Thursday, 11 August 2011

How much of yourself do you give to your readers?

Whichever genre you choose to write in, I think it’s inevitable that a part of yourself is going to seep through into your work. After all, the stories that you write are crafted from your innermost thoughts and imaginings; it’s impossible to keep your opinions and feelings separated entirely from what you write.

However, with erotica in particular, I think it’s even more of an autobiographical process. I’ve been writing erotica on and off for five years now, and when I look back at some of my earlier efforts and compare them to what I write now, it’s very easy to see a maturation in both the writing and my personal tastes.

And it’s those personal tastes in particular which become so apparent when writing erotica – and, quite frankly, the part of yourself that becomes exposed when writing such stories is as personal as it gets.

I’ll admit now that I use a nom de plume (and as an aside, that sounds so much lovelier than the cold and harsh ‘pseudonym!) for all of my work, but I take the added step of publishing under a different name again too separate out my erotica from the rest of my work. The main reason for that is how important I think it is to protect my personal life and separate it from what I create.

Conversely, though, it is perhaps when writing and operating under my nom de plume – whichever one I’m using – that I feel the most freedom to be completely myself, for there are no expectations, no constraints. What I write in my stories, here, and on Twitter; in a way, I’m exposing myself completely.

Perhaps it’s dangerous to do so.  After all, when you write you are investing yourself emotionally in the tale that you create, and even more so when it’s of such an intimate nature.  Anyone criticism that might come your way is going to end up feeling like a personal hit, a criticism not only of your work but of your personality, your desires and what intrinsically goes into making you – well, you.

None of that is going to stop me from writing in the way that I do, of course; if I tried to write in a different style and restrain those parts of myself from creeping into my work, then I’d lose that emotional connection with it that is so vital. It’s important to bear in mind, though, that when those less than glowing reviews come in, they’re not intended (in the most!) as a personal attack, even though they can sting as sharply as if they were.

And to finish with a shameless self-plug, if you’d like to have a look at what I write – or even if you just want to see what turns me on these days! – my erotica can be found at


  1. I have to agree with you here, Kate. Intentional or not, tiny parts of an author's heart and soul always bleed through in their work. Very interesting post!

  2. I write a lot of horror. Stories like "The Bleeder" and "The Cradle of Ruin" were descriptive euphemisms for how I viewed myself. Then, "Seven Attempts at One Death", a fictional piece about a tough battle with depression, was produced after dealing with my own struggle.

    I don't mind injecting myself into the stories though, as they say to write what you know.