Good morning and welcome back to Fika for another week! Today we have Patricia Green visiting to talk about her beginning in the illustrious industry of writing spanking fiction. You might not know this, but she began as a F/F writer! Read on for her story.
People regularly ask me how I got started in the writing business. If you want to begin at the very beginning, you’d have to go back to 1967 when, as a child, I had a poem published in a children’s magazine. I didn’t continue down that path for quite a while, however, so you might call it a “false start.”
It was only later that I got real publishing experience. You see, I love to write. I plotted out a book in high school, only to get distracted and leave it languishing for more than ten years. When I got back to it, it blossomed. I was obsessed. I skipped meals, parties, everything but the care of my daughters, and the writing of that book. What surprised me—and it likely shouldn’t have—was that there was so much sexy content in it. And yet, I couldn’t leave it out. It had to be there. This was the stuff of many years of fantasy life and it was going to make it on the pages, come hell or high water.
But some of it was a little too outré. The sexy stuff became downright erotic, and I thought maybe it was too much for the readership I was going for. (A sci-fi audience in the early 1990s.) So, after I drafted the book, I snipped it out and put it aside.
Like most writers, I couldn’t bear to ignore the material I’d edited out. Something had to be done with it. So I picked a good part, tidied it up into a short story and wrote a query to a major erotica publisher of the time, Masquerade Books. They were the industry standard for erotica books, and it was pure hubris of me to think I could get my foot in the door. But I tried. My query letter did not include a synopsis. It did not include a tag line or a blurb. In fact, it was a regular letter of correspondence wherein I simply said that sometimes my characters wandered into forbidden zones, and would Masquerade be interested in something like what I had attached? I sent them the story with this simple cover letter.
It went through several hands—I never found out who—but made it onto the publisher’s desk. This was the head honcho, the Machiavelli of Masquerade. In my naiveté, I was going about my life innocently, thinking that my little letter had fallen on deaf ears. I went back to my writing and started another book.
Not long into the process of the second book, I got a call from Masquerade Books. It was the publisher. I greeted him genially, of course, totally surprised that they’d call me. It turned out that they were interested in my writing. In fact, they were starting a new F/F imprint, Rosebud, and they needed authors for that. Was I interested?
Well, I’m no complete ninny. When a publisher asks you if you can write something and you are determined to be published, you say yes enthusiastically. Mind you, I’d never written F/F material before, barely hinted at it as a naughty topic in my first book, and that wasn’t in any way reflected in the short story I’d sent with my letter. But, I had some experience with women, in that regard, and I figured I could utilize that real world experience to inspire and inform any F/F erotic stories I might come up with.
So we made a deal, the publisher and I. I’d write five short stories for a single-author anthology and he’d evaluate them for potential publication. Once more, I was hugely enthusiastic, and closed that conversation with a fist pump of triumph.
I outlined five short stories and sent the proposal to the publisher. He called me again. I pretty much couldn’t believe what he said – “A contract is in the mail.” Whoopee! I’d made it. I got my foot in the door.
All I had to do was write. I could do that. Yes, I could do that. I had to do it, it was an obsession and became the focus of my life. It all happened so quickly, but the process really taught me a lot. The single-author anthology was Distant Love, and written under the pseudonym, A. L. Reine. Once published, its first printing sold out within a week. You can still find it on Amazon, though only as a vintage copy that sells for a ridiculous amount of money.
We all start out somehow. Once in a while we hit the author lottery. A little talent, a lot of luck, and you have to get there eventually.
Patricia Green is a fiction writer specializing in erotic romance. She hopes to provide the reader with love stories that emphasize fun characters with quirky personalities. She’s the author of about 20 published products.
Patricia is married and the mother of twins. When she’s not being the angel of domestic harmony and a semi-crazed creator of fictional friends, she loves to crochet, read, and watch hockey.
Her latest book is Journey’s End, the wrap-up book in her six-part Journey family series. The Journey series is M/F, contemporary western erotic spanking romance. It begins with Liv’s Journey. You can find information, blurbs, excerpts, and character sketches for all the Journey books on the Patricia Green Books website.