No, I haven't finished writing "Not This Time," my long-promised do-over. It's progressing at about 30,000 words so far, but it's not going fast. Instead, or in addition, I've begun a story called "Mixed Media." Guess what! There's art! In fact, it will ultimately become a part of "Pygmalion Revisited." Ultimately.
In the meantime, I plan to submit it for publication in an anthology by April 20. If it is not accepted, it will be published here early this summer. If it is accepted, it will be published here as soon as the contract period expires for the anthology. (I think that's six months, just like contest entries here on SOL.)
What got me moving on this was a conversation on Facebook with Cherry Wild. I've long carried a well-concealed torch for Cherry. She's young, vibrant, beautiful, and all the other things that aren't interested in old men. Still, she's young, vibrant, beautiful...
It actually started with a quick SOL email from Bob who said he thought of LNDtH when he read this New York Times article:
Reading this article happened just before I read Cherry's blog post about starting a new story for submission to an anthology. I had to share it with her:
"Passing on this NYT article to you that one of my readers sent to me today. I found it startling, yet not unexpected. If we write steamy romance, I believe we have an obligation to treat it fairly and in a way that represents how people should treat each other, not just how to fulfill the lusts of one side. It makes me very sad to read much of the erotic literature that I see on a regular basis," I said. Her response:
I completely agree with you. It's why we have the submission requirements that we do. It's usually apparent to us which stories are written by men, as they are often porn-y or (less often, but often enough to be mentioned) wildly offensive and degrading.
I'm also exploring writing erotic romance, with a different take on the billionaire niche. One of the things I find absolutely appalling is the way alpha males are created (basically, assholes), and the recurring theme of sexual abuse as a child (as a reason for the alpha asshole behavior or as a 'poor damaged girl' characterization) pisses me off to no end. It feels so deeply offensive that sexual abuse is being used as a convenient plot device for popular books and is being handled (most often, in my reading) incredibly badly. It's just as bad and damaging as all the novels that misportray BDSM.
In my motivation for writing erotic romance, and specifically billionaire stories, is to create stories that have more realism and respect than what I've read so far. I realize these are total fantasy stories, but I feel there is a place for stories [that are still fantasies] that depict healthier relationships and relationships built on more than simple lust or "I must own you."
I've been accused in SOL email in the past of being a 'girlie writer' and writing men who are way too feminine. So I've decided to put it to a test. I'll write the next PR story within the guidelines of the submission process and see if I come off as "one of those men" or if I come even kind of close to what they are looking for in erotic romance. If you've read Pygmalion Revisited, you know that these are nothing short of romances that have an erotic appeal without being driven by the sex aspect. I'd been struggling to put together the concept for the next story in that series but find that Cherry has given me motivation and inspiration at once.