5th April 2011 - Guest Blogs - 5 Comments

On Being An Author By Alyssa Aaron


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Being an author is an odd thing. In many ways you are an author a long time before you actually become published and begin to sell books and make an income from your craft.

I decided I wanted to be an author in 9th grade and from that time on being an author had an impact and played a role in my life. Through high school, marriage, various evil day jobs, divorce, and a new marriage, I thought like an author. I did the things that authors do.

For a lot of years before I was published I read books on writing and devoured the top magazines on the subject. I went to workshops. I joined a critique group. I listened to audio tapes about how to write well. I gathered story ideas on index cards, napkins, scraps of paper, in notebooks, and occasionally on the backs of grocery store receipts. I wrote. And I wrote. I started things and I threw them away…

Eventually I finished a short story and sent it off to a publisher. The next year it was published and I was finally a published author. I had attained the goal of being published! I’d earned the right to call myself not just a writer…but an author!

Though I was excited to finally be published, that first experience with publication was a bit anti-climactic. I didn’t make a ton of money (less than three hundred dollars if memory serves) and it had taken a year for the manuscript to be accepted and published and to receive the three hundred dollars I was paid for it. Though I was published it still seemed like not much had changed.

I’d expected fireworks…money…or something. Not much had happened. I was in a bit of a funk and I didn’t write for a while.

But the desire to be an author is something ingrained. It was there in how I interpreted the things I read in the newspaper, in what I thought about the things I watched on television. It was there in the scene outside the window on a winter day or when I was traveling and my mind wandered to who might live in the big farmhouse on the hill in the distance and what might be going on in their lives…and what story could be written about that.

Authors ponder. They ask “how?” and “why?” and “what if?” They play with those pieces twisting them and turning them this way and that like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle in a puzzle in which the picture is always changing. Though I wasn’t actively writing at that point I still had the mind of an author. My mind still wondered about the people that lived in houses we passed on our travels. I still thought about creating characters from people I read about in the newspaper or saw on television. I still found myself playing with various pieces adapted from life around me or that I saw on television, read about in newsgroups, or in books.

Because I wasn’t actively writing there was an almost painful tension born of all of the story ideas that were spinning in my head and going to waste. There was an author’s pleasure in playing with the story pieces…asking the story questions…and coming up with characters, conflicts, scenes, and worlds. But as the story ideas coalesced it became painful not to be writing them down – not to be creating the imaginary worlds in a way that could be shared. At that point the desire to write kicked in again.

At about the same time I discovered erotic romance. I’d been an avid reader of Harlequin and Silhouette romances for many years and though I enjoyed those lines and had once dreamed of writing romantic suspense for Silhouette the idea of combining the poignancy of traditional romance with the sexuality of erotic romance intrigued me much more. I began to think seriously about writing an erotic romance.

I pulled out ideas I’d carried around for years (originally tailored for sweeter romance) and combined them with newer ideas. I’d read a lot of Yahoo Groups, newsgroups, and other forums related to the lifestyle of dominance and submission. I’d been intrigued by the number of women from abusive backgrounds who found serenity in power exchange relationships. My author’s mind kicked in and wondered why and how that worked. So I created a character who had been badly abused and put her in a situation where she would be forced into a power exchange relationship. The result is His Perfect Submissive.

The way that being an author really impacts on my daily life isn’t so much in what I do. It’s in how I see all the things that go on in the world around me. It’s that my mind is always looking at situations, people, places, the books I read, the music I listen to, as fodder for a story. That goes on for me whether I am actively writing or not.

5 responses to “On Being An Author By Alyssa Aaron”

  1. Alyssa Aaron says:

    Good morning Victoria and Friends,

    I just wanted to start the morning out by thanking you for hosting me here. I am looking forward to chatting with everyone here today. Since this is a blog devoted to erotic romance I am assuming you are all fans of erotic romance. But I’m curious…within the broad confines of the erotic romance genre, what do you like best in the stories you read? Is it the specific type of sexuality that draws you to a story? Something about the characters? A certain plot line?

    I think we all have our favorites…I’m a fan of marriage of convenience stories, reunion stories, erotic (and non-erotic) romantic suspense, kidnapped heroine (or hero) stories, and stranded together stories.

    I’m curious what you like most in the books you read.

  2. Victoria Blisse says:

    Hi Alyssa, welcome!

    I love a good seduction story myself and I like a little humour with my erotic romance too! I enjoy historical stories but have yet to find the courage to try to write one myself.

  3. Alyssa Aaron says:

    Hi Victoria,

    Thank you for the warm welcome. Smiling here because I too like a bit of humor with my erotic romance — or any romance for that matter, but I can’t write humor myself. My sense of humor seems to be a bit wry and to pull a bit from irony and I’ve never been able to make it carry well in books though I enjoy it in other people’s books. I particularly like Jessica Joy/Abby Blythe in the humor department. The humor in her books is kind of situational…and I like it.

    I like western historical particularly though I’ve never been brave enough to tackle writing one myself. I’m not sure I’d be up for all the research, though I like learning new things. My approach however seems to be more a buckshot approach…very hit and miss. I expect researching a historical novel requires very focused research.

    YOU have a bunch of books to your credit. :-) Do you have a favorite that you’d recommend to someone just discovering you as an author?

  4. Pollyanna says:

    In the stories that I read I mostly go for certain stories like BDSM, 3-somes type stories and marriage of convience. My favorite romance book of all time is a pirate romance novel where he kidnaps the lady and they end up falling in love in the end after a long struggle.

  5. Jen B. says:

    Wow, great post. It’s really cool to learn about the catalyst behind a story.

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