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'07 Authors Insider Tips

by Louisa Burton
Formatting Your Manuscript
Scams / Choosing an Agent
Pitching Your Novel...
From The Call to Published...

Hard Business
From Greg Herren
Who Is Telling This Story?
It’s Work, Not A Hobby
Where Ideas Come From

Sexy on the Page
With Shanna Germain
Plotting Erotic Fiction
Seducing Your Muse
Creating Characters...
Description, Action & Dialogue
Fucking on Paper
Ten No-Nos of Erotic Fiction
Climactic Moments: First Draft
Critique Groups
Revising Your Erotic Story
Finding the Perfect Markets...
Just Submit Already
Rejections and Acceptances

Two Girls Kissing
With Amie M. Evans
Verb Tense Confusion
Coming Up with Story Ideas
Attend a Writers’ Conference
The Fundamentals of POV
Should I Sign That?
Etiquette for Authors
Erotica is Serious Work
No Body Writes for Free...
Shameless Self Promotions
The Myth of Writer's Block

The Write Stuff
From Ashley Lister
The Time is Write
The Beautiful People
A Book by Any Other...
Synopsis: the Necessary Evil
Erotica or Porn?
Feedback Whine

2007 Smutters Lounge

Ashley Lister Submits
by Ashley Lister
What's it like being a writer?
An Apology to Salespeople

Get All Worked Up
With J.T. Benjamin
About Secrets
The Perfect Fuck
About Choices
The Age of Consent
The Kingmaker
Kids and Sex
The Price of Beauty
The G.O.P.
All Worked Up About Hate
Real Men

Pondering Porn
With Ann Regentin
Good Sex: A Physics Lesson
Meet Frankenstein
Thoughts on the Orgasm Gap
The Very Bloody Marys
The Doomsday Erection
Online Threesome Porn

Hard Business: Writing Gay Erotica
with Greg Herren

It’s Work, People, Not A Hobby



Nothing drives me crazier than the mentality people have that because I work at home I have nothing but free time.

"Oh Greg, I need you to do this favor for me" and so on and so forth—because you know, when you make your living as a writer and work at home, everyone just seems to assume that you really spend most of the day with your thumb up your ass, sitting on the couch eating bon-bons and watching Oprah. I know part of this is my own fault; my inability to say no to people and put my foot down and say, "Um, do I ever ask you to take time off from work to do something for me?" I think it is enormously frustrating, to say the least, the way the vast majority of people never take 'writer' seriously as work. I think it has something to do with the mentality that every single person out there who can either read or write the English language thinks they, too, can write a book, if they only had the time—little do they realize that once you do decide to take the time to write a book, everyone in the world thinks you're now available to do errands for them—or to do this or do that, or just sit around bullshitting on the phone.

It is enormously frustrating, as I am sure you can imagine, because writing actually is work. It requires time, focus, and discipline—and it is endlessly annoying to have people act like it's a hobby.

When people now say to me, "Oh, I have always wanted to write a book," whereas before I would smile and say 'that's nice'—now I say, "so why don't you?" And then, as they offer up a thousand and one reasons as to why they don't, I just smile and say, "Then I guess you don't REALLY want to write one."

When I work on the one of my series novels, which are told in the first person, I have to go inside Chanse's (or Scotty’s) head and write from his point of view; not mine. I have to think like he does, I have to see the world the way he does, I have to make sure that everything that he says is his, and not mine. I have to remember everything that has happened, not only in the manuscript so far, but in the previous books. (Because people are more than happy to point out continuity errors.) I have to figure out where the story is going, and take it there.

And when I have to go weeks (or days) between working on it, I then have to go back and reread everything I have written so far, otherwise there will be massive continuity errors. This requires focus, and yes, discipline, so then to have someone get pissy because I don't want to talk on the telephone in the middle of this process, or drop everything and run to the store, or whatever, it makes me want to just take a baseball bat and then beat them to death.

This is why I also turn down all those wonderful offers from people to write for free...because of course, my time is worth nothing. Sure, when you are first getting started, you should write for everywhere that will let you, regardless of whether they can or will pay you for the work; because its important to get publishing credits, so that other venues that do pay will take you seriously. And once you crossover into the getting paid category, you should never do anything for free again—unless it's a favor for a friend, or something for a fundraising effort, or something like that—but you are not required to do that, either, and if a friend gets pissy because you won't write something for them for free, well, then maybe they aren't as good a friend in the first place as you thought.

No matter what anyone thinks, writing is work, and you need to look at it that way—even when everyone you know in the world acts like it isn’t.

And the next time someone bothers me with something stupid while I am working, I can’t be held responsible.

Just hope they have health insurance.

Greg Herren
April 2007

"Hard Business: Writing Gay Erotica" © 2007 Greg Herren. All rights reserved.

About the Author: GREG HERREN is the author of Mardi Gras Mambo, and as Todd Gregory, editor of the upcoming erotica anthology His Underwear. He also has a story in the upcoming anthology New Orleans Noir, edited by Julie Smith—a fundraiser for the New Orleans Public Library system. He also works as senior editor of the Harrington Park Press.

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'07 Book Reviews


A for Amour / B for Bondage
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Best Women's Erotica '07
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The Butcher, The Baker...
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C is for Coeds
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Cream: The Best of ERWA
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Cream: The Best of ERWA
Perceptions by Cervo

Coming Together for the Cure
Review by Lisabet

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F is for Fetish
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Got a Minute?
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He's on Top
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Love on the Dark Side
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Lust: ...Fantasies for Women
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The Mammoth Book Vol 6
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Naughty Spanking Stories
Review by Ashley Lister

Quickies 1
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She's on Top
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Sixteen of the Best
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Amorous Woman
Review by Lisabet Sarai

The Boss
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Burning Bright
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Call Me By Your Name
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Review by Ashley Lister

Dark Designs
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Equal Opportunities
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Gothic Blue
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Review by Ashley Liste

The Lords of Satyr: Nicholas
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Love Song of the Dominatrix
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Riding the Storm
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The Silver Collar
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Suite Seventeen
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Sweet as Sin
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Tiffany Twisted
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Top of Her Game
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Whalebone Strict
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Wife Swap
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Wings of Madness
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Gay Erotica

Historical Obsessions
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Iridescence:...Lesbian Erotica
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Secrets of Porn Star Sex
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Touch Me There
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Dirt for Art's Sake
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Entangled Lives
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Impotence: A Cultural History
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In Praise of the Whip
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Insatiable: ...Porn Star
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Letters of a Portuguese Nun
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