Photo from Miss Oakley's Wiki-biography
"Refuse to behave." - Jaid Black
I've been having a bit of writer's block (boo!). Wrangling my three wee ones, running my little home business that could and preparing for the holidays has left little room for my naughty thoughts to flow freely - I swear the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas gets shorter each year! When I'm experiencing writer's block, I usually go to the source for inspiration; reading Erotica - no joy. It's been over a week now - still no joy. That is, until yesterday. When I'm feeling restless a good spot of cleaning usually does the trick. I recently installed a walk-in closet in my bedroom. While it's pretty much finished, there's one corner that I have completely neglected; a floor-to-ceiling-bookcase - doesn't everyone have a bookcase in their closet? I built it to house my precious collection Erotica and Romantica...
"I have vision, and the rest of the world wears bifocals." - Butch Cassidy
I began reading Romantica during the earliest days of Ellora's Cave (2000). I call those early years - The Wild West. These early authors were fearless and good. They not only wrote sensual, loving, sizzling hott sex, they also wrote amazing plots. And they wrote across every genre: Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Mystery, Suspense, Historical, Contemporary, Western and Paranormal. They wrote about real women and fantastical women, women of all shapes, sizes, age and shades - and the men who loved them. They not only ignored the traditional 'Harlequin' rules of romance, they obliterated them! They were the frontierswomen of this literary Wild West, fearlessly living in a world they created. A world without constraints; a world where (like the women of the American Old West) they created a space where they could live and thrive on a their staked plot in the wilderness - by their own rules (that they often made up as they went along).
For several years now, my book collection has been housed in five big under-bed boxes (safe from the elements and little prying eyes ;-} But that, and the fact that most of my collection is on a FlashDrive, meant that I rarely read my oldest titles. As I pulled out and opened the boxes - creating little piles for each author and/or genre, putting books on the shelves - I began reading the back cover blurbs and began to rediscover the contents of my literary treasure trove. It was like sitting down and hanging out with friends I had not seen for years and didn't realize how much I missed: Sahara Kelly, Evangeline Anderson, Lora Leigh, Gail Faulkner, Jaid Black, Marilyn Lee, Jaci Burton, Dawn Ryder, Rhyannon Byrd, and Shiloh Walker - to name a very few.
Before I knew it, I had been sitting on the floor of my tiny walk-in closet reading for most of the afternoon. Sitting there, amid all of those books, rediscovering the 'undiscovered country,' I felt like a 3rd year student on her first trip to Honeydukes! And they have all have stood the test of time. They read as fresh and exciting today as they did nearly 13 years ago.
Today there are so many publishers and outlets for Erotica. Literally thousands of authors. I think that this is a good thing, but it takes stubborn perseverance to find the bright new lights. But they are there: Naima Simone, Fran Lee, Laurann Dohner, Nadia Aidan, Afton Locke, Jennifer Leeland, Kate Pearce, and Tressie Lockwood (to name a very few).
It's all there, all the inspiration a naughty mind needs. So before I dive back in and kick this writer's block's ass, I wanted to take a moment to thank the frontierswomen and the new settlers. Thank you for boldly going where no one has gone before. Thank you for reminding me that I'm not in a wilderness, but a boomtown. Thank you for letting me know that there's a stool at the saloon bar for me. Thank you for encouraging me to trust my muse and refuse to behave.
'Til we meet again,