Thursday, 28 January 2016

Fitting In by Lucy Felthouse (@cw1985)

Hi everyone!

I recently took part in an online chat, and someone asked a question that really got me thinking:

"Is there a credibility issue with erotic writing?"

And the short answer is that in many cases, yes, there is. In spite of the boom in popularity for the genre that Fifty Shades of Grey created, for a lot of people it's still not considered a "proper" genre. It's something to be giggled about, only read behind firmly closed doors, etc. As a writer, that's frustrating, but I can live with it... it's just the way life is.

But it does mean we have to take a different approach to getting our names out there than authors in many other genres. For example, great ways for authors to promote themselves include: doing a talk/reading/signing in a local bookshop, get featured in a local newspaper, do some kind of event with your local library, get involved in local craft fairs... you get the idea. All great and valid things to highlight books to potential readers.

In the past I've attempted to arrange some of the above ideas. At first, the person you speak to seems interested, but as soon as you mention that word... erotica... you've lost them. It's just too risqué, they're scared of what people will think, how they will react. Fair enough - at least I tried. I'm very much a person that'll try things out, and if they don't work, that's okay. At least I know what works and what doesn't.

But it can be very hard, as a writer, to feel like you don't fit in. I've been to some conferences and things where, although everyone is very friendly and welcoming, they clearly find it difficult to talk to me about my work. Others, however, are fascinated, and I've come across many people that, when asked, write "romance", but if pushed further will admit they've also written erotica or erotic romance under a pen name. Others still wonder if I've done everything I write about, and assume that I spend my days writing and my nights prowling BDSM clubs. That's fine, though, that just makes me giggle as it's so far from the truth.

I know all the above sounded kind of negative, and for that I'm sorry. I wasn't being negative, more telling about my experiences. But now, on the flip side, I'd like to talk about where I do fit in.

Online, these issues seem to go away. If people aren't into the genre I write in, that's absolutely fine. I engage with those who are. I chat on Twitter and on Facebook, and rejoice every time I get a review or a message from someone telling me how much they enjoyed my book. I'm grateful I can still reach readers using the power of technology, and even more grateful that they exist. They may not be able to get new book recommendations through their local newspaper or library, but they can still find me, and others like me, and hopefully check out our books, recommend them to friends, and so on.

This is why I adore my fellow Brit Babes - now there's a group where I truly fit in. We're all a little bonkers (but that goes with the territory of writers), we all face the same struggles, and we all push each other to succeed. Having that support network is vital, and incredibly valuable for me. Those girls ensure I won't give up.

The same goes for our awesome street team. We couldn't wish for a friendlier, more dedicated bunch of people on our side. We talk books, of course, and our team read and review fiendishly for us, as well as help pimp out blog posts, buy links, and so on. But we also chat more generally, whether it's about books, films, hot guys (admittedly, that's a very popular topic), or just share funny gifs we've found online.

What I'm saying, ultimately, is that though in some cases, yes, people are still shying away from erotica/erotic romance, it's still got a readership. A big readership. You probably won't bump into them in your doctor's surgery (or if you do, they won't admit what they're reading on their Kindle as they wait), but they're there. And they're a bunch of the funniest, most warm-hearted people you could ever wish to meet. If you're reading this, you're probably one of them. For that, I thank you.

Happy Reading!
Lucy x

Latest release: Love on Location.

ALSO - I'd love to get your thoughts on this. How do you feel about erotica/erotic romance? Do you read it openly, discuss it with your friends and partner/s? Or is it something you keep to yourself? Let's discuss... :)

*****

Author Bio:


Lucy Felthouse is the award-winning author of erotic romance novels Stately Pleasures (named in the top 5 of Cliterati.co.uk’s 100 Modern Erotic Classics That You’ve Never Heard Of, and an Amazon bestseller) and Eyes Wide Open (an Amazon bestseller). Including novels, short stories and novellas, she has over 140 publications to her name. She owns Erotica For All, is book editor for Cliterati, and is one eighth of The Brit Babes. Find out more about her writing at http://lucyfelthouse.co.uk, or on Twitter and Facebook. You can also subscribe to her monthly newsletter at: http://eepurl.com/gMQb9

17 comments:

  1. As a reader and reviewer/book blogger I'm used to the eye rolling and sometimes awkward silences that can ensue when I mention that I love to read erotica. I'm open about what I read and the fact that I think such books are not only damn hot and fun but empowering too and like any genre they take great skill in writing. It's a great shame that society has such conservative views. All I can say is thank goodness for all the fabulous erotica writers out there who create such mind blowing reads for their audience to enjoy! <3

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    1. It's fantastic that you're open about it. I guess the more people hide it or act embarrassed about it, the more people will think there's something to be embarrassed about! Thanks for stopping by x

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  2. Hi Lucy! great article. I'm an erotic fiction author who writes under a pen name, and consequently I write reviews of erotica using this pen name as well. I initially decided to use a pen name for a few reasons, including giving me freedom to write what I want without fear of judgement from people I know (and my employer), and I think it was definitely the right move for me. Consequently, although I'm happy to say my partner knows all about my alter-ego, my writing and reading is a bit hush-hush in relation to my daily work and social life, and that works fine. Like yourself, I too mainly connect online. It could be a bit restrictive perhaps as concerns book signings or attending events etc, but should I ever come to that bridge I might have to reveal my writerly 'superhero' persona, and I'm sure that'd be fine if need be. In the meantime, I really enjoy connecting online with people from all around the world, so I don't feel it's at all restricting at present. So yes, all a bit hush-hush, but I feel it actually works for me that way.

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    1. Absolutely, Reuben! For some people, pen names are a necessity, and totally understandable. Like you say, it works for you, and that's the important thing :)

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  3. Hi again Lucy. Another thought I wanted to share... I do think it'd be great if more mainstream arts and culture pages recognised a category for erotic fiction as worthy of attention. Unfortunately at present it seems to get the brush-off as not really serious enough.

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    1. Absolutely, I couldn't agree more. I mean, look how much money E L James has made from Fifty Shades... how much more serious does it need to be!?

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  4. I love your honesty in this article Lucy and far from being negative it's so wonderfully positive about the fabulous online community of erotic romance and erotica authors. Keep writing, keep smiling :)

    Lily x

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    1. I sure will, hon! Couldn't do it without you guys! x

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  5. Brilliant post. Just brilliant.

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  6. Fantastic post! When I first started reading erotica, I kept it to myself mainly. As I read more and became more involved with other readers and the wonderful people who write in this genre, I realised there was no shame in reading and enjoying erotica.Now the world and his wife know of my love for these books and I have a number for converts to my name too xx

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  7. Love this Lucy-loo!!!
    It can feel terribly isolating when you're in a big crowd of authors talking about their books and you're kinda twisting your foot not mentioning yours. Then you meet like minded peeps and boom! You've found home x x x fab post Lucy.

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    1. Absolutely. I've definitely gotten less bothered about this with time, though. I'll tell folk, and if they don't like it, tough! LOL xxx

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  8. I read erotica openly but it dies get me looks on trains and folk who know me even at work on lunch hour who know what I read still can't resist s comment. I sometimes think they are jealous that I'm open with my interests etc and they never could be.. I'm not sure why folk feel the need to comment or why its seen as out if the norm. After all as you mention I though fifty shades brought barriers down. Do glad to have joined the smut events, met like minded folk authors and readers. See you soon xxx

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    1. Sorry drunk wine and phone has changed words...sure you get my jist...yes that is correct 😁

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    2. Thanks for stopping by, Gilly! Really lovely to have met you through the Smut events. There's nothing like meeting like-minded folk! :) xx

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