1. Coming Out as an Erotic Novelist. Plus, Win An Erotic E-Book & Other Goodies!

    Erotic author Nicola Jane on coming out as a kinky writer.

    Ever wondered how erotic fiction writers tell their friends and family what they do for a living?

    Nicola Jane, author of interactive erotic novel Follow Your Fantasy, reveals all in this special guest blog post.

    This competition is now closed. Winners have been contacted via email.

    The day my Facebook status update said "Just another day, writing about cock" was not the day I planned on coming out as an erotic writer to my day job as an educational materials writer.

    But, after being on a panel at a materials writing conference, I started getting friend requests and Facebook mails from respectable fellow professionals, none of whom knew my little secret.

    I couldn't accept their requests but I didn't want to snub them either. What was I supposed to do?

    Photograph by Cesar Viteri.

    Since I started writing Follow Your Fantasy, an erotic Choose Your Own Adventure style story, in autumn 2011, I've had various coming-outs to make. During the writing process, I didn't mention it to many people at all. I was too shy and the stuff my imagination was coming out with was a surprise even to me. Then I realised the latent power of it in flirting with a guy I was getting to know and let's just say, the first person who read it was quite visibly affected. Result!

    That didn't make it any easier to tell people I wasn't trying to seduce. I skirted round it, saying I was working on something "very adult" when I moved to Madrid and joined a writer's group. I told my mum the loose format but that I wasn't going to be sending it to her as with other things I've written. She was a bit offended. "I have lived, you know!" she said. Thanks Mum, I don't want to know about that any more than I want you reading the orgy scene I've just written.

    Win an e-book and other Lovehoney goodies!

    Since I finished writing it, I've slowly been coming out. And people are fascinated. Test readers of earlier drafts were very open about the effect it had on them. Women I had barely met started telling me their fantasies. Men I turned down when I was younger began playing out X-rated scenarios of what might have been. "You mean to tell me that the girl that wouldn't sleep with me at Uni is now writing sex stories! I've been robbed!"

    Even my younger brother asked me if it would be weird to send me an erotic story he's been inspired to write. (Yes, but send it anyway!)

    Erotic books like Fifty Shades of Grey by E L James, Garden of Desires by Emily Dubberley, and Women On Top (among others) by Nancy Friday have allowed women not just to admit their fantasies to themselves, but to actually talk openly about them.

    Now the Choose Your Own concept puts readers at the accelerator - or the brakes - and I can imagine conversations where women compare the route they took through the book and what they liked or didn’t like. Talking about sex is the surest way to getting better sex.

    Men, for their part, show an unexpected interest considering the traditional view that they prefer to watch porn than get their kicks reading.

    One male friend, after reading a couple of sections, said it made him feel hopelessly inadequate if that was what was going on in women's heads. Hopefully, if men read the book, they'll feel inspired not inadequate. What better way to find out what your partner is turned on by than finding out how your choices overlap or differ? As for me, I've surprised myself with some of the things my imagination must have had simmering away underneath all along.

    I'm writing the second book and having new conversations with myself while exploring things to put into the story. Sex toys are going to feature, as are some much dirtier scenarios I would never have thought I had the mental lexicon for. All of this has given me the bravery to accept some of those friend requests from fellow education professionals. And, like everyone else so far, they loved this breath of fresh air blowing off the academic dust.

    I actually think I'll end up with more work as a result of the contacts I'm turning into friends straightaway via my alter ego, Nicola Jane. So the (tongue in cheek) cock status updates can stay.

    Want to get your hands on it? You can download Follow Your Fantasy from Amazon or iTunes now.

    Comments (47)

    • PPD: February 13, 2014 13:10
      Ooh I've never heard of this - must check it out!

      I guess it's surprising how open people are when you least expect it.

    • Amy: February 13, 2014 13:50
      This is a fab article, I've recently started sharing my stories with others and it's a fantastic feeling! Well done for embracing your talent for naughty imaginings!!
    • Scorpius12: February 13, 2014 14:26
      What a 'novel' idea - sounds very exciting and good luck to you Nicola with your writing and continued success!
    • Kohitsuji: February 13, 2014 14:53
      I do understand how tough it is to professionally tell others that you are an erotic fiction writer and it does sound very exciting. Continue to follow your passion Nicola and fellow erotic fiction writers!
    • Blonde vixen 13: February 13, 2014 15:00
      I've always wondered what it must be like to tell your family and friends you write erotic fiction. I would be scared they think the sex scenes where actually events that happened to me etc. But someone has to do this job to keep all us sex starved housewives in a horny state for our husbands!
      Can't wait to read the book
    • babysonfire: February 13, 2014 15:13
      Never read a modern erotic book, would fancy try it though!
    • Ali: February 13, 2014 15:39
      Oh what an interesting concept for an erotic novel! Sounds like it would be a fun read :)
    • Nicola Jane: February 13, 2014 16:25
      Thanks everyone! In fact everyone does think I did all this stuff I wrote! I will neither confirm nor deny...;)
    • Begoña Martínez: February 13, 2014 16:42
      I have already bought the book, having read the first chapter online, and I have to say I can't wait to have some quiet time to lay my hands on it, so to speak.
    • wildflower: February 13, 2014 17:06
      Wish I had the confidence to do something like this, can't wait to read it !
    • MrsMcX: February 13, 2014 17:38
      "just another day, writing about cock" is hilarious! I wonder if writers get to a point where they just don't want to even see a penis again?!

      Just from reading this it's made me want to read her book, I think books are better when you know more about the author, it's lovely she's done an interview about it.

    • IrishRose: February 13, 2014 17:42
      Never be embarrassed about what you write! People who judge are narrow minded!
      Good luck with it all!
      Looks like an amazing read! May check it out!
    • Curious Kara: February 13, 2014 17:55
      Ooh that sounds really intriguing! I like the twist on the idea of 'normal' erotic novels and I can totally understand the coming out idea. Slowly but surely people are becoming more open minded and accepting. Ive always had a secret desire to write..good luck with everything :)
    • Philip: February 13, 2014 18:16
      Talking of writing erotic fiction, is Lovehoney ever going to do another competition where I get to enter my own poor attempt?!
    • Kellymichelle: February 13, 2014 20:24
      It's brilliant that we are becoming more open about our sex lives and people can actually discuss it. Popular erotic fiction is definitely a big part of opening people up and long may it continue
    • Penny: February 13, 2014 20:41
      Choose your own adventure novels were always my favourite as a kid, it's great to know that it is possible to continue to live out my fantasies as an adult!
    • KinkyFuckery: February 13, 2014 21:18
      WOW loving this , so exciting
    • Yasmin0147: February 13, 2014 22:02
      Ooh cool
    • tre: February 13, 2014 23:20

      Looks like an amazing read!
    • ALH: February 14, 2014 00:04
      Bought a copy today and immediately found what I assume is the safest, cleanest option right off the bat. Tomorrow I'm going to try and find the filthiest at the second attempt!
    • ruby: February 14, 2014 01:08
      What a great idea I loved those style of books when I was a kid although then it was about looking in a cave for treasure and fighting ogres not so different to a singles night near closing time
    • SW: February 14, 2014 02:02
      Only just started reading erotic fiction but it's changed our sex life for the better! looks like a good one.
    • Mark: February 14, 2014 05:59
      Would prefer to be doing it rather than read about it!
    • dorian: February 14, 2014 11:25
      sounds interesting
    • Africa: February 14, 2014 14:14
      I always loved these kind of books.
    • Choney11: February 14, 2014 21:54
      Sounds good
    • gem: February 14, 2014 22:55
      This seems like it's going to be a refreshing change, so I hope this book can relight my passion for erotic fiction. It does sound like a really interesting concept.
    • knux6666: February 15, 2014 11:41
      this sounds like an exciting concept, would love to give it ago!!
    • Sarah: February 15, 2014 16:44
      I have never read anything similar before, it sounds fascinating. Would love to give it a try :-)
    • Roger: February 15, 2014 17:43
      To read is as good as porn, if not better, your the one that tells the story.
    • Triple V: February 15, 2014 18:35
      I often wondered how authors broached this subject with their nearest & dearest.
    • kasey: February 16, 2014 09:42
      Oh i used to love those books! not sure id be game to tell my parents if i wrote erotica :)
    • Silverdrop: February 16, 2014 12:03
      How fascinating. I wonder how the 'Choose your own' format works when reading aloud with your partner?
    • Cat Lady: February 16, 2014 15:17
      Haven't been here for a while then logged int and saw this.

      I'm a huge geek so I loved the kids' style Choose Your Own Adventure books that were around in the 90s, which soon turned into fantasy RPGs with dice and stuff. Never heard of an adult version! Nice idea!

    • fizzy: February 16, 2014 16:02
      what an interesting idea !
    • SexiBexi13: February 16, 2014 22:08
      Wow this was so interesting! I love the sound of this book, so different from the norm! I love erotic books so would love to win one of these :)
    • WildThing: February 17, 2014 09:04
      Great article, well written, (of course!) and the adventure book sounds great!
    • Tracey: February 17, 2014 11:17
      Can't wait to read this - loved the children's version adventure books so need to relive that with the adult version!
    • Julia: February 17, 2014 16:01
      This is actually very interesting
    • lilmissfrustrated: February 18, 2014 00:14
      I love the concept of choosing your own chapters, you can turn it almost into your own erotic book. Fantastic.
    • Crazy Horse: February 19, 2014 08:01
      Great idea for a book. Will definitely go check it out!
    • Alastor: February 19, 2014 12:10
      An interesting idea to incorporate the interactive idea into erotica (or vice versa I suppose). I think it must be worth investigating, given that the piece above is well written, and this is despite the very opinion I had of all the interactive books I encountered when they began to appear.

      I wonder if Amazon or whoever give you the chance to 'sample' the text as they sometimes do with hard-copy volumes and Kindle?

      I hope this publicity helps you even further in your chose career NJ.

    • Alastor: February 19, 2014 12:13
      I hate typos.
      That's... 'the very poor opinion...' of other books...and a 'choseN career'.
      Many apologies.
    • natalie: February 19, 2014 18:07
      would love to win :)
    • Gin: February 20, 2014 14:52
    • delilahxx: February 20, 2014 23:08
      Very interesting :)
    • Matt: February 21, 2014 10:53
      Great idea for a book, I think my OH would enjoy reading this. It's given me an idea of what to get her for her birthday.