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Guest Blogger: Vonna Harper
Monday, September 13th, 2010

This ihe last of the guest bloggers I had lined up for when I was supposed to be away at RAW. I’ll be back with you tomorrow! ~DD

Everyone has experienced walking alone into a party or the first day at a new job, right? You’re positive everyone else knows everyone while you’re the new kid on the block, the unknown. Unless you do everything right, they’re going to gossip about you. Heck, they’re going to anyway.

That’s me, new kid on the Delilah Devlin blog block. Guess there’s nothing to do but introduce myself. First, to explain what I’m doing here, Delilah and I have been bumping into each other online for who knows how long. When she put out the call for guest bloggers, I thought, “Great way to reach out and potentially meet some new readers.”

So here I am, Vonna Harper, hopelessly addicted erotica writer. If you don’t believe it, check out my titles at www.VonnaHarper.com. I swear, I need an intervention to get me to slow down and smell the roses which are looking fabulous, thank you very much. Summer’s nearly over. I need to get out in my garden before the ground squirrels and deer make off with every last tomato and zucchini.

Instead I write. A lot. For Kensington Aphrodisia in print, Ellora’s Cave where I started, Samhain, and Loose Id. I’m also knocking on Carina’s door hoping someone will let me in. I’ve written book lengths, novellas, and quickies and love the different formats.

Back in the olden days when I was writing category romance, providing a synopsis for the various editors was a given. What worked for me was to play with the first three or so chapters until I felt I had a handle on my characters, setting, and plot. Then I’d put on my synopsis hat and sweat through a direction for the rest of the story.

These days, even with Kensington, I no longer have to carve out a point by point, at least not on paper. Most times I go by a page or so of absolute nonsense about my characters’ backgrounds, their goals, and what stands in the way of their goals no one will ever see as I jump into a project. And about opportunities for my characters to jump in the sack, can’t forget that. Crazy folks that they are, Kensington has been offering me three book contracts based on my track record. They figure I can get from point A to Z all by myself.

Ha! Time for reality to bite me on the butt, again. Awhile back I’d sent my Samhain editor what I call erotic suspense, about 50,000 words worth. Well dang it, she allowed as how she isn’t a suspense fan so decided not to offer me a contract.

What, a whole book wasted effort? Not gonna happen, at least not without trying to find a publisher. Enter Carina Press/Publishing and a recent call-out for more erotica on their part. By golly, I thought, I’ll give it a try. So I went to their site believing all I’d to do is send the manuscript in the right format to the right email address and then sit back and see what happens.

Wrong! They want a synopsis. From 2-4 pages as I recall. Huh? What’s that? I’ve forgotten. Gnashing my teeth, I sat down at the computer and opened two files, one with the story in it, the other blank and mocking titled SYNOPSIS. Back and forth I went, back and forth, trying to keep it short and yet illuminating. I’d written the story awhile ago and had finished several other stories since then. As a result, I’d lost contact with my characters. Their motivations and relationship was rusty to me. Because its suspense, there’s a pretty strong plot with twists and turns and suspects. How to keep track of them without giving away too much too soon?

I did it. Only took a whole day to write those four frickin pages. Will I do it again? If I have no choice. I’d rather fly by the seat of my pants, trusting that my writing muscles will continue to work. This explaining the process is hard work. I don’t do well ‘Writing It Backward’.

And while I have your attention, my newest Ellora’s Cave release Silent Heat will be out on Sept. 24. Here’s a peak at Silent Heat. I also have a couple of print releases out, Cougar’s Captive and my novella On The Prowl in the Sexy Beast 9 anthology, both with Aphrodisia.

Finally, a question. How do you research erotica you might be interested in? Do you rely on reviews offered by the various review sites both print and online? Recommendations? Trust in a particular publisher? Author name? Subgenre? As a writer, promotion is both fascinating and overwhelming.

Thanks for your time, Vonna Harper, writing addict.

5 comments to “Guest Blogger: Vonna Harper”

  1. Valerie
    Comment
    1
      · September 13th, 2010 at 9:26 am · Link

    Hi Vonna,

    Interesting post!! Great to see you here.

    Erotica? Love it and when I want to read some I usually go by my fav publishers…Elloras Cave, Samhain mostly. Carina Press is looking good too!!!!

    Valerie
    in Germany



  2. Brandy W
    Comment
    2
      · September 13th, 2010 at 11:00 am · Link

    Hey Vonna… when I’m looking for erotica I depend on my usual favorite authors and publishers. From my fav authors they can usually point me in a direction of someone I might like and I’ll go from there.

    When I’m on a publishers site I start with an author I know and then search around for a similar genre. Recommendations on sites that go the way of ‘if you like this, then…” or “others who purchases this, purchased…”



  3. Diane Sadler
    Comment
    3
      · September 13th, 2010 at 5:31 pm · Link

    Hi Vonna
    I usually ask friends for recommendations; I go to different websites and read the comments; I read book magazines and they give you some insight. But probably what works the most for me are recommendations from authors whose books I already read.



  4. Ana Ovi
    Comment
    4
      · September 13th, 2010 at 6:09 pm · Link

    Hi Vonna. I’m actually a fan of your work. I’ve got quite a few books of yours :D. I think the first one I read was your story in the Good Girl Seeks Bad Rider anthology. I of course picked it up because the title intrigued. After that i just started picking up more books with your name on it. I recently bought Sexy Beast IX without knowing who was all in it because Crystal Jordan (Who is another author I enjoy reading) had mentioned she had written in it. I was pleased to see you had written in it too. Two authors I liked reading in one book. Yipee. :)

    As for your question, when it comes to reading erotica I tend to research first by authors I know. And anthologies too because if you like one author in the book, you tend to look at the other authors too. I work in a bookstore so I see all the books that come in and I tend to read the back of a lot of them. I have a pretty big collection of books as it is and sometimes, just spotting an interesting title is enough to get me curious to at least read the back. :-D



  5. sue brandes
    Comment
    5
      · September 13th, 2010 at 9:04 pm · Link

    You are a new author to me. I always find new authors through blogs like this or authors.