'You don’t look like someone who writes erotica.'
I get that all the time, and I have to smile. It’s a bit like being told, ‘you don’t look like you’re not wearing any knickers. You don’t look like you just had extra cream in your coffee. You don’t look like you’ve been reading Cosmo in the ladies room.’
Contrary to popular belief, most erotica writers actually do look exactly like erotica writers. In fact I look exactly like an erotica writer. Problem is most people don’t know what erotica writers look like. And, fair enough, I have to admit we’re a very difficult lot to recognize, so I’m going to give a very short crash course in how to spot an erotica writer. Not that it’ll help much. We’re masters of disguise. But perhaps it will give some idea of what you're actually up against so you won’t feel so bad next time you discover that the woman checking you out at the pharmacy, or the bloke tapping away on his laptop at Starbucks, or the chick picking up her kids after school is an erotica writer.
First, you need to know what NOT to look for in an erotica writer. Unless said writer is doing a reading from her erotic writings and is trying to look like people expect an erotica writer to look, the person least likely to be an erotica writer is the one dressed in fishnet stockings and nose-bleed stilettos. Likewise don’t expect her to be the one with peek-a-boo cleavage and a leather mini, or the one with Dita Von Teese make-up.
In fact, the most outstanding thing about an erotica writer is that she doesn’t stand out. In fact it's to her benefit not to stand out. She’ll be the one in the coffee shop in the corner in the back. She’ll be wearing jeans and a jumper because minis and tiny tops are just too damn cold and uncomfortable to sit around and write in, and erotica writers are endlessly practical. She probably won’t be wearing any make-up because the time it takes to put on a face is time that could be spent getting down the fab hot story idea that came to her while she was cleaning her teeth this morning.
Yep, chances are very good you won’t notice her at all, but she’ll notice you. She’ll notice everyone and everything around her, and she’ll filter it all through the mind set of possibilities, sexy possibilities, stories to be woven, and heat to be generated on the written page. She’ll have her head down, writing like a mad woman. And if she has a quirky little smile half plastered across her face, you’ll know she’s found the hot idea she’s been looking for.
Some erotica writers don’t stand out because they didn’t even make it to the coffee shop. They’re still curled up at home in their pajamas with a cuppa writing a story sparked off by a dream they had. They may be in their most comfy track suit, hair pulled back in a ponytail, feet snuggled in fuzzy slippers while they tap away on the laptop at the kitchen table. They may be scribbling away in a little purple notebook during their lunch break at the office.
It’s hard to say where they’ll turn up, or how they’ll disguise themselves, or what occupation they might take up to fit in to every-day, non-erotica-writing society. But it’s a pretty good bet that when they do decide to reveal themselves, you’ll still be picking your jaw up off the floor saying, ‘Wow, you sure don’t LOOK like someone who writes erotica.’