the characters. But if it wouldn't sell it wouldn't sell.

Months and months later, an editor from Loose-Id who had read Brazen contacted me about potentially working together. I asked if LI might be open to the conception story. Loose-Id's publishing M.O. is fantasy-fulfillment—sweeping readers into a given fantasy and leaving them satisfied. Would readers be into my book's scenario? Well, fingers crossed all around, since Loose-Id decided to buy it and I jumped at the invitation to finish it… Though I so enjoyed these characters and the process of writing their story, even if it only sells three copies, I'm pleased. True, the Loose-Id marketing department might not be so chipper, but I'll be happy!

So, Ready and Willing goes something like this:

At thirty-two, Abby’s pretty much got her shit together. She has a good job, a cozy home, a supportive family…and a biological clock that’s starting to feel more like a time bomb. Turned off the by the cold science of artificial insemination but wary of the complications that might come from enlisting a close male friend, Abby settles on a happy medium—she places an ad in a newspaper and goes in search of guys who are willing to help her conceive the good old-fashioned way. In the end she selects two men and winds up with far more than the no-strings-attached sex she bargained for, including an impromptu threesome and an unexpected romance.

Bit of a change from my last release with its gritty themes and characters! It was easy writing as Abby. She's thirty-two and I'm thirty-one, we're both being sneaked up upon by our maternal inklings. Plus she works and lives just blocks from my old office and apartment in Boston and Somerville, respectively.

The excerpt is long so I won't paste it into this post (I know, me avoiding a lengthy post? Oh Cara, ha ha ha, to laugh!) but if you're curious, you can read it here. Ready and Willing is set to come out Tuesday, August 31. Oh and look, Loose-Id made me a spiffy banner version of the cover!


Also, two weeks from now I'm back in the literary red light district, but this time I'll be pimping someone else's work for a change! My good Twitter buddy and fellow off-beat erotica author Charlotte Stein has a book coming out the same day as Backwoods—Friday, September 10. We both dread self-promo, so we decided collectively to simply skip it this time around and pimp each other's books instead. The idea quickly snowballed into what's promising to be two simultaneous posts of outrageous one-upmanship (she's threatened poetry so I've countered with assurances that my Photoshop skills shan't go to waste). Be sure to swing by to see how thoroughly I can embarrass her, while she does the same to me on her website. Plus we're both giving away books! Should be shameless. Hope to see you there!

11 comments:

Jina Bacarr said...

Bravo, Cara! You're breaking new ground for erotic romance. Fun, sexy and flirty excerpt. Enjoyed it very much. Congrats!

Cara McKenna said...

Aw, thanks for taking the time, Jina!

Cara Bristol said...

I'm glad you found a home for the story. You wouldn't think that baby-making and erotic romance would mesh together, but I think you've handled it well. I'd certainly like to read it.

Wynter Daniels said...

Wow - that is a big switch. And I have faith you will sell way more than 3 copies! I'll be back later to read your excerpt, after I meet my daily writing goal.

Cara McKenna said...

Thanks, gang! When I first wrote it all I thought was, "Hmmm, erotica would be fun to try… What to write…maybe menage? Under what circumstances might a woman end up with two dudes in her bed? Oh, maybe she's trying to conceive!" Shows you how exactly sharp I was about the genre's unspoken rules a year ago. Needless to say, I'm pleased it found a good home!

Dalton Diaz said...

I'm sure you'll do very well at Loose-id, and cross-pollination (huh, who knew this word is spelled with an i? I sure didn't!) is never bad.

Savannah Stuart said...

I love the concept of your new story :) Congrats on your upcoming release! And yay for having Charlotte Stein. Her short story Waiting in Vain is so cute!

Cara McKenna said...

Thanks, Dalton and Savannah! And yes, Charlotte Stein will be a very welcome guest on NAC. She cracks me up at least five times a day on Twitter, and she makes me feel totally normal by nature of just how delightfully cracked she is.

Naima Simone said...

Yay, Cara!! Good for you in not giving up on something new! You have a knack for pushing barriers--and quite successfully I might add--so I'm sonot worried about you selling 3 books! Congratulations on the release and I will definitely have my copy on the 'ol eReader!!

Michelle Polaris said...

Sorry to chime in late after vacation, but the book sounds great. I'm so glad it got a home. There are themes like that creeping into my current works, so I'll be paying attention.

KT said...

I love a good taboo novel. I just finished one, Soul Mate by Ronald Lewis Weaver, that was amazing, with a teacher and student.