Monday, November 2, 2015

Guest Post - Charlotte Howard Author of The Final Straight

Guest Blog

Thank you for hosting today. After a couple of comments that have been made recently I thought I’d take the time today to explain what it is to be an erotic romance author.

Being an erotic and contemporary romance author is a lot of fun. I’ve met some interesting characters in the name of research and networking. But it can also be gruelling. I spend my evenings writing hot sex scenes, creating characters who I fall in love with, and characters I want to crush and kill off in horrible ways. It can take weeks, months, or even years to create a final draft. The Final Straight was written before Seven Dirty Words, but has taken 3 years to perfect. But even once you’ve written The End, it’s not finished.

Research is the fun part of writing romance, especially the erotic scenes. I spend a lot of my free time (usually the evenings, when the kids are in bed and things can be more than PG-rated) searching for terms like BDSM, scouring websites like Love Honey or Ann Summers, and reading blogs by the likes of Cara Sutra. And let’s not forget they old teaching of “write what you know”!

Networking is a laugh. I’ve made some good friends through my travels and journey as an author. It started back when I was freelancing – sorry to disappoint, but I wasn’t always a smutty romance author. I used to write pet health care articles for websites and magazines. Through this, I met a lot of people established within the industry, including the owners of Rocking Horse Publishing who originally took on Seven Dirty Words and Four Letter Words. Then I started visiting events such as The Festival of Romance and Smut by the Sea. It was at the Festival of Romance that I met Lucy Felthouse, and through her I learned about the wider world of erotic romance writing. If I hadn’t gone to that festival, then I wouldn’t have thought about submitting my work to Tirgearr Publishing, and if I hadn’t gone to Smut by the Sea, I probably wouldn’t have written One Night in Edinburgh.

Editing is the hardest part of writing, I feel. The draft that I send to the publishers is not the original story. With The Final Straight, names, genders, sexual orientations, relationship statuses, looks... they all changed during the process of editing. In The Black Door, I removed an entire chapter because it felt unnecessary. One Night in Edinburgh started off as nearly 30k words, and ended up being just over 20k. Seven Dirty Words and Four Letter Words were once a trilogy. Everything shrinks in editing, and its hard work. Then it’s off to the publishers, where it is edited again. Of course if you want to see what the final result is, you’ll just have to pick up a copy and read...

Writing, networking, editing, publishing, cover design, marketing – there is an awful lot that goes into being an erotic romance author. It’s fun, it really is, but you need to have a thick skin and be prepared for a long and arduous journey. The Final Straight is my fifth story to be published, but I still don’t feel like I deserve the title of author. Maybe one day...


Max stormed across the yard. At the mention of AJ’s name, a ball of fury had begun to boil in the pit of his stomach. He could almost taste the bile as it threatened to rise in his throat. He marched towards the stables, to the one place he felt calm.

Whisper stood with her head hanging over the stable door, oblivious to her master’s raging temper. Blaze was in the next stall, ears pricked, attentive for any possible predators. Max grabbed the head collar and lead rope, bringing the black mare from her stable and tying her up.

She stood at an impressive sixteen hands high. As always, her coat shimmered as though tiny diamonds had been sewn into the impeccable hairs. Even though she didn’t look as if she needed grooming, he picked up the soft body brush and began to run it over her coat anyway. He moved it up and down her strong neck, taking in the musky scent as he brushed away the flecks of shaving dust.

“She’s beautiful,” said a soft female voice. Max turned and saw a young woman he did not recognise standing in his barn. She was only a couple of inches shorter than he was. He looked her up and down. Ash-brown hair had been swept into a butterfly clip, showing off her tanned neck.

“Yes, she is,” he said, not trying to hide his gaze as it fell over her body.

“I’m looking for April Miller.” She smiled at his obvious attraction.

“She was on her way out, but she might still be in the office if you’re lucky.” He nodded towards the opposite side of the yard.

“Thank you.”

He watched as she walked away. Navy jodhpurs fitted her hips and buttocks to perfection, and pinched in at the waist, where they were joined by a pink vest.

“I need a ride,” he growled to himself.

Blurb / Buy Links

April Miller works for her best-friend, Max Knight on his livery and competition yard. Their friendship has withstood many turbulent times, and while April is deeply in love with Max, she is also aware of his womanising ways and has refused to succumb to his flirtatious charms. When her ex, AJ, suddenly comes back with a business proposal, April finds herself torn between the two men.

Bio / Links

Charlotte lives in Somerset with her husband, two children, and growing menagerie of pets and can always be found with a cup of tea in her hand. When she's not writing or running around after small people and animals, she loves to eat curry and watch action films.

Charlotte is an active (and vocal) member of the Yeovil Creative Writers.

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