Erotica Writer Steps Out of Her Comfort Zone

Please help me welcome this week's guest blogger, Cari Quinn, fellow Wild Rose Press author. Learn more about her here.

Cari wrote her first story - a bible parable - in 2nd grade, much to the delight of the nuns at her Catholic school. Once she saw the warm reception that first tale garnered, she was hooked. She attempted her first romance in junior high, long before she'd ever read one. Writing what she knew always took a backseat to what she wanted to know, and that still holds true today. Cari's genres of choice include contemporary, romantic comedy, romantic suspense, urban fantasy and paranormal. Recently she discovered erotic romance. Oh, how far she's come…

Comfort zone? What comfort zone?

I used to have one of those. As a classic introvert, writing seemed like a profession tailor-made for me. I could sit behind a screen and make up worlds to daydream in, and I soon discovered that sometimes they even PAY you for the fruits of those labors. Whoa! I could make up a pen name and let my imagination loose.

So I did. And lo and behold, my imagination turned into a bit of a she-wolf. Soon she wasn't content to circle around the arena of no-holds-barred sex, she wanted to jump in, teeth bared and go to town. What's a good girl who went to Catholic school for eight years to do?

Well, this one got a pen name and wrote her first erotic romance, that's what. ;)

Full Disclosure was released on November 6th at The Wild Rose Press' Wilder Roses and getting used to even a small amount of attention has been a steep learning curve. I'm not exactly someone who covets the limelight, nor am I one to bare my innermost thoughts. Yet intimate words I wrote are being read by all kinds of people, some I know, some I don't. And these people are paying for the right to read those words, so there's an expectation that they won't, you know, suck. Although sucking has a place in erotic fiction, I'd rather not see that particular word in a review. ;)

I like pushing boundaries, especially my own. I'll admit to more than a little trepidation at the knowledge that people I know will be reading my explicit writing, but I knew what I was doing when I sat at my computer and dialed up the heat to scorching. At the time, the day when I would have to "face the music" seemed far off, but now it's here and I'm learning to deal.

It's a nerve-wracking experience. It's exciting, too. And I've found the more I put myself out there, the easier it gets. My CPs tell me I'm good at writing erotic romance, so I'm determined to stop blushing and fretting over who might read the extremely naughty words in my novella and consider the fact that maybe some of those people might enjoy them. That maybe my book will help readers escape for an hour or two. Perhaps they'll live vicariously through my characters sexual journey toward an emotional connection that goes way beyond the physical. Hopefully, Holly and Alex's story will also allow my readers to create their own fantasies, which is the way great dreams begin to take flight. After all, once upon a time, I fantasized I'd be a published author.

And now I am.

Next week, Nov. 18: Debut Pocket Books author, Kelly Gay, discusses the insecurities many shy  writers face.


  1. Thanks so much for the great post, Cari. If those nuns could only see you now. :)

    Congrats on your new release.


  2. Cari,

    You write beautifully (and snarkily, which I LURVE!). CG on your new release. Here's wishing you many more!


  3. Great post, Cari! I was a product of eight years of Catholic school too, and while I don't write erotic, I do have some very spicy scenes in my stories.

    I say, go for what you write best and leave those Catholic school inhibitions behind. Best of luck with the new release!!

  4. Like Rebecca, I'm imagining those nuns pursing their lips at your liberal use of the f bomb! LOL. You have a gift for erotic writing, hon, and I'm glad you decided to use it ;). Congratulations again on the release!

  5. Great post Cari! Yes, I got the knuckles wrapped with a ruler by a mean nun in third grade. It was horrible. They taught you that even thinking about sex is wrong. Now wouldn't they lose their habits if they read some of today's kind of story.

  6. I went to Catholic school for several years too, and look what I write. LOL

    Congrats on the release!

  7. LOL, until recently I was a lector at my Catholic church, and helped teach classes to people wishing to convert. I wouldn't dare tell them what I write now, LOL. One reason I love being able to use a pseudonym.

  8. Thanks so much to everyone for stopping by and to Becky for inviting me to blog! I can't wait to read Borrowed Stilettos. :)

  9. There seems to be a theme here with good Catholic girls writing really hot stories now... I grew up Catholic, too...


  10. HI Cari!

    I loved your post, lady! LOL On the Catholic school girl M.O. That's cute!

    Too funny, Leah! When I drop my daughter off at school and see the priest, I always feel like he can tell I'm writing a romance novel. LOL Like Spidey-sense! Heaven help me, maybe I should start writing with a penname!

  11. Great post, Cari! I kind of know how you feel!

  12. LOL... I just downloaded Full Disclosure! I can't wait to see how shocked those nuns would be.

    Great blog post!

  13. Hi Cari & Rebecca,

    What a great post. I'm an introvert but can certainly fake it on the pages of a book. I too wonder someday about people who know me possibly reading what I write. I already get so many questions about what I'm doing with my time so I'm trying to balance lying and not! How do I deal with that thought? I've picked a pen name and I'm never telling anyone what I do. Ever. Unfortunately, my husband has other ideas so not sure how successful that will be, but that's my plan at the moment.

    Congrats Rebecca on your first book!!

  14. Hey Kaily,
    Why have you not shared with anyone that you're a writer? Or do you just not share that you write really hot?

    If you keep it ALL a secret, I would imagine that's really hard for you. Especially if you're putting in a lot of time on your writing. It's a big step referring to yourself as a writer. In my book, if you write and take your craft seriously, you're a writer.

    Your husband sounds like he believes in you and your writing because he wants the world to know what you do. That's awesome. If you want to email me privately to chit chat more about this, please feel free: rebeccajclark(dot)author(at)gmail(dot)com

  15. Yeah, Cari--you're totally in your element on the page. I think it's one of the best things a semi-shy person can do. Live vicariously through a seriously kick ass chick--that's the best revenge.

    I'm so happy you've got Holly to start, Jenny on the rise and Haley to keep the series alive.

  16. Thanks so much for the comments, Sarah, Kaye, Lynne, Kaily and Tara. You're all awesome. :)

    I really understand the fear of people you know reading your work. I *outed* my pen name at my day job, so if someone really wanted to find out what I write, they could without too much trouble. That gave me a minute of pause, but mostly I try not to think about it. I'm not doing anything wrong. Sure, some people might be offended, but the things that offend me haven't been eradicated from the world yet. ;)