This month, we’re paying tribute to some of the author’s who have informed and contributed to our writing. I have many of the same loves as other writers — Jane Austin is a particular favorite. And because my degree is in theater, i also adore a lot of playwrights like Tennessee Williams, Noel Coward, and Edward Albee. But in erotic romance, it all started for me because of author Jet Mykles. So this is a tribute to her and all she has taught me.
I originally posted a blog like this a little over a year ago on Jet’s site. I had just had my first novel published and I emailed Jet and asked if I could guest on her blog (she doesn’t do that much) because she was the person who most made me want to become a novel writer. It’s now 13 books later, and her influence is still as true as it was then. So I want to reprise What I Learned About Writing Erotic Romance from Jet with some updating:
For years, people told me I should write a book, but I couldn’t imagine what I wanted to write about. Then I started reading Jet Mykles, and less than three years later, I’m a published author with ten published novels, and the eleventh, Genetic Celebrity, releasing from Loose Id on July 24th, plus two more books in the hopper. Reading Jet’s books was better than all the fiction-writing classes (although I did those too), because through Jet I discovered my passion for passion. For the first time, I found something so fun and exciting it would write itself (hmmm. Not quite that easy, but certainly a lot of FUN. Jet can now put “muse” on her resume.)
Here’s what Jet taught me:
- It’s impossible for heroes to be too beautiful – Don’t tell me my heroes Roan Black in The Scientist and the Supermodel, Hunter Fallon in Fire Balls, or Shay Shaleen in Genetic Celebrity couldn’t exist in real life. Erotic romance fiction isn’t real life. The likes of Johnny in Jet’s novel Heaven and Shasertai in Sursein Judgement are compelling to me and lots of other readers.
- Characters benefit from being a little (or a lot) over the top – Many writers concentrate on “real people”, but I find I best remember the ones that stand out from the crowd. Have you ever met anyone quite like Jet’s Hell? My artist hero in Fire Balls is flamboyant and wild and a black belt in karate. My kind of guy.
- It’s possible to write great conflict without unspeakable angst – When conflict gets too intense in books, I often feel like closing the cover and walking away. (I avoid the Russian authors and love Jane Austen) Jet makes her readers wonder how the characters will ever get out of their mess – while being totally confident that it will happen.
- Relationships between people are diverse, wondrous and mysterious — Jet’s books avoid labels and categories. She has straight men falling in love with other men, gay men falling in love with women, all with a minimum of chest-pounding. Is this real life? Who cares? It’s great fiction. I’ve tried to carry on some of this tradition in my books too.
- Once your characters grab a hold of you, they don’t let go – Jet’s book are almost always part of series. I never intended it, but I’ve published ten books as of now, and eight of them are part of series. Genetic Celebrity is the fourth book in the award-winning Genetic Attraction Series. I’ll be writing more books in the Balls to the Wall series and my current WIP is the sequel to Spell Cat. Jet just has to tell me how to find time to write them all!
The bottom line is — thank you, Jet. You have always been generous with your help, and, above all, a huge inspiration to many writers like me. I’ve learned great lessons from your fiction and, hopefully, have put it to work in my books. Oh yes, I forgot to mention. We both love Adam Lambert.