As most of you probably know by now, I first started writing erotica when I was at university. Under various pseudonyms I wrote for magazines and adult and pornographic websites, way back in the good-old-bad-old dial-up days. The extra money those stories brought in made student life a little more comfortable, but I genuinely enjoyed the process of crafting short stories and novellas and although my ‘literary career’ ended as soon as I graduated, I never forgot the enjoyment writing those pieces gave me.
It never occurred to me to return to writing erotica once I started working full-time as an archaeologist, and the thought of writing romances definitely never crossed my mind until, in the summer of 2012, suffering from a mild case of professional burn-out, I took a holiday in Spain. There – spending my days eating good food, drinking far too much excellent wine and generally doing nothing more strenuous than lying on a towel on the beach – a character popped into my head.
I named him Jake.
Jake was the first character to come to me since my student days and he arrived fully formed. In many respects, Jake was a combination of two men I’ve known in my life. Both were similar in appearance, in attitude, in manner, and I developed horrific, all-consuming crushes (that doesn’t seem a strong enough word!) on both of them. One wouldn’t even give me the time of day. The other? Well, let’s just say he was happy to show off his watch. (Is it just me that thinks that sounds dirty?)
As my 2012 holiday progressed, I started to write down Jake’s story. I thought maybe it was just going to be a form of therapy for me, that I would write an erotic story and squirrel it away somewhere, for my eyes only. But things didn’t turn out that way. Jake developed and ended up taking a backseat in his own story. The element of him that was purely my fantasy faded and he started to become a more universal romantic hero.
A bad boy, a free spirit, a traveller. A wealthy man with his fair share of emotional baggage. Damaged goods, but not beyond repair. Loving, attentive, hypnotising, infuriating.
I needed a character who would fall hard and fast for Jake, who would have his world turned upside down by this mysterious stranger and who would have to fight to hold onto some semblance of sanity and normality despite his relationship with Jake threatening to destroy both. I found that in Alex.
Alex came to me just before the end of my holiday. He wasn’t Jake’s opposite. In many ways, he was a younger version of Jake. Jake before he got itchy feet and felt the need to wander the world, never settling in one place for too long.
Alex was a university graduate, stuck between a rock and a hard place, hating his job, but not willing to join the family firm as his family wanted, and not able to admit to what he wants from life for fear he’ll hurt people and lose his parents’ support forever. He needed Jake and Jake needed him. It seemed like a match made in Heaven, not a match made on a cheap Primark beach towel on the Costa del Sol!
And so I wrote the story and it became Port In A Storm.
Originally, I self-published it, but ultimately I removed it from sale and rewrote the whole thing many times over until I was completely happy with it. Then, in August this year, I submitted it to Loose Id Publishing and I am delighted to say they accepted it.
Port In A Storm will be released on October 7th, just over two years since Jake first came to me, and my publishers may be pleased (or horrified!) to hear, that he hasn’t quite left me yet. I think there may be more of his story to come, but for now, stay tuned for a cover art reveal on Friday.
I can’t wait to introduce Jake and Alex to you.
Stay safe and happy everyone!