MIRANDA BAKER: From geek to erotic romance author

Miranda's first erotic romance novella, Bottoms Up, is available from Samhain Publishing. The next in the series, Solo Play, will be released in the spring.

No one ever believes me when I tell them I'm shy, especially when they learn I write erotic romance. (They often don't believe me when I tell them I'm funny either, but they'll get it eventually!) I was geeky as a kid and the feeling didn't disappear when the braces came off and the acne didn't scar. However, even though I still have a book in my purse at all times (and if I'm alone I'll read it just about anywhere), I've grown into my geekiness now.

I embrace it.

What or who am I afraid of? I've got a husband, a house, three kids and a mini-van! I can attend my twenty year high school reunion feeling like I've won the game... or at least I can fake it really, really well now. There are still those brilliant, shiny, mesmerizing people who make me feel two inches tall, and there are plenty of times I walk into a room, see no one I know and wonder if I can sneak into a corner to read my book. Who am I kidding? External measures of success don't matter - it's the stuff inside that counts.

I can't speak for others, but I know my shyness comes from deep-seated self-esteem issues forged in my youth, issues that I'll be writing about for, well, forever. My geeky childhood wasn't perfect, but I wouldn't change a thing about it because it made me the person that I am - a writer. Would I love reading and writing if a book hadn't been my constant companion for the first thirty-eight years of my life? Would I write romance if my parents had a perfect marriage? Would I feel compelled to fantasize if I had lived a series of perfect, larger-than-life social triumphs?

Nope. I don't think I would. So I'll embrace the residual shyness that being a geek casts over my self image and I will continue to write about it - and when I walk into a room full of strangers... I'll just fake it. *grin*

About Miranda Baker: It makes me chuckle to think about all the romantic short stories I wrote in my rather too literary creative writing classes in college. If only one of my professors had steered me toward popular fiction! On the other hand, if I had discovered my calling back then, I wouldn't have gone to culinary school, I wouldn't have met my husband, we wouldn't have had three children and I wouldn't have turned to erotic romance to get my mojo back during all this hair-raising kid raising.

To learn more about my kinky, foodie, geeky little world, please visit http://www.mirandabaker.com.

Guest Blogger: Delilah Marvelle

Please welcome multi-published romance author, Delilah Marvelle to the blog. Her first book in The Scandal Series releases January 1 with HQN. Book 2 releases February 1. Book 3 releases March 1.

Here's Delilah: I have a confession to make. Despite people thinking that I'm all bells and whistles and oh-so-comfortable and outgoing with people, in truth, I'm not.

No one who is a writer is. We live in our heads and enjoy our own company. That's a fact that we should not only acknowledge but accept about ourselves. If you can't acknowledge it or accept it, then you have a problem. Kind of sounds like an AA meeting, doesn't it? Well...in a way, it is. It's difficult to realize that being shy is, in fact, a problem if you're an author. Back in the old days, when all an author did was write and occasionally show up for book signings, that was acceptable. These days, with online chatting and twitter and heaven knows what, your readers do expect you to not only make yourself available but be happy about it, lol.

In some ways, the internet is a shy author's greatest asset. It allows a shy author to appear quite outgoing. Don't let it trap you into thinking you've found your way out of your AA meeting. Because even though yes, you're interacting with people online, you are still only listening to your own voices in your head.

So here's one simple rule you should always try to apply. It's called EQUAL TIME. What is equal time? It means for as much time as you spend online, make sure you also spend that equal amount of time with people in person. Be they readers, writers or just plain Joe. Because the reality is, we can't be writers and write stories about real people if we don't give ourselves an opportunity to observe and spend time with real people. Log the amount of time you spend online and see if you log that same amount of time with people outside of your family.

You'd be surprised how the shy author in you will sneak away from real people. And if you're hiding away from real people because you are by nature shy, you are missing out on opportunities to be the sort of writer you deserve to be. Equal Time amounts to equal writing. Hope my little rule helps you along your path.

Delilah Marvelle spent her youth studying various languages, reading voraciously, and playing the pianoforte. She confesses that here ends the extent of her gentle breeding. She was a naughty child who was forever torturing her parents with countless adventures that they did not deem respectable. Confined to her room on many occasions due to these misadventures, she discovered the quill and its amazing power. Soon, to the dismay of her parents, she rather enjoyed being confined to her room and finished writing her first historical romance (which was a heart stopping 800 pages long...) at the age of 14. And yes, she is still 14...at heart.

You can find out more about Delilah on her website and her "A Bit o'Muslin Blog."

The Shy Writer

Please help me welcome erotic romance author Sascha Illyvich to the blog:

So you're an introverted writer. And your friends tell you it's a problem. Have you tried drinking yet? That seems to create a life of the party for anyone who tries it LOL! Seriously though, try a stiff drink or six.

Okay, not going to do that? Fine then. It's your career. The fact is, the shy, introverted writer is what most of us are. That's part of why we tell stories. Royalties are just icing on a very nice cake that let's us live in a fantasy world we've created where things don't always go the way they're supposed to. But that's part of the fun. When you look at the regular world and examine every other person, we come to find out that their lives are sad.

Yes, sad. They get up, deal with family, deal with bills, deal with work, get frustrated and come home to do it all over again. But as writers, we don't have to do what they do, exactly.

We craft worlds with superheroes and villains that make us WISH we could have boring, depressing lives. Then, our superhero and his ultra-sexy heroine vanquish the villain and give us a satisfying, happy ending. It's not perfect and the process really forces us to bare a part of our souls, but it's one we enjoy as writers.

I advocate getting out of our comfort zones. You might or might not be familiar with WriteSEX, the erotica blog dedicated to helping writers add a little or a lot of spice to their stories. Most writers in romance are comfortable with writing sex, but many are not. And still the new generation of authors has yet to discover the joys of writing sex. But we established it to help those of you who may not wish to make it publically known that you write smut. The beauty for me as a co-founder is that I’m surrounded by a group of writers who have been where I am. So when I panic, (as I did recently) about a career choice, storyline, plot point or some other nonsense, they're there. For me.

It's rather empowering.

Most writers need to embrace some sense of camaraderie and get over their fears. Organizations like Toastmasters International can help with overcoming fear. Writers of all calibers would do well to invest a little time in themselves for their career.

Sascha Illyvich
Erotic Romance Author – http://saschaillyvichauthor.com/

Erotic Expert – http://www.writesex.net/