Oh that does sound dirty, doesn't it?
Well, on some level it was true. I had never attended a writer's conference before this one. Virgin nerves and all that, I was still excited to go. The class menu looked so appetizing:
Setting as Character
Hands on Kink
Sexy, Sexy Grammar
Sex Sells, How to write and sell Erotica.
Then there were the discussion panels:
Tales of the Paranormal
And those were just the ones I could make. Beyond that there were readings and more.
The weekend started with an editors panel where members of various erotic/romantic publishers sat down to talk with us about what they were looking for and what they can do for authors. The topic of self publishing came up and surprisingly enough, many of the editors were very supportive of it. The one main thing they offered up in support of traditional vs. self was the ability to let the writer do the writing. On one level I have to agree with that. You all know I am proudly self-published, however it is more of a day job than I had when I was was gainfully employed. It's hard work, and there is no guarantee of a good paycheck. That's not to say that going traditional is going to make anyone rich, but there is the added benefit of a publisher with a sales record and catalog, etc behind you. That kind of support is something that can help any author build an audience.
From that hugely informative panel, I moved on to the Sex Sells class by M Christian. One of the main focuses here, surprisingly enough can be summed up in this quick quote. "If you can pull the sex scene out of a story and it doesn't change the plot, it isn't necessary. Cut it." That's right. Don't just put sex on paper and think that makes the story. There needs to be an actual story there. The sex should be a big part of it if your writing Erotic Romance but it's not porn.
Next came Sexy, Sexy Grammar with Jean Roberta & Sharazade . Sharazade as you may remember, is my editor! Not only was it an extreme pleasure to meet her in person, but to sit in a class taught by her was great!
I finished up the first day with the Erotic Romance panel where an assortment of great authors and publishers got together to discuss what sells and what doesn't. Interestingly enough, the debate of Alpha Females and Beta Males took up quite a bit of time. Some were very against the idea of this being a saleable combination while others felt that branching out into less traveled territory made for more interesting reading. Ultimately it boiled down to knowing your market and knowing if they would accept it. So, while we're on the topic, what do you think? Can a story work with a strong Alpha female and a Beta male?
We'll recap day 2 soon. I'm exhausted and need to sleep! Until then, I'll be looking forward to hearing your responses.