A Country Girl Novel

The Autobiography of Writing an Erotic Novel
April 15, 2011, 2:52 am
Filed under: erotic novels, publishing

Part 2 

The rest, as they say is history. The New York agent represented me and within three weeks I had a contract with Dell Publishing. Dell waited one year before publishing my novel to see the outcome of the repressive Burger Court under Nixon. My novel sold briskly over a period of three years without any advertising. When I asked my agent how it was doing, he said, it’s a bestseller—it’s selling at the rate of 15,000 copies a week! I was in heaven. Yet a trip to the New York bookstores showed no copies on the shelves. 

Then after many years of raising three children and a shattering divorce and two unpublished novels, I decided to dust off my erotic bestseller. Times had changed since Grove. My book was rejected on the basis of not enough romance, and I was told that the heroine must have only one lover. Well, I wasn’t writing about marriage, or one-on-one; I was writing in the tradition of John Cleland’s Fanny Hill about lusty, passionate, joyful sex. And yes, even romantic. Fanny marries Charles at the end of the book. As the internet burst with sex, the print publishers seemed to have retreated into correctness. 

Again, my agent, now considerably older, took up my cause. Ultimately as a result of his initial efforts, and after writing a whole new chapter as long as the original novel to satisfy the length requirements, Blue Moon published A Country Girl. From despair to joy, my novel sold out its 3000 printing in less than six months. But in spite of a back order of 500 copies, they declined to reprint. 

“The Autobiography of  Writing an Erotic Novel” was originally published in the September 2008 edition of the Erotica Readers & Writers Association.

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