I walked into one of my local shops today, a massive establishment that sells pretty much everything and anything you could possibly want (in my case, a roll of freezer bags). As I walked along the aisle I was stopped by one of the assistants, who I know a little because she used to run a coffee shop. She had seen one of the many newspaper articles that have appeared down here in Devon, featuring my ETO Best Erotic Writer win.
I braced myself- I have been convinced that eventually someone was going to tell me they disapprove of what I do- would this be the day?
Far from it in fact. Her congratulations were heartfelt and geniune. Floating on the kindness of her words, I thanked her heartily and proceeded to the till at the other end of the shop.
No sooner had I put the bags on the counter so I could fish my purse from the dangerous depths of my handbag, when I was surrounded by shop assistants all wanting to hear about my ‘Mummy Porn.’ Before I’d left the shop I’d been relieved of all the business cards I had about my person, and many a plea to keep writing, and I quote, “Mummy porn that is a good story rather than that daft Grey stuff.”
I left without commenting on that, but thanked them, and feeling good, began to walk home. As I walked, I got to thinking. I’d been so nervous about going public about the award. Everyone locally knows about my Jenny Kane side- but then romance writing and children’s picture books are hardly controversial- but erotica…Rightly or wrongly its writers are judged, and I had nightmares about the locals all arriving in a mass on my front lawn with pitchforks and flaming torches to hand.
The reality has been 100% the opposite. People range from being fascinated by it, thrilled for me, and – and this is the clincher- they are more pleased that I beat E L James than about the real reason for the win.
I’m under no illusions here. If James hadn’t been in the nomination line up to win the Best Erotica Writer then ..
a) The newspapers, radio etc wouldn’t have been interested in my story.
b) I wouldn’t have taken the plunge and ‘come out’ locally, so I could take advantage of the marketing possibilities because James was in the line up.
c) The positive publicity for my work wouldn’t have been the same if I’d been up against a line up made up purely of erotica writers- because very few people have ever heard of the good ones.
There are so many brilliant erotica writers out there- you won’t have heard of them if you don’t read the genre- but through brilliant marketing, everyone has heard of James, which made my win even more special to me.
So, thank you my lovely townsfolk. Your support has been so kind.
And- it has to be said- thank you to Ms E L James- if you hadn’t been in the line up, I’d never have got so much kudos for my win. Funny how life turns out isn’t it!
(For my thoughts on the difference between hot romance, and why it should not be labelled erotica, see my blog on Jilly Boyd’s brilliant web site – http://ladylaidbare.com/2015/07/15/kay-jaybee-erotica-eto/)