Whipped Cream is pleased to welcome Beth Wylde, author of "Perfect Fit" in About Toys: Strap-ons which is currently available from Torquere Press, and "Caught in the Act" in Swing! Adventures in Swinging by Today's Top Erotica Writers, which will be released April 24.
Beth has always loved the spicy stuff so for her writing erotica made sense, even though that wasn't her plan. She began by writing paranormal romance, but told me, "I couldn't keep things even remotely tame. I guess it's just my Wylde side coming out. I also didn't set out to write GLBT pairings either. I planned to write mainstream m/f stories. My first release, a short lesbian erotica titled 'Switching Sides,' started off as a mainstream love story and evolved from there. My main male character was being an ass so one of my background characters stepped forward and took over Elizabeth's introduction to sapphic love. 'Switching Sides' is still one of my favorite stories. I LOVE Kara!
"I guess I've found my niche. It's not mainstream, it's not romance, and it's a selective field where sales aren't massive but it works for me. I love what I write and I can't imagine writing anything else. "
I asked Beth how she distinguished between erotica, erotic romance, and pornography.
"This is an ongoing debate," she said. "To me, porn is mostly visual but it can also be a story that focuses only on the sex, no character description or development at all. Erotic romance has the love element and the love scenes are descriptive and fully consummated on the page. Erotica tends to be very explicit but there is still a story being told. The sex is graphic and may often contain themes beyond what some people are comfortable with like, BDSM or GLBT themes. The sex is a large part of the story but there is still a plot behind it all."
Beth admitted to me that when she's writing, most of the sex scenes she writes involve acts that turn her on personally. "If it disgusts me you won't find it going on in one of my books," she told me. "When two characters or more finally come together it should be so hot the computer screen feels like it's going to catch on fire." Then, she knows she's written a good scene.
Beth told me she can't name just one erotic author she would consider her favorite. "My bedroom looks more like a library than a place to sleep and my collection gets bigger every day," she said. "Most of my favorite erotica writers will be appearing in my upcoming GLBT BDSM anthologies. I'm asking authors who really rock my world to participate, so keep an eye out on my website."
Also Beth is partnered with some writers she thinks write excellent fiction in Broadly Bound, a GLBT BDSM anthology coming out in July from Phaze books. She calls it "a scorcher of an anthology that I am beyond proud of." The other authors are D.L. King, Syd McGinley, Kathleen Bradean, and Cassandra Gold.
Beth can, however, tell us her favorite erotic book. "There is one book that has really stuck with me over the years," she said. "It's an early Secrets anthology with a werewolf themed story in it by Mary Janice Davidson titled 'Love's Prisoner.' I absolutely love that story, and it made me want to write both paranormal themed work and erotica. My copy is so worn."
A lot of Beth's research for her stories is done online. "Thank goodness for the internet! I especially got heavy into the research for my story in Swing! and for the BDSM anthology," she explained. "I wanted to make sure my stories would not only appeal to the regular erotica readers, but to people who were familiar with or a part of the Swinging and BDSM lifestyle communties. I had several people giving me input about what was and wasn't realistic and I edited based on their input. I'm very pleased with the stories that resulted from my efforts. "
She also shared with me that she's not shy. If she wants to know something, no matter how risque, chances are she will ask about it. "I'm just very open and easy going." She smiled. "I tend to get in trouble because of that trait so I always try to stay busy. A bored Beth is a bad Beth," she added with a laugh.
I asked Beth what advice she had or research books she could recommend for writers starting out in writing erotica.
"Go to a big bookstore and browse through the erotica section. Check out the covers and the blurbs and pick up a few that tempt you," she said. "Reading is wonderful research and what better way to learn about erotica authors than to read some of the books they've written. (Some libraries in larger cities may have an erotica section but I know they don't in my little backwoods town so the bookstore in the next city is my only option) You can also email some of your favorite authors in the genre with questions. I love to get email and if I can answer it i will or try to find someone that can. I'm not telling you to send them a story to read because writing time is very limited and we have to work sometime but asking some info on the craft is always welcome, at least for me it is.
"Don't be afraid to approach authors or people living the lifestyle you want to write about. Adult toy stores are fun to shop through and can often inspire ideas too. Also, and this is just an afterthought, but if you find yourself too embarrassed to walk through the steamy section of the bookstore or to talk about or write a sex scene then erotica is probably not for you. It's a hot genre right now but not everyone is comfortable writing it and that's okay. "
There are three types of stories, so far, Beth has found that she will not write about. A lot of people consider them erotic, but she said, "I'm not one of them. Anything with underage sex. I'm not talking YA. I'm talking erotica with characters specifically under the age of consent. I know teenagers are having sex, but I do not want to read or write about it. I have young kids and that just freaks me out. Another no-no is stories dealing with incest. I just can't handle it. I'm sorry. And last, and this is my big one, NO non-consensual scenes. Forcing someone to do something they clearly don't want to do is not cool. Rape is not sexy!"
Finally, I asked Beth for one piece of advice for new writers just starting out.
"Do your research. I'm not talking about story content now. I'm talking about publishers," she explained. "The first thing you have to do is write, but once you get that story finished you want to give it the best home you possibly can, like your baby growing up and going off to live on her own. You want her to have it all. Only a good publisher can give you that security. I made an awful mistake jumping on the first contract I was ever offered, but it taught me a valuable lesson in what not to do. Now I check out each publisher before I submit to them. I browse through their websites. Find out about their promotional efforts and talk to some of their authors. If things look good I send in my story and cross my fingers. If I get a lot of negative feedback I move on." You can keep up with Beth on her website, http://www.bethwylde.com