I asked Lucy how she distinguished between erotica, erotic romance, and pornography.
“To me, you tend to find more short stories are pure erotica. This is because the action is crammed into a smaller word count, therefore is more of an ‘encounter’ and is mainly about the sex, with very little build up or any other knowledge of the people involved or their relationship. For this reason, erotic romance is often found in longer pieces of work, from lengthy short stories right up to novels. There is more time to develop the characters and the focus is on an overall storyline, rather than just sex,” she said. “Pornography is much more difficult to define. Personally, I think even erotic stories have a ‘story’ to them. In most of the stuff I read, there is at least a storyline, rather than ‘these two people had sex.’ I’m no expert, but to me, I think porn would be erotica without a valid storyline. But I haven’t really come across anything like it in writing, so I don’t know!”
Some of the established writers who write excellent erotic fiction, in Lucy’s opinion, are Portia Da Costa, Saskia Walker, Elizabeth Coldwell, Charlotte Stein, Justine Elyot and Janine Ashbless. There are also awesome writers who are relatively new to the erotica scene: Rebecca Bond, Lexie Bay, Bianca Sommerland and Eden Baylee.
“These ladies turn out some seriously hot smut – so watch this space!” she declared.
Lucy told me it’s hard to judge whether a book is good while you are writing it, but she tends to find that if she’s not enjoying writing the story, it’s generally not working out.
“If I find it a struggle and I lose interest in the words on the page then I think that if I don’t like it, why would anybody else?” she explained.
Most of the erotica she writes in contemporary, so she doesn’t need to do research for them.
“I just take characters, put them in a hot situation in a certain place and let them have at it!” she said. “I’ve written some paranormal stuff which requires even more imagination as you’re essentially creating a world and rules for it.”
She said she thought she’d only ever need to do research if she wrote a historical or set it in a place she’d never been to.
“For this reason, and because I’m a wimp, I haven’t written anything like that,” she told me. “I’m not saying I would rule it out, but I like to write what I know!”
“Did you always set out to write erotica or did it evolve from something else?” I wondered.
“I never set out to write erotica, ever. It came completely out of the blue, as a dare. It was at University, and I was chatting with some friends. We must have been having a pretty smutty conversation, as one of the guys passed comment that I’m very open-minded and that I should have a go at writing some erotica. I laughed it off to begin with, but my friend persisted and eventually dared me. Of course, I couldn’t back out then. So I asked him to give me a scenario, character names and then I’d give it a go. I did, and I wrote Sam & Katie, and took it back into the University. The guy friends present at the original conversation were really impressed with the story, and encouraged me to write more. I did, and I’ve never looked back. I do cringe at some of my earlier work, so I really hope that means my writing has improved!”
She went from the dare to writing for publication very quickly. Once she discovered her interest, she started reading lots of erotica, mainly Black Lace. She started looking at the market and discovered Scarlet Magazine, now defunct.
“I submitted an early story to them, and they published,” she said. “I was ridiculously excited and was addicted to that high so I never stopped writing and submitting. Luckily for me, publishers and editors keep saying yes! My aim now is to expand into longer pieces. Realistically this will start with a novella and then maybe, who knows, a novel. My ideas notebook is overflowing with ideas, I just have to get the words down on the page!”
On a more personal note, I asked Lucy about foods. Her favorites include chocolate, specifically Cadbury’s, and chips (or as we call them in the United States, fries)—though she hurried to assure me that she doesn’t eat them together. She is, however, also a really fussy eater, so she has an enormous list of food she cannot bring herself to eat.
“Anything gross like something’s eyeballs, testicles or whatever would have no chance,” she said. “But similarly, I can’t stand bananas or mashed potato. But that’s just a small selection of my no list.”
She refused to tell me her strangest habit, however, telling me that it was also gross… so we’re just going to have to wonder (unless you can get her drunk in tomorrow’s chat and get it out of her—she told me, though, that she rarely drinks now, so that might not happen.)
I asked Lucy what she did when she wasn’t writing.
“Reading, building websites, surfing the web, walking, visiting historical buildings and places, lusting after Jared Padalecki and watching TV shows like Supernatural, True Blood, Being Human, Buffy and The Tudors,” she said.
Yep, she has a super crush on Jared—in fact, if she could choose anyone, she would choose to be his wife, Genevieve Cortese.
If someone were to play her in a movie, she would choose Keira Knightley. Why?
“Because she has such an innocent looking face but I reckon she has a filthy mind. However, she’d have to pack on the pounds and wear a padded bra, bless her.”
“If you could entertain a character from a book, who would it be and what would the evening be like?”
“Ooh, this is a fabulous question. I’m torn between Eric Northman from The Southern Vampire Mysteries, and Anne Rice’s Lestat. Both are very naughty vampires, so I’d get one of them to take me out of an evening and go wreak some havoc. Not of the killing kind, but the lurking and spying kind. Then when we’d had our fun, we’d go back to his place and have some more fun,” she said with a wink.
You can keep up with Lucy on her website, http://lucyfelthouse.co.uk/,