On Becoming An Erotic Writer/To Be or Not To Be

20 Sep

I confess, I grew up in an era much different than present day young ladies.  I can’t imagine anyone with a stricter attitude about sex than a Roman Catholic upbringing except possibly a Southern Baptist one.  That’s the category I fall into.  I remember when I got my first period, my mother said, don’t do anything with any little boys, and that was my sex education.  I don’t faulty my mother, she was only passing on what she’d been taught.  At twelve, I thought boys were yucky anyway and that wasn’t a problem.  Fortunately, over the next few years as my hormones developed and my curiosity grew stronger, I did exactly what my mother told me not to.  As a result, my husband and I have four wonderful children.

But oh, those years in between, when I wondered about the secrets between men and women.  Oh, the angst, the imagination when I knew nothing about boys and men.  When I got married I found a new freedom from that strict Baptist upbringing and boy was I surprised and delighted.

So how does all this tie into writing Erotica?

For years, I wrote Historicals under a different pseudonym, Peggy Hanchar.  I was so happy to be published not once but many times, that I willingly followed the guidelines and limitations placed on us as Romance writers.  I always politely closed the door on my love scenes and substituted lots of arousing feelings between the two characters as they found their way to each other.  The emotional roller coaster of a budding love affair was my fodder and I always considered that the best part anyway.

When the industry announced there would be a new market where the door was left open, no, that the reader was even invited into the boudoir, I said to myself.  I don’t think so.  How far is this from pornography?  No, thank you.

But the erotica market hung out there, tantalizing, compelling and once again, my curiosity was whetted.  I wrote my first Erotic Romantic Suspense and found it was amazingly fun and freeing.  Limits had been pushed wide open.  We could actually say those words that made me blush at first, then rolled off my keyboard with greater comfort, because I realized I had been letting my old upbringing rule me still and pushed it aside.

And for some reason, in my new role as an erotic writer, I found I could use humor.  It came easily, it made me laugh, made me chuckle as I wrote it.  And I was having so much fun that I was amazed at how much I’d written at the end of the day.  I was free from many of my old concepts about writing, about communicating with my reader, about sharing my wonderful characters.  And my characters arrived more full bodied because of this new freedom.  After all, our sexuality is a large part of who we are.

Do I like writing erotica, yes I do.  These are still love stories, but without the old restraints.  I still work as hard as I can to develop strong three-dimensional characters and to give them a good plot that will excite the reader.  I love the swift action and the fact that we’re writing fantasy for the reader who wants to be taken away from making baby formula and scrubbing the toilet, which by the way, I should be doing right now!  I think I’m a better writer in this new genre and as I get feedback from readers and reviewers, I’m delighted that other people are enjoying my fantasies.  To be or not to be?  You know my answer.

Please leave a comment and be eligible for a drawing for your choice of DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS from Ellora’s Cave or THE VIRGIN PIRATE, the first of my Pirate Booty Trilogy from Resplendence Publishing

36 Responses to “On Becoming An Erotic Writer/To Be or Not To Be”

  1. naramalone September 20, 2010 at 12:01 pm #

    Hi fives, Temple. Great post. I was raised Catholic, so I get what you mean about an upbringing that can get in the way of where your creative mind wants to take you when writing an erotic romance.

    • templehogan September 20, 2010 at 9:38 pm #

      Hi Nara, thanks for the good words. And yeah, it’s hard to overcome that early upbringing, but thank God we do. Hey, you did a super job for our big launch. I’ve had a busy day and it hasn’t ended yet. I have to leave in a few minutes and won’t be back until 9:30, so I’m not going to get an answer to the comments until then. Looks like there are quite a few though. Thanks for all you did. We all benefit from your hard work.Temple

  2. W. S. Gager September 20, 2010 at 1:20 pm #

    Temple: What an honest and intuitive post with great humor. It really made me think about the liberating aspects of erotic. Well done!
    W.S. Gager

    • templehogan September 22, 2010 at 12:17 am #

      Thanks, Wendy. Coming from you those words mean a lot. Good writing to you. Temple

  3. Mina Gerhart September 20, 2010 at 3:23 pm #

    Interesting post Temple,
    I was raised Lutheran but with a Pennsylvania Dutch culture. It was OK to go out on a GROUP date when you turned 16, IF there was a responsible chaperone. No singles dates (unchaperoned) untill you were engaged.
    NO “hankey pankey” until you married. As a reader, I usually look for a well written story first and then for hot bedroon scenes.

    Mindy 🙂

    • templehogan September 20, 2010 at 9:47 pm #

      :Hi Mindy, It’s great to hear about other upbringings. I have a friend who is Lutheran and she says they are very strict. A well-written story is essential. Good for you. We have some great writer’s at Ellora’s Cave. Best, Temple Hogan

      October is going to be a great month. Look for my two new releases, HER PIRATE LOVER and a paranormal, DARK PARADISE both from Resplendence Publishing

  4. Beth September 20, 2010 at 5:32 pm #

    Soooo, how do you get past the mental pic of your momma shaking her finger at you and saying, “You should be ashamed for writing that.” By the way…. Southern Baptist here, of course, I have always walked on the edge! 😉

    • templehogan September 21, 2010 at 3:15 am #

      Good question, Beth. Our mothers have a special hold on our heart, but believe me, it is not disloyal or disrespectful to take a different look at your mother’s old attitudes about some things. They may not be wrong, they just may not fit into the world you’re dealing with today. Also, I remember the first time I began to realize that my mother was not perfect in everything she did. Horrors! What kind of daughter was I to think like that, but you know, she did the best she could with the value system of her day and she made wrong choices sometimes, like in her attitudes. When I finally was able to admit my mom wasn’t all knowing, but that I could still love her and be proud of her, was the day I began to walk in my own footsteps. It’s part of maturing and accepting life the way it is. By the way my mom was a great finger shaker. Oh, how I hated that! But I learned not to argue, not to need her constant approval and our relationship was better. Good luck! Temple

  5. Fedora September 20, 2010 at 5:33 pm #

    Temple, thanks for sharing your background–I definitely understand the conservative mindset growing up 🙂 I do love learning about your stories, and the mix of hot and funny sounds right up my alley–going to check them out! Best wishes on continuing to explore and share your fantasies with us readers!

    • templehogan September 21, 2010 at 3:18 am #

      Fedora, is that really your name or did I misread. I love unusual names. Thanks for your great comments. There’s nothing like getting feed-back for something you’ve written. This new market is so much fun and fast paced. I’m having a ball, oops! Temple

      • Fedora September 21, 2010 at 6:31 am #

        You didn’t misread–that actually is my name. Hated it as a kid, but have come to appreciate its uniqueness as a more grown-up person 😉

      • templehogan September 21, 2010 at 2:56 pm #

        Hi Fedora, You should. It’s great. Temple

      • Fedora September 23, 2010 at 11:06 pm #

        I’d love Dirty Little Secrets, if that’s OK 🙂 Wooo!

      • templehogan September 24, 2010 at 1:58 am #

        that’s great Fedora. I’ll send it to you tomorrow. Since I’m not the greatest on computers, I’ll have to have my friend help do this. Hope you enjoy DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS. It’s one of my favorites and actually, the first erotic that I wrote. Temple

  6. Lauren Fraser September 20, 2010 at 6:03 pm #

    Great post, Temple. I`m glad your strict upbringing isn`t standing in the way of writing what you enjoy.

    • templehogan September 21, 2010 at 3:19 am #

      Thanks Lauren, I am having a blast and what wonderful new writers I’m discovering. Haven’t tried your books yet, but it’s on my agenda for Wednesday! Best, Temple

  7. Tessa September 20, 2010 at 6:56 pm #

    I so love your post, Temple. I, and I am sure many others, can identify with you.

    • templehogan September 21, 2010 at 3:21 am #

      Thanks, Tessa, I’m surprised at the number of women who identify with what I wrote. I guess we’re united in more ways than we realized. Temple

  8. Marilyn Campbell September 20, 2010 at 7:17 pm #

    Fantastic post, Temple. Three cheers to all women who refuse to do what they’ve been told is proper!

    • templehogan September 21, 2010 at 3:24 am #

      Hi Marilyn, Thanks for your kind words. Seems a lot of women have to move beyond the things taught them when they were kids. I like the new freedoms we enjoy today and of course moan for the loss of certain other privileges. i.e. when I have to pump my own gas. I ask you is that progress? BTW, Congratulations on your new cover! Temple

  9. Cathy M September 20, 2010 at 8:42 pm #

    Hi Temple,

    Loved your post. It seems so routine now, to find the amazing selection of erotic romances to suit my every mood. But I’ve been reading romance stories for so long, I remember those days of closed bedroom doors, and adore the way the industry has evolved.

    • templehogan September 21, 2010 at 3:30 am #

      Hi Caity, Isn’t it great. I love writing the new romance books and reading them. I remember reading Gone with the Wind, Moll Flanders and Forever, Amber when I was sixteen and being scandalized by these naughty women. They are so tame now! I’m sure if they could have read a few good erotic romances they would have made better choices in life! Temple

  10. Shelly September 20, 2010 at 9:18 pm #

    Enjoyed your post, Temple. I’ve been reading romance for 25 years and agree with you that the erotica stories seem more complete. Lol I do have to say that those first erotica stories I read were definitely eye opening and had me blushing! 😉

    • templehogan September 21, 2010 at 3:32 am #

      Hi Shelley, Yeah, I did a little blushing along the way, but now I chuckle and enjoy. Glad you do too. Temple

  11. Kelly Jamieson September 20, 2010 at 10:42 pm #

    Love hearing that story and I totally agree with you. I like reading (and writing!) romance where people sometimes use bad words like they do in real life and where people have sex like they do IRL!!

    • templehogan September 21, 2010 at 3:36 am #

      Hi Kelly. Thanks for your comments. Real life and fantasy all mixed up together makes for a fantastic read, in my way of thinking. Good writing to you. Temple

  12. Andrea I September 20, 2010 at 11:52 pm #

    I enjoy many different genres, but found I liked erotic romance the first time I read one. I was a teen in the 60’s without a strict upbringing. I met my husband at 13 and ran away to get married at 15. We are still together.

    • templehogan September 21, 2010 at 3:43 am #

      Hi Andrea, Thanks for your comments. You said you and your husband are still together after all these years, that’s because you are a romantic. I’ll bet he is too. Congratulations. I do think erotica romances go a long way in helping women understand their own sexuality and fantasies! Rock on. Temple

  13. authorheatherhoward September 21, 2010 at 1:55 am #

    I totally hear you about that strict upbringing, Temple. Extra kudos to you for spreading your wings in erotic romance!

    • templehogan September 21, 2010 at 3:49 am #

      Thanks, Heather. It’s been a fun experience! Temple

  14. Collette Thomas September 21, 2010 at 5:05 pm #

    This blog really hit home. I too was raised in a very strict environment. My mother practically threw this very outdated book at me to read that would enlighten me to the birds and the bees. Well, thinking back this book had things like “spanking” and this man “spanking” a young woman. Why? I haven’t the foggiest. I only wish I still had that book because it was so ludicrous that a young mind like myself at that age could even comprehend anything of what was written inside. But after reading your blog it suddenly dawned on me if at that point a seed had been planted where years later I would actually write erotic romance that features bdsm between consenting partners. I don’t know, but boy it had me thinking perhaps that is where it all started for me within the parameters of my own strict upbringing.
    Terrific blog! I’m putting the addy of this blog on my two Yahoo sites…I know the members there will enjoy such enlightenment!

    Collette Thomas

    • Temple Hogan September 21, 2010 at 6:57 pm #

      Wow, thanks Collette, I’ve had such a positive response to this blog. Apparently, I touched on something every woman has dealt with. Makes our erotica a wonderful break-out! Temple

  15. Brandi Evans September 21, 2010 at 6:34 pm #

    Great post! I felt like I was reading a post I’d written, LOL. I grew up in the Bible Belt so I know how you feel. When I first started writing romance, the idea of writing smut was, well…tempting, I won’t like about that, but nothing I’d ever do. *wink, wink*

    Now here I am. Proudly writing romantic smut. There’s something freeing about writing in a genre that has practically no limitations.

    • templehogan September 21, 2010 at 6:44 pm #

      Hi Brandi, That’s exactly how I feel. I love the freedom. I love to write, but I’m having an especially fun time now. BTW. Congrats on your wonderful books. Temple

  16. InspiredToWriteErotica January 7, 2011 at 9:14 pm #

    I haven’t read any of your books or stories. Can you recommend one that every woman should read? I’ve written some erotic stories for my own personal reasons but I’ve never had them published. I wasn’t sure how to go about it so I just wrote for my own enjoyment and shared them with a few close friends.

    • templehogan January 10, 2011 at 7:25 am #

      Hey, thanks for your comment on my article on Erotica. Girl, if you’re writing erotica just for yourself and not sending it out, you’re missing an opportunity.
      As for a good book to recommend, go to Ellora’s Cave (ellorascave.com) and choose almost any author there. Ellora’s Cave is very careful about putting out the best quality book. I especially like anything by Nara Malone.
      I could also recommend my pirate series with Resplendence Publishing (resplendencepublishing.com). The first two books are entitled, THE VIRGIN PIRATE and HER PIRATE LOVER. The latest book in the series is coming out this month, called THE PIRATE BRIDE. My best advice to you is to read several erotica so you’ll know what’s being and what works. Good luck, Temple Hogan

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