Exposed – the secret world of writing erotica (Part Two appearing tomorrow)
For someone who has pole danced naked in front of a noisy crowd with no fear whatsoever, I wasn’t expecting to be quite so nervous about my first experience of reading my erotic writing out loud to an audience. Fellow author Penelope Friday and I decided to meet an hour before the show in a rather nice local bar to discuss strategy and calm our nerves – Penni with a glass of red wine while I relied on a cup of green tea to do the trick! It didn’t work and, armed with our bags of books, we touched up our lipstick in the powder room, smoothed down our long elegant dresses and took deep breaths. Then, looking far more confident than we felt, we crossed the road and entered the intimate atmosphere of the Chimaera Gallery, where they were still showing their Erotica Exhibition. Our author event was due to start at 7pm. Unsure of what to find, we were surprised to see that all the chairs were filled and the waiting audience expectant. I can’t remember the last time I felt so nervous!
Penni had generously agreed to go first – reading a beautiful sensuous story just 100 words long. My stomach churned as I followed with a tiny poem. We then introduced ourselves and took a few questions before Penni read her next story so expressively, and with such sensual precision that I admit to blushing somewhat – it was very erotic! We had both chosen to select the first erotic story we ever had published and I followed with my rather less delicate tale about a sexual encounter that follows on after a woman reprimands a stranger for urinating against a wall! I was pleasantly surprised at how well the humour seemed to go down with the audience, but it didn’t stop me reading my story at 90 miles an hour, hardly drawing breath. Phew!
A few more questions and then it was over for us, the second half offering an unexpected performance piece monologue which made a great contrast.
I suppose I had been geared up for more questions and perhaps some controversy, but everyone was very polite. People wanted to know where they could buy our books and someone asked about getting published – and I realised that I should have done a flyer/business card to promote my website – and also the writing workshops I am doing. So much for having a marketing background! Still, life is all about learning……
The next Friday/Cage co-production is lined up for July – and before then I plan to decide in advance which stories to read, perhaps selecting extracts instead of complete stories, to practice reading and time them, to read more slowly and to look at the audience. Oh, and to remember to breathe……..