Shelley Aikens:  Hot, Steamy Erotica
Overdue for Pleasure is about 65,000 words long.  That's a pretty quick read, just a bit longer than your average Harlequin romance.  I like that length, both as a writer and a reader, and so with my current work in progress, I've been aiming for something along those lines.  But now 65,000 words has come and gone, and still there's no end in sight... Not that I'm complaining, because I love my new characters and all of the crazy fantasy scenarios they're getting into, and I'm reluctant to say goodbye to them just yet.  

But it's disconcerting that I suddenly have no idea what's going to happen next--and who knows how much longer I'll have to keep writing before I find out? I have an idea of how the story should end, but when it comes down to it, I find that I actually seem to have very little control over how it turns out.

Although I have to say that I do love that moment--that Eureka! surprise moment when the characters do something so outrageous and unexpected, and the story delights me all over again.  I LOVE it, except when (as is happening right now) their changing their mind takes them away from the fantasy that I've been looking forward to writing for the last few weeks... But they are (hopefully) travelling towards an even hotter scene... I guess I'll just have to wait and see!
Check out my Featured New Release and Author Profile on a great erotica website, Erotica for All. I love this site! Many of my favourite writers are featured here, and it's exciting to be one of them :)
And to add to the excitement, another positive review of Overdue for Pleasure has come out on Sugarbeat's Books review blog.  Thanks to Barb for trying something outside of her comfort zone!
At the library where I work, I've been getting more and more questions about ebooks.  Now with the Christmas season rolling relentlessly towards us, I'm anticipating even more questions. So what should my answers be? What have I noticed about ebooks? How do I feel about them? Pros & cons? How is it from an author's point of view?

When I wrote Overdue for Pleasure, I knew I wanted it to be published as an e-book, so I was delighted when Carina Press picked it up and offered to epublish it. Why? I suppose it was partly because I had just gotten my first ereader, so I was completely enamored with ebooks at the time, but it was also because I felt (and still feel) that erotica, romance, or really any "quick read" are perfectly suited for ereading.  And the instant gratification of buying an ebook from the comfort of your home and then reading it a minute later seems especially suited for erotica. Also, voracious readers of several books a week might appreciate not accumulating a huge pile of books at the end of the year and/or paying a bit less for the ebook versions. 

And then there are the other unexpected benefits of the ereader--best of all, in my opinion, is the one-handed read.  I can have my cat on my lap, a mug of tea in my hand, and the ebook resting on the arm of the chair, with no worries that the book will slip and I'll lose my place. Or reading while lying down in bed, which gets uncomfortable when you have to keep re-positioning the book, but with the ebook, it stays propped up in its original position for as long as I want.  Which is a suspiciously lazy-sounding reason to like ebooks, but so it is.

And of course there's the benefit that everyone knows about--being able to carry around an entire  library of books in a device the size of one skinny book.  That has been an invaluable benefit when I'm travelling, or even when I'm indecisive about what I feel like reading while I'm waiting at the dentist's office. 

A few cons, of course. More page turns per book, which can get slightly annoying for my thumb. Running out of power when you're in the middle of a good book and don't have anywhere to charge it (like if you're on a cross-country camping trip for a month, staying in rustic campgrounds with no electricity like I did this summer--I think I got through maybe one book before my old ereader died. Thank goodness my new ereader has much better battery life!) What else? Oh, reading in the bathtub or on the beach are off limits for my ereader, or rather for the clumsy person holding the ereader...

So on balance, I'd say that as a reader, I'm enthusiastic about ebooks. But unfortunately, because I work in a library and I'm constantly coming across so many great "old-fashioned" books to read, I still read the majority of my books in paper format.  

As an author, how do I feel about ebooks? Am I disappointed that I can't hold a physical book in my hands to show off to my friends and family and/or to sign for them? Not really. It feels pretty real to me.  Besides, this isn't the kind of book I'd want to give to most of my friends and family, so I don't mind not having paper copies to share with them.   I might be a bit disappointed that I don't have a copy to put on my shelf at the library, but maybe I can add it to the virtual shelves in our downloadable library instead.

So what do you think about ebooks? Like them? Love them? Feeling peer-pressured into trying them?   Let me know!
I was very excited last week to receive my first review for Overdue for Pleasure from BlackRaven's Reviews.  I was nervous before I clicked on the link, but the review was GREAT!  I love how it says it's "not for the sexually faint of heart"!  Shhhhh... Don't tell my mother! :)

The book I'm working on now is falling between genres, and I'm starting to wonder if I'm setting myself up for failure this way. It has a bit of magic in it as a central theme, but other than that, it doesn't even come close to being a true paranormal. I'm worried about writing in between the genres like this, because won't all of the diehard paranormal fans be disappointed by the lack of paranormal content, while at the same time, won't the "regular" erotica readers be turned off by the fact that it contains a bit of magic? I know you can't please everyone all the time, but what if you can't please anybody any of the time???

I've had similar thoughts about Overdue for Pleasure, which also kind of falls between genres--it's romantic erotica, but not quite erotic romance, if that makes sense. There is definitely a romantic relationship that develops at the core, but it doesn't happen in the traditional structure of a romance. It's more about the main character discovering herself through her sexuality, and in the process discovering love. It's different, and I wonder if that might not be such a good thing after all... 

I've been at this doubting stage before, and the only thing I really can do is to keep on writing and let the story become whatever it needs to be. But in the rewrites, maybe I should pick one genre and make it fit?  What do you think? Should I embrace my non-conformity or sand off my square edges to fit into that round hole? :)
Today's the day I'm featured on the Carina Press blog! Suddenly I feel a bit nervous, like right before a big presentation. I think I have stage fright :)  

It's November 1...  You know what that means!!! THE BOOK IS OUT!!!  I've been compulsively checking the Amazon "bestseller ranking," just to prove to myself that it really is out there. Right now I'm at #27, 414, although a half-hour ago, I was at #25, 320. Maybe not the most reliable ranking system? Or maybe a bunch of people bought it and returned it :)

So far I don't feel any different... Blogging tomorrow on the Carina Press website, so maybe it will feel more "real" then???