writing

Erotic Romance Writer Confessions

Jenna Howard Woman ReadingWhen I sold Midnight Hour (now Scorpio Stings) back in 2005, it was time to have the talk with my mom – the “I’m an erotic romance writer, Mom” talk. Needless to say, it was the best sex talk with her. Ever.

At the time, few knew the genre I was writing in. It was a handful of people and when I got word my zodiac assassin book had one a publishing slot with Liquid Silver Books, nobody was home when I called them. Can you believe that? Not one fucking person was home.

Well…no.

My mom was.

Confession #1: It’s erotic romance, mom

As an introvert, telling your mom you write the sexy stuff is pretty intimidating. She justified it by saying “Well, it’s what sells right?” Err…

The thing is I love writing the sexy stuff – from naughty fun to filthy fun, I really enjoy it. I’m not going to lie, I let her live in her bubble until she told EVERYONE I was going to be published. And by everyone I mean EVERYONE from her elderly neighbours, to her elderly aunt in Saskatchewan, to her cousins in Germany, to her besties and everyone on the block I grew up on.

I immediately realized my mom had no friggin’ clue what I wrote so after lunch one day, we went for a walk in Fish Creek Park. It was time…for the talk.

Confession #2: Do you know what I write, mom?

The conversation went a lot like this. Okay. It went EXACTLY like this. I love how almost 13 years later, I can remember it so clearly.

Me: “Do you know what I write, Mom?”

Her: “Of course, I do.”

Me: “No. Do you know what I write? It’s sexy, Mom.”

Her: “I have been around the block a few times.”

Me: …shudder… I was 110% sure she hadn’t been to this block or even this neighbourhood. Shit was about to get real.

Me: “It’s sexy, mom. Not kissing sexy, not hot…but freakin’ hot.” In retrospect, Scorpio Stings is my TAMEST story but it was the first. It’s like losing your virginity. You think it’s fun until you learn it’s really not.

Her: “Your mother isn’t an idiot.”

Me: “Okay. I’m just saying maybe you wanna stop telling everyone.”

Her: “I’m just proud of you.”

Me: I love my mom.

Confession #3: Dear mom, I write erotic romance.

The phone rings and I see my parents’s number in the call display. “‘Sup?” (Cuz..I’m hip.)

Her: “Are all the stories like this?” (At this point I had sold four novellas to a second publisher.)

Me: “Err. Yes.”

Her: “Oh. Oh my.” There’s a horrified whisper: “I told everyone. Why didn’t you warn me?”

I have learned that the words “I told you so” are dangerous but it’s not often I get to say them to my mom. I’m not going to lie. I did. I totally did.

Hmm…I wonder if she remembers that conversation after she started to read Her Surrender. Because oh man…that moment for her had to have been awesome in a “Oh shit, what is wrong with my daughter?” way.

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