Saturday, June 19, 2010

And What Do YOU Do?

By Shermaine Williams (Guest Blogger)

“I can’t believe your mum knows you write erotica, I can’t even talk to my mum about sex.”

The words of a friend of mind during a discussion on the finer points of writing erotica. Not only did it make me realise how lucky I am to have a mum who is so liberal, but it also made me think about how secrecy tends to be standard when it comes to this particular field.

I use my real name and don’t mind that people know that I write erotica because I am self-employed. Although, I might well feel differently if I were still working in the corporate world, I’ve done my stint and I’m not going back. No, dammit, I won’t go back, I’m not going back and you can’t make me....sorry, lost my train of thought for a moment. Where was I?

I haven’t got around to reading any Jackie Collins, but I suspect that it isn’t for the faint hearted. She is just one example of an author who is quite open about what she does, but she is still firmly in the minority as many of us feel that we need to opt for a nom de plume.

I suspect it is because many erotica writers do not have the luxury of being able to forgo their ‘proper’ job to concentrate on their beloved job, and the knowledge of this wouldn’t go down to well.

Is writing erotica really that shameful or is it just that we don’t want to be judged? I can understand why the latter would be the case simply from the way that many people react when they discover what I do. For the most part, women tend to be quite open-minded while men do that strange thing that happens when people don’t hear your name properly: repeat it back to you incorrectly a moment after you have uttered it. “I write erotic fiction.” “You write porn?” Like the terms are interchangeable.

Maybe its human nature to avoid situations which will cause people to see us in a different light – anything that isn’t deemed normal by society’s standards.

There are many women who are prepared to change the status quo, not least one of the UK’s best known female porn directors becoming a political candidate for the Liberal Democrat party. No qualms, no disguises, nothing.

I’m not sure that I could be that brave if I was in her shoes, but I do intend to take a leaf out of Ms Collins’ book. What about you?

BIO: I began writing after doing the education thing and the tedious office job thing. It took me a while to realise that I could do something that I enjoy and get paid for it, but I got there eventually.

Having reached my late twenties, I have decided that I want to write full time, so that is what I hope to be able to and have gone some way to realising my ambition by getting several short stories accepted for publication.

I am always working on new material (even if it's just thinking about the next story) and hope to get more work published in the near future.

The types of story I write are mostly quite realistic: I like to leave people guessing about whether I am actually trying to disguise my own life in the story! I like people to be able to see some of themselves in my characters. Although I like to try new things, so will try different sub-genres to see if I can come up with a good story.

Visit me on-line at:


Lisabet Sarai said...

Hello, Shermaine,

Welcome to Beyond Romance! I admire and agree with your attitude toward writing erotica. Although I use a pen name in order to protect my anonymity (I do have a day job) I'm proud of what I write.


Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Shermaine,
Good on your for being proud of what you write and for having the guts to use your own name.

Best wishes


Shermaine said...

Thanks for the welcome and the lovely sentiments, Lisabet and Margaret. I do like to read opinions on interesting topics.

Jade said...

Hi Shermaine,

Lovely to meet an out and proud author of erotica.

My mums biggest problem with my work...she hates the title of my third of course I'm dedicating it to her. lol. Aren't mums great!

Thanks for sharing and inspiring,

Jade Archer.

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