One of the great things about getting older is that I don’t think about sex 24/7/365 – I was amazed how many other things there are to do. Also, I no longer get lost because I’ve mistaken my genitals for a GPS navigation system.
Ten years ago, however, it seemed like a good idea to combine work and pleasure by writing some porn…er, I mean erotic literature. It was my second attempt at a novel and, perhaps because of the somehow throwaway subject matter, I didn’t experience the pressure/heartache/desperation I usually do with long projects. At the time, I’d had very little work published, so writing a book ‘for fun’ was no biggie. And sex is such an easy sell, right?
I never thought back then that I’d write so many novels, in a similarly speculative way, and that it would take so long to sell them. In the end, it was seven years before I placed my first and only erotic book: A Willing Pupil by Jacqueline Griffin.
Off the top of my head, AWP features Water Sports, BDSM, Transgender encounters, Same sex sex, (someone’s going to have to fix that turn of phrase…) Group sex and a bunch of other good stuff. The story follows the exploits of young Matthew Stewart, whose first sexual experiences involve his mother’s cleaning lady. She’s a total perv (the cleaning lady, not his mum) and so begins the jizz-fest. After his ‘relationship’ with the cleaner fails, Matthew sets out to seek enlightenment through sexual extremity, travelling to Australia and the Far East, finishing up in a monastery inTibet.
For a few weeks, I set up a profile for Jacqueline at Librarything and had fun writing a fictional bio for her. I seem to remember she was single, introverted and fond of cats. Jacqueline joined a lot of erotic interest groups and wrote a few posts about the book until a gentleman got in touch to say ‘I love you for being who you are’. Jacqueline let slip to the gentleman that she had a career as a writer outside the world of erotica and was writing under a pseudonym. That was enough to prevent the gentleman from getting in touch again. Jacqueline subsequently deleted her Librarything account.
Perhaps the oddest thing about the book, from a writer’s perspective, is that it was censored by the publisher. They asked me to rewrite the final scene, uncomfortable that it alluded to, but did not show, incest. ‘We have to consider the market,’ they said. Publishing is a funny business, isn’t it?
Writing A Willing Pupil was a lot of fun. I’m delighted it did, in the end, find a home. The three months I spent in a state of perpetual arousal were well spent – worth the eventual money-shot that is publication.