I included this second FAQ about my writing because I get questions about it all the time. I don't know if the writing world is interesting to readers, or if there are simply that many writers out there who are curious about Christian erotica. Anyway, I'm asked often enough that I thought I answer some of them up front, although the mechanics of the process may be boring to most people.
How long have you been writing? What all have you written?
I've been making my living as a writer for around twenty years now, give or take. I started writing as a young lass long before I got my first book published, though. I quit counting, but I've had about thirty books published over the years in different genres by different publishing houses and under different names. I currently write for four different publishers. In the world of fiction I've written religious fiction, humor fiction, even a little horror. I also write historical non-fiction - and I love that, because real-life is often more fascinating than anything that you can make up!
What got you into Christian erotica?
I did write some secular erotica, but that world can get very dark. Some of the best-selling authors write about fetishes that disturb me as a person, and as a Christian - incest, bestiality, and just random acts of sex with random people. Call me a prude, but my husband and I enjoy a wonderful physical relationship in our covenant of marriage, and I just started feeling drawn to write erotica about married couples.
Where do you get the names of the characters in the story?
Believe it or not, this is kind of a big deal. I mean, what if I used the names of a real-life couple in a story and it offended them? There are probably thousands of couples named "Bob" and "Carol." No, I go to a lot of trouble to keep everything as anonymous as I can. For example, I keep from using last names most of the time. For the first names I use a random name generator - there are a number of free ones online. With the better ones, you can add factors like age, ethnicity, etc, but I always keep it very generic. That's why the characters in my story have very boring names - but I want the reader to focus on the relationship, not the physical attributes of the characters.
Do you have any writing rituals?
I was asked this question in an interview a while back, because many writers have very specific things that they do. Some write in the mornings, some in the evenings, some to specific types of music, some outside on a park bench in the great outdoors and others sequestered in a tiny office. I sit at my desk, usually in very dim light. I like to have soft instrumental music as a background, because the mood has to be relaxed. I can't write if my mind is trying to figure out when I can get the car in for a tune-up or something distracting like that. I'll also light a scented candle or burn incense - the olfactory sense is more powerful than most people imagine. For me, it's all about being relaxed or getting my head in the write place (pun intended).
What point of view do you write in?
I almost always write in the first-person point of view (POV) - that means you're reading the story from one character's eyes. A good many of my readers are women, so I often write from the wife's POV, but I do have male readers so I usually try to include a story or two in a book from the husband's POV. Besides, sometimes gals like to know what the husband is thinking, and sometimes guys are interested in how the wife is seeing the action in the story. And before you ask, it's easy for me to write in the male POV because I have a husband who's very supportive and understanding. I can ask him a question about a situation and how he'd see it or what he'd be thinking about, and he gives me an honest answer. He gets that it's an important part of my writing, so he doesn't try to slant things to build up my ego or his own. Oh, one more thing - I do occasionally write in the third-person omniscient POV, where there is a story teller who knows all - it makes it kind of like watching a movie. Anyway, in a book of short stories I try to mix it up - some wife POV, some husband POV, some omniscient POV, just so that feel of the stories change throughout the book.
How do you decide what kinds of sex will be in a story?
Kind of like POV, I'm writing a book of short stories so I want them to be different. And, let's face it, different people are into different things. Some folks don't like anything but vaginal sex, some aren't into oral, some oral for the guy but not the girl or vice versa, etc, etc, etc. I always try to include an anal story, because some people are into it while others aren't, and there are a good number of folks who like it in their erotica, but not in real life. My goal is to have an across-the-board mix of sexual activity between the husbands and wives in my stories so that there's something for everyone.
How do you keep from offending your readers?
In the world of erotica, Christian or secular, everyone has a different line that they don't want to cross. For some, like I was just talking about, it's anal sex. For others, it could be the female-dominant cowgirl position. As the old saying goes, you can't please all of the people all of the time. I just therefore try to be consistent. I use the same type of language in my stories which I talk about in the more general FAQ on the website. In a book of my stories you can expect mostly vaginal sex but there will be some oral here and there, a story that includes anal play, and a little sex toy play. I don't get into fetishes, with the exception of a little light bondage or maybe some playful spanking. I just want all of my work to have a consistency so that if you enjoy one of my books, you'll enjoy another. I'm not saying that some readers don't ever get offended, but that is certainly not my intention.
Why do you personally introduce every book or story?
That came from something that happened a few years ago. Hubby and I are both parrotheads - that is to say, we're big Jimmy Buffett fans. He is quite the troubadour. In fact, I got my husband his first Buffett album for our first Christmas together. Since then we've seen him in concert I don't know how many times, and we have every album that he's ever done. You can tell that we're big fans, and he's a really big deal to us. When he released a recent album a few years ago, "Songs from St. Somewhere," he debuted it on his satellite radio channel - but he did something unique. Before each song played, he would introduce it and explain what it was about, why he wrote it, etc. As we sat there it felt like he was talking directly to us, and it made each song more personal and enjoyable. Because I first heard it like that it's been one of my favorite Buffett albums, or maybe albums in general. Since erotica is personal and intimate, I wanted to share my thoughts about each story with the reader. In the Pompeii book I wrote a story about sex on a hotel rooftop in Las Vegas, but I have severe vertigo so I was laughing at myself as I wrote it because when I held the mental image, my palms were sweating and I was weak-kneed. It's a fun bit of trivia that you wouldn't otherwise know about the story. I just like having that kind of personal relationship with my readers.
How does the editing process work with your books?
Once I finish a book I turn it over to an editor who fixes everything that I did wrong - grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc. By the time that it comes back to me I've been away from it for a while, so I can look at it with fresh eyes. I read mostly for content, but sometimes I undo changes that the editor made. When I'm done it goes back for another editing pass, but on this one we talk about each correction. The thing that we fight over most are commas - my editor will take it out, and I'll put it in because I think I need a pause there. If you find grammatical errors, it's probably because I felt it needed to be that way. I'll take all the blame!
I'll add more questions as they come up, but meanwhile, thanks for visiting my website and reading my work!