I've recently discovered how difficult it is to cut the smut from my stories. I originally got into writing erotic romance because there were more publishers looking for it when I became serious about publication. At the time, ePublishing wasn't popular among readers and a lot of my friends, families and associates scratched their heads, asking why I didn't want to be in print. The answer of course, was simple. I did. But to get from point A to point B, I needed to get some publishing credits first. Now with over twenty books under my belt, I'm returning to my roots and working on stories I put aside to build a career.
So, what is so hard about toning it down? A lot of things. For one, when hotter was expected, so too was the language. You called certain parts of the body what they were. Dirty words become a habit, a hard one to break. Hey, I'm not saying they don't have a place in New Adult, but part of the reason I've gone down this road is because I want to tone down the sexual content in my work. I don't mind writing erotic romance, it just isn't where my heart is.
Cutting the smut also screws with the tension. When you have a great deal of focus on the couple's sexual relationship, you have to get back to the frame, strip the meat off and start over. The plot may be solid, but there will be changes, especially when the focus shifts to other things besides sex. Now, I have pretty strong plots and world-building, and this works in my favor, but I have to find other ways to crank the tension, besides the emotional connection between the hero and heroine.
So, where am I now? I have several stories in the works, a couple submitted to various publishers. One of my favorites, I published for a short stint under my other author name. This title has been reworked and I have two of the tales in the series completed and two half way there. This particular series, I consider some of my best work.
Anyway, that's were I'm at right now. Check back for updates. I promise to keep you posted.