It all started a few years ago when Siren-Bookstrand signed up five of my books. They are American and business-like; I am an Australian from Queensland, a State that describes laying-back as strenuous exercise. I had been writing away by myself, creating books, and now Siren-BookStrand were going to sell them for me.
Turned out that the first thing I needed on my journey from dilettante to successful author would be a website. I needed a corner of the web all to myself, where potential readers could drop by and learn about my books and, of course, about me.
Now, there was a problem. The thing is, I like to write about fun, travel, good food, sexy romance - and I like real. In fact, I insist on real. I might be writing a fantasy about witches, or soldiers of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, but I have to believe in them and the way they behave.
I’m sure you can see what is coming. If you want sexy romance and reality, well, the clothes are coming off at some point. The thoughts and feelings of a heroine do not always revolve around ponies and flower arranging. At some point in her romantic journey, she will want to get a grip on things. Literally. And she will certainly want her things to be gripped, firmly, by the consenting adult of her choice. In fact, there are going to be pink bits all over the place, and our heroine and her hero will be putting them to good use in all sorts of interesting and rewarding ways. Creating stories like that was all great fun. In fact, writing naughty stories is just about the most fun you can have by yourself.
Fair enough. This is the twenty-first century, and even maiden aunts are aware of quite sophisticated ways to amuse themselves. It’s just that, even now, I find it a little embarrassing to carry a book like that up to the bookstore checkout. And if that’s embarrassing, imagine how I would feel if the rest of Cooktown found out what I write. Not that it was ever likely to happen. With all the people in the world, what were the chances that anyone from here would discover my site?
Let me tell you about Cooktown, Queensland. Firstly, our state reckons we are the Texas of Australia when it comes to miserable Puritanism. Playboy has to be toned down before it can be sold locally. Secondly, Cooktown is tiny. Even considering all the countryside for kilometres around, I doubt if we can raise 2000 souls. No hope of hiding in the crowd here. We don’t do crowds. We are literally at the end of the sealed road going up the east coast. We grow mangoes and passion fruit. Imagine what the farmers would think if they ever found out about my books.
Then the nice girl at our local newspaper chanced on my website, presumably when she was looking for some bedtime reading. She called me immediately, and the jig was up.
What happened? Firstly, I got an interview in the paper for my latest release, the paperback version of How to make Wild, Passionate Love to your Man. Then I had an interview on national radio about the same title. Local radio called up and demanded a chat.
People stopped me in the street, and I quickly found they were divided into two categories. The first group wanted to congratulate me just for managing to get a real book published. The members of the second group wanted to drag me off into a corner and discuss the book they had always wanted to write and had been ready to put pen to paper for the last twenty years.
I released another book as an Australian paperback - The Prince and the Nun. The Cooktown library bought a copy from me and did not even ask for a discount. The book just would not stay on the shelves, and there was a waiting list of people wanting to borrow it. Strange that. Cooktowners are so cheap they would not buy their own private copy, but they were happy enough to put their name on a public waiting list to read a very naughty book.
Nothing else. There must be people who disapprove, but I did not hear a whisper. The neighbours still talk to me, and their kids bring us fresh eggs and take care of the cats when we go to the bright lights of Cairns two hundred miles south. I now write for the local newspaper group - five papers covering an area the size of Michigan (but with less than 20,000 people.)
I feel different. I work at my chosen craft with some pride. I have started Q~Press Publishing and taken the lead with Yellow Silk Dreams, a growing band of independent authors, all writing interesting and sexy romantic stories. I am part of the ebook revolution, and bringing in some money. Not enough for a Jaguar yet, but a new second-hand car is on the cards. I am writing and selling more books than ever, and having even more fun!
Jacqueline lives in Far North Queensland, on the shore of the Coral Sea. She keeps herself busy with her cats and garden, and by writing books - some of which are far too naughty for her own good. You can find out more about Jacqueline and her books at www.jacquelinegeorgewriter.com