Over the weekend, I was tinkering around with some of my retail settings and stumbled into a review that some reader, somewhere had written for one one my more recent efforts. I try to stay away from the reviews as a matter of principle. I do that for three reasons: 1) There’s not much I can really do about a review I either agree or disagree with; 2) Even if there was something I could do, getting into a verbal fist fight on the internet never ends well; and 3) Although reviews are valuable for readers – giving them a clue about what to read and what to stay away from – they generally don’t offer much feedback I can use as a writer. Fortunately, opinions are like a certain anatomical orifice in that everyone has one – even though it often feels a bit like some people may have way more than that.
The review that caught my attention gave me a single star, knocking me down a few pegs because it contained “too much sexual content.” I know the reviewer probably meant that as a bad thing – as maybe I didn’t include enough narrative or that I sacrificed story line to get people in the sack as quickly as possible. On those two counts I’m most likely guilty as charged.
It might mean someone will come around to collect my credentials as a fiction writer, but I’ve never really been into erotica just to tell the story. What I really want to do is give the reader a quick fix – an easy read to get them off in a hurry and something they can come back to the next day and get off again reading the next chapter. I write the quicky of the erotica world. It’s the story you use to get yours in the middle of the afternoon so you can get one with the rest of your day with the hint of a smile on your face. I’m not trying to write fiction for the ages over here. I want to put the story in print that you’d be embarrassed about if your friends took a look at your e-reader.
If too much sex is what earns me a single star, then I hope I can be your one-star author of choice for a long time to come.
The good news: I’m still writing. The bad: It’s a bit of freelance work absolutely unrelated to erotica and not sexy in any way. Still, it’s a chance to make a few bucks and earn a little more credibility as a writer – another small shuffle towards living the dream.
Maybe that’s what all this is about anyway. God knows I don’t want this to be too easy. If it were, everyone would quit their day jobs and set off to write the great American smut trilogy. We’ve got enough competition out there as it is now. Before anyone asks, yes, I know some of it is light years better than mine – but a good portion of it is a lot worse, too. That’s what gives me hope. I know with practice and time, this is a skill I can hone. Just being good isn’t enough, but luck is just one of those factors that’s going to have to take care of itself.
So if you’re popping by to see what my next foray into the delightfully filthy world of erotic fiction will be, all I can ask is for your patience. I’ve got a few ideas, but for the moment I’m spending some time working on other things. I’ll still be updating here of course, but don’t be surprised if the posts take one a more philosophical tone for a while rather than rattling off the weekly play-by-play.
With Whored Out now published and sales starting to come in, I’m dealing with the inevitable aftermath of pouring excessive amounts of free time into one pursuit. The mountain of other “stuff” that needs doing currently looks solidly intimidating… so while the textbook answer is that I’m already off on the next project, the real answer is that I’m taking a breath, doing some laundry, reassuring my friends that I still exist, and pausing to enjoy a few minutes of unscheduled time at the end of each day.
This moment will be over soon enough. With darkness falling earlier and earlier every day, it won’t be long at all before I turn back to the laptop and give the next story its share of undivided attention. Just now, though, I’m enjoying not doing that. This is the kind of activity that could be all consuming if you let it, but I’m just not that willing to give up everything else that’s important in my life. Maybe that makes me a bad writer, or at least an undisciplined one. I like to think that it gives me some kind of balance, but who knows. I’m probably making it all up as I go along.
After what feels like a very long time in coming, tonight I get to tell you for the first time that Whored Out is officially available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords for immediate download to your e-reader, phone, or computer.
Dana had a plan. Get good grades in school. Get a job. Meet a nice boy. Get married. Live happily ever after. It was the same fairy tail plan millions of other young women get stuck in their heads every year. It works out for some of them, but for others the fairy tail dream can turn into a nightmare almost overnight.
Most people never realize how close to the edge they’ve built their life. After her husband’s freak accident, with bills piling up, Dana makes it her mission in life to make ends meet without him ever finding out where the money really came from. When he finds out, there’s hell to pay – and no end to customers who are willing to pay for the opportunity to spend an hour with Dana.
A mere 24 hours changed everything Dana thought she knew about who she was, what she wanted, and how life was supposed to turn out. It also showed her a side of herself that she didn’t even know was there.
II hope you’ll take a few seconds and check out a sample for yourself… and if you like it, please remember that your ratings and reviews help writers like me sell books and keep this whole machine running.
I hoped I’d be able to long in tonight and make an announcement. Unfortunately, one of the “Big Three” ebook retailers is dragging their feet on letting Whored Out go live on their site. At least that means we’re almost there. Even better, it means I’ve done everything I can do as a writer, editor, and chief cook and bottle washer. I’ve delivered my product to the retailers and all I can do now is let them do their thing.
If this one of three is still hung up on Thursday, I’ll announce the other two, post the links, and then play catch up announcing the 3rd later. Now in the meantime, if you were to happen to click over to Barnes & Noble or Smashwords and search for something like “edward daniels whored out,” there’s a good chance you’d be among the first to have your very own copy.
I could tell you some story about already having my next idea, doing some outlining, or even having a clue what’s going to come next, but it really would be just a story at this point. The truth is, I have no idea yet what’s next. Tonight I’m just going to be happy being “almost” there on the short story that’s taken me the longest of any to get right. I have no idea if it means anything or not, but this one was real work. If nothing else, I have a hunch it made me a better writer for the workout. It’s hard to want more than that.
I missed Thursday’s post and I’m early for Monday, so I’m only stopping long enough to let the world know my 2nd draft reader passed Whored Out with flying colors – and mercifully few recommended changes. I guess now we all know how I’ll be spending the rest of the weekend.
Late Saturday night I handed off Whored Out and asked the first reader to give it a good going over. No feedback yet, but it at least means that a final version of this story is sone step closer. It feels like I’ve been working on it for a long, long time now. Compared to some of the others it has been a long time. Writing in the summer when there’s so many competing things to do is just harder for me that writing during the winter. As much as I like this temperate weather, I’m looking forward to the fall because there are a few projects I’ve been sitting on until I know I’ll give them the attention they deserve.
I guess that’s the point of this post – I’m starting to look past the (hopefully) soon to be announced arrival of the final draft of Whored Out towards other things. Like everyone else, there’s always more to do than time in which to do it, but I’m honestly excited about getting a few months when there’s just a little bit more time in the day when I don’t feel like I’m missing some outdoor activity.
While others have the responsibility for doing the heavy lifting on Whored Out, my plan this week is to start working on the front and back matter and designing the cover. Another week or ten days and we might just have something new here for everyone to read.