Monday, February 22, 2010

Foreshadowing the Erotic Romance Author

I just finished the first draft of a new erotic romance manuscript I'm tentatively calling The Magician's Chains. Yay me!!!! One of the last scenes I wrote was actually the prelude. Who knows if it will be chucked. Preludes, prologues, whatever you want to call them are tricky business and not always deemed necessary by publishers. I added mine when a strong urge to build in more pointed foreshadowing swept over me as I began my final chapter.

In the shower this morning (yes, I do a lot of my brainstorming in the shower) I got to wondering about foreshadowing in actual life. Although I don't fancy myself the heroine of a real time erotic romance (wouldn't that be nice) I began to look for the first signs that pointed in the direction of my career writing this genre. Was it the naughty daydreams of erotic magic shows I had in my adolescence? Or even before that when I wrote a fairly sexualized melodramatic fantasy novella in middle school? Was it foreshadowed by my youthful fascination with Sharon Green's Jalav and Terrillian book series, both fantasy/sci-fi romance with sexualized content involving powerful women forced into male-dominated societies who endure sexual slavery. Anyone else read those series? Looking back at the times I can't believe the stuff was shelved in the regular fantasy section of the bookstore.

Really the writing was on the wall when the plot ideas for my non-erotic romance fantasies (which I began to pen in 2005) started to become hotter and hotter. I didn't pursue erotic romance as a purposeful career choice. It just fit my fairly kinky mind. I'd always wanted to write fantasy. I've been reading it voraciously since I was in elementary school. How wonderful for me that I can now write fantasy and erotic romance simultaneously given the outrageously popular market for it. Sure Bound Odyssey is a futuristic, but let's not argue details. The Magician's Chains is fantasy and I have great hopes it will be contracted.

Here's my question for other erotic romance authors. What foreshadowed your careers? Was it something dramatic or would your path to this genre be spectacularly mundane and never make it into the pages of a novel? Would your editor throw out your prologue and insist you start the story at the point of career launch? Tell all, please.

Oh, let me throw in a bit of last minute self-promotion. Starting Saturday my amazing book video has been part of a competition between 17 trailers on You Gotta Read Videos. It's entry #1. The voting is held from February 20th through midnight Thursday, February 25th. Drop by if you have a moment and vote for it if you believe it's the best. If not, well what the heck is wrong with you? (grin)

Now, back to your commenting. Foreshadowing. Your career. Go on, dazzle me.


Wynter said...

Just voted - good luck. Okay - career as an erotic romance author. I started with more tame romances, but I've always leaned to the more sensual side of things. Loved Anne Rice's Sleeping Beauty series, The Happy Hooker, Fear of Flying - all those naughty books were instant favorites.
My books started growing hotter when DH started working more nights. Too much alone time on my hands combined with hormones made me think about naughty things;-)

Cara McKenna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cara McKenna said...

Sorry, first comment was prematurely submitted. "Premature Submission" that one of yours, Michelle?

Anyhow, I started by writing romance, which came about because I basically got this vivid, narrative music video stuck in my head during my erstwhile walk commute to work. After spending weeks walking around with this weird entity rattling around in my skull, I thought, "This seems like a romance novel. I wonder if I could write a whole novel..."

I came to erotica after RWA National 2009, where I'd heard Brenda Chin of Harlequin talking about their new Spice Briefs short erotica line. I wrote to their specifications, got told I was too weird, then submitted my story to Ellora's Cave who said, "You're weird, but we'll give you a chance. Here, have a contract." Thanks, EC! So far it looks like everyone either loves or hates my first book, judging from the initial reader reactions. I'll take a passionate rant over a luke-warm "meh" any day. Our genre's all about emotion!

Jina Bacarr said...

Voted for your trailer, Michelle! Visuals are excellent; I love the music, not overdone but sensual.

Re: prologues--I have what I call a "Preface" in Blonde Samurai because the book is written as a memoir; this enabled me to establish the core idea running through the book--the heroine talking to the reader.

A prologue is like buying a sexy new pair of shoes: if it feels good and doesn't pinch your toes, go for it!

Naima Simone said...

Hi, Michelle!
I love when the prologue is actually the end of the book or starts with the black moment. It keeps me reading!

Foreshadowing of my erotic romance career? I guess it was in my very first romance that starred Ralph Tresvant from New Edition. The written copy was pretty tame with a serenade and a kiss but the version inside my head included the drive-in-get-busy-and-sweaty-in-the-back-seat uncut scenes. LOL! You'd be amazed how big that back seat was!

Now, I must go vote...

Michelle Polaris said...

Thanks Wynter, Cara, Jina and Naima. For votes and your own little details.

Wynter, I loved Anne Rice's Sleeping Beauty series and Fear of Flying.

Cara, Premature Submission? Snort. I am in danger of it. I'm trying to tell myself to slow down and I know I'll get lucky. By the by, I'm in the "loved it" camp on your story.

Jina, thanks for encouragement on my prelude. I have to figure out if it's "sexy" enough because it's pretty heavy in its own way. But I'll get there.

Naima, you should never have deleted those back seat hot and heavy scenes from the written version. Now what am I going to read when you drag out that first manuscript to entertain?

Stephanie Adkins said...

Voted! Good luck with the contest. :)

Before I started writing erotic romance, that was all I read. Every now and then I would read something tame, but I think I was always meant to write steamier stories because I've always been a very sensual and passionate person. It really went into overdrive once I reached my 30's. LOL

Dalton Diaz said...

I got tired of toning down the sex to fit the supposedly sexy lines. Guess I have a dirty mind, not that that's ever been a secret.

Dalton Diaz said...

BTW, speaking up as a crit partner, Magician's Chains rocks!

SweetnSexyPeach said...

I was wondering how one gets into erotic fantasy. I write a lot myself and not sure if it's just the age I am at now or what but I have been leaning more towards the erotic stage of my writing. I am glad to know I am not weird in that sense :)

Dalton Diaz said...

Hey, Peach!

No, you're not alone and don't let anyone tell you that writing erotica is easy. It isn't.

On that note, there is a rule of thumb for us. (Hmm, maybe we should make that a rule of foot...) Take a look at some of your own writing. Can you tell the difference when you've written what you feel vs letting fear of impropriety tone it down? If it doesn't turn you on, it won't turn the reader on.

Michelle Polaris said...

Just wanted to throw in there that there is something to be said for this stuff making sense once you first hit your thirties. I was in my mid thirties when I first started plotting the hottest stuff and I had a duh, palm hitting forehead moment when I said to myself, "No wonder you're obsessed with this stuff. You've hit your prime."