One of the joys of entering the world of monster erotica is to consider the vast range of monsters that are out there to enjoy. This week I have been compiling a list of stories I want to tackle and, more importantly, the creatures that I want to feature in them. Situation and story are one thing but often the tale is woven around my intention of seeing my protagonists screwed by one exotic beast or another.
My list of monsters ‘to do’, if you’ll pardon the expression, keeps growing and with each beast added to the list I have began to wonder just where fantasy ends and monster porn begins. This came home to me this week when I added the undead to the list, based on a lover’s desire to see me fending off a dozen horny zombies. Why in a zombie apocalypse the undead would want to fuck my flesh rather than eat it I’m not sure but it certainly got my creative (and other) juices flowing.
Yet it was this scenario which made me begin to question whether it would still count as monster porn. Just because the monster in question is humanoid and still has a head and four limbs (give or take with zombies) does it make it any less of a monster or any less of a threat? I enjoy monster porn for the thrill of the beast using the character sexually, especially if the creature is capable of doing the character serious harm. A lot of the time, this is due to scale and size such as the plant monster from my first book or the dragon in the one I am currently working on but a monster does not have to be big to be a threat. This came into focus when considering werewolves or vampires as potential mates as well. Still dangerous but not to the scale of some creatures I could write about.
Which then led me onto my final thought: if we do consider werewolves and vampires to count towards monster erotica then are such popular works as Twilight a bridge to such material? Has the boom in monster porn been in part to the sudden resurgence of vampires and werewolves in popular fiction, serving a need to do more than just fall in love with the cursed creatures but to satisfy them in every way possible? If that’s the case then I can’t see monster erotica fading away any time soon but it also means I’m not going to look at the Young Adult section of my local bookstore in the same way again… x
One week ago, I pressed ‘publish’ on my Smashwords control panel and I took a step from being a prospective author to being a published one. Not a lot perhaps by some author’s perspectives, but quite a leap for others. I’ve lost count of the number of people I have met who have said they’d like to self publish but the number who have done so is much, much smaller. Even so, within this short space of time I’ve learnt several valuable lessons from the experience.
1) Thumbnails really kill covers
I felt that I’d come up with a strong image for my first cover. It was simple and straighforward and not out of line with what I had seen from other authors of the same genre. Then I saw it compressed down to a thumbnail and shuddered. What had been a decent enough cover became a random green blob that said nothing about my book. Changing it to something else is one of the first things on my to do list, right after finishing my next story.
2) Amazon really does dominate the marketplace
This is really no surprise but I was still amazed to see by how much. In only one week, every sale I have achieved has come through Amazon. Although I cut my teeth on Smashwords and I truly appreciate the amount of information they provide, I have not sold one copy through them. I may have my reservations about Amazon but I can’t deny that I’ve sold through them more successfully than anywhere else.
3) International Tax is far less interesting than it sounds
Believe me, it wasn’t that interesting to begin with either. For those who don’t know, I’m British and with that comes a whole song and dance with the IRS I never anticipated when I decided to go ahead with this self publishing adventure. Both Amazon and Smashwords are US based companies and so to be able to pay tax in my own country rather than in the US, takes a surprising amount of jiggery pokery to get over the IRS’ hurdles. I’m still not out of the woods even as I write this.
4) The Erotica writing community is varied, active and wonderfully bizarre
My story about how and why I chose to write this type of fiction is something I will tackle at another time but I knew that it was somewhat of a burgeoning genre with lots of first time authors breaking into it. I had already read a number of blogs and articles about it but the many and varied personalities writing for this genre is somewhat overwhelming. Although my Twitter account has only been open for a few weeks, I’ve already encountered some lovely people who are only too willing to pass their experiences on. I recommend any new author get on Twitter and start following people who write in the same genre, it really is an educational experience.
5) Self Publishing is a bug and I’ve definitely got it
I never intended this to be a one shot deal but I never really planned out how far I wanted to go with it either. When I started writing my first story, I had about three ideas for other books floating around my head. Now I have about twenty. Sci-fi and fantasy erotica is such a broad genre where almost anything goes so it’s almost impossible not to be inspired when you seen what subjects other writers have covered. I certainly intend to keep on writing and publishing so as long as there are people who want to read it, I have no plans to stop!
So about twenty minutes ago, I finally took the plunge. Deciding that I needed to stop worry about my first book and just get it out there, I hit the publish button and took a step I have been waiting several months to take. My first book, Jungle Tentacle Lust is now live and ready for download at Smashwords right now.
To be honest, I’m more than just a little bit nervous. The perfectionist in me has been picking over details on it for weeks now although I finished editing it ages ago. Am I too harsh on myself? Sometimes but I was determined that for my first book I was going to try and make would be something professional in format. I’m very aware that in the world of self publishing, it’s the little touches that make all of the difference such as a decent cover, a good table of contents and a layout that looks as if one has at least paid attention when researching book formats.
Was there more I wished I could have done? Of course. However there’s a fine line between making something perfect and prevaricating over whether to publish or not. I had devoured so much information over the past few weeks there was a danger that fear would prevent me from getting anything out there. So to hell with that. It’s out there now, hopefully being perused by other perverts like myself. Now to take a deep breath, smile and turn my attention to my next dirty little project…