The Single (Erotic Romance) Writer

6 Sep

It seems as though every time I read an author bio, there’s 2.5 kids, a passel of rescue dogs, and a loving husband. Or in the dedication at the front of the book, there’s a line about how the author would never have gotten so far without the support of her beloved spouse.

Confession time: I don’t have a husband. And no husbandly prospects either. Been there. Done that. It did not end well. But one good thing did come from my bout with the married state—I started to write erotic romance.

I know what you’re thinking—what could be less romantic than giving up a good job (me), moving as far away from family as the continent allows (me), and then being told, some years in, that marriage just wasn’t what he thought it was. And, by the way, he’s taken a job on the other side of the continent. (Me: doing my best imitation of a deer in headlights.)

After crying into my pillow, wallowing in self-pity, and living through a blessedly short martyrdom phase, I decided to write erotic romance. I figured that if I couldn’t have a happy ending in real life, I could at least write one for some fictional person. And so I did.

Of course, it’s not quite as easy as it sounds. I started reading ER because of the lack of, uh, male companionship (if this is TMI, you should stop reading now). A lot of what I was reading was good, but wasn’t quite what I was looking for. So I figured I would write my own. How hard could it be?

It didn’t take long to discover that sustaining a good story beyond some 30,000 words is really, really difficult. It’s also difficult to get to 30,000 words. Also, making up an ending is a challenge. Now that I think of it, writing good dialogue is not easy, either…. Anyway, the point is that I was able to write myself out of emo-land. Writing kept me thinking about things other than my wreck of a relationship (or the fact that he kept the industrial-strength Kitchen Aid mixer).

Writing my own stories meant that I could dump all the drama onto the page. And there could be sex! Lots of sex! My-kind-of-sex sex! While I’ve since recovered from my encounter with So Not Prince Charming, I’m still searching for the Real Thing. But until he shows up, I’ll keep making up my own happy endings.

5 Responses to “The Single (Erotic Romance) Writer”

  1. Kaily Hart September 6, 2011 at 8:13 am #

    Erica, loved the openness and honestly of your post today. I think people read and write erotic romance for a lot of reasons and I loved hearing about yours. I’m so glad your experience didn’t sour you on love. Hope he shows up soon !!

    • Erica Anderson September 6, 2011 at 10:10 am #

      Thanks Kaily! I was a bit anxious about this post, worried it was TMI, so I really appreciate your comment!

  2. shannonemmel September 6, 2011 at 5:25 pm #

    Loved your post, Erica!

    There ARE a couple of us “Single” gals, although we do seem to be in the minority. 🙂

    Although I do have a “significant other”, my permanent residence is in south Florida and his is in Alaska. (Yes, your home state and pretty much an entire continent away. LOL)

    My daughter is grown and when I see my grandsons, it is quality time, not the everyday chaos.

    I’ve spent the better part of 30+ years as “happily divorced” and happily researching (although unwittingly) for the stories that swirl about in my head, waiting impatiently for their turn to be written.

    Obvioulsy, my relationship is an unconventional one. He is supportive. He is my “muse” and, since he is a Native artist himself, he more than understands the creative process and that there are times when I need to be left alone to write.

    Having said all of that…


    Alaska is a looooong frickin’ way from south Florida!

    • Erica Anderson September 7, 2011 at 9:50 am #

      Thanks for your comment, Shannon! Good to know I’m in good company. And by strange coincidence, my entire family is in central Florida. Yep–it’s a long flight.

  3. Cara Bristol September 8, 2011 at 10:11 am #

    Erotic romance writers like romance readers come from all walks of life. Most are married, some are divorced, some single. Some are in the 20s; others are in their 50s or even older. When you think about it, it kind of makes MORE sense that a single person would write romance since she supposedly would be in search of it herself.

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