Those of you who are regular readers of my work will have noticed a distinct lack of, well, anything much on my blog in recent months, or indeed any new work. I can only apologise for this. As for many people, this year has been a pretty strange one for me. COVID has caused some stagnation and left me with a lot to think about with regard to my writing, that’s for sure. There have also been some other changes which have been extremely welcome, surprising, and have taken me in a personal direction I didn’t think possible, or indeed ever likely. But it’s not these which have caused my inactivity here.
For quite a number of months now, I’ve been discontented with everything I’ve done as Ina. What began as an experiment in seeing if I could write erotica under a pen name after writing as ‘myself’ for several years in a stop-start career, then began to grow over the last six years (at least in my own mind) into something I wanted to try and make a full-time, sustainable career in writing fiction. All very well, until you realise that you can’t actually advertise erotic fiction anywhere if there’s no way of putting a spin on it as something else (that big river place, for instance, will allow you to reach readers if your work is steamy romance; just don’t be under any illusions that they’ll let you advertise to consenting adults who want to read erotica if you’ve been honest and ethical enough to put it in the erotica category – even if these prospective erotica readers have no parental filter applied to their device, they’re still going to struggle to find your work. WordPress (and I totally understand why) expect you to tell them that your blog is adult-themed if it contains adult material, and in so doing, you don’t get the exposure (no pun intended!) to the entire WordPress readership. Social media is fraught with nightmares for erotica authors. So the audience is limited, to put it mildly, in comparison to other genres of fiction. There are many other issues in getting erotica into the hands of a paying reader, too. And the whole point is that I’m a full-time writer, trying to earn a living, so… problems.
Over the course of the last eighteen months, I’ve been reasserting myself as ‘myself’, the author who writes very different things to erotica, mainly crime, dark fiction, historical fiction, literary and Gothic-style work, and short story collections. I used to do this for a living a decade ago, along with editing fiction. Like I said, all a bit different to the work you’ve been used to here! (If you know me personally and are curious which name I also write under, shoot me a message, and I’ll happily tell you). This other writing has obviously impacted the time I’ve spent writing anything as Ina. The more time away from it, the less inclined I felt to write something that could be classified (or had to be classified) as erotica. I wanted to plough all my energy into creating the kind of work I’ve always been interested in, and that will reach readers. Personal circumstance, too, has led to me wanting to write less work that is purely erotic. Having said that, much of what I’ve done as Ina has also been intertwined with other elements (dark/horror, paranormal ad mythological, etc).
There have been many times in the last couple of years when I’ve almost deleted this website and been persuaded not to. It left me very disgruntled with myself, not because I’ve suddenly developed some kind of problem with erotica or my own erotic fiction, but because I knew that I wanted to do something slightly different with this website and my work and I wasn’t sure what.
I’ve always said here that what I love writing is emotion. I do that as my other ‘me’, so it’s clearly something ingrained in me. I love writing things that are a bit strange, frequently dark, often based anywhere but in the present. Several times I’ve been told that my erotica isn’t only that, and that it’s pretty dark and angsty, so evidently there’s something in the link between what I love writing ordinarily and the way I tend to write erotica, too; this link is something I decided to give a lot of thought to, moving forward.
I could go on and on about my thought processes and the agonising I’ve done over my writing as Ina, but no doubt I’ve already bored you enough! So, to cut what feels like an endlessly long story very short, I’ve decided to shift my focus. I know I still have erotica books in the works, and they are ones I want to write or finish, so I will be doing just that. But I will also be adding an extra dimension to my writing which will take me down the ‘romance’ route. To be quite honest, at this stage, that could mean anything (except clean and wholesome – it’s highly unlikely I would even attempt a book like that). What I know for sure is that there will be dark and angsty books, steamy stories, and they will generally fit somewhere into the ‘steamy romance’, ‘paranormal romance’ and ‘dark romance’ categories, as well as erotica. It’s also likely that I’ll add more books that include mythological stories, and without doubt, more short story collections because I love writing short stories. I may even include poetry! I really don’t want to restrict myself at this stage, but that is what I feel like I have been doing up to now.
I have every intention of changing this website to fully incorporate these new ideas and categorise things accordingly. Over the next few weeks and months you’ll notice a drastic alteration to the website. For now, I’ve reverted back to the one I began with, just for now. There will be added extras and a revival of the Clarian Press website, too, where I will be taking submissions for anthologies, eventually. I want to do all of this right, so it has longevity, and it will take time. Please bear with me. And I hope, ultimately, that you’ll like the changes that are coming…