Tag Archives: Paperback

From Smut Writer to Fiction Writer – A Response to a Book Club Member

I am always looking for feedback on my books and stories.  While they are not easy to come by because smut rag writers tend to draw a very private audience, every now and then one comes along.  That was the case yesterday when I received this review of my book A Victim’s Revenge – Missing in Plain Sight.


I saw your tweet about your new novel and misunderstood. When I went to your author page I found this one and thought I found it. I am glad I was wrong. I have a small book club and we usually read one or two erotic stories a week. Mainly because they are really short. I usually find erotica is much like porn… short, down and dirty with no plot. We have read your stories and it was very interesting that you actually try to write a full story. Even if its short, you try and give the characters depth which me and the club found very exciting to see. We started reading this book this week and being semi retired, I had more time and finished it last night and it was superb. I loved the conflict in the story and the way you put me in Stacie’s shoes as you told the story. Reading the previous comment from Julie, I tend to disagree with her. I don’t think it is for anyone struggling with gender identity or bullying, but more for someone who enjoys the this type of erotica who is looking for a little more out of a good smut rag. 5 STARS – GREAT BOOK.    — Rob


First off, Rob thanks you for the feedback.  I am glad you enjoyed it and hope the rest of your book club enjoy it as well.  I think every writer would love to receive feedback like this, but it also made me think again about what I write and how I categorize myself as a writer.  When I first started writing – before I ever decided to publish, it was therapeutic for me.  It allowed me to share my thoughts and feelings without opening up to anyone.  When I decided to publish my diaries, it was the courageous risk I took and while my first book didn’t sell (because it was unedited and written at different stages of my life) I eventually pulled it from publication, but the fact that I shared my true life story ignited a spark for me to write more.

When I started #reading erotica and the smut rags that were on the market, I found my niche but wanted to tell a story, not just a describe a sex scene in a porn movie.  The problem was, no one wants to read those types of stories… or do they?

I realized that there is an interest – small as it may be, in a more graphic sexual tale.  The 50 shades fans are still private but are showing themselves more and more and looking for more raunchy tales.  I don’t think it is coincidence that I write stories that have that type of balance.  Of course, my stories are more focused on members of a community that is smaller and shunned by society.  I don’t think I follow any one particular writer’s style – because I never really studied anyone specifically.  I am a fan like many readers and I just write what I see and what I am comfortable with.

Now, while much of the feedback I have received has been positive, I have received feedback that is not very nice. I have been called a lot of names, told that my writing sucks and even told that I should kill myself.  Most of these are easily dismissed because they haven’t really read my work.  Those who have who still don’t care for it feel I am putting the transgender and others in the LGBTQ community in such a vulnerable position that it is not a true representation of the strong and courageous people who support and are proud members of the community…. and they are right.

We all deal with conflict, for some of us that conflict is difficult and for others it is welcomed and easier because of how we embrace it.  My earlier stories were just about telling the sex story – how did the sex scene develop and how it affected the characters.  As I went back and read those same stories, it inspired me to try and develop those types of characters more.  Giving them an identity and attempting to show how they dealt with the conflicts in their lives.  For some of us in the transgender and LGBTQ community, that conflict is dealt with different ways.  Being a private member of the community, I dealt with conflicts by crossdressing and writing.

I get a chance to step out of my body – so to speak and look at my problems with fresh eyes as I look at myself in a new form.  It allows me the chance to clear the noise from my head and really look at the conflict – where the what is more important than the why, and once I understand the what, I can learn the how.  This is what pushed me to consider my newer stories and adding more of that character development and substance into them.  I wanted my readers to understand the characters enough to understand the conflicts they faced.  I want them to feel the pain and frustration the characters feel and not just the sexual gratification of the steamier chapters in my book.

ALERT!!! ALERT!!! ALERT!!!

Shameless plug coming…

This is why I am very proud of my latest book due out on July 20th.  The 288 page novel is focused on characters who have everyday conflicts and how one character finds a way to deal and how that misunderstood method of conflict resolution is not accepted by everyone.  I won’t spoil the story for you, but don’t worry, there are a number of steamy and raunchy scenes in the book, but I think it might be the piece that adds a category to my writing style – from erotic writer to fiction writer.

 

Success is built around honest friends

The last few weeks have given me time to think about a number of things. As a fiction writer and a writer of erotic tales, it’s important that I tell an “entertaining” story and at the same time, not sell out to those who want something so specific it questions my integrity as an independent author. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate all of the feedback I get and have never been shy about asking and begging for feedback about my work, but just because someone wants more of “this” or less of “that” doesn’t mean I am simply going to comply. The important thing for me is that I try and reach at least one person – whether they enjoyed the story or not.

While I have some close friends who live near me who have always been supportive and helpful, I get a great deal of feedback from outside the US, which can be exciting knowing that my stories are traveling around the globe, even when it’s a small audience.  Over the last few years, I think I have done a great job of being patient when it comes to measuring my success as a writer. I have received quite a bit of feedback related to my work and I am grateful for it.   Sometimes I have to beg for feedback, which I really don’t like to do, but I have a few friends who are very helpful and one in particular has been a huge part of my success. I have never met her face to face (not surprising for some of us still in the closet), but her honesty and genuineness has been more than an inspiration to me. She has motivated me without trying. The person I am speaking of is Sally Bend.

I came across Sally’s site via Twitter, where I do most of my book marketing and after reading her reviews of others and having a chance to read her own work, I realized that the style is not important, it’s the interpretation. Sally has reviewed a number of my books and confirmed the direction I was taking with each piece. She is not afraid of giving criticism and at the same time praises authors without spoiling the book.

If you get the chance to visit her site (http://www.sallybend.com) or follower her on Twitter (@bibrary), you won’t be disappointed. Thanks, Sally for your honest and kind words and for reminding me to stay true to who I am… as a writer and as a human being.

Sally was gracious enough to post a web interview with me some time back… Check it out here.

A New Book and a New Outlook

This was a rough 2017 for me.  I dealt with a number of issues – Family issues, career issues and like most of us money issues, but the hardest part of 2017 was taking a stroll down memory lane.  With more time on my hands than I would care to admit, I began cleaning out some old boxes and stumbled across a couple of journals I thought I had lost.  Some of you may remember my first book (Am I Still the Victim) that I eventually removed from publication.  That first book was based on my journals from years ago.  These recently discovered journals took me back to an even darker place than I thought possible.

If only for a moment I remembered a time when I was always scared and vulnerable.  It didn’t take long to come back to reality, but the reminiscing was emotional, to say the least, but it also inspired me to sit in front of the keyboard once again.

My latest book, which is going to be part of a series is VERY loosely based on the experiences I wrote about in my journals.  Due out in 2018, I wanted to share an excerpt from the Prologue.  I hope you find it entertaining, educational and inspiring.