Angela Caperton

I think I was born to tell stories – I just didn’t know they would be salacious stories! Like many voracious readers, I knew I could write if I set my mind to it – science fiction, horror, romance, or mainstream fiction. As a kid, my first stories were about horses. That was my passion, my greatest dream and what inspired the words to flow onto three-hole-punched, blue-lined paper. Not too much later, growing up aboard my family’s sailboat as we traveled the Pacific coast of Mexico and Central America then later into the Caribbean, books were my main entertainment. I developed a deep love of fiction of all kinds. I read and re-read my favorites, devouring the words, experiencing exotic settings and the emotions of the characters. Those years of cruising and reading left a huge impact on what I read and how I read. I don’t just read; I consume. I’m not a fast reader. It’s not about gulping; it’s about savoring every word, every phrase. When I was older, back on shore, and an adult, I tried to put some of the stories in my head onto paper, but I didn’t have the drive and dedication that it takes to polish and publish. I submitted some of them, and was flattered by some of my rejections (knowing what I know now, personal rejections….that’s a good thing!), but at that point in my life, the stories were still just germinating. I owe much of what I’ve accomplished to the ERWA. A few years ago, the seed pushed through the soil and surfaced. I sold my first story in 2006 and have sold many more since. I am still giddy every time one of my stories is accepted by a publisher. I had certainly noticed – and had it pointed out to me by friends – that some of the most effective prose in my early stories involved sex so I deliberately set out to write a story that was about sex. Without really delving into modern erotica, I wrote a novella called Inspiration, a simple story about a sculptor in Renaissance Italy and his relationship with his model and his art. I submitted the story to eXtasy Books and was amazed when they accepted it! At that point, I decided I should learn more about the road I’d started down and I quickly found the ERWA. ERWA is a remarkable community of professional, respectful, and enthusiastic readers and writers, a Godsend of consolidated market reports and calls for submissions, discussion forums, and constructive criticism that I immediately fell in love with. The monthly theme stories gave me a chance to write in a variety of different voices and genres and rapidly helped me strengthen my skills. Many of the stories I submitted to the ERWA mailing lists found homes with different publishers and I quickly gained confidence that I could write and sell erotica of many different kinds. My first novel, Woman of the Mountain, won the 2008 Eppie for Best Erotica, and I have since placed more than 40 stories and novels with various publishers. In 2010, Renaissance eBooks collected twelve of my short stories into the book Darkness and Delight. Two of the stories in that book first appeared on the ERWA website and others came about as a result of discussions I had with other writers I met through there. For me, writing erotica is fun and a great way to write across a wide variety of genres. I try to make the stories erotic at their core – not necessarily to arouse or to titillate but to make the erotic content essential to the story. Sexuality is a boundless source of material and a powerful stimulus to imagination. I feel like I have hardly sampled the possibilities. I’m closing in on the end of an erotic epic that I hope will be ready for submission this spring, I’m revising Woman of his Dreams, a sexy horror novel that appeared on my blog, and I’m working on several short stories. I wish it were possible to make a living writing erotica. In today’s world, with very few exceptions, writing – any writing – is just a way to supplement the income of a day job. Still, the satisfaction I get from telling stories that explore the outer ranges of human (and inhuman) experience is inexpressible. Thank you, ERWA, and thanks to every one of you who has ever read a word I’ve written. You can keep up with me on my blog, Exotic Fair of a Wandering Muse, at May sensuality and fun find you every single day.

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