Fifty Shades of Grey, the Big Daddy of modern erotica, was published in 2011.
Yes, 2011, when I was still in my fucking twenties (as opposed to my twenties fucking). That’s three birthday cakes ago. Over 1,000 sleeps. 75% of a president, although if the president involved is a sexy Chicago lawyer, I’ll take 75% rather than 0% (yes, I have a thing for Barack Obama. Far from my most disturbing crush, let me tell you).
And here I am, Amy-Come-Lately, all set to launch my first erotic novel after Starbucks brought in their 2014 red cups. Where was I for the last three years? Asleep at the Kindle Store? Drunk on cheap prosecco? Tied up in Christian Grey’s dungeon, biting my lip and being ineffectual?
Nope. I was writing in other genres, getting married (that can be a lot of work, especially if you’re obsessive) and becoming more firmly entrenched in my belief that I was unable to write erotica because I was born without the gene.
(I hope writing erotica isn’t a gene, because if it is, it means I inherited from one of my parents. Ew. And my mother can’t spell).
Now that my age starts with a 3, and I want to make more money, why am I trying to milk an aged cash-cow? What possessed me to try to cash in on a three-year-old trend?
Well, that’s just it. I’m not cashing in.
I’m finally getting the courage to write what something I have always wanted to write.
I have never felt there was much point in trying to cash in on a trend. Have you ever tried to write something you don’t give a crap about – or, in fact, do anything you don’t give a crap about? Every piece of diet advice I’ve read (and believe me, that is a large sampling) has said that finding healthy food you enjoy is key. I hate exercise, and I am constantly told to keep looking until I find something I enjoy, or I won’t stick at it. Which, if we take my track record into account, is likely.
Whenever I have tried to write something I don’t give a shit about, it shows. I can feel it with every word I squeeze out against its will. It is like trying to cut a raw sweet potato with a sharpened toothpick. Difficult and fruitless.
I give a shit about this story. I want to write about Sally, about Kayla, about their lives.
At this late stage, I won’t be riding the wave of E.L. James’s referred success. The high tide that allegedly lifts all boats has probably receded. But I’m writing something I love, and if people want to read it, I think they’ll find it. Provided I learn to market it properly, of course, but that’s a problem for another day.