Alpha Books
ISBN 1592575463
September 2006

The basic rules for turning basic instincts into blockbuster success.

Erotic romance reigns supreme as a big category of women’s fiction—a billion dollar business serviced by a new breed of uninhibited writer. This book is the necessary how-to for first timers and a terrific guide for seasoned professionals as well, who are putting their racy—and lucrative—fantasies to paper. Now, for the first time, a veteran erotic romance author shows exactly what to do—and how.

• The first book to guide writers to succeed in this multi-million dollar genre
• Explores how to set up a plot and write good, steamy sex scenes
• From a best-selling experienced author
• Includes resource section for research tools and further reading
• Interviews with top authors in the field
• Foreword by Kate Duffy, editorial director at Kensington Publishing and founding editor of the genre

Read an Excerpt

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The Comfort of Favorite Things - Bliss and the Art of Forever - The Sweetness of Honey - Beneath the Patchwork Moon - Boots Under Her Bed - A Blue Christmas/Jingle Bell Rock(Digital Edition) - Unforgettable - The Second Chance Café - Unbreakable - Undeniable - Holiday Kisses/This Time Next Year - Twenty-One Hours/SEAL of My Dreams - At His Mercy - Playing Love's Odds (Digital Edition) - Love Me Tender (Digital Edition) - Love In Bloom - (Digital Edition) - The Icing On The Cake - With Extreme Pleasure - One Good Man - No Limits - A Long, Hard Ride - Maximum Exposure - Kiss & Tell - Deep Trouble - In Danger - At Risk - Tex Appeal - The Perfect Stranger - Beyond A Shadow - Infatuation - The Complete Idiot's Guide To Writing Erotic Romance - Deep Breath - Goes Down Easy - Red Letter Nights - Totally Charmed - Kiss & Makeup - Undressed - Larger Than Life - Sara Smiles/Beach Blanket Bad Boys - The McKenzie Artifact - The Beach Alibi - The Samms Agenda - The Shaughnessey Accord - The Bane Affair - Mother, Please! - Indiscreet - Wicked Games - A Blue Christmas/Jingle Bell Rock - Striptease - The Sweetest Taboo - Bound To Happen - No Strings Attached - Roped Into Romance - All Tied Up - Love In Bloom - Four Men & A Lady - Love Me Tender - The Badge And The Baby - The Grinch Makes Good - The Heartbreak Kid - Call Me - Playing Love's Odds

The first romance novel I ever read was Kathleen Woodiwiss’s The Flame and the Flower. I read it in 1977. I remember sitting on the end of my bed in an apartment where I only lived for six months and reading the end. My ironing board was up, my iron plugged in, a dress waiting to be pressed. Wherever it was I was going, I didn’t make it. I had to finish the book.

Strangely enough, that was the only romance I read for a long time. I read Colleen McCullough and Phyllis Whitney and Sidney Sheldon and Jackie Collins . . . but no more romance. Not until ten years later when a bookstore owner in Dallas introduced me to Sandra Brown, Linda Howard, Diana Palmer, and Elizabeth Lowell. From the get-go, I was hooked on authors who wrote the hot stuff. I couldn’t get enough. I was in line for their every new release.

Is it any wonder my own writing traveled the same path? Or that one of the first writing contests I won was for sexual tension? I sold my first book in 1993, and during the editing process I was asked to cut a shower scene. That same scene would be considered tame by today’s standards, but my editor at the time (who just happens to be one of my editors now) felt it was too risqué. My, how far we’ve come!

I’ve now written over thirty novels and novellas, almost all of them published under an imprint showcasing steamy stories. There are those who contend that certain authors are predisposed to writing with an erotic voice, style, tone, whatever. In other words, we can’t help it. We’re born that way. All I know is that this is how I write. And if you’ve picked up this book, then you know the same about yourself.

Now, what am I going to do for you? Well, I’m going to guide you through taking that natural talent you have and combining it with your love for reading erotic romance so that you come out on the other side with a novel a publisher can’t wait to snap up. To get in as much information as I can, I’ve divided this text into six separate sections discussing the craft of fiction, the erotic component, and giving readers what they want.

In Part 1: What Is a Romance, and How Do I Know if It’s Erotic?, I’ll show you ways to implement storytelling fundamentals within your erotic romance.

In Part 2: Lust At First Sight: The External Journey, I’ll walk you through several methods of plotting a novel and how to look for erotic potential.

In Part 3: Who Do You Love?: The Emotional Journey, we’ll concentrate on your erotic romance’s love story.

In Part 4: Tangled Sheets: The Physical Journey, we’ll cover the intimate and sexual components of romance.

Part 5: Talk Dirty To Me: Writing Explicit Sex is where we’ll get down and dirty with body parts, toys, and games.

And you won’t want to miss Part 6: Satisfy Me: Meeting Reader’s Expectations. This is the section where we look at what a reader wants, and figure out how to give it to her!

At the end of the book, I’ve included several appendices. One is a glossary of specific words defined throughout the text. There is also a comprehensive list of publishers looking for erotica and erotic romance, as well as several resources to help you on your writing journey. I also picked the brains of several published authors and put together a roundtable discussion on the genre.

I hope you enjoy what the experts have to say!

Additionally, you’ll find extra nuggets of advice in the form of sidebars sprinkled throughout this book. These little jewels offer tips, definitions, and words of wisdom from pros in the writing field. Here’s how you’ll find them listed:

Pillow Talk - This sidebar offers definitions and explanations for terms and expressions that will help you understand more about writing erotic romance.

Scorchers - You’ll want to check out these hot tips guaranteed to keep you on track and help you add the sizzle readers want to your erotic romance.

Naughty, Naughty – These mistakes are ones you’ll want to avoid in order to write the best erotic romance you possibly can – one readers will be clamoring for.

Slip of the Tongue – In this sidebar, you’ll find comments, advice, insights, and anecdotes from a number of authors.