Guest post provided by Elene Sallinger.
When people find out that I started my writing career in children’s literature, the reactions are varied but always funny. It’s a classic “what the f@#$” moment. Somehow, this transition just doesn’t seem to compute for most people. Granted, children’s lit and erotica are much further apart on the spectrum than say mysteries and romance, but they are both still part of the fiction genre. And, the theme of my erotica – people overcoming their baggage – is only marginally different from the theme of my children’s stories – overcoming fear and doubt.
I began writing children’s stories after my then four-year-old daughter repeatedly asked for the same bedtime story which I’d improvised one night. She didn’t want more or less the same story, she wanted the details to match. With my memory being as full of holes as Swiss cheese, I began to write them down and illustrate them for her.
When he discovered this, her father encouraged me to take some classes. After much stalling, I finally did and a writer was born. Because my daughter was so young, children’s lit was natural for me. I found myself writing the stories I wished I’d had as a child. Stories that promoted facing fear, self-acceptance and overcoming doubt. All concepts I’ve struggled with throughout my life.
As my daughter grew and Dora gave way to Xbox and Chicka Chicka Boom Boom was put away in favor of Artemis Fowl, I found I had no taste for writing for the young adult market. There were too many prolific authors already doing it better than I could.
Around this same time, I stumbled across my first tale of erotic fiction, Seducing Jane Porter by Dominique Adair. One taste and I was hooked. I devoured everything I could find. Sadly, I also found myself disappointed again and again by stories that lurched from one sex scene to another with no plot, no character development and laughable, unrealistic sex scenes.
I’d already picked clean the catalogs of my favorite authors and was frustrated with a lack of quality content. I wanted more and I didn’t want to sacrifice my reading standards. One night, after deleting a particularly bad story off my iPad, I decided to try and write a story that I would want to read. The rest, as they say, is history.
After getting some practice in with a few short stories, I submitted Awakening to Xcite Books’ contest for new writers at the 2011 Festival of Romance and won! I haven’t looked back since.
I love the erotic genre and nothing pleases me more than a good story where people explore their sexuality while overcoming the baggage we all carry at some level.
While, I may write other children’s stories – I’ve got one or two percolating – I’m officially hooked on erotica and plan to continue writing erotic romance for as long as I’ve got a story to tell.
Hailing from Washington, DC, Elene Sallinger first caught the writing bug in 2004 after writing and illustrating several stories for her then four-year-old daughter. Her writing career has encompassed two award-winning children’s stories, a stint as a consumer-education advocate, as well as writing her debut novel, Awakening—a novel of erotic fiction that won the New Writing Competition at the Festival of Romance 2011. Visit Elene online here.
Click here to read my Awakening review.