Guest Blog by Tilly Hunter – Lessons From A Newbie

March 12  |  eBooks, News  |   Kay Jaybee

Today I have a new voice on my blog- and a talented new voice to say the least! Wise words indeed from the lovely Tilly Hunter. Over to you Tilly…

First of all, I’d like to say a big thank you to Kay for inviting me over here and letting me share my ramblings with you all. I’m awe-struck to be snuggled up with writers like Kay in the sexy new anthology Smut Alfresco,  edited by Lucy Felthouse and Victoria Blisse.

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I’ve been tinkering with writing for years. But it was last June that I had a story accepted by Xcite Books and really decided to commit to becoming an erotica author. I’ve learned a lot in that time and am still developing as a writer, so I thought I’d share some of the discoveries I’ve made as a newbie.

1. Be Nice

The world of erotica is a relatively small one when you can link up with experienced authors and editors directly on Twitter. Most are truly lovely, supportive people. So be nice to them. Don’t pester them for opinions on your masterpiece. Keep things positive. If you like someone’s work, say so; if you don’t, keep it to yourself. And when you’re submitting a story to an editor, do exactly what they ask even if they want it hand delivered by camel in a shiny pink box dusted with icing sugar.

2. Be Modest

You may be Shakespeare reincarnated. But it’s unlikely, so you’re going to have to work at your craft. I reckon being a writer is 10% natural talent, 90% hard work. Writers who are successful now have probably spent years building up to that. Remember that everything you write is practice, and practice is useful whether it gets published or not. So write regularly, read what you’ve produced critically and think about how you could make it better.

3. Be Brave

So you’ve accepted that you’ll always be developing as a writer, but don’t doubt yourself to the point of paralysis. You’re going to need a lot of self-belief to deal with rejections. Be brave in what you write too. Don’t let the mother-in-law/priest/school teacher looking over your shoulder censor your work. Unless that’s what you’re writing about and, as this is erotica, it conceivably could be! Try out new genres, themes, groupings. If you’ve always written hetero couples, write some ménage, or same-sex. If you’ve always written contemporary stories, try historical or fantasy. Flex the muscles of your imagination.

4. Be Real

I much prefer interacting with writers on social media and blogs who talk like real people rather than marketing robots. I like to post things that might make people smile, like something weird I’m Googling for research or some daft mistake I’ve made. But be real in a wider sense as a writer too. Start thinking of yourself as a writer. Take this part of your life seriously and commit to it. For me, this also encompasses writing things I care about. I’m never going to pen the next blockbuster, but I do care about presenting kink as part of normal, committed relationships.

5. Be a Writer Who Reads

Some people say that reading too much in your genre can get in the way of you finding your own voice. You start mimicking other authors just as you might pick up someone’s accent in conversation. But I think that’s a reason for reading more widely, not avoiding reading altogether. You can learn from other writers, analysing what works and what you might do differently without copying them. So read in your genre, but also read other things with a writer’s eye – different types of erotica, mainstream blockbusters, classics, poetry, gossip columns…


Tilly book

Tilly Hunter ( is a British author and proofreader with stories in anthologies from Xcite Books, House of Erotica and MLR Press. Her first solo ebook, Miranda’s Tempest, is out now and is a trio of short stories offering kinky takes on Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Grimms’ Hansel and Gretel and Homer’s The Odyssey. You can get your hands on it at or

Thanks ever so much for visiting my blog today. I’m chuffed to bits that you ‘retucked up in Smut Alfresco with me! Much luck and success to you hun. Welcome to the world of erotica! It really is a very friendly place.

Kay xxx

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5 Responses to Guest Blog by Tilly Hunter – Lessons From A Newbie

  1. Bel Anderson says:

    Some great advice there, Tilly! Glad to be between the covers with you in the fabulous Smut Alfresco!

  2. As an ever newer newbie, I’m definitely taking this on board – great common sense advice, thank you!

    • Kay Jaybee says:

      Many thanks for visiting my blog- it’s really sound advice Tilly’s giving here. Wish I’d had advice like that early on! Xx

  3. Tilly Hunter says:

    Thanks for the lovely comments. I’m glad to have been of some use! And grateful to Kay for the opportunity to share my thoughts.