I have a problem. For some of you, the fact that I write erotica might come as a surprise (hopefully not a shock). What came as a shock to me, was that my over-the-top, balls-to-the-walls, Bloody, Foul and DIRTY vampire erotica, Blue Moon House was accepted when submitted to Naughty Nights Press. While this blog and this post is suitable for all ages, that link is NOT. It will warn you. This story, Blue Moon House, is not suitable for all ages either. For some, it won't be suitable at any age. It has all manner of kink in it.
Back story on me writing Blue Moon House: There has been a trend in the Twilight Fandom to write raunchier, nastier, and more graphic stories. Particularly in the arena of BDSM. Enter Master of the Universe or 50 Shades of Grey. I will not link to that. If you want either the Fanfic version or the filed off, you can go put it in a search engine. In a gut reaction to that story getting so much popularity, I decided to write my own BDSM story. Only I didn't use Twilight. I didn't use sparkly vampires, I used more traditional ones. Mine aren't killed by sunlight either, but they are damaged/hurt by it, so they work night hours. They also spend most hours indulging themselves and their food source, the submissives who come to their door.
The nugget for Blue Moon House sunk into my head and refused to let go until I wrote her out of it. You ever had a muse like that? They come fairly often by my house and they are the worst house guests. Don't keep up after themselves, require you to be at their beck and call at all hours... just terrible. However, after a relative glut in my writing, I banged out all 19K of Blue Moon House in three days. That's the nice part about that muse—she's insistent, but she's efficient. So there I was with this steaming pile of rough and ready porn that I believed followed the basic rules of the BDSM community (something a lot of stories in the Fandom have gotten called down on). I found a beta reader (and Elizabeth, I still applaud you for making it through that with me) and then I wanted to share. Why? Because I didn't want Elizabeth to be the only one to share that vision with me. I had to inflict it on others.
Now we're approaching the conundrum (and you have my apologies for taking so long to get here). I posted Blue Moon House for free reading pleasure (or horror or whatever) on MyVampFiction. It was read 150 times at the time of this posting, eight months after the original posting in September of 2011, and has three reviews. In that time, it was suggested that I should submit my erotic fiction for publication.
Who would suggest that?! Why my acquaintances who have published erotic fiction, of course! I beta-read D. F. Krieger's Sail My Oceans (which you should click on and buy!) and Elicia Seawell, although not currently publishing erotica, was not afraid to suggest Naughty Nights to me. So, I took a chance. I sent Blue Moon House first to Evernight and then to Naughty Nights. The first said no, citing the "forced sex, fecal and blood play" which, of course, I included up front in my query letter. I expected the second would also reject me, fairly quickly, so I was bowled over on Friday when I got an acceptance letter complete with contract.
I had been so sure no one would want this. I had been convinced that Blue Moon House would lie unnoticed with the rest of the Original Fiction on My Vamp Fiction (just looking through the category, 3 reviews seems to be the maximum). Instead, I'm being offered the chance to publish and promote it. So, do I, author of Cargon: Honour & Privilege, a book geared to young adults, want to divide my efforts and cross-promote erotica under a pseudonym? I also have a few conflicts with the contract, so I might be saved making the decision that way, but it is still a question I need to deal with.
My fanfiction includes a LOT (like 60%? 75%) of erotic fiction. All of them are rated as such and I trust readers to respect those designations. If I do publish my original erotic fiction, I will still be easily identifiable as Kimberly Gould, Kimmydonn, and will have to trust my younger readers and their parents to be wise enough not to pursue works that aren't intended for them. Blue Moon House comes with a list of warnings longer than my arm. Most readers are not going to like it. Which brings me back to my first problem. Do I want to do this?
I have to say, looking at the stack of cons, I'm not sure I can grasp enough pros. The big one would be market share. There are a LOT of erotica readers online. Way more than young adults who are willing to try post-apoc renaissance. Is it possible to hook a reader through porn and convince them to try my non-erotic fiction? This is a HUGE stretch in the case of Cargon, but my second novel, Thickness of Blood, is an adult story with adult themes. A reader who could indulge in Blue Moon House is more likely to enjoy following George as he tracks down his daughter's rapist than someone who felt at home in Fontive with Eve, Adam and Louis.
Before I was published for young adults, I delved into a lot of genres, tried a lot of different styles, and some suited me. Some, I think, made excellent stories that I would NEVER recommend to a young adult. Should I keep my eggs in one basket? Or should I launch those other stories and reap a wider audience? Should I stop with Thickness of Blood and keep my toes out of erotica? I haven't made up my mind yet and would love any and all advice.