Doing it in Public (Writing,That Is)
My newest release from Samhain Publishing, Surrender to Fire, is a National Novel Writing Month baby. If you have never heard of NaNoWriMo, it’s an event that occurs every November where writers challenge themselves to put down 50,000 in the month. For some authors, that’s their monthly quota—but for me, this was a true stretch goal. And to meet it, I had to write whenever, wherever…which led to some interesting situations, especially when writing hot and heavy BDSM scenes.
Near the beginning of the month, I hauled my laptop and notes down to Panera, got my bagel, and started cranking out the words. I was wrist-deep into a steamy meet cute when nearby conversation distracted me. Two young college girls were doing Bible study at the table next to me…talking about temptations of the flesh. After I managed to contain all my ironic laughter (and stopped blushing, then checked over my shoulder to make sure no one could see what I was writing), I plugged in my headphones, turned up the music and kept writing. Lesson: I write with my back to the wall and take joy in being smutty in public.
Later, during a write-in at my favorite coffee shop, I got into a conversation with a guy sitting nearby when he asked what I was working on. In my experience, men who learn I write erotic romance have one of two reactions: they either back away slowly, or get that “how do you come up with your ideas? (wink wink, nudge nudge)” look. This guy was firmly in the latter category. Extricating myself from that conversation involved leaving the coffee shop. Luckily, I was able to finish up writing later. Lesson: Men who letch over my writing become smarmy characters in my books. That, or I need to start lying and tell strangers I write screenplays—that’s mundane enough in LA.
Near the end of the month, when I was reaching for the 50k finish line, Thanksgiving rolled around. On the one hand, I had extra days off to write. On the other…writing at family gatherings can be hilarious and awful (and perfect blogging fodder, obviously). While my immediate and extended family is incredibly supportive, they don’t read my books. So when I made the mistake of bursting out with laughter at an error I’d made earlier in my draft, they wanted to know what was so funny. How was I supposed to explain that the thing I’d written was anatomically impossible unless you were a Cirque du Soleil performer with three arms? Dancing around that conversation put my Zumba moves to shame. Lesson: Don’t fear scandalizing your family; they’ll love you anyway. Or make up a story—it is good practice for writing!
If I had my way, I’d hide in my Fortress of Writing Solitude and talk to my characters about all manner of inappropriate topics, but unfortunately, I am far more productive out of the house. So if I’m sprinting for thousands of words in the day, the wild public outdoors are essential…at least until someone invents a portable writing cave!
Skylar Kade, self-avowed hedonist and princess extraordinaire, started her writing career after throwing aside yet another romance she could not bring herself to finish. The run-on sentences! The purple prose! Oh, the horror of it was just too much. So she sat down to write her own tale. Her favorite part about writing is the extensive research.
She currently resides in sunny southern California, alternately cursing the polluted air and adoring the weather. Skylar spends her time asking the cabana boys to bring her more mimosas and feed her strawberries while she dreams up her next naughty adventure.
She blogs at the SkylarVerse and with the Nine Naughty Novelists.