Yet another erotica trend

Billionaires.

Like cowboys, this is something I just don’t get. What in hell is the attraction of a guy (it’s ALWAYS a guy) who has more money than the Federal Reserve? Does anyone else spot the obvious problem – that 90% of problems can be solved by throwing unlimited money at them, thus effectively removing 90% of the possible avenues for dramatic tension?

And the other 10% inevitably occur as a result of the innocent/kind-hearted/peasant class woman suddenly being thrown into the billionaire’s world and having to teach him how to loooove. I want to shake erotica authors and scream IT WASN’T ORIGINAL WHEN PRETTY WOMAN DID IT, WHAT MAKES YOU THINK IT’S ORIGINAL NOW?!

I can’t help thinking this is a by-product of the whole ‘sweep you off your feet’ trope that never fails to make me roll my eyes. It’s boring, is what I’m saying. It’s the same story that’s been told for centuries and the big ideas of those stories are played out.

Yes, even erotica has big ideas, and no, it’s not always YAY SEX!

So I’m going to take my two stories and tell you the big ideas. Sort of. I don’t know, I’m mostly making this up as I go along.

Kathy’s World is all about betrayal and how someone deals with the aftermath. Kathy finds out that Mark’s been cheating, and the story follows how she copes with the loss – not just of him, but of the life she thought she had. That’s where the name comes from – the betrayal shakes up her world, and when the dust settles, she finds that where she ended up isn’t so bad if it means she gets to have someone (Eddie) who’s honest with her about what he wants.

Devil Masque is about identities, because I love to talk about that kind of thing. Angela meets the proverbial tall dark stranger at the Masquerade ball, and neither of them know each other’s real name, but they find that being someone else, even for a short time, frees them to do things they would never consider otherwise. Then they have to figure out if it’s better to never know the person behind the mask, or if they should find out each other’s identity and take a chance on them being compatible in real life as well.

The point is that it’s not all about sex, and I’m at least trying to be more imaginative than the whole ‘fish out of water’ trope that is pretty much the entirety of the billionaire books.

If I ever write a book that follows this trend, then you have permission to slap me.

(Also I’ll have something special for you all on Friday, because I love you so much.)

//shay

I need to read

There just isn’t enough free erotica on the Kindle.

Such is the fate of someone who reads like a fiend; I honestly can’t afford my Kindle habit, and I need to supplement it with whatever free stuff I can get my hands on. But actually finding free erotica is painfully difficult, especially when you’re really only interested in independent authors.

Not that I have anything against regular authors or anything. I just like the indies more. I like being surprised. I like the uncertainty.

I wish there was a free indie erotica list I could subscribe to. I would read and review EVERYTHING.

//shay

I’m baffled

What in all the nine circles of hell is going on with all the Texas romance books?

It’s not even about cowboys. If it were cowboys, it’d be just as likely to be Wyoming instead of Texas. So tell me, dear friend – what’s so sexy about Texas, of all places?

Is it those hats? Please say it’s not the hats. You know the ones I’m talking about – the ones that guys wear when they’re pretending to be in a western or something. Or is it the boots? I can just about wrap my head around the idea of cowboy boots being sexy, because boot fetishes are a thing in the real world, but you have lost me on the hats.

The only explanation I have is that Texas has a higher than average number of housewives with a thing for musclebound dudes with drawling accents. I will admit that this isn’t a great theory, and there are other explanations, but anything else I can think of is either ridiculous or borderline insulting to Texans. (Much as I’m happy to speak my mind here, I don’t want to be mean just because I can.)

This could be another market trend that is forever out of my reach. I guess I could attempt to write a story set in Texas, but that would probably be as effective as me writing a story set in Iceland. I just don’t know enough to fake it and it’d probably be obvious to a native.

//shay

I wish there was a way

…to separate the indie books from the mainstream books on Amazon.

See, the thing is, the traditionally published books are like steamed carrots. They’re bland, boring, mostly indifferent, and you generally know exactly what you’re going to get. Indie books are like olives. They’re sharp, sometimes horrible, mostly an acquired taste, but they’re where all the interesting stuff is happening. They’re not safe, like steamed carrots.

I like that. I like reading books that haven’t been through a filter of marketability or saleability. I don’t want books that are tailored to appeal to my tastes, as if a publisher can actually discern that with any kind of accuracy. My taste, like many people, varies by the hour sometimes and my interest is piqued at random. You take your chances, of course, by picking up stuff that could be unedited and unproofed, but that’s what the Look Inside feature is for.

I also wish there was a way to filter out reviews that give you a plot synopsis. The damn blurb is there for that. It falls under the heading of ‘shit we don’t need to know/you are spoiling the book on us’. Those reviews are generally the gushing ones that sound like they were written by the author. Who reads those, seriously?

Now I have a thought – if you’re going to review something I’ve written, my friends, I want three or four star reviews. They seem more honest.

//shay

Help me

I’ve read three trashy romances today already and I’ve got nothing done….

Not really regretting it but good grief, I can’t keep this up. I have writing to do, dammit.

The weird vampire story is shaping up, and – gasp – I could turn it into more than one story. I could write a series, guys.

I am becoming the thing I despise the most. I am turning into a vampire romance hack. Pray for what is left of my soul, for I have clearly lost all semblance of good sense and character.

Either that or pray I finally write a good version of the whole sad, jaded, ridiculous trope.

//shay

And I finished it

Good grief, these things are short.

So, there’s ‘Maid for the Billionaire’ done. The sexytimes were somewhat fun, maybe a bit too flowery for me. I still can’t shake the feeling that actual real people don’t act this way, though, and there really wasn’t enough tension at the end. (Memo to self: add to Goodreads.)

My taste in sexytimes is strange, apparently.

I’ve decided that I’ll probably need a new week for this… vampire story? I don’t know, I can’t figure out what to call it really. I have the outline, and it’s just a matter of blowing through the whole thing as fast as I can.

Don’t stop for anything, remember? Doesn’t matter how many thousand words a day it takes. Move as fast as possible – get a cover, get it formatted, get it out, get writing something else.

And pray for reviews, of course.

//shay

So I picked up this ebook

It’s called ‘Maid for the Billionaire’. Supposedly it’s got some good sexytimes in it, which I am totally down for. I’m about a quarter of the way into it so far.

I don’t know if I can finish it.

It is – how do I put this? – heavily straining my suspension of disbelief. HEAVILY. It starts with the two main characters meeting and instantly wanting to screw each other into the floor. And the dude is… kinda creepy, again, in an Edward-esque way. He just tells the woman that she’s doing this or that, and pretty much manipulates her into doing what he wants when she pushes back. But that’s totally okay because he’s a nice guy in spite of all indications to the contrary!

To that I say: Bull-shit.

…I’m never going to be able to write stuff like this. I just can’t. I can’t write something where one of the main characters acts like an arrogant asshole, and it’s supposed to be okay because he’s hot or they’re attracted to each other or he’s rich or you find out, from other characters, that he’s done some good deeds. Just – no. Cannot make brain work that way.

Guys, I am never going to be a bestseller if this is what it takes. I’m gonna just sit here in the corner for a while, weeping over my beer for the state of the world.

Can you do me a favor and tell the barkeep to start a tab for me?

//shay