Wednesday, October 12, 2016

This is Why I Write Erotic Romance

This writing erotic romance thing is not for the weak.

It's not for the overly sensitive.

And it's not for the easily discouraged.

I am approaching the four year anniversary of publishing my first erotic romance novel, Mountains Wanted. By the way, it's free through 10.14 on Amazon right now, so pick it up if you haven't read it already. What have you got to lose?

Whoops, didn't mean to turn this into a promo opportunity, but on the other hand...what have I got to lose?

I try to judge my writing career on how far I've come rather than how far I have to go. In 2012, when I published Mountains Wanted, I had zero followers on social media (because I didn't have social media for Phoebe, my erotic romance-writing alterego); I had zero newsletter subscribers; I had been to zero signings; and I had zero reviews. And I had made zero sales. All I had was one book about to be published and a dream.

Now I can say in 2016, I've published six erotic romance books and two women's fiction books (under the name K.L. Montgomery), and I have thousands of social media followers and newsletter subscribers. I've been to a few signings and have some on the books for 2017 and 2018. But most importantly, I have made sales. Thousands of sales, actually.

But I'm still looking for that breakthrough moment, that moment where I become "known." Not famous; I don't actually think that's going to happen. But I'm still waiting for my audience to rise up, for me to find my people, my tribe of like-minded readers.

See, I write sex-positive, body-positive erotic romance, and I believe that gives me a bit of a distinction from what else is out there in the vast sea of erotic romance. My characters are real, relatable, everyday men and women, not rock stars, models, billionaires or the likes. They have average bodies; they are people you would meet in the course of regular life. The biggest thing that sets them apart from other ordinary people is that they learn to embrace their sexuality. They don't make apologies for being sexual creatures, nor do they abide by slut shaming.

Which is interesting, really, because lately there has been some talk about how romance writers and readers are essentially slut-shamed. Check out this article from, for example. As you can imagine, I'm not okay with that.

After four years, I wonder if there's actually a market for the type of literature I write. Maybe not. Maybe not YET. But as a fellow author told me recently, even if I'm not getting the sales I want or the best reviews, I am still sending a message, and it's an important message: the message that it's okay for women of all sizes to embrace and celebrate their sexuality. 

I may be taking a break from writing erotic romance, at least until my next women's fiction project is done, but I will be back. You know why? Because I know I have more sex-positive, body-positive stories inside me, waiting to come out. And if just a few readers enjoy my books and have their minds opened because of them.... well, then, I've done my job.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Fellow Author Friday ~ Lisette Kristensen

Please welcome the lovely Lisette Kristensen to the blog! 

When and how did you decide to become a writer?

I’ve always had a vivid imagination and fascinated with the “what if” idea relating to events.  The challenge I imposed on myself was the fear of the English language. All through school English was hard, not the reading part, the composition part. None of it made sense. To this day, I’m a grammar slob and the rules of the road of writing is Greek to me.  So the idea of ever writing was a dream. I ignored it for years. Then a friend threw down the gauntlet and dared me to put a story on paper.  I wrote a short story, Unveiling Fa├žade, and then sold it to a small press.  (The rights reverted back to me and I self-published it). After I sold the story in 2009, I didn’t write anymore.  That same friend bugged me for years about writing and finally dove back in again.   This time I’m more comfortable with my weakness and focus on the story telling.

Where do you get inspiration for your stories?

Other writers.   I read a great deal inside and outside of my genre.  Writers like Stacia Kane and Jacqueline Carey inspire me with theor character development.   Jeanna Pride and Casey Cane in how to weave sexuality through a character’s trials.  July Cumming for showing sex in a different twisted angle.  They inspire me to think differently, to take chances.

What makes you unique as a writer? What sets you apart?

I never thought of myself unique. If I had to chose one, I would say I’m a thematic writer.  Meaning I focus more on the theme than characters, background etc.  Currently, I am into the woman flawed internally, that through unlocking the darkness within her frees her from those flaws.  I think that approach set’s me apart somewhat.  My stories are about the journey of inner freedom by traveling down some seriously dark sexual experiences.  Like a reviewer said to me, you write a surreal fantasy in a real life context.

Where can we learn more about you?


Friday, April 22, 2016

Fellow Author Friday ~ Cathleen Maza

Please welcome short story/novella writer Cathleen Maza to the blog! Cathleen writes contemporary fiction and young adult fantasy/adventure.

When and how did you decide to become a writer?
I honestly can’t think of a time when I wasn’t creating stories and writing them down to share with my sisters, cousins, friends, or whoever I could get to listen. Back in high school, I was excited to always be given a lot of dedicated space in the literary magazine. As I became an adult, it grew harder to make writing a priority. I spent a number of years working in corporate and educational office settings, where I would often jot down ideas during work days and save them to create stories in my spare time. When my daughter was in elementary school, I quit working outside of the home and dedicated myself to full-time writing. Now that she’s in high school, I’m happy to say that I’ve completely settled into my dream career as an author.

Where do you get inspiration for your stories?
I work mainly from life experience and the voices in my own head. I like to say that there’s a small piece of me in almost everything I write. When I publish traditionally in literary magazines, a story may be something I create around a specific submission call. More often, though, I’ll simply hear an interesting idea or bit of conversation and it will be enough of a catalyst to get my creative muse off and running.

What makes you unique as a writer? What sets you apart?
I think that my style of writing, as well as the material I write, both set me apart. I write short contemporary fiction and young adult fantasy/adventure.
I know a lot of writers experiment with short stories, but I’ve actually chosen them as my main genre. I love the challenge of delivering a decent literary tale in a neat package of seven thousand words or less. I’ve had many editors refer to my writing as having “a uniquely eloquent style”.
I write fantasy/adventure novellas for young adults as a break from my heavier adult material. I feel that the novella is a sadly under used format, so I’m hoping to revive some interest with a six part novella series. (Two have already been published and I’m currently writing the third.) If the novellas don’t catch on independently, I will probably re-publish them as a novel at the end of the series. For now, I’m not afraid to experiment.

Where can we learn more about you?

Friday, April 15, 2016

Fellow Author Friday ~ K.M. Neuhold

 Please join me in welcoming K.M. Neuhold, author of the Sexy Nerd Boy series, to the blog.

1. When and how did you decide to become a writer?

I don't know if I ever decided to be a writer. I've been writing my entire life, but I didn't decide to publish until last year with a lot of encouragement from my sister.

2. Where do you get inspiration for your stories?

I get inspiration from a wide variety of places: songs, movies, a person I see on the street. I usually get inspired to write a certain character and then I let the rest of the story fall into place once I know who the characters are.

3. What makes you unique as a writer? What do you think sets you apart from other writers?

I think my characters are what set me apart from other writers. I really focus on the characters emotions and who they are as people. It's really important to me to stay true to a character. There's nothing that bugs me more than watching a movie or reading a book where the character acts completely out of character for no reason.

4. Where can we learn more about you? (Share links to social media, books, etc!)
 Author links:

Twitter: @kmneuhold

Friday, April 8, 2016

Fellow Author Friday ~ Jamie Summer

Please welcome Jamie Summer to the Mountains Wanted blog! Jamie writes YA Fantasy and her new book is called Dalysian Hope. Check out her answers to the interview questions below:

1. When and how did you decide to become a writer? 
 I started writing fan fiction with my best friend about a decade ago. I never thought that it would turn into more at this point. It was fun and I truly loved doing it. The escape from reality was perfect. Until one night I had a dream that vivid that wouldn't let go until I started putting it down on paper. That's how "Dalysian Hope"got started. Even then I wasn't sure about publishing. After all, I had no idea if it was any good. Again, my best friend was the one that told me it was a great story and it needed to be told. So it was. That was a year ago and the book released just a few weeks ago.

2. Where do you get inspiration for your stories? 

For "Dalysian Hope" I dreamt the beginning. I also get a lot of inspiration from covers. I have a pre-made cover addiction, and those covers as inspirational for sure. Other than that, things just pop into my mind at the most random times without any pre-thinking.

3. What makes you unique as a writer? What do you think sets you apart from other writers? 

English is my second language, so first and foremost I hope that everything is correctly written. Other than that, I hope that my writing style just resonates with people. I've never written with grammar or anything in my mind. I put the words down the way they come to me. And I hope the story I want to tell is something that people are interested in seeing. My characters are diverse and each have to overcome their own obstacle on their way. Plus, I have playing with the elements, so they have become a big part of the story.

4. Where can we learn more about you? (Share links to social media, books, etc!)
Twitter: @authjamiesummer
Instagram: jamiesummer911
Spotify: Jamie Summer

Buy link for Dalysian Hope:

Friday, April 1, 2016

Fellow Author Friday ~ Amanda Leigh

Please welcome Amanda Leigh to my blog. Amanda writes contemporary YA/NA romance. Be sure to check out her links below. Here's what she has to say:

1. When and how did you decide to become a writer?

I’ve been telling stories my whole life. When I was two I would tell them to my mom who would write them down for me then I would draw the pictures. My first “book” was about Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask. But I think I started really considering it as a career in third grade. Yup, third grade. I wrote a story for class. It was actually a biography on Walt Disney. My teacher called my mom in for a meeting. She thought that I plagiarized it. My mom was pretty offended at first. After she told my teacher that she watched me write the whole paper she was very impressed and told my mom that maybe I should consider a career as a writer.That was the first time I thought that this author thing might be something that I wanted to do when I grew up. I got published for the first time at 11 and then in high school I got really serious about my writing.

2. Where do you get inspiration for your stories?

Honestly, I can find inspiration anywhere. I have a file with probably upwards of 15 ideas for books/stories. Just tonight, I got an idea from the name of an X-Files episode. The trilogy that I'm working on now was never supposed to be a trilogy. And it started out because of a one sentence idea and a song that I heard that helped to inspire a big theme and part of the tone of the books.

3. What makes you unique as a writer? What do you think sets you apart
from other writers?

I think that part of it is definitely the genres that I write in. I write fiction, poetry and I'm even working on a piece for a non-fiction collection that I'm helping to compile. And when it comes to fiction I also write across genres.  My fiction debut, My Heart is Yours, is Contemporary Romance but the trilogy that I'm writing is YA Paranormal/Urban Fantasy with a romance in it. I think that that is probably the main thing.

Some others that I consider important is that I don't shy away from important issues or the darker sides of some things. I don't want to condescend my readers.

4. Where can we learn more about you? (Share links to social media, books, etc!)

I have accounts on many places online, but these are my most active. Plus, links to my books. Thanks for having me today!! :)