Should I Be Flattered?!

You guys are funny!

Twice a year, I participate in the Smashwords FREE download sale and I am usually pretty surprised by how many readers take advantage of the sale, but YESTERDAY, gang. Wow. You outdid yourselves!

I guess nothing says Christmas like free porn, huh? It was actually my busiest download day ever. And I’ve been participating in the sale for about ten years.

I don’t have access to any of your private information, but I do get an email every time a download of one of my books occurs.  And it was just ping! ping! ping! ping! ping! ping! all day and all night and into the wee small hours of the morning.

And almost everybody downloaded some combination of The Muse Revisited Volumes  1 through 3.  It really was astounding to me, because these are collections of really old stories that have been published already, repeatedly, all over the place.

So, yes, actually, I am flattered. However, the title of this post doesn’t actually relate to that. I question whether or not I am flattered because of something else.

Over the weekend, in anticipation of the free download sale, I posted the story “Necessary to her Good” in full here on the blog site. It is no longer here on the blog site because now the sale is happening, so if you want to read the story again, you can just go get it for free until New Year’s Day.

So, I’m sorry, but yes, the story is no longer here. But I also want to clear up a misconception that was brought to my attention by a gentle reader and that is: My stories are fiction.

If something I wrote is a memoir or an essay, then it’s true. Otherwise, it’s not true. It’s fiction. 95% of what I’ve written in the scope of my 30-year career as a writer is fiction, gentle readers.

When I say that stories are based on things that happened to me, or people I knew or was in love with, or based on specific eras of my life, it only means that there are true elements within the story that served as a springboard for my imagination.

So when a reader thinks that an intense story like “Necessary to her Good” is a memoir,  that’s when I have to wonder if I’m flattered that readers think my capacity for unbridled whore-dom is unfathomably boundless!!

Mostly, I’m just kidding, but it is kind of alarming. You think I did all that stuff? Multiplied times the stuff in every story I’ve ever written? And that I’m still just sitting here at my desk, drinking a cup of coffee and not off in a lonely forest somewhere screaming and trying to shoot myself in the head to make all the pictures stop?

Actually, I am kind of flattered, because it means I’m an effective storyteller. But if you’re new to my work – even though these stories were written years ago, to some readers they are brand new – they are still just stories. Stories I did work really hard at to make as believable as possible.

For some reason, God made me an erotic storyteller. I didn’t want it to be that way – trust me. I wanted to be much more commercial. But that’s the way my gifts came out.  Even as a little girl, I was always making up erotic stories in my head. It was just always the main way I saw the world.

Another story of mine that was popular and that got re-published a lot, is “Daddy’s Girl.” It’s a lesbian BDSM story. And it’s an homage to a babysitter I had when I was 7 years old that I was really smitten with. Just totally in love with her. She was a tomboy, an Italian who went to Catholic school. Even though she lived on my block, I knew nothing about her because no one in her family went to public schools. I have no idea if she wound up being a lesbian or not. I knew absolutely nothing about her.

When I was a little girl, I was really, really shy. So I would just sit on the couch and stare at her when she would babysit us.  Whenever she would speak directly to me, I would just melt inside. God forbid, I ever saw her out on the block, because I would just freeze; I was so in love with her. And at night in my bed, I would create these little fantasies where she would spank me. These fantasies were incredibly compelling to me and my imagination. And they became my world. I didn’t even know how to masturbate yet, or anything. I just had these stories in my head that overwhelmed me.

And that isolated segment of my childhood became a totally over- the-top BDSM lesbian sex story that everybody just loved.  Over 30 years after the fact. And I believe it’s because I could still tune in to who I was when I was 7 and how much I loved that 15 year old girl, who I never actually truly knew.

To me, erotic stories only work if they are as believable as possible – if the love is believable. When I was 13, I read Story of O and I thought it was real. To me, it was just so believable – more believable than anything erotic that I had read up to that point. Story of O just went beyond anything I could have imagined on my own at that age. And it turned out that it was written by a heartbroken writer in Paris because her lover (a publisher) had left her – and so she wrote something to make him remember her pretty much for all time. And then the book became a worldwide classic of BDSM erotic literature – because her desire for him was infused in every page; not because it was, as I had mistakenly believed, some sort of “memoir.”

It took me years and years of trial and error, gang, to get to that level of storytelling. It wasn’t by accident or anything, I did work really hard at it.  Like any other writer, my first stories were rejected and I was heartbroken, but I kept at it. Until a few years into it, I finally hit my stride and everything I wrote got sold and published.

Erotic literature is one type of literature that always gets judged really harshly. People usually even refuse to call it literature, since so much of erotic writing is actually genre fiction, and not literature. I’ve certainly written for genre fiction markets and those are my least favorite of my stories, because they are so restricted by  the formula of the genre. Even “Necessary to her Good” had a required formula, in that it had to be a love story, and so it had to have a “happy ending.”

In real life, the guy the story is based on was indeed married and his wife had hired a private detective. And when he came to tell me it was over, I was crestfallen, you know, because we’d had some amazing times, but I wasn’t devastated for months. I was over it pretty much by the end of the day. But that wouldn’t have made for a very moving love story, would it?

I want a reader to read “Necessary to her Good” and really think about love. What it makes us do or want, or how it makes us feel.

In Freak Parade, the first sex scene between Genie and Eddie lasts 20 pages. A 20 page sex scene. I had to sustain the eroticism for 20 pages.  Most erotic short stories, in their entirety, do not last even close to 20 pages, and I wrote one sex scene that lasted 20 pages. But it was because I wanted my readers to believe that these two people were in love. For real. I wanted my readers to get lost in it, to believe that erotic love can be that transporting.  I want my readers’ minds to feel loved after reading that scene.

Freak Parade was written for a man I was in love with. I wrote it because the night I met him, when he was 38, I knew I was meeting him at the most amazing point in his life  and I wanted that version of him to live forever. I tried to infuse an entire book with just that one feeling of how it felt to meet him for the first time. I had to set up the plots of an entire book to be so intense, that it would feel believable that a girl could merely see a guy’s face and finally find her reason for being.

Most of Freak Parade is based on real things, real people, real situations. However, its raison d’etre is to show that a girl can fall in love with a guy, and a guy can fall in love with a girl, and the world suddenly makes sense and changes forever. (And with luck, you get to have a heck of a lot of crazy sex in the process!!)

All righty!! On that lofty note, folks…

Have a happy Feast of St. Stephen! Enjoy what’s left of your Christmas spirit. (And in spite of the tone of this post, please don’t hesitate to write to me. I always enjoy hearing from my readers, even if they kind of think I have an unbridled capacity for unfathomably boundless whore-dom! I’ll find a way of looking at it so that it feels like a compliment!!)

Okay! See ya! And thanks for visiting, I love you guys.

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