The book I am working on now is an expansion project. Random Act of Blindness began as a short story for an erotic publication, grew into a novella, and now, I am expanding it to a full-length novel. This project is dear to me because I am trying to do something that I don’t think happens very much in the genre: making a truly erotic story rich with all the elements of any other good novel.
I have always wondered why erotica seems to be sequestered in a dark corner, like a misbehaving red-headed step-child. Why can’t we have stories that are interesting, filled with three-dimensional characters, and a plot that keeps you turning pages? Why are erotica and quality fiction so often mutually exclusive? I mean, we all know that we all have sex (unless we don’t, and that’s another subject). So why do we pretend that sexual activity is not a part of our existence? It is at once one of the most motivating factors in our every day lives. It melts hearts, it wrecks marriages, it defines us, moves us, reveals us, and keeps us in touch with both our humanity and our spiritual selves. So why do we pretend, in our fiction, it is only an afterthought?
Perhaps the crux of the issue revolves around the degree to which we describe our sexual encounters in novels. But then, I have to wonder if this is some atavistic mentality that smacks of our historical shame regarding the sex act itself. I contend that sex is not dirty, unless you haven’t bathed.
Another challenge I have found with Random Act is that in expanding a story like this, one can only show the characters having sex so many times before it becomes tedious. It has to become, to a degree, less about the sex, and more about the characters and the story. This precarious balance I seek will no doubt make me a better writer, if I manage to pull it off. It remains to be seen if any readers find it a viable and respectable offering in the fiction milieu.