Archive for November, 2012

Things that make you go Ooh! in the night

Posted 18 November 2012 By Polly J Adams

It happened to me yesterday, one of those moments that make you go Ooh! Things were getting hot and steamy, I was wearing next to nothing, and…

No, not that! I was at the gym, just lying back and relaxing in the sauna after a good workout, and things in my head suddenly fell into place like pieces of a jigsaw, and damn, but I didn’t have a phone or notebook to hand! So I did what I always do: I started reciting the key points over and over in my head so that they’d stick until I could get to the changing room and make notes on my phone.

Those moments are magic, the real high points of the creative process.

Right now I’m working on the third of four volumes of my The Object of His Desire erotic romance series. There are lots of story strands going on and I’ve reached the point where I need to draw some of them together in this instalment and set up the drama for the final one. Sometimes it’s just a matter of hard graft: working things out, consciously crafting the story.

But sometimes…

Sometimes you’re lying in the sauna and your subconscious does the work, throwing all the pieces of jigsaw in the air and then watching as they miraculously fall into place. Last week I was lying in bed, struggling to get to sleep, and it happened then. That time I had my phone to hand, so I just reached over and wrote the ideas down so I wouldn’t lose them when I slept.

When you’re a writer, sometimes things really do make you go Ooh! in the middle of the night.

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Getting behind your favourite authors

Posted 15 November 2012 By Polly J Adams

No… I didn’t mean that!

You know that thing when authors start to pick up momentum and suddenly get a much higher profile? Sometimes that’s the result of a concerted marketing effort, but more often than not it’s just a matter of an author hitting a critical tipping point.

It’s the buzz that gets going when a new book is out, the chatter on Facebook and Twitter, the chorus of “Oh, have you read…?”

Keen fans – what marketers call power users – can make all the difference. They take it upon themselves to go out to bat for their favourite authors. They write reviews, they get the buzz going in social media, they tweet and retweet; they mention new books to friends and relatives and even to complete strangers; they talk about “their authors” with pride and affection, and they feel that they’re playing a key role in helping their favourites get that next book out.

And they are. They make all the difference. Every time someone posts a positive comment, or recommends a book to a friend, that’s so much more valuable than anything an author or his/her publicist can do. It’s for real.

So what can you do to help your authors? Here’s a quick checklist, in no particular order.

  • Post reviews.
    You don’t need to write a long, in-depth essay if you don’t want to. All it takes is a sentence or three: why you liked this book and a bit of context (you liked it because you liked X, or because you like books about Y). Amazon and Barnes and Noble make it easy to post reviews.
  • Blogs.
    Do you blog? If so, why not post an entry on books you’ve been reading? Or how about posting about books that have just come out that you can’t wait to read?
  • Facebook.
    Statuses about what you’re reading can be great for getting book buzz going, as can commenting on other people’s statuses, Liking authors’ pages and so on.
  • Twitter.
    Another place to mention books and authors. Why not follow your favourite authors and retweet their book tweets? For the record, I’m @pollyjadams.
  • Goodreads.
    I’ve put this in a category of its own because Goodreads is a bit of an odd one. Occasionally it seems to generate a culture of bitchiness, which is a shame, but it makes good reviews here all the more valuable for an author.
  • Tagging at Amazon.
    Each book’s entries at Amazon has space for readers to add tags that they think describe the book; this helps other readers find the kinds of books they like.
  • Online forums.
    Amazon has forums for readers to discuss and recommend books, and there are plenty of other places around the internet where you can do this.
  • Word of mouth.
    Most of the above is just high-tech word of mouth, more ways of telling friends about books and authors they might enjoy.
  • Mailing lists.
    Lots of authors have mailing lists where fans can keep up with their work, pick up freebies and bargains, etc. If you’re keen to spread the word, then a mailing list is often the best way to get the news first.
  • …and I’m sure there are many more ways. This is where fans are so much better than authors: you guys get excited about books and want to share that enthusiasm, and you come up with all kinds of ways to do it. Authors? We just sit down and write stuff.
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I’ve written about this subject before, and will probably do so again. It’s only natural, after all, for a writer to constantly stand back and evaluate their work. For me, also, working in genres with so many sub-categories and kinks, I’m always fascinated to try to work out where I fit in.

This time, my ruminations have been prompted by a discussion with fellow authors, and also by this tweet from the wonderful Christa Wick:

Classy, sassy, sexy – check out @PollyJAdams at… & get Letting Go #free… #erotica #kindle

It’s interesting to see an evaluation like this from a fellow author. Classy, sassy, sexy? I’d go with that.

My stories can be very explicit, and all about the sex – definitely sassy and sexy. But equally, I love to write stories with rich backdrops, fully fleshed-out characters, and plots I hope the reader will care about – particularly with my Knee-tremblers and Indulgence series, and under my erotic romance pen-name, PJ Adams. Often these stories feature classy, sumptuous backdrops: the rich and enigmatic owner of the Indulgence sex club, the wealthy ruling class families in PJ Adams’ The Object of his Desire. It’s natural for me to write about these settings: they interest me, for a start, but also it’s my background, too.

So… I’m a posh bird with a filthy mind. Maybe that’s what kind of writer I really am: classy, sumptuous, indulgent, capable of sweeping romance but equally capable of utter filth.

I kind of like that. I think it fits. I think it’s me.

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A quick writing update

Posted 4 November 2012 By Polly J Adams

It might appear to some that I’ve been a bit quiet of late and that’s kind of true: lots of real life stuff has got in the way of writing for a while now.

The other factor is that increasingly I’ve been writing longer stories. There’s a stable market in erotica for short stories of around 5,000 words, and that’s an area I like to work in: a nice length to develop a story, but also just the right length for someone who, to get right to the heart of the matter, wants to get off on a story. For this market, 15,000 words is too long – imagine the arm-ache!

But recently I’ve been drawn to longer stories and serials. At this length there’s space for characters to develop and for strong stories to emerge.

One consequence of this is a very practical one. Longer stories take longer to write, and so my publications have become more spread out. The stories in my The Object of his Desire series, for example, are 15 to 20,000 words long, so that when the series is complete it will add up to a complete novel. Even my Billionaires’s Sex Club series, where the action is a bit more full-on, are twice the length of my other stories.

It’s fun to do, and I’m getting stuck into volume three of The Object of his Desire right now (although I did take a break for a 5,000 word, more explicit, story called Lizzie and Cara Make Three).

What next? The fourth and final instalment of The Object of his Desire should be out before Christmas; the third and final instalment of The Billionaires’s Sex Club will be out around then, too. In the new year there will be compilations of both series, so you can get the complete story in one book. I also have plans for a couple more series to work on over the winter, both of them my take on the alpha-male/billionaire story that is so popular right now.

Hasn’t the billionaire thing gone its course by now, though?

Probably not immediately, with big traditional publishers desperate to bring out books in the Fifty Shades of Grey category (watch out for the fantastic Sara Fawkes, due from St Martin’s press soon). But yes, it’ll probably fizzle out at some point.

But alpha males? Surely we all have space in our lives for a man who knows what he wants and a woman who finds that intensely horny? In our fantasies, at least!

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