Hello! Happy Monday!
I don’t know if anyone is actually curious about this, but I feel like it’s an interesting topic, and one that you don’t see a lot of writers talk about or do. Mainly, why do I write in so many different genres and styles?
Well, honestly, I don’t think they’re all that different, but here’s what I’ve got so far. Monster stuff is a big one, and then contemporary romance is the next. I recently finished my paranormal romance series(Soulless, Heartless, Hopeless), which was fun. I’ve also got some fairytale stuff, too. Historical, romantic comedy, noir detective mystery, urban fantasy, and a few more things that probably fit into one of the above but are a bit different, too.
All of these have erotic content, though, so I guess that’s the thread that binds them? I don’t know if that’s a good reason and I don’t really accept it, myself, but it’s there.
Anyways! I write them because I like that. That sounds kind of like a cop out answer, I guess, but it’s just fun to me. I enjoy exploring new genres and taking my own spin on them. I think that’s what this boils down to, really.
If I’m being perfectly honest, I prefer medieval fantasy-style stuff. Or I used to prefer it, anyways. I don’t think that’s a good mindset to get into with this kind of thing. I mean, hey, if I just wrote medieval fantasy all the time, I’d have a lot of that, and that’d be great, but… then what? I know authors who do this and have read more than my fair share of books from authors who basically never branched out from any one genre. It honestly gets stale and you can tell in their writing.
One random example–and I’m only using her as one because I honestly really love her writing, so it was kind of a love/hate thing, but I’ve got tons of respect for her–is Elizabeth Haydon. The first three stories in her Symphony of Ages series were WONDERFUL. I absolutely adored them and I would suggest them to everyone and read them over and over again(and I think I have). They’re kind of fantasy romance with adventure and action and all of that. After the first three, though, it started going downhill. I believe I enjoyed the 4th, but the 5th was kind of lacking, and I can’t say I enjoyed the 6th at all.
After she “finished” that series(because honestly it just kind of stopped, and I’m not sure it ever really fully concluded anything), she started up a YA series set in the same world. I haven’t read those, but I think that’s an interesting thing to do. Mostly, the other books were VERY adult, with sex and violence and all of those kinds of adult things. I have no idea how her YA fantasy books are, but I’m sure they’re nice because she has a wonderful style and tells a good story.
That’s really the thing, though. She got herself stuck in the Symphony of Ages books and I think it showed. By the end of the 6 book series, I don’t think she was as into it as the first three books. It feels like she wrote more because she felt like she NEEDED to write more, and not because she wanted to. Sometimes this can work out, but I think a lot of times it leads to burn out and disappointment.
I’d still read her books if she continued with the series, but I’m not sure if that’s a good idea on her part.
In the same kind of genre, Jacqueline Carey does an excellent job of writing the same but switching it up, too. Her Kushiel’s Legacy books start with three wonderful books, then continue on with three more great ones(my favorites of hers actually), and there’s three more after that. They’re all in the same world, but each set of three switches the main character, and so provides a new and interesting fresh look at her world of Terre d’Ange. Though, to be honest, I’m not sure the last three worked out so well with that, but they -were- interesting, just not really my favorites. Or, I’ve only read the first on of there(the seventh overall), so maybe I’ll change my mind when I get to the last two? I don’t know.
And even still, she has other books that are great, too. Her more traditional epic fantasy books kind of fit with the Kushiel’s ones, and then she completely throws you for a loop with some urban fantasy/paranormal stuff later on. I think this is great and a good idea.
So that’s where I stand, really. For my own writing, I want to write interesting things and continue writing them. If I’m really into an idea, I think I’ll tell a better story than otherwise. I want you, as a reader, to love what I’m writing as much as I do. I do “force” myself to write things, also, but I try not to push it too far. I try to explore new genres and test out ideas because I want to. It’s more of a “forcing myself to do this because I want to” instead of a “forcing myself to do this and I hate it,” which I think is a key difference.
And, honestly? I think it’s turned out well. I never liked contemporary stuff much before, so I rarely wrote it, but I wanted to try one. My best friend isn’t really into reading anything fantasy and she sticks to just contemporary stuff when she reads(which isn’t a ton, but she does read a few books a year), so I wanted to do it for that reason, too. I wanted to write something that she would want to read, so I wrote my Billionaire’s Ultimatum series.
I didn’t really like it at first, truthfully. I didn’t like it because it was HARD for me. But, on that same note, I think it became a much better story because of that. It made me think and decide on different things and try out new ideas and a new style of writing. I never liked first person point of view much before writing that, either, but I thought I’d try that out, also.
Now? I like contemporary. I think The Billionaire’s Ultimatum is a fun story and I’ve received a lot of good feedback on it, so I think I probably did a good job writing it, too. I didn’t like how hard it was for me to write it at first, but I got better with practice and I really loved the idea of the story itself, so I kept up with it. It’s different, it tested me, and overall it was fun and a good experience.
The same with the Soulless series, too. The same with most of my stuff, honestly. The only thing I can’t really get too into is the gay shifter story I wrote, because it was just kind of difficult to really get a handle on the idea, but I think it turned out well. I’d like to write another gay male story in the future, or at least maybe bi-curious or something.
Anyways! I write in these different genres and styles because I like them and I want to try them. I don’t think any of my stuff is so far out there that you’ll be absolutely appalled if you see it in my catalogue along with something you’ve liked, either. I mean, some of it seems pretty far out there, but it’s still me writing it. I have standards and a general style and I promise to try to never disappoint any of my readers with sub-par, worthless junk.
Sometimes you just want to try something new, you know? Sometimes it’s easier to get eased into that new thing, though. If you like my writing, you’ll know generally how I write, and so it’s a nicer process trying something different as opposed to having to find a completely different author that you’re unsure about, and then reading their stuff, too. I know how much of a turn-off that can end up being, where you want to try, say, a science fiction book or something, but you end up finding the one that’s super confusing and weird and you have no idea what’s going on. Then you think you hate science fiction! And, honestly, I’m not actually a huge fan of science fiction, but I absolute love some of it.
It’s good to try new things sometimes. And maybe to take slow, baby steps, so you don’t get overwhelmed.
That’s the reason I do what I do, at least.
I think everyone goes through phases of doubting themselves. You never really know, right? Are you doing the right thing? Could you do something better? What if you’re wrong?
Maybe it’s a depressing topic, but I think it’s an interesting one, too. That’s also the mindset I used when I started writing the Monster Within series.
Drop of Doubt is the 4th story in the series, and it’s also the one I decided to put on sale this week. I know it might seem a little odd to have the 4th story of a series on sale, but I have a reason for that, too. The 1st is permanently set at $0.99, the 2nd and 3rd are $2.99, and the 4th is currently $0.99 until the end of the week. Overall, if you want to grab all 4, it’s only going to cost you around $8. All four parts are close to ~220 paperback book pages in length, which is longer than a lot of romance novels nowadays. You’re definitely getting your money’s worth.
Saying that, the Monster Within series isn’t finished yet. There’s more to come for Solace and Bastion and their story is one that’s really close to me in a personal sort of way. Yes, they’re just characters, but I’ve put a lot of my heart into them and some of the themes I wanted to explore are ones I’ve had to deal with on a personal level. There’s a very large amount of emotion put into these stories.
They are fantasy stories with demons, goblins, ogres, wisps, angels, elementals and all of that. I understand that’s not everyone’s thing, but I tried to make it nice and accessible. I didn’t go too overboard with the magic stuff. If I had to compare it to something, I’d say it’s similar in vein to Brent Weeks’ Night Angel Trilogy(though not quite, but they do explore some similar themes and ideas now that I think about it). Brent Weeks is a great author, too. I really respect him and I love his writing. He doesn’t really write romance, but if you enjoy interesting fantasy stories with a bit of spice sometimes(not often, but sometimes), then you should check him out, too.
The Monster Within series is about doubt and hope, learning to trust, finding a glimpse of happiness and holding onto it as tight as you can. It’s about finding that one person who accepts you for who you are, no matter what, and is willing to learn and explore the world with you. I really think it’s a wonderful story.
I’m tearing up a little here because of how emotional this story makes me. I have a lot of doubts sometimes(a drop or more), and sometimes I doubt what I write. I doubt if anyone will enjoy something and I doubt if I’ve written well enough. I want to do better, always, and maybe it seems like a silly thing to admit here on this blog post, because, who cares, but there’s a point to it.
Drop of Doubt(and the Monster Within series as a whole) is somewhat of an autobiography of sorts. Not –actually– since I’m nothing too similar to any of the characters, but the emotion behind them is real.
Which, I think, is interesting! Many writers are afraid to put too much into their writing. They don’t think they can, or they are scared, or whatever. I don’t know the reason. It’s hard, though, it really is. But if you want to read that kind of thing, which I think is interesting and I think a lot of others might find interesting, too, these stories are definitely for you.
The fantasy, monsters, and all of that are a part of them, but the real story is about emotions.
Drop of Doubt is a Fantasy Erotic Romance novella and will be available for $0.99 until February 22nd, 2013 at these select retailers!
*Kobo is lagging behind in price changes for some reason. I went ahead and requested they do it again, so hopefully it’ll be changed soon. If you prefer their shop, I apologize for the wait!
I finished this story earlier in the week, but I wanted to wait a bit before releasing it. I prefer to put stuff up on Thursdays and Fridays(though sometimes I do other days). I don’t really have a reason for this, it’s just some goofy superstition thing =P
Anyways! It’s done. I love this story, and I think it’s really exciting. I enjoy fairytale stuff a lot.
Used by the Beast is the fourth in my loosely based erotic re-imagining of the classic Beauty and the Beast. I kind of take a lot of liberties with my fairytale stuff and prefer to make it my own instead of just the same general story with some sexy scenes, so it’s mostly entirely different. I did use the general concept of a man cursed to look like a beast, the magical rose, and a poor merchant with three daughters. I liked the idea of servants in the Beast’s mansion having their souls trapped in everyday objects, too. I think that’s a fun idea.
I’m actually going to be finishing this series up with the fifth one(I believe, unless something super strange happens). After that, when I get a chance, it’ll be made into a print book, too. I’ll -probably- release an eBook bundle version, also(with all 5), for $9.99, but I need to figure some stuff out first. This is me rambling, so I’ll stop that now. Sorry!
I find fairytales really interesting, though. It’s one of those things where they used to be much darker(go read the original Grimm’s Fairy Tales! Those things are brutal), and then they were toned down for a younger audience sometime between now and then. But, why? Why not switch them up a bit and bring back some of that more primal nature to them? That’s the kind of mindset I go into these with. It’s not -too- far into it, because I didn’t want to make it super vicious or anything, but the general tone of this story is an erotic horror type of thing. There’s obsession and stalking, exploitation, humiliation, voyeurism, rebellion and rivalry, and dark magicks. I really liked the ending, and I hope you will, too. The last one(tentatively titled Bound by the Beast) is going to go a little further with this, make it a bit scarier(but still sexy!).
And a happy ending. I know a lot of erotic horror doesn’t have a happy ending, but I’m not a big fan of those. Not to judge anyone, but horror movies like that bother me, too. Hostel and the Saw series and all of those? Ugh, I can’t even watch them.
I’m a bit tired at the moment, so forgive my meandering! Here’s the cover of Used by the Beast. Links for where you can buy it will be up as soon as I have them(which should mostly be tonight, except for Apple and maybe ARe). Enjoy!
This is really exciting for me, and I hope it’ll be just as exciting for you! I have found a way to increase the quality of my eBooks by quite a bit, and I am in the process of updating old stories to fit these new standards.
I mostly have D2D to thank for this. Now, don’t get me wrong or anything, my older eBooks are fine. There is literally nothing wrong with them whatsoever, and they still contain everything. I’ve already gone through and updated some to have nicer covers, plus better descriptions, and some other minor changes, but with D2D’s conversion software(plus their simplified distribution, but that’s probably only super exciting to me, so I won’t ramble about that one), I can provide basically -better- than “professional” quality eBooks to you all.
Now, I say -better- than professional quality, because, honestly, the major publishing houses don’t actually do anything really above and beyond for their eBooks most of the time. They are essentially just as good as mine in terms of format, and while obviously the story quality is different(you never really know what you’re going to get sometimes), besides that there’s nothing really setting my books apart from anyone else’s besides format.
Now, obviously all those contain different content, which is mostly beyond anyone’s control, but the format’s vary widely depending on how much effort the publishing house/author puts into it. Blindfolded Innocence started as a self-published book and was picked up by Harlequin, but despite that it’s not really anything more than simple. Also, the cover inside the book is potentially going to show up as a giant square or some awkward shape depending on what you read the book on. Don’t get me wrong, the story is the same, and I do like Blindfolded Innocence so I’m not trying to bash Alessandra Torre by any means, but the person who formatted her eBook did the absolute minimum in order to make it presentable.
On the other hand, Random House did an amazing job with Fifty Shades of Grey. It looks super first-class and really nice. I haven’t read Fifty Shades of Grey yet(I know, I know! I’ll buy it soon!), but I’ve heard great things about it. I think it’s awesome that the eBook version is so crisp and nice looking, too. You can tell that her eBook formatter put a lot of time and effort into it.
Then, mine. That’s the first I had a chance to switch over, so the content is kind of widely different than Blindfolded Innocence and Fifty Shades of Grey, but the concept is there. The cover in the book(which is something that not a lot of self-publishers do for B&N, since it’s not a requirement there), plus the really crisp title and copyright pages, and then the Table of Contents. You can’t actually see it, but the Table of Contents in my book is in the -back-. This seems odd, except you can access the Table of Contents for an eBook through different menus, so putting it in the back is actually nice since it doesn’t clutter up the front of the book. That’s more of an opinion thing, but I’m a fan of having the ToC available(through menus) but hidden so you don’t -need- to look at it if you don’t want to.
Anyways, the whole point is that, before D2D, I was kind of stuck with “good” but not “amazing” eBook formatting. I like to think that everyone still really enjoyed them, because the content was the same. My stories are still fun and sexy and exciting, but the formatting was always something I struggled with. It’s either a.) Expensive! or b.) -VERY- time consuming. As the sole person in charge of my writing(I literally do everything, and I already spend tons of time on it! Editing, formatting, cover art, editing again, and more), it was impossible for me to get my eBooks up to super pro level. As you can see from the Blindfolded Innocence example, this is considered fine, though.
But, ugh! I’m a perfectionist. I don’t like -fine-, I want AWESOME! So, D2D is amazing, and as long as they continue to be amazing, all of my future eBooks(and eventually all of the past ones) will not only have a great story with wonderful characters and some really erotic sex scenes, but they will also look really nice on whatever eReader you own. They are also helping me get more of my books onto the iTunes iBookstore, which I think is wonderful.
Anyways! Hey! Sorry for the rambling a bit, but this is really exciting to me. To kick this off, I wanted to offer a great sale this week. I will be offering Vanima’s Dirty Dilemma for only $0.99(or equivalent if you’re purchasing from another country). This is a 67% discount! It is technically the second part of the “Vanima’s Initiation” series, but you can read it as a standalone if you’d like(or go buy the first, also, which, total between the two, would still end up being a 33% discount overall).
Vanima’s Dirty Dilemma is a contemporary fantasy novelette about a teacher who is mistaken for her niece by the sorority president at the Magic Academy where she teaches(they’re both elves, and so they age slower than humans, so even though Vanima is older, if she puts on college student clothes she looks very similar). I don’t want to say it’s exactly like this(because it’s not), but think of it like Harry Potter, if they were all in college, with sexy hazing rituals and mistaken identity. It’s dirty, but in a delightfully erotic way. I redid the cover just for this(though the woman on the front is still the same; and beautiful). I know you’ll love it! =)
Vanima’s Dirty Dilemma is a BDSM Monster Erotica novelette and will be available for $0.99 until January 25th, 2013 at these select retailers(some are currently processing to convert to the $0.99 price point. I apologize for the delay if they don’t show up immediately as that, but if that happens it should be switched in a couple hours):
Hello to you all!
I’m currently working on a few changes and I wanted to let everyone know exactly what was going on.
First, the very exciting news! Princess Miri has become an Amazon Top 100 Paid International Best Seller Fantasy Series story! It reached 100 on the US list, 35 on the UK list, and 97 on the Canada list at its peak, and I’m sure over time it can reach even higher. This is really amazing and I want to thank all of you who helped it get there.
Because of the support and the interest in the Princess Miri stories, I’m going to be doing a few extra things for it. First, the paperback version that I mentioned a few days ago. I’ll release this at an initially low price on Amazon.com($7.99, with comparable converted prices for the UK, German, French, Italian, and Spanish Amazon storefronts).
After that, the print version will rise to $12.99 for extended distribution to other Amazon storefronts, B&N, and more. I might be able to lower the price a little further, but those are tentative prices based on expectations. It honestly all depends on the page count in the final book and a few other factors(mainly, CreateSpace won’t let me distribute to B&N and others if the price is too low, since then I would -owe- them money every time someone bought a book =/ ).
You still save quite a bit on the print version, -and!-, if you email me a picture of your book somewhere around your house(or wherever) and let me post it up here for others to see, I’ll send you some coupon codes so you can get the eBook versions for free! How’s that for a good deal? You can have a print book to keep your sexy secret safe at home, but an eBook copy so you can read about our haughty heroine wherever you go without anyone knowing. 😉
Besides that, I’ll be updating some minor things in the Princess Miri series over the course of the next few weeks. I’ll also be adding an epilogue done under Fleur’s point of view sometime soon, too(I don’t know exactly when, but it’s in my plans).
If you haven’t read any of the Princess Miri eBooks yet, you should definitely check them out. You can grab the first in the series for only $0.99, and if you like it, but want a paperback of the entire series, well… just wait a few weeks and it will be available for sale!
If you have any questions or comments, I’d love to hear from you. You can leave a comment below, or email me at cerysdulys (at) gmail (dot) com.
The picture’s a little small in this post, but if you click on it you can see it at full size.
Anyways! I’m really excited about this. Princess Miri was the first erotica story I wrote when I started, and it’s the first story in my Princess Miri series, too(that last part is kind of obvious, huh?). I love writing this series and I think it’s a lot of fun. The sex is really sexy and different since it’s more fantasy and part of my monster sex stories, but I really wanted to make it more accessible and open, too. It -is- an erotic story, but it’s also has themes of a princess coming of age and learning what she needs to do in order to rule the kingdom in the future.
And Monsters, Maidens, and Minxes! Oh my.
I really appreciate all of the support, though. When I first started this, I never really thought I’d have a best seller story. It’s nice to dream, but you never know what’s going to happen, right? I’ve gotten so many wonderful comments from everyone about my writing, though. It’s kind of crazy!
One of my favorite comments I’ve received on the entire series was:
This… is insanely funny, and cute, and messy and sexy and
SO. MUCH. FUCKING. FUN!!!!
This is so nice! It’s basically exactly what I wanted the story to be, so when I saw someone describe it just like that, I was super happy.
If you haven’t read the Princess Miri series yet and it sounds like something you’d like, the first story is only $0.99. There’s 6 stories total in the main series, and then 1 side story involving Miri’s friend Allysin. I also have a print edition of the first book available, though it’s short stories so it’s smaller(32 pages). But! If you really want, I can totally sign that for you if you want to mail it to me. (I don’t know who would want that, but if there’s anyone who likes the idea, I’m up for it =P )
If you’ve read Princess Miri already, or are interested in checking it out, I’d love to know what you think about it. Let me know in the comments below?