Saturday, January 27, 2018

The Accidental Sex Writer -- #Threesome #Giveaway #WritersBlock

Three Days cover French

By Cynthia W. Gentry (Guest Blogger)

I’d like to tell you that my road to publication was the result of some magic formula of craft, persistence, and tolerance for rejection. And it was all of those. But it was also the result of a the relationships I’d built with other authors, my network, and luck.

I didn’t set out to become a writer of erotica and erotic romance, although the Barbie-doll nudist camps I staged as a child might suggest otherwise. It is true that I’ve been a writer for as along as I can remember. When I was nine years old, I made my first book by hand for some long-forgotten class project: I fashioned the covers out of cardboard and colored paper and printed out each story painstakingly by hand, and then bound the whole thing together with green yarn.

The stories themselves were populated not with the fairy princesses you might expect from a little girl growing up in conservative Southern California in the late 1960s, but with ghosts and talking animals. One story that proved of particular interest to my future therapists starred a lion cub whose mother told her that if she roared too loudly, no lion would ever want to marry her. (At the end of the story, she roars anyway, and saves everyone. Huh.)

In 1973, the Richard Lester version of “The Three Musketeers” hit the movie theaters. My best friend Dana and I promptly became obsessed with 17th century France, and stumbled upon the Angelique series of novels by Anne Golon. Dana and I spent long afternoons alternately devouring what was known at the time as “bodice-rippers” books and writing long, romantic tales starring ourselves as the heroines. How did two virginal drama geeks deal with sex? We’d end the scenes with our heroine and hero falling into each other’s arms, and then primly cut away.

Ending Writer’s Block—With Erotica

Flash forward. I went to college and got a degree in English, taking several creative writing classes, and then went off to graduate school for journalism. I pushed my dreams of fiction writing to one side as I focused on making a living wage. I dabbled in screenwriting, and rehashed old short—mostly autobiographical—from my college days.

But sometime in my late 20s, around the middle of my first, too-early marriage, I got the world’s worst case of writer’s block. My desire to write disappeared, along, I might add, with my libido. It turns out that ongoing resentment is not an aphrodisiac.

My libido—although not my marriage—was saved when I discovered erotica. I don’t know what made me pick up Anaïs Nin’s Little Birds. All I know is that when I read those stories, I felt desire again, and one night, I sat down and started typing out one of my racier fantasies—a threesome that featured phone sex, a male hooker, light bondage and a New York hotel room.

Three thousand words later, I’d written “Just Friends,” and my so-called writer’s block was gone.

I sent “Just Friends” to a few magazines, and got a few rejections. I showed it to a few friends. But mostly, it stayed on my computer. Meanwhile, I got divorced. I started a graduate program in creative writing. I kept writing stories, and I started a novel that featured a lot of comically bad sex gleaned from my experiences of being newly single.

Here’s where that network of writers comes in.

Writing 24 Stories in 4 Months

One day I received an email a woman with whom I’d been in a writing group. She was working for an East Coast publisher. An author had approached them with a proposal for a book on tantric sex—a topic that I knew nothing about. The book, Red Hot Tantra, would use short stories to illustrate the author’s how-to instruction. They felt the author, a man, needed a female voice for the stories. “You write erotica, don’t you?” she asked. “Are you interested?” Yes, and of course, I answered.

Suddenly, I found myself signed up to write 24 short erotic stories in about four months—despite the fact that it often took me four months to write one story, let alone 24.

I soon discovered the dirty secret of writing about sex: most of the time, it isn’t that sexy. I camped out at my local cafe, brow furrowed, face occasionally buried in my hands. I didn’t sit there heaving and blushing and sighing as my fingers pecked away at the keyboard. I spent a lot of time staring into space, puzzling over how to describe a particularly athletic sexual position. But I didn’t have the time to fret over every word, and that kept writer’s block at bay. With the deadline looming, I just had to get words on the page.

How did I describe my characters’ intimate acts without sounding either hopelessly corny or disgustingly explicit? I tried to create believable characters, characters I liked, characters with personality and quirks and issues and fears and hopes. I tried to get inside their heads, whether I was writing about the 60ish couple discovering the fun of spanking, the single guy trying to get over his ex-girlfriend, or the young woman experiencing her first orgasm.

It’s an approach I still use when writing about sex. I try to avoid metaphors in favor of clear, straightforward description with lots of sensory detail. There’s a difference between explicit and specific. Explicit gives you a laundry list of body parts and acts. Specific takes you there, so you’re in the room.

Red Hot Tantra led to more nonfiction books on sex with the same publisher: The Bedside Orgasm Book (renamed Mindblowing Orgasms Every Day), What Men Really Want in Bed, Secret Seductions, and What Women Really Want in Bed. But I still held on to my dream of writing fiction.

So what happened to that first erotic story, “Just Friends”? As it turned out, my editor for Red Hot Tantra went on to launch a website for erotic romance. I sent “Just Friends” to her, and in 2008, a decade after I’d written it, she published it. She also asked me if I thought I could develop it into a novel. “Yes!” I answered, thrilled.

Little did I know that it would take me another eight years to do it, in between raising a child and a series of corporate jobs. It wasn’t until I got laid off, and Holly gave me a serious deadline, that I finally hunkered down and finished the book that became Three Days.

In one of those weird twists of publishing, the French rights to Three Days sold first, and Bragelonne/Milady published it in April 2016. We’re still trying to sell the English rights, and I’m trying not to get discouraged. In the meantime, I’m working on the sequel: Three Months.

I hope you enjoyed the story of my path to publication. I would love to hear from you!

Excerpt from Three Days

The story: On a trip to New York, Claire's boyfriend Trey makes one of her wildest sexual fantasies come true with the help of a male escort named Rich. Back home in San Francisco, Claire can't stop thinking about Rich, who's awakened her secret desire to be sexually dominated. When Rich shows up in San Francisco, he draws Claire and Trey into a sensual journey that tests Claire's limits over three erotic days.

The following excerpt is from the first chapter of Three Days. You can read the entire chapter FREE (and pick up some pretty awesome pleasure products and jewelry) on the website UNBOUND.

* * *

I lead them in to the suites living area. Trey rolls his eyes toward the bedroom and grins. I feel my face getting warm as I reach past him to pull the door shut.

The mini-bar is that way,” I tell them. I stick with tequila. Rich and Trey pour themselves scotch from tiny bottles. I try not to think about the bill. I’m suddenly very thirsty, and Rich goes to get ice. While he’s gone, Trey sits down on an armchair and stretches his legs out on the ottoman.

Come here,” he says. I squeeze into the chair with him. He looks into my eyes. “It’s good to travel with you. Every time we do, I’m reminded of what a hottie you are. Don’t make that face. You are. I see how guys look at you.”

Huh. I see more women looking at you.”

There’s a long pause. My mind is suddenly blank.

Kiss me,” he says.

My heart begins pounding. This is ridiculous. I know this guy like the back of my hand. “No tongue. Rich will be back any second.”

Sure. No tongue.”

I tilt my head up and let him kiss me. At first he keeps his lips closed. Then his tongue slips between my lips. The heady, peaty fragrance of scotch fills my mouth.

You said no tongue,” I say, but I don’t pull my head away.

I lied,” he answers, and keeps going. I’d forgotten what a good kisser he is. Then I hear the click of the lock and the door. Rich.

I pull away from Trey, embarrassed. “Sorry, Rich.” But Trey doesn’t let me go and Rich only smiles.

Don’t worry about it. It looked like fun.” He pours me a glass of water, which he sets on the coffee table. He sits down on the ottoman, near our feet.

It is fun,” Trey says. “She’s a good kisser.” He turns to me. “Rich broke up with his girlfriend recently.” If this is calculated to get my sympathy, it works.

Oh God,” I say. “Then you don’t need to watch us kissing.” I try again to pull away, but Trey doesn’t break his grip.

Yes, I do,” Rich says.

At times like these, there comes a moment when we make decisions. To decide whether to stay with what is familiar and tell ourselves that we are being good, or to go with the unknown. And though I don’t consciously know it, it’s at this moment that I’ve chosen the latter.

There’s only one problem,” I hear Rich say. Trey and I are kissing deeply now. He has pulled me closer to him. I’m letting him stroke my back, my ass. At Rich’s words, we stop and look at him.

Im sitting here thinking how much Id like to be kissing those beautiful lips myself.His words are catnip to me. Im already wet between my legs, now I feel my lower lips fill with warmth, soften and open. My heart thuds in my chest. Cant they hear it? I pull away from Trey and sit at the edge of the chair.

This man is a source, the fast-receding professional part of my mind tells me. Or is he? There’s something going on that I don’t quite understand.

I look at Trey. I have a feeling he’s on his way to being drunk. And so was I, but now I feel stone-cold sober.

Go for it,” he whispers, his voice husky. “Kiss him.”

I picture myself as supremely benevolent, the Queen of Kisses, bestowing them out of charity and goodwill. I take Rich’s face between my hands and lean forward. My lips meet his and I’ve made another decision.

I start to really kiss him, my tongue searching out his, but he says, “Wait. Slow down.” He puts a hand on my cheek and kisses me gently with his lips closed, and then again. With each new kiss, he begins to slip his tongue a little further between my lips. We begin kissing deeply, his tongue playing with mine. Finally, I pull away.

There,” I say. “How was that? Do you feel more included now?”

He smiles. “Trey is right. You are a good kisser. I’d like to kiss you again.”

Don’t stop on my account,” Trey says. “Claire knows that I like to watch.”

I do? He does? I push the thought away. We shift our positions so that I’m sitting on the edge of the chair with my back toward him, his legs on either side of me. He puts his hands on my hips.

One more,” I say to Rich, telling myself that that will be the end of it, but I know I’m wrong. As I kiss Rich, Trey leans forward and slides his hands under my shirt, playing with my breasts. I feel him nuzzle my neck, my ear. He unhooks my bra and gently rubs my nipples. Then he slides one hand down my stomach into my pants. I freeze.

Are you okay, babe?” Trey whispers in my ear.

I stare into Rich’s eyes. They are warm and earnest.

For a split second no one moves. Then I put my lips to Rich’s again. Trey’s hand continues its explorations down my pants, under the waistband of my underwear. But because of the jeans it can’t get much farther than that. I shift my hips almost involuntarily, trying to give him access. His other hand leaves my breast and unfastens the buttons of my jeans. He slides his hand back down and discovers the wetness between my legs. I hear his intake of breath and I moan as he caresses my clit. Meanwhile, Rich continues kissing me. My mind is so full of sensations that I can’t think.

Again, I pull away from Rich and lean back into Trey, whose hand is deep inside my wetness. Rich takes off my shoes. He reaches for my jeans.

We should stop,” I say, but have no will to make that happen. They have to
decide.

Is that what you want?” Rich asks me. “To stop?”

Buy Three Days

AMAZON FRANCE (in French)

The English-language print and e-book rights to Three Days are still available. Please contact Holly Schmidt or Linda Biagi for more information.



Contest: Win the Sexy Seductions Card Deck!

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, the Sexy Seductions Card Deck makes a perfect gift. It contains 50 exciting sexual adventures for you and your partner. Visit my website and join my mailing list by January 31 (you can always unsubscribe later), and I’ll select one lucky reader to receive a card deck! Visit www.cwgentry.com to join my mailing list and enter the contest.


Author Bio

In addition to her fiction, Cynthia W. Gentry has written several nonfiction books on sex and relationships, including What Men Really Want in Bed: The Surprising Facts Men Wish Women Knew About Sex (Quiver) and its sequel What Women Really Want in Bed (Quiver). Both books have been translated into several languages.

She’s also the author of Secret Seductions: 62 Naughty Nights, Lusty Liaisons and Sexy Surprises (Quiver) and Mind-Blowing Orgasms Every Day: 365 Wild and Wicked Ways to Revitalize Your Sex Life (Quiver). Secret Seductions is also available as the Sexy Seductions mini book and as The Sexy Seductions Card Deck. She was the co-author, with David Ramsdale, of Red Hot Tantra: Erotic Secrets of Red Tantra for Intimate, Soul-to-Soul Sex and Ecstatic, Enlightened Orgasms (Fair Winds Press), for which she wrote the erotica.

Cynthia has been interviewed by magazines like Glamour and Cosmopolitan for articles on sex and relationships. Her fiction and journalism has appeared in Area i, The Montserrat Review and Reed Magazine, as well as magazines such as budget savvy. She has also covered film festivals for indiWIRE.com and has written for the Literary Arts section of SFStation.com.

Cynthia has a master's degree in journalism from the University of California at Berkeley, where she was the recipient of the Edna Kinard Prize, the Alfred & Ruth Thompson Perassolo Scholarship and a Regent's Fellowship. She graduated with departmental honors from Stanford University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English.

Her website is www.cwgentry.com.

3 comments:

Lisabet Sarai said...

Hello, Cynthia!

I'm delighted to have you as my guest. Really like your excerpt. And I do hope you find a publisher for the English version of Three Days soon!

Cynthia Gentry said...

Thank you, Lisabet! I enjoyed being on your blog. And I hope to find a publisher soon. In the meantime, I'll just keep forwarding ahead on the sequel. XOXO!

Cynthia Gentry said...

Congratulations to Erin, who won the Sexy Seductions Card Deck!

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