They’re Coming … soon

 

Who are coming soon?

The characters in Curious and Camping of course.

Although the story didn’t evolve as a novel until late last year, this idea had been on my mind for some time. I toyed with the main characters being two girls, but as I’ve discovered in other stories, there is a greater depth to characters, action and plot if there is an understanding of the possible issues.

Why should any research or knowledge be an issue with erotica?

In any writing, the author owes the reader what is being marketed. As I regularly suggest from this digital soapbox on the topic–too many erotica authors don’t do their job properly. Unless the book description states ‘Erotic Sci-Fi’, we are dealing with people.

Yes, men can write about women, and women can write about men, and those who class themselves as neither–well dare I say they’re ‘lucky’ enough to have a deeper understanding of the crossover area. This is important because when you write about sexual activities they should not only be physically possible, they should also be suitable to the mindset of the characters involved.

In Curious and Camping, my characters have evolved with each draft, and now I’m confident I’m nearing the endgame regarding the story. However we treat erotica as a genre, I believe it is more closely aligned to fantasy and romance than anything else. The subject matter can be dressed up, but at the end of the day we are dealing with the deepest, secret, and sometimes darkest daydreams of the author–and the reader. The activities will rarely occur for most people, but the thought that they might is what keeps them alive for each individual.

I’ve had three different endings so far and the end will remain in the balance until I arrive at that final draft. As with any creative, I may not be totally happy with the finished result, but it will be as close as I can go.

Another subtle change I made for this book was an amendment to the cover. I recently changed all of my erotica covers and though to the untrained eye they look the same, they are different. I’ve produced three different bases to create sub-brands for short stories, novellas, and novels. Perhaps if I try my hand at erotica poetry I’ll have to come up with something else.

The important news is that this book will be available in late April/early May 2018. It will be a full-length novel, rather than one of the 26-page ‘books’ available with a cover which screams ‘cheap thrills’.

Thank you in advance to all those brave souls who venture here and leave their mark. 🙂

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Keeping up Appearances

I revamped my covers recently and though it was a day-long exercise it freed me to concentrate on my next novel in this genre.

The second draft of Curious and Camping is complete and I’m happy with progress.

I had concerns at one stage when considering the capacity of the story, both regarding content and volume. I wondered if I might be better to aim for a novella, rather than a full-length novel. I recall I was in a similar quandary when in the early stages of Give & Take, but the difference there was that I had a clear vision of where I wanted to go in that first erotica novel.

How is this one looking in length?

I believe I can say with confidence that with 75,000 words (over 22 chapters), I am now dealing with a novel. As I go forward and slice irrelevant words, sentences and passages I expect to have a minimum 65,000 words. Yes, the loss of 10,000 words may sound brutal, but if it focuses the storytelling for the narrator and the enjoyment for the reader, it will be worthwhile.

To establish Curious and Camping I created seven characters who would be developed and a handful of characters who would play minor, but necessary supporting roles at various stages.

As things have moved on and I completed this recent draft I’ve removed one of the original characters but given a deeper, more meaningful role to another. In my next draft when I read the story from hard copy I’ll have a true feel for the tale and who belongs, or doesn’t.

Has anything else changed?

I’m pleased with the working title and now I’ve reached this stage I know it works.

As is the case with any book a good title and cover are crucial.

In a recent purge of my erotica covers (which I produced myself), I overhauled all of them to create a sub-brand for this genre. Yes, many modern tales have a fairly obvious content, but I take feedback onboard and when I was honest with myself my ‘naked lovers’ themes were more smut than erotic.

What about the content?

I don’t believe people read erotica to be told, ‘… and following a passionate kiss, they undressed each other and enjoyed a night of love-making.’

Out there in the world of reading material, we have romance, which I also write, and the characters become deeply involved, but the detail of their physical relationship is left for the reader to imagine.

In steamy romance, we may end up as a fly-on-the-wall of the sex scene, but the language is usually tasteful suggestion and a cut above regular romance.

If you choose to read my take on erotica you’ll feel as if you’re closer to the grass, bed, chair, or floor than the wall. Suffice to say if you like a story with graphic erotic scenes, I believe you’ll enjoy my erotica books.

Walls are for flies to view scenes.

My intention is for my readers to be envious of at least one of the characters in a scene.

As the creator of Curious and Camping I have to admit I am envious of characters in different scenes, but which character and which scenes are best left between me and the story.

When will this raunchy tale be available for purchase?

At present, due to working on a variety of projects and the need to leave a story aside to rest, I think this one will be published in May or June 2018.

Thank you as always those few visitors who read my work, or my words and leave their mark.

Tom

Curiouser and Curiouser

 

When I got the idea to attempt this story my first issue wasn’t the content, but the point of view. I was confident I could write the sex scenes and do them well. In other genres, I’ve found both in reading and writing that the first-person point of view reaches deeper with a reader.

What is the first-person point of view?

It’s a straightforward piece of storytelling as if the main character has the reader in a room and the incidents are being related directly to the reader.

Is there a downside?

Some authors find it difficult in certain genres because they are not merely talking as the character — they have to become the character to create credibility. Yes, some people think of it as a downside, but I treat it as a personal challenge.

To get me into the scenario I started the tale in third person point of view and talked about the characters as if I was a narrator on the sidelines. I wrote the first three chapters and by then I had a ‘feel’ for the characters and the circumstances.

Imagination is essential when writing a story of any length, but with erotica, I’ve found that however good the imagination is working it’s beneficial to have experience or a reasonable knowledge of the topics.

As I’ve said in previous posts, there is so much rubbish out there under the erotica banner. Single short stories being sold as a ‘book’, and ‘bumper collections’ of ‘books’ which are no more than a handful of short stories. What makes matters worse is the dependence on a handful of simple reasons why the main character ends up in a particular situation.

For example: Being low on money and desperate to pay debts, doing something for a bet, getting involved for fun and finding out they enjoyed the activity, or taking an experimental drug are popular easy options. A lot of indie authors unfortunately rely on the old favourite – it was all a dream. Yes, whatever. The already pitiful plots are then completely destroyed by unbelievable and illogical sequences of action. I digress.

My tale is set in 2007. My main character, Chris is a straight male who is easy for me to identify with, but as the story unfolds he realises his best friend Marty has changed since they last spent quality time together.

As any reader of my work (including erotica) will know, I believe in sexual equality and in my opinion, it should be a major consideration for an author.

All characters of whichever sexual persuasion are created with respect; consensual involvement is paramount. I believe if the characters experience pleasure, so too will the reader.

As I put this update together I’ve reached Chapter 10. The guys have been on the road in the camper van for a week and have already had deep discussions about their lives and in particular, Marty’s issues. They’ve encountered a few girls already and both of the guys were tested in different respects.

At one stage, early on in the project, I had a few doubts about whether this story would work as a novel or might be better shortened to a novella. In certain cases, size matters, and I want to ensure I leave my readers satisfied so I am aiming for the story being a novel.

What could be my motivation for writing this story?

First of all, like any author, I employ imagination to help me write my stories. In writing erotica, an author must be prepared to occasionally express personal fantasies or use incidents which have been first-hand experiences. The reader, of course, should be drawn into the tale and left to ponder which parts are fantasy, imagination, experience or conjecture*.

As I continue with Curious and Camping, I can assure prospective readers that there is a little of all* of those four things within the story.

Thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts, and as always, comments are welcome whether public or private through my (confidential) Contact page.

***

Coming in 2018

Let’s start the new year with a bang; gang …

I have three titles underway in my ‘regular’ genres, but I’d feel unsatisfied if I wasn’t indulging myself in some erotic shenanigans. A new novel and another collection of short stories are my aim at present.

The novel is Curious and Camping which will be written in first person point of view. Two young men will set off in a camper van into the remote areas of the Scottish Highlands on a voyage of discovery. The pair will meet several adventurous young ladies on their travels, but they’ll discover a few things about each other too.

Quiet Night Inn: and other erotic stories is the title of my next collection of twelve short erotica. As previously, I’m aiming to create variety across the tales. All of the stories in the collection will have been underway for some time, and in a few cases, they’ve been reworked over years. Good erotica is better when the build-up is slow, and the whole experience can be absorbed and enjoyed.

As 2018 gets underway I am celebrating the commencement of my first full year of retirement. I retired from regular work in November 2017.

How do my celebrations affect my readers?

I’ve reduced the price of my ‘first’ in series eBooks. One of those is Highland Games – 1: An Erotica Novella, which is now 99p (and equivalent).

If you’ve enjoyed my erotica and have yet to experience my more traditional genres, or poetry, here are the books on promotion – all at 99p each.

Click graphic for my website

As erotica is a niche market I will continue with no more than one blog post per month. As always, I’m open to communication via public comment, or via a private message on my Contact page.

For now, thank you for reading my posts and books, checking out my efforts, and please remember that the next greatest thing for an author after providing pleasure is to receive a review. 🙂

***

Keeping it up throughout the year

Season’s Greetings!

Welcome to the final post on my erotica website this year. I’m producing my summary in this genre a little early because I have a promotion mentioned within.

My foray into writing erotica was with Coming Around: and other erotic stories. It was suggested by several of my readers that I should try writing a novel of erotica, and Give & Take was born. During 2016 I wrote the background of Highland Games; an interconnecting series of five novellas. When content with the format I went on to write, rewrite several times and finally publish Highland Games – 1, and Highland Games – 2.

In March 2017 I created this blog, and during this year I completed the novella series by writing and publishing Highland Games – 3, Highland Games – 4, and Highland Games – 5.

Since mid-November, the novellas have been reduced to the lowest price allowed by Amazon, (99p UK, and international equivalents). The series has sold well recently – which is not surprising.

The reduced-price promotion will continue until end December 2017.

As this year comes to an end I’m pleased with the way my erotica catalogue is growing …

Click on the graphic for all preview/buy links

What will I have to offer next year?

I have a handful of titles underway in my ‘regular’ genres, but they will be detailed in my Tom Benson – Creative blog.

In my first post of 2018 on this website, I’ll give a preview of the two new titles I’m working on for this divisive, or as I prefer to call it, selective genre; erotica.

Thank you for your patronage and trust.

Tom

Why pay a high price for great sex?

Yes, it’s true, you can pay less for great sex.

As we reach the middle of November I’ve reduced the prices of my Highland Games erotica novellas, and they will remain at reduced prices until Monday 1st January 2018.

Not one, but each of the five will remain at the reduced price of 99p (UK), and 99c (US), and of course the equivalent in other currencies.

Why should I do such a thing?

I want to give erotica readers sex six weeks to buy into the Highland Games experience.

I accept firstly that there are many people, like me, who enjoy reading good erotica, but there is a considerable volume of badly-written, over-priced, short-length work out there. I’ve seen many an eBook of less than 60 pages with an asking price of a novel, which is simply greed. I don’t do greed, and I refuse to short-change my readers.

If you take the first of my series in the next six weeks, and don’t like what you see, you’ve only spent 99p or equivalent. If you do like what you see, you’ll have until Sunday 31st December 2017 to snap up the other four titles.

This is not a wham-bam, thank you, series which gives you the same thing five times over. I worked hard to produce an interlocking series with colourful characters and believable situations. I’ve delivered scenes depicting a wide variety of activities, and having seen what is out there, I’m confident my work will satisfy a lot of readers.

Treat yourself to the introductory book. What have you got to lose?

Oh, yes, I was forgetting … 99p.

Clicking on the main picture at top will take you to the erotica page of my author website. All titles have preview/buy options one click away.

Clicking on any of the individual titles will take you to the individual title page in this blog. Preview/buy option are one click away.

Perhaps you’re a curious reader, or you’ve read ‘steamy romance’ and wondered about going a step further? Go on, nobody will be watching … and you might even enjoy yourself as you let your inner voyeur have a little time on the outside.

If you do indulge, I’d really appreciate your thoughts, whether in a review on Amazon, or in a confidential message on my Contact page.

Thank you.

 

Free Erotica

I’ve held back to show self-control, but I’m finally giving it to anybody for a weekend.

Highland Games – 1: An Erotica Novella is free over the weekend Saturday 14th – Sunday 15th October 2017.

This will be a one-off promo for the series.

Over the past couple of years I’ve kept quiet about my monthly freebie title until the weekend of the promotion, but for this one, I thought I’d try to generate interest before the event. I also considered that it might be so popular Amazon will have to prepare to deal with the massive demand for downloads. A guy can dream.

Why am I offering this book now?

The series was completed when I published Highland Games – 5 in September. I wanted to observe sales and reviews for a month before offering the first book for free. I can see from the figures that the series is being taken by readers, but sadly there is little going on regarding reviews.

What’s the problem with reviewing erotica?

It is not surprisingly one of the best genres in sales of eBooks, but at the other end of the scale for reviews. No longer do readers have to seat their erotica book inside another title while on public transport, or sitting in the staff room. On an eReader, the book being read is known only to the person holding the device – unless they tell somebody else. This means the genre can be enjoyed by anybody, but it doesn’t have to be camouflaged or wrapped in brown paper.

Some folk are not prepared to put their name to a review of erotica and a few reasons spring to mind.

  • Straightforward embarrassment. This is more especially a British trait, and no, I’m not being racist or biased – I’m British.
  • Friends or family might see the name on the review and take an interest in the review, even if they haven’t read the book.
  • The reviewer may have the desire to be open about their opinions on the story, but wouldn’t want anybody else to know what they enjoyed about it, or perhaps didn’t enjoy.

Do I review erotica?

Yes, when it’s not improbable or simply an excuse to write about sexual activity. Surprised? Why? Erotica writers should have reasonable standards, like those writing any other genre.

What constitutes an excuse in my opinion?

If the story takes us into a lab (or other scenarios) where a magical potion, food or drink changes a person’s sex, I stop reading. If there is no discernible story, I stop reading. If the book opens with sexual activity and there is a pause of no more than a paragraph before we are introduced to more of the same, I stop reading. If the activity would be physically impossible or involves unnecessary violence, I stop reading. Basically, for me, it matters not what the genre is, I expect if it is advertised as a story – it should be a story.

Do I contact other erotica authors?

I’ve read a few erotica tales which were going in the right direction but had issues in a certain area due to the author being too eager to move on (for whatever reason). I’ve contacted the authors concerned. I’m presently in touch with three other authors of this genre and one removed his titles to ‘improve’ them. There have been occasions when an author’s editing sessions have missed a character who has grown an extra hand, or a person changes their name during dialogue. You get the idea.

Apart from getting over the urge to ignore the offer, is there any other good news?

Yes, if you are tempted by the free book you will be in for a treat. I’m confident that anybody who reads the first episode will be sufficiently intrigued to buy into the series.

What’s so special about the series?

Apart from the subject matter and the exploration of sexual desire, the associated activities are presented to let the reader feel a part of the scene. You don’t think you have voyeuristic tendencies? Okay, put yourself to the test – check it out.

As you might expect, the first in the series is an introduction to a couple of the primary characters, but it also introduces the location in great detail. The ‘games’ mainly take place in a hotel, but there is a beautiful forest nearby. Besides activities in the great outdoors, the hotel is not like any hotel you’ve ever stayed in.

There are characters who appear in more than one of the books, and each of the tales is interconnected to at least one other.

Okay, the introductions are over and now it’s up to you if you want to get into bed with these characters …

Highland Games – 1 – Amazon Preview/Buy

(Free over 14th/15th October)

Highland Games – 1 – BookLinker Universal

(Free over 14th/15th October)

Books which don’t attract reviews tend to reduce the author’s credibility. My novel and short story collection in this genre have been well-received and continue to sell, which is gratifying. If I succeed in nothing else with this promotion, I hope to find out if I should continue with erotica or leave it behind (no pun intended).

I have had several positive private messages and emails from readers, but due to my personal rules on confidentiality … what is said to me privately stays private.

Whether or not you will be one of the brave and honest readers who will review, I sincerely hope you enjoy your visit.

Tom