Today’s post comes from the talented Patricia Correll, writer and contributor to FELT TIPS. The best part about being part of an anthology (I wrote The Saint of Office Hell) is getting to know all of my fellow authors. Although every story falls beneath the erotica umbrella, each author brings his/her special style and spin to these tales of delicious office sexiness. Without further ado, here is Patricia and how she came to write for the FELT TIPS anthology edited by Tiffany Reisz. We promise that at VAGINA ANTICS, you’ll never be bored. xo – Heather
I’d written sex scenes, of course. If you write stories for grown-ups you can hardly avoid it. But I’d never written a sex scene quite like this before.
For two nights in frigid January I huddled over the space heater- my constant companion in the winter months- and scribbled into my battered notebook (ten for $1.00 during the after back-to-school retail lull). It was one of those stories that pours forth in a matter of hours, the words tumbling out faster than my stiff fingers could write. It was one of those stories that begins neat, all the letters slanting the same way, but devolves into scratches written by something with no opposable thumbs. My husband knew what I was writing but didn’t ask about it; he was probably afraid to know if the flush suffusing my face came from the heater or my prose.
It began the week before, when I visited my friend Tiffany. Over a breakfast of apple-cinnamon pancakes she said, “I have a writing opportunity for you, Patricia.” She told me about the anthology. I chuckled. It was nice of her to think of me, but erotica wasn’t my thing. Even if I tried writing erotica, it would probably be terrible. My sex scenes were always Mary Renault-ish: not quite as blink-and-you’ll-miss-it as hers, but rarely continuing after the pants came off. I just never felt compelled to go further; the reader knows they’re doing it, let’s move on.
A couple days later I took my toddler to Wendy’s for lunch (don’t judge me!). He’s charming and often funny, but unfortunately he’s not yet a brilliant conversationalist, so between wiping ketchup off his face and sipping my lemonade I watched the other people in the restaurant. At the counter I saw a middle-aged African-American man in manager’s garb say something to the cashier, a skinny white college kid. They laughed together.
Of course I automatically assumed they must be gay lovers. Wouldn’t you?
The idea stuck. It was perfect for my first attempt at erotica. (I’d read m/m erotica before, and always complained about the lack of vocabulary: ‘ass’ and ‘cock’ are used waaaaaaaay too often. But in writing this story, I discovered that it’s almost impossible to write m/m erotica without using ‘ass’ and ‘cock’ a LOT. I stand humbled and corrected.). Thus the feverish two nights.
I finished up, revised it, and released it to Tiff via the Internet. “Don’t feel obligated to publish this,” I told her, even though I knew she’s far too professional to accept something of mine just because we’re friends.
So when she actually accepted it no one was more surprised than me.
It was a revelation. Holy shit! I can write graphic sex- at least, gay man sex. Graphic gay man sex that a really talented erotica author liked. I’d always considered myself a SpecFic writer, but wow, I can diversify if I want. I was so excited, I called my husband to tell him.
His first question was, “Are you going to use a pen name?”
What? No. I’m not ashamed of anything I write. Why would I use a pen name?
“Well, you’re doing some good YA-type stuff right now. I would hate to see you blacklisted because one time you wrote erotica.”
I’d never thought of that. Would the YA community reject me if I wrote erotica too? Lots of New Wave SF authors wrote erotica and no one seemed to care. But what about YA? I never wrote specifically for a YA audience; it’s just that some of what I write might be attractive to a young audience. But certainly not all of it. After much thinking, I decided, fuck it. I appreciated his concern, but pen names go both ways. If I become a famous YA author, I’ll use a pen name for that. I’m not going to give up my name for a potential future career in YA.
With that decided, I proudly posted on my blog, Facebook, and Google+ that I was going to be in an erotica anthology. Response was positive. None of my family or friends seemed bothered by the news, or at least they didn’t post their concerns on my Facebook page if they were. My mom, who usually accepts whatever I am writing with a smile (sometimes a tense smile, but a smile nonetheless), asked me, “I know what erotica is, but what does m/m mean?”
This is the same woman who on seeing the “Lady Heather” episode of CSI with me, asked,”What are all those people doing?”
Have you ever tried explaining BDSM to a 50-something woman who happens to be your mom? It’s an experience.
Luckily she accepted the gay dudes with a smile (a tense one). I don’t think she’ll buy the anthology. But that’s cool; I know she still loves me.
And then the publicity began. Thanks to Tiffany and all the other successful writers in the anthology, I found myself doing an interview (on the lovely Jenny Lyn’s blog) AND this guest post. All for a 2,000 word story I wrote in two days. It’s fun, and amazing, and I am learning a lot about networking and how to promote myself.
So my first time has been nothing but a great experience. I’m aware that so far I’ve been lucky; my circle of friends and my community is wide-open and tolerant of almost anything so long as it’s legal (and tolerate things that aren’t legal but probably should be). I don’t know if I’ll ever write another erotica story, but now I know I can. It’s a cool feeling. I recommend giving it a shot if you haven’t already. You just might be pleasantly surprised!
Patricia Correll was abandoned as a child in the wilds of Hungary, where she was raised by a family of badgers. Discovered as a preteen, she was adopted by an American couple and now lives in Kentucky with her husband, toddler son and cat familiar. To this day she sleeps in a burrow in the backyard.
She writes mostly speculative fiction. “Theo’s Donation” is her first erotica. You can find her latest short story, “Spawn of the Spider God”, in the Mythos Revisited issue of Fantastic Horror.
You can also hook up with her (not like that) on Google+ or check out her blog, patriciacorrell.blogspot.com.