Elementary to Erotica – my journey so far

Kindle Edition Normalised Pages - Sept.
Like the Kindle Edition Normalised Pages, writing is a life of peaks and troughs

I am always keen to learn about a fellow author’s route, from those tentative steps of composing a first piece of work, to first publication and beyond. Irrespective of age, or experience, the early days are the most difficult, as they are with most ventures.

An introIt’s good for a writer’s morale to take stock occasionally, but publicly like this. It’s also self-marketing, but we can’t hide our light under a bushel, because therein lies obscurity.

My story may not be awe-inspiring, but I’ve reached another stage with my latest release.

Now is a good time for me to take a look back.


In 1992, following a military career of 23 years, I next took up retail management, which I did for 20 years. In the mid-90’s I started to write my military memoirs. It took over two years and the writing was abysmal. I abandoned the memoirs, and over the next few years I wrote short stories for my own amusement, not knowing anything of the required discipline.

In 2007 I wrote a rhyme whilst on a coffee break. A colleague told me I should join an online poetry site. I did and I wrote 700+ poems in three years, but felt the need to do something more.Smoke & Mirrors - 030714 2

I read short stories and books on how to write them, whilst I practised. I took out a subscription to a national writing magazine. In 2010 I won a competition and had my story included in an anthology. Poetry was left behind, as I spent every available minute producing ideas to create short stories.

I joined a website and a local writing group and learned much from having my work critiqued. I’d long had a yearning to write a novel, but felt it was beyond me. My first novel was inspired by a fellow poet on the other side of the world. We’d reviewed each other’s poetry and kept in touch. I’m delighted to say that our friendship has remained firm and we continue to support each other.

Ten Days in Panama - the cover 2904In December 2012 I published ‘Ten Days in Panama’, a romance-based thriller. I knew it wasn’t great, but I had introduced aspects of the thriller, and I knew I had to write something more exciting. It was a steep learning curve, just as it had been with short stories. I used the manuscript ‘rest’ periods as a time to continue writing short stories.

In October 2013 I published ‘Beyond The Law’, a crime thriller about a vigilante in Glasgow. During breaks from my novels, I honed my 12 best short stories to create an anthology. In May 2014 I published ‘Smoke & Mirrors and other short stories’.912FmvSHzYL._SL1500_

When I read ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ I was disappointed in the content. I got the impression that the author had a good idea, but minimal knowledge of her subject. I am amazed at the success of that series.

I had experimented with writing erotic stories, but they’d never been seen. I thought back over my life experiences and decided I had the knowledge and imagination to adapt them and create a variety of scenarios. In June 2014 I published my second short story anthology ‘Coming Around and other erotic stories’.

Amsterdam Calling - the cover 260714My work on thrillers continued. In July 2014 I published ‘Amsterdam Calling’, a psychological thriller. Since moving on from poetry, my practice had been to work on more than one project simultaneously, so my next book was at an advanced stage.

I published ‘A Taste of Honey’ in December 2014. It was another vigilante story, but this time about a rogue female detective – in the US.

From late 2014 into early 2015 I had a handful of private messages asking if I’d ever considered writing an erotic novel. These were not random queries, but from folk who had read my erotic anthology. Just as I had with my poetry a few years before, I sensed a challenge, but once again, a challenge I relished.A Taste of Honey

In September 2015, I completed the final draft of ‘Give & Take: A Tale of Erotica’. It has sold almost daily since publication.

Give and Take - the final coverIf my first attempt at an erotic novel receives positive reviews, I will be happy to produce a sequel. It has two reviews already.

Whether or not I find success in the world of erotica I’ll continue to write thrillers, but there is escape in writing contrasting genre.

I would suggest to any writer who feels the urge to try a new genre – do it. Don’t let anybody hold you back with their opinions. You owe it to yourself – and your readers.

In November 2015 I aim to publish ‘Acts of Vengeance’, the sequel to ‘Beyond The Law’.Beyond The Law - the cover 2904

One of the greatest things we can all do as indie authors is to support our peers. Try to read other indie authors, and provide reviews. Make an effort to read widely in genre – it really does pay dividends.

Another good idea is to do as I’ve done here, and produce an occasional update on progress. It doesn’t matter if you’ve written one book so far, let people know you are out there.

As always, I thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts. Feedback is always welcome.


16 thoughts on “Elementary to Erotica – my journey so far

  1. Julia Lund

    It’s amazing to read about your writing progress – from a solitary poem during a coffee break to an author selling books on a daily basis. It’s so encouraging to see what, with determination, passion and hard work, can be achieved. Of course, you’ve got to add talent into that mix.

    Thanks for this post, Tom, I think I will stop and take stock in similar manner very soon; my current project is taking a different course to the one I’d planned and imagined so it would be a useful exercise to work out just what’s going on.

    And well done on your successes. Very well-deserved.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Julia, and thank you for checking in and leaving such kind comments. Having read both of your active titles I know you’re no stranger to hard work, and you have storytelling talent.
      To some it might appear to be self-indulgent to produce a piece like this one, but it is good for morale, and it reminds us why we work harder as we continue. I look forward to reading of your progress. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Julia Lund

        I’ve been mulling over what I might say … some of my future plans are still a little hazy – but the mist is beginning to lift. I think.


      1. I have no doubt.. Should have moved house Friday but went tots up now living out of boxes until Tuesday with half my life packed into a truck so most things on hold.. At least I got to see Ireland in the rugby and the Dubs are playing Kerry in the All Ireland GAA Football final today .. If we had moved Friday I doubt I could have watched then so every cloud eh? 😀 I will be reading it soon though Tom.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. so far I have written three memoirs and two adventure stories. I pulled out a mss I had under the bed since 1999 and want to finish it. However, it is a political parody with slight sexual overtones. I do intend to publish it, but I am worrying whether I should put it out there under my present pen name of under a completely new name. My present readers might just be horrified and I lose them all, but the thought of beginning as a total unknown is very daunting, especially for one book. Any thoughts on this Tom? (or anyone one else?)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lucinda, first of all I thank you for stopping by my humble blog. Now, how do I put this tactfully?
      If you have readers who believe in you as an author and as a person, you will not lose any of them – if they are genuine. If they are not genuine – you don’t need their opinions.
      You write as you see fit because you are a talented author with life experience, and you shouldn’t be afraid of what others think.
      It was suggested by a couple of people that I should publish my debut erotica under another name. Why would I?
      I like to think my name as an author means something to anyone who reads more than one of my titles. It’s me, writing another genre.
      I also have a manuscript that has been worked and reworked which has violence, sexual content and some politics, but I am gradually rewriting it as fiction – not because it would damage me, but because if written as a no-holds-barred autobiography, it would hurt others.
      Now girl, get on with it, and unless you’re going to cause discomfort to a loved one – get writing. If you have to – amend it to fiction with a few amendments. I hope that helps in your quandarry. 🙂


  3. Good advice Tom. I agree wholeheartedly, write what makes you happy, push boundaries and try new things and support other indie authors. I’m pushing a boundary right now and reading a genre I wouldn’t normally read – your latest ‘Give & Take’.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah Sylva, thank you for dropping by and I’m pleased you like what you see. You have my sincere thanks for trusting yourself to me and pushing your reading boundaries. I do realise what a stretch it must be for some folk to read erotica.
      I hope you like what you find, and it is entirely up to you if you wish to say what you thought, publicly, privately or not at all. Enjoy. 😉


  4. ramonawray

    Quite the journey, Tom. It’s encouraging to track your progress – it’s proof that it is possible, and that we all should persevere. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Ramona and thank you for visiting. I agree that it’s encouraging, and I think it works for both the author who looks back, and those who are setting out. Of course, it takes dedication, but there is an end product and the desire to go on. 😀


  5. WK Tucker

    Judging from what I read here, I think you’re a fine writer, Tom. I would love to review your writIng, (enjoyed your short story, Call of Duty, in Not What You Though) but I don’t think I could do you justice. I’m really into sci-fi, horror, twisted tales, and generally weird stuff, and can rarely get into a piece of writing outside of those boundaries. I do try, believe me. I’m anxiously awaiting your upcoming sci-fi anthology, and I WILL read and review it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. First of all, many thanks for the visit and the kind words Kathy. It’s because of how good you are at what you do, that I am working so hard with my sci-fi collection.
      I have a handful of stories already, but I’d like to make it up to 12. Perhaps if I can get to 10, I might come begging for a guest story from you and somebody else. 🙂
      I still have one of your ‘weird’ collections on my TBR, and I’m looking forward to it. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. WK Tucker

        I would be honored, if you need an additional story or two, to be included in your collection–if you don’t mind using one that was previously published in a magazine. After publication, all rights reverted back to me. Also, as you know, what I write falls more into the horror genre than sci-fi, though the two I’m thinking of could fall either way. All you have to do is let me know if you need something when the time comes.
        And thank you, Tom. You considering adding something of mine to your collection is a great compliment.


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