Sunday, 28 December 2014

This year in writing

Inspired by (or shamelessly copying, if you'd prefer) Jenny Trout, here's a year in review.

It's been a heck of a year, dear readers. This was my first full year as a writer (you know, the kind that finishes and publishes books, not just writes snippets of scenes.) Here are my highlights:


I published Triage. I'd originally started this to be a one-off story. I saw an author making an absolute ton of money writing medical kink, and I thought to myself - hey, I'm turned on by medical stuff. I should write my own book. Plus, I did want to write about Patrick from the House of Pain.

What I knew about Doctor Dom before I started - I didn't want to write an 'OMG, the doctor assaulted me and I liked it' book. That's non-con, and mostly, it makes me uncomfortable. I'm too much a person who lives in the real world, and there's nothing sexy to me about rape.

So I wrote something different. I wrote a woman who knew what she wanted - medical kink - and wasn't afraid to ask for it. I wrote about two adults with real problems, who also happened to like kink. It turned out I'd done something unusual for erotica, because the Doctor Dom series remains, hands down, my best selling books.

Triage was also the first book I wrote that didn't go on Literotica. So I wrote to an author asking for help. Would she read it for me, please, and tell me what she thought? That reach-out led to one of my most rewarding friendships.


As I worked on Observation, I also wrote the first part of another series - The Alien, the Doctor and the Virgin. Alien gave me a place to blow off some steam as I tackled the much harder writing of Doctor Dom.


I did a solidly important thing for my writing career. I set up a mailing list. In March, I sent out my first email announcing the release of Diagnosis. It went out to 17 people. One person clicked on the link.

Nine months later, I can promise you that the mailing list was the most important marketing activity I've ever done.


I did my first free promo ever. I gave away free copies of Teaching Maya. That was crazy. I think I gave away more than 4,000 copies in a three-day period. Subsequent to that, Teaching Maya also had a really good sales month. It would take me many months and a reading of David Gaughran's Let's Get Visible for me to realize there is a link between those two things.

I also sent my mailing list my first free story - the Professor's Girlfriend. That was fun! (If you like free stories, my mailing list is a great place to be!)


Late April, early May, I discovered Goodreads! I watched people read my book and update statuses, and it was very, very interesting. I loved it! I can't speak for all authors, but I love me some feedback. You loved it, you hated it - the nicest thing you can do is tell me.


June was a finishing month. Recovery got written. I was incredibly relieved. Writing a series can be filled with pressure. There was some serious happiness when I was done.


I started writing Storm - a planned series - for my mailing list (Storm 1 is permafree - so go download it!) I got to make up a story about my not-so-secret crush about Tom Hiddleston. I also finished Alien. My editor snickered when I sent him the last story. "Couldn't resist making it a happy ending, could you?" he asked me. I do like me my HEAs.


I adore Antonio. Absolutely adore. I had a bit of a frustrating summer work-wise, but Thief remains one of my favorite stories.


It had to happen sometime, and it was something of a miracle that I'd avoided it until this point. But I wrote a story that just didn't do anything for me.

Draft after draft; rewrite after rewrite. If there was ever a book that made me work for it, it was Heiress. Months later, I still can't think back on that time without wincing.

But in more cheerful events, this happened. I was in my first boxed set. That was very exciting.


If it wasn't Antonio, it would be Liam. These two fight for top spot in my own internal 'favourite Dom I've written' category. Starlet skirted on some pretty serious topics - rape, abortion, and sexuality. Liam handled these about as well as you can ever ask someone to handle this in real life.

My boyfriend and I spent a night in the emergency room, and there, I read a couple of great books that told me how to better use my mailing list, and how to better set up my keywords. The ER was a false alarm, and I learned something in the process.


This happened! My Literotica friends and I put together an anthology filled with menage goodness. For a while, it sales ranked under 1000. I've never been under 1000 before. It was massively, massively exciting.

Oh, and I also failed at NaNoWriMo. That part sucked.


I watched some Russian porn, and it sparked an idea for a story. See - porn's not entirely a waste of time. ;) I'm writing my first attempt at dark. Storm 4 goes out Dec 30 to my mailing list.

And I'm solidly looking forward to 2015. 

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