Posted by Roz Lee in Erotic Romance, Writer's Life on 20-08-2012
Tags: erotic romance, Going Deep, Inside Heat, Roz Lee, The Lust Boat
We’re all familiar with the terminology. A starter is something you begin with. It’s a first step – a trial of sorts to see if you like something. Years ago, I thought painting might be a way I could express myself, so I bought a starter kit. A few years later, having used the contents of the kit a time or two, I came to the conclusion that I was never going to be a painter, so I threw the slightly used, and now dried up, paints away.
That’s what you do with a starter. You use it and throw it away. Sometimes, however, once you’ve used the starter, you go back and buy an improved version. The starter got you going. You tried it – you liked it. You ate the appetizer and you want more.
There are all kinds of starters. Your first pair of high heels – your first husband – your first… well, you get the idea. We all have our list of starters – some we used and discarded, some we kept, but the one thing all firsts have in common – we learned from them. Sometimes the lessons are hard ones. I admit to a twinge of disappointment when I found out I had zero talent for painting, but it was a lesson I needed to learn in case I had delusions of quitting my day job in order to paint. The starter kit provided the insight I needed and saved me from making a huge mistake. Well, not really. No way was I quitting a paying job to paint, but you get the idea. Sometimes we’re drawn to do things that sound good at the time, but in reality aren’t so wonderful. Starters can save us from making mistakes.
But what about that other option? What happens when you get the starter and you discover something new about yourself? Wow! Whole new worlds can open up for you if you’re brave enough to explore your new-found depths. I should know. It happened to me. Not with the paint kit, but with what I like to call my starter book.
My starter book is/was a romantic suspense. I learned several things from writing that book. First and foremost, I learned that I could tell a story from beginning to end. Okay, so that one was a really poorly told story, but I did it. I started with a story in my head and I wrote it – all the way to my favorite two words – the end.
Believe me, this was a monumental revelation. After decades of searching for a way to express myself, I’d finally found the one I knew I wanted to be good at. Unlike painting, crafting and Lord only knows how many other failed starts, this was one I wanted to put in the necessary work to excel at. It felt right. Even I could see the starter wasn’t a masterpiece, but the fact that I finished it encouraged me.
I also learned how little I knew about actually writing a book. This led me to educate myself on the process and seek out other people like myself. I found them – a whole bunch of them – in Romance Writers of America. After joining the national organization, I found a ground level chapter – Los Angeles Romance Writers. There, I discovered published and pre-published writers who understood exactly what I was going through, and were willing to help me.
One of the greatest lessons I learned was – romantic suspense is not my thing. Loving to read it and writing it are two different things. This didn’t mean I had to give up writing – I just had to shift to something more suited to me. I tried all kinds of things, including romantic comedy. I really thought that was something I would be good at, but I was wrong. A crazy idea came to me one day, so I gave it a try. Who knew I could write erotic romance? I have to admit – it took me by surprise. But once I’d done it, and sold my first book, The Lust Boat, I was hooked on writing the genre.
My current work in progress, Going Deep, is the second book in my Mustangs baseball series. Remember I said there are all kinds of starters? Well… when a friend takes Jason to a local BDSM club, he’s intrigued. Something clicks for him, and it feels right, but he knows nothing about being a Dom. But Jason knows what he likes – and he likes to be in control. Carrie is everything he ever dreamed of in a woman. She’s beautiful, submissive and she trusts him – sight unseen. Unwilling to risk his public reputation if things don’t work out with his starter sub, Jason insists Carrie be blindfolded whenever they’re together.
Here’s a short excerpt from Going Deep.
“There aren’t any locks on the doors – a safety measure, just in case emergency services are needed,” Todd explained. “No one will enter unless invited, so no worries. The window is a two-way mirror,” he said, pulling back the curtain Jason hadn’t noticed to reveal a mirror. “If you want to invite people to watch, just pull the curtain open. Keep it closed for privacy.” Jason nodded and Todd continued. “As you can see, the room is equipped for just about anything you could want.”
Jason looked around, swallowing hard. Various apparatus he’d seen in the public rooms filled the space. The lighting was subtle, bathing the dark walls and a large platform bed in cool tones. His heart pounded against his ribs and his hands were as clammy as a teenager on prom night, but despite it all, a calm settled over him. This was where he belonged. These were his people. This was what he wanted with Stacey, and she’d seen just enough of his desires to be scared away.
For weeks, he’d harbored thoughts that scared him too. Maybe he was too kinky, wanted to do things a sane, healthy man shouldn’t want to do. But now, he saw he wasn’t…
“You aren’t a perv, Jason, if you want to do some of the things you’ve seen here tonight,” Todd said, as if he’d read Jason’s mind. “This is normal for a lot of folks. Most of society doesn’t see it that way, so we try to keep it to ourselves, but once you walk inside the door here, you’re considered normal.”
“How did you know?” Jason asked.
“About you?” Jason nodded and Todd continued. “Because when I was your age, I was in exactly the same place you are. A friend showed me the way, and I’ve been happy ever since. I’ve been a member of this club for ten years. I’ve had plenty of subs in that time, but Brooke has been with me now for over a year. We’re thinking of taking our relationship outside the club – becoming a couple in public, maybe even making this a permanent arrangement.”
“People do that?” Jason asked.
Todd shrugged. “A few. We wouldn’t be the first.”
“You’re exclusive? You don’t mess around?” Jason asked.
“If you’re asking if I do this in every city we go to, the answer is no, I don’t. There are clubs everywhere, and I’ve been to a few, but I’ve always played here.”
“Want to give it a try?” Todd asked.
If you’re ready to give it a try, get started with the first book in the series, Inside Heat. Going Deep will be available in October.
Inside Heat is available from these retailers -
Amazon – eBook and print
Barnes & Noble – eBook and print
Apple iBook Store
Connect with Roz-