Thursday, February 1, 2007

The First introduction

My name is Celia May Hart and I write Regency-set historical erotic romance.

Which is quite a mouthful, not to mention sounding like an AA meeting. Well, this is a tea party after all. We just won’t tell you what we’ve spiced the tea with *wink wink*

So as this is supposed to be an introduction post, I thought I would interview myself:

Q: Why did I choose to write erotic romance?

Oh, very good question, me. I didn’t always write smut.

My. I am such a liar.

I wrote smut (and let’s discuss terminology another day, shall we?) all through my last two years of high school (very PG), university (badly written but R-rated, but this time I knew exactly what I wasn’t getting, which um, might be TMI). My favorite sexy fanfic story that I wrote involved sex in zero-gravity. (Guess the fandom!)

And then I turned to romance. I wrote a beautiful, sweet, romantic Regency story that was eventually published under another name in 2005. But it got published without the heroine (disguised as a stable-boy) getting this close -} { - to being a rent-boy.

Of course, it was a sweet romance, so I knew it couldn’t have sex in it, but it turns out that overtly mentioning homosexuality, mollies and male brothels wasn’t kosher either for a first novel. (And I’ll readily admit, there was a LOT wrong with this book. Which explains the 7 major revisions over 10 years before I sold it.)

But I’ll write about rent boys another day.

Last year, my mum told me how proud she was that I’d been successful (i.e., published) in my career. (Yes, she’s read my books, in between lots of cold showers.) She said she should’ve known I’d grow up writing smut.

I don’t remember this at all but in the fifth grade, my mother was summoned to see my teacher. I had written a story about a prince and princess who got married “and mated”.

I guess this was destiny.

Stay tuned next time, when I ask myself: “If I could ‘do’ anyone during the Regency period, who would it be and why?”

PS. I have a book, MADE FOR SIN, that's out now!


Pam Rosenthal said...

Hi Celia, this is gonna be big fun. And thanks for starting in on terminology -- a discussion that will probably go on and on and on among the authors and readers on this blog. I myself like "literate smut" for my small press Molly Weatherfield books; I guess I'm stuck with "erotic historical romance" for the Pam Rosenthal ones.

Jane Lockwood said...

I like to describe myself as a filthmonger, mainly because the term "monger" is sadly out of use, limited only to fish and whores. At least, that's all I can think of at the moment!

Amy S. said...

Hi Celia! Made for Sin and The Harem sound great.

Who are your favorite authors?

How do you choose your character's names?

Celia May Hart said...

Pam, we definitely need to talk about the terminology! Explaining why we use which terms and in what circumstances!

Amy -- ah, you're going to continue the interview... *grin*

OK, my favorite authors are everybody in this blog *wink* and I'm currently a huge fan of Lois McMaster Bujold (SF/fantasy) and Elizabeth Bear (ditto). Robin Popp (vampire (sort of) romance) is another immediate must buy.

And well, there are stacks others too.

Can I answer the character's name one another day? It's worthy of its own post (and fellow bloggers feel free to steal the question for your intro!)

Colette Gale said...

Thanks Celia! Great post.

I think topics regarding terminology would be great. I volunteer to do one on "pips" and "ticklers", Jane.

Robin L. Rotham said...

My, my... Because of you ladies, I just paid $79 for an Amazon Prime membership. (sigh) Oh, well -- I've missed seeing the UPS man anyway.

Nice to meet you, Celia! I started writing smut at 14, and at the time it felt X-rated. The hero was only 16 and he was doing the virginal governess through astral projection or some other mental device. Victoria Holt would have been dismayed to learn that her stories inspired me to such lows, LOL! (Of course, Barbara Michaels had a hand in it, too.)

*waves to Kate and Jane* I look more to hearing more from you all!

Jacquie said...

How exciting--a whole bevy of smut writers, plus one filthmonger! (I agree that "monger" is a totally underutilized word.)

Kudos to Celia Mae Hart's introductory post. Gosh, you have to wonder how the interviewer know to ask all the right questions. hehehe. Good job!


Celia May Hart said...

Robin -- the Amazon Prime is so totally worth it. I actually sat down and worked out, between my husband and I ('cause families just pay the one rate), and we are so saving money.

Of course, it's one less thing to worry about when splurging on a book...

Did you keep your aged 14 smut? I have my 16yrold stuff around here somewhere -- it's more fun because I wrote it with two friends and we were more concerned on how to stay alive (plenty of "And suddenly aliens landed and blasted....") than describing the getting naked parts.

Jacquie -- you are too funny, hon!

Colette -- okay, I don't even know what those are ... I was thinking why we call what we write sometimes "smut" "erotica" or "erotic romance"... as opposed to what *other* people call it.

Jane Lockwood said...

I was thinking why we call what we write sometimes "smut" "erotica" or "erotic romance"... as opposed to what *other* people call it. I think there's a tendency among those in the smut arena to admit to writing stuff that would scare the horses but then come out with the tried and true "...but it's all about the luuuurve."
And I think it's a copout. Yes, it may well be--I know if I write erotic romance my characters have this worrying tendency to sit down over a nice cup of tea and talk about their Feelings. If I try to write anything else they do it with the family pets on page three. More on all this when it's my turn to post.
To get to the point, it's a reaction against the copout. Filthmongering is an art and it's written to arouse the reader, physically and emotionally. If you read an adventure scene, you want to be on the edge of your seat with the characters, right? And that's what we provide, in a different context, of course.


Kate Pearce said...

I like to think I write romance-and then I read what I've written and realize that it's waaay past what other people consider romantic.

I'm a great believer in "happily ever after on our own terms" if that means a menage or a mating of more sexually ambiguous characters I'm fine with it.

I've read most of the ladies on the list and have bought the rest so that I can catch up and work where I fall in the smut spectrum. It should be fun...

Pam Rosenthal said...

Well, I have a slightly different take than Jane, I think. Yes, absolutely, I want to get the reader hot -- and the only way I know to do that is to get myself equally hot (only, you know, also with an eye to the craft end of things and sicj). But I also want to get the reader bothered. Success is when the reader isn't sure if s/he's reading for the plot or the performative part.

Oh, and as for mongering, aren't costers mongered? Not that I know what costers are

Pam Rosenthal said...

(the craft end of things and such, I mean) -- my cat just came tripping along the keyboard.

Celia May Hart said...

Jane -- well, my characters work out their feelings through sex, so I guess I don't write smut after all *grin*

Lacy Danes said...

Pam- I agree... I know I have written a great sex scene when I instantly reach for the chocolate, a glass of wine and something mechanical. (I'm recently divorced so no guy in the bed next to me) :-(

As for Smut... I write erotic... I don't think a toned down sex scene would come out of my head. I enjoy writing them hot!


Sherrie Holmes said...

Congratulations, Celia May, on your inaugural post! Had to stop by and give you the ol' Siskel and Ebert two-thumbs-up, even if one of those guys is dead.

Gotta run. My stupid dog has gas. Don't anybody light a match.

Robin L. Rotham said...

Celia, alas, I wrote my first smut in pencil on loose leaf paper, and when I found it a year or so later, the lead had rubbed off until most of it was illegible. As was the story about the bank robber (Shane) who abducted one of the customers (Mickey) because she drove a groovy baby-blue Trans Am (Shark). Thank God for that, because I don't think I could bear to read either of them now, LOL!

Little Lamb Lost said...

Hi Celia, I love erotic romance and it makes me laugh that your mom feels their were indications of your future career from your youth. Your mom sounds really neat.

Meljprincess said...

Hello Celia,
MADE FOR SIN is an excellent title. I want it on a t-shirt.
Yes, let's discuss terminology and what to say when someone asks you "so, you're reading smut?". This happened to me at my last doctor's apt. That really grated my onion and I almost slapped the nurse. No, she wouldn't have like it. *g*
I also want to hear more about rent boys.
Lacy, I'm with ya on grabbin' the chocolate. lol!


Meljprincess said...

Btw, why are the posts out of order?

CathieCaffey said...

Hi Celia, I had written you before finding this blog with a couple of questions about all your books out (if connected). So glad to find the blog of you ladies :)