Are erotica authors born, or made? After a lifetime of reading sex-drenched novels, I finally took the plunge two years ago and published one of my own. Now, five steamy (and occasionally raunchy) “Logan Belle” novels later, I’m still thinking about the books that started it all: the juicy, passionate, explicit, heart-stopping novels of my youth that made me hide my books under my bed and set my imagination (and other parts of me) on fire.
As a pre-teen, I devoured any book with even a hint of sex. I think the first “erotic” scene I ever read was in Judy Blume’s Deenie, in which the heroine Deenie was hooking up with her crush Buddy Brader and he tried to feel her up but she was wearing a back brace. A shockingly short time later, I read D.H. Lawrence's Lady Chatterley’s Lover—easy to sneak past the parental censors because of the classic-looking cover. Emboldened and hungry for more, I progressed to Jackie Collins’s Chances. I swapped the jacket cover featuring the photo of the vampy brunette for something innocuous. Well-worth the subterfuge: the sex scenes were scorching hot. Those first “erotic” novels are unforgettable—imprinted in my head like nothing that has followed. I recently asked fellow romance and erotica authors if they remember their first erotic read. The answer was, of course, emphatically “yes!”
Stephanie Draven (It Stings So Sweet): “My first erotic novel was the Story of O, which captivated me with its beautiful prose and strange, seductive, foreign sexuality. Alas, when I reached the end and learned that O was to be abandoned by her lover after having transformed herself into everything he desired, I threw the book across the room and wept. Maybe this is why all my erotic novels have happy endings.”