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Archive for September 13th, 2010

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 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.