Finding my voice—from teddy bears to bare nekkid kinkiness
I doubt there are many erotic romance authors who can boast of beginning their career writing rhymes about drain monsters. Yes, that was me. To the great relief of teddy bears, I progressed beyond picture books to junior fiction before meandering through to young adult. The realm of writing fantasy for adults was next and there I stopped and sighed. No, not those adult fantasies. Think dragons. At last I felt unrestricted by vocabulary choices, plot, and the intricacies of teenage angst, and could stretch my little writerly wings (I do have those) and fly. How wrong I was.
Sales, alas, were elusive in fantasy, and it was while pondering this that I tripped and fell into the dark abyss of kinky writing. I’m still down here, typing away. The pay is better, which probably offsets my loss of innocence.
Cue drums and ominous music. Kinky, dark abyss, remember? I read my first erotic romance, and went, wow, I love these. I promptly wrote the rather kinky, Three Days of Dominance. By coincidence, I’d joined a tiny critique group of erotic romance writers with Cherise Sinclair in it. Cherise is huge in the BDSM genre. Critiques from that group, as well as some modest success with my kinky steampunk series, cemented my love of erotic romance.
Since then I’ve forged onward and become an indie and small publisher author with possibly the most diverse catalog of books of any erotic writer. Did I simply hone my skills by doing that weird passage of fire by writing everything from teddy bear books to dragon fantasy? No. I joined local writing groups and online writing groups (Critters), read tons of How-to-Write books, and exchanged squidzillions of critiques with other authors.
The most important thing a writer can do, apart from writing, is to never stop thinking about what you’re writing, to never stop learning.
If you ever say you’ve learnt it all, you’re wrong.
If you want to learn, one of the ways that is often neglected in how to write books is to listen to yourself. This is what I call musing time. You may be sitting down, standing, pacing, getting wet in the shower, ironing (my favourite), walking the dog, drawing daisies in the corners of your notebook, or sleeping. It’s surprising how many plot conundrums get solved while writers are in that hazy land between sleep and awake.
Remember to muse, to doodle, and to pretend to do housework while pondering your stories.
Did I have a true mentor? No, not really. Was I a born writer? No. Though I always wanted to be one. I was dreadful at this craft when I began. Talent helps but hard work and the ability to adapt, overcome, and plot novels while ironing shirts should never be underestimated.
If you like kinky stories with elements of BDSM you’ll probably find something to raise your eyebrows at among my books. I’ve written erotic stories in the subgenres of historical, steampunk fantasy, scifi, urban fantasy, bisexual contemporary ménage, and the disturbing, heart-stabbing arena of dark erotic fiction. I can even say I’ve plumbed the depths of erotic parody with one of my newest books: Squirm – virgin captive of the billionaire biker tentacle monster.
My most recent release, from Momentum books, is a kinky-to-the-core, 1910 historical set in Egypt called Rough Surrender. My next book is book 4 in my Pierced Hearts series, Seize Me From Darkness. Link to an excerpt is here. Don’t look if you don’t know what dark erotic fiction is or haven’t an interest in kinky S & m.
About the Author:
Cari Silverwood is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of BDSM stories and dark erotic fiction.
She writes the way the world should be dangerous and sexy with bullets piercing the darkness and lovers wrenched close by ropes. When you need escape, when you need that rough lover to bring you to your knees, here you will find stories to singe your fingers. The taste of adventure, the tang of BDSM, the burn of fantasy run wild. Brace yourselves, if you dare to read.
In the real world, Cari has a lovely family in Australia, with the prerequisite teenager who dwells in the dark bedroom catacombs, a husband who raises eyebrows when he catches glimpses of what she writes, and a menagerie of other animals barking, meowing, and swimming about the place.