Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Confessions Of A Sex Demon

And how the heck I became an erotica author

By Jaye Shields

When I was just a young girl with blonde pigtails and Mary Janes, I already knew I wanted to be a writer. Even my kindergarten teacher told me I’d be a famous author some day. If you would have told my beloved teacher the title of my first book would be called Confessions of a Sex Demon, there’s no way she would believe it. Hell, I wouldn’t have believed it.

So this is how it happened.

Any writer knows that with finishing a book comes months upon months of rejection. If you can even call it rejection. In my case, I’d wait months to hear back from an agent, just to have my query letter receive an automated rejection. My favorite ones were the emails that apologized for the “automated response”. At least pretend to be real! That’s what gives us sensitive writer types hope!

Okay, so fast forward. In my first year as a dedicated writer (and by dedicated I mean writing novels during my day job at a car dealership) I wrote three full length urban fantasy novels. I thought they were so awesome. They were my babies. I’ve never given birth, but I’d go to war for these manuscripts.

And to war I went! This is my note to fledging authors. If you enter any sort of writing contest which involves critique, be prepared to come out bruised and bloodied on the other side. But what happens when you get in a fight? You learn how to scrap better next time…

So I threw myself into heavy edits for the trilogy until I reached the point where I doubted every single word that I typed. Brutal contest feedback will do that to you. I read just about everywhere that after finishing a book, one should wait at least a month before editing. Like a stubborn nit-wit, I ignored this advice. Finally, my critique buddy hammered the point home.

“Give yourself a break, woman! Write something new and fun to give yourself some time before going back to edit. Write an erotic novella.” Or something like that…

“An erotic novella?” The idea was thrilling.

For those who don’t know, a novella is a short novel, between 15k-40k words generally. I guess this makes me a sex freak of some kind, but the story came to me immediately and I wrote it in a few days while at work. Just for fun. I had absolutely no intention of trying to publish it. Then, crit buddy read it, and LOVED it. Said it was my best work ever.

“Erotica is your calling!”

Seriously?

In the spirit of her enthusiasm, I queried for my sexy little urban fantasy. I sent a query, synopsis, and full manuscript to four e-publishers. Incredibly, I heard back almost immediately. Okay, now let me tell you how stunned I was to receive something other than an automated rejection.

Subject title: Contract offer – Confessions of a Sex Demon. Whoa…

So what do I do now? Besides jump up and down at VW and proceed to tell everyone in the dealership, I mean. Because you know, they all ask me why I’m constantly smiling at my desk.


My response: I’m writing a flaming hot love scene where someone’s strapped to a table and they’re getting their clothes cut off…My second thought, time to tell my family that not only have I written an erotica novella, that it’s getting published. That should be interesting.

Okay, back to business. My next step was contacting the other publishers I’d queried to inform them that I’d received an offer. I received another immediate offer, followed by two replies that they’d never even received my submission.


So, let this be a warning to fledgling authors. ALWAYS CHECK FOR THE AUTOMATED RESPONSE THAT THE PUBLISHING CO. HAS RECEIVED YOUR SUBMISSION. I guess this would seem like a no-brainer, but it was my own personal blonde moment.

I’m happy to announce that I went with the first offer which is why I'm lucky enough to be blogging with the lovely ladies of Spicin It Up.

There’s nothing more thrilling than the moment of realizing someone believes in you…

So what have we learned today?

1. I've got a rather devious side and I'm not afraid to put it to creative use.

2. Don’t let bad feedback defeat you. Let it motivate you to work hard and bring your vision to life.

3. Taking time off before you start your editing rounds might be a good thing. You might even get a novella published!

4. Always check your inbox for receipts of submission from queried publishing companies and/or agents. (Since 2/4 of mine never even received the submission)

5. I'm lucky as all get out to be surrounded by such talented, charming ladies at Beachwalk Press. My family have been equally supportive and even my grandma gets a kick out of the fact that I'll be published in erotica very soon.

Do any of you have publishing or querying woes? Feel free to use the comment box below to vent…

Coming Soon:

Confessions of a Sex Demon

Sex Demon Zahra Aniron is a closet romantic. Too bad she spends her time having hot kinky sex with paying strangers. But the sex demon has to work with what she’s got to save her sister from her debt to wizard thugs. Then again, there could be worse things than getting paid for pleasure since a sex demon needs climax to survive.

As a blacksmith, Lennox Aegros puts his fury to good use pounding steel into swords. His real cause for moving into a new town isn’t to sell weaponry, it’s for revenge. When he finds the succubus he’s been searching for, her beauty means he can mix business with pleasure. But the jokes on Lennox, because as he succeeds in torturing his victim, he realizes that Zahra's slow demise means the breaking of a heart he never realized he had.


About Me:

Born and raised in the grunge capitol, I took my love of music and poetry from the Pacific Northwest to California. Now I live in Alameda, a quaint island town in the Bay Area. Graduating this month with a degree in Anthropology with an emphasis in Archaeology, I'm just itching to climb some more pyramids. When I'm not in school I'm either working at VW or taking long walks along the Alameda beach and gazing at the the outline of San Francisco in the distance.
Oh yes, and I'm a travel nut. Let's all go to Paris...

12 comments:

  1. Welcome to the family! I loved your post!

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  2. Jaye....You CRACK ME UP!! Great Post!! So glad we have our little "Discussions", cause without them...who would have thought about Erotic Novellas!! So proud of you!!

    XOXO

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    1. Lisa!!! I love you, you keep me sane when I bounce off the walls. You got my back. No white hot spray...

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  3. What a great post! And we are glad you chose Beachwalk. The whole team is wonderful. I can't wait to get to know you more!

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    1. Thank you, Lacey and Tamaria! I know I made the right choice because I'm surrounded by incredible company and I feel so welcome. XOXO :)

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  4. Congratulations, Jaye! You crack me up. I'm very glad you didn't let the contest feedback drag you down. You are a skilled storyteller and I'm glad Beachwalk recognized your abilities.

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    1. Thanks, Angie. Can't wait for you to read Lennox's story!

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  5. Jaye, you have such talent and skill. I loved your book excerpt and can't wait to be able to purchase your first publication! I hope you continue blogging about your experiences, they made me smile.

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  6. Congrats and welcome! We're thrilled to have you:) Great premise on the book. I can't wait to read it.

    Ella

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  7. Yes, yes, YES! Jay - I loved this post so much - welcome to lovely Beachwalk - can't wait to read your book. What a great feeling to get that contract through! x x x

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    1. Thanks, Tabitha! I'm walking on sunshine

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