Yes, the title of this post is correct, and it is definitely an odd choice being that I have hardly read any crime fiction (in the genre sense) and to date zero erotica. Some people would consider this a problem: write what you know and all that. But I wanted my next project to be a challenge and for reasons I can’t fully explain this is the one I chose. Plus, I have never heard anybody say they didn’t know about sex.
The problem, in the beginning at least, was that as I typed I kept laughing as if I was writing a comedy. Writing about genitalia, male or female, made me giggle like an 11-year old hearing his first naughty word. Seeing erotic nouns on the screen, typed by my fingers, was just alien and weird. And to be clear, I was not actually using the word ‘genitalia’. He does not enter the room, kick the lit candles from the table, lay her down upon it and begin diddling her genitalia with a pair of raw asparagus. There’s none of that whatsoever.
But if writing it felt weird in the beginning, getting feedback was slightly nerve racking. I am no stranger to having my work read and critiqued, sometimes by loved ones and friends, sometimes by editors who I have never met face to face, and often, sometime most brutally, by complete strangers. It is part of the programme. Writing almost can’t exist, certainly can’t improve, without it. But handing out your work for feedback when you know that in part you are going to get feedback on the erotica, not just in terms of the language but also technique, is a whole other thing. You are being judged on your sexuality.
I am now five chapters in and the only judgements on my erotic writings have been from my pregnant girlfriend, and it is fair to say she is biased. She did make all the right noises, at least (sorry). But at some point this work has to go external and I confess that the idea of that continues to make me laugh.
Until then I will keep tapping away. I will enjoy the writing, share the occasional giggle if my girlfriend happens to be within earshot and will push back against any out of context asparagus.