August MacGregor

Celebrating Sensuality. Intended for mature audiences, 18 and over


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Why I Write Erotic and Romantic Fiction

I originally wrote this by a request from Elizabeth over at Just Add Tea, and I wanted to add it here after reading Emmanuelle de Maupassant’s post “Why Write Erotic Fiction?” that offers a wonderful variety of voices (I reposted it yesterday).

First, a little background in how I got to the point where I’m writing erotic and romantic stories. Several years ago, I saw an online contest for erotic short stories. I was writing general fiction at the time, and I figured, Why not? It’ll be fun to try something new. I won an honorable mention, and that was soon followed by an invitation to join other authors in contributing to Ruthie’s Club, a subscription website that offered erotica — with each story accompanied with an original illustration at the beginning. I enjoyed being a part of the site, and many stories came out of that relationship.

Unfortunately, Ruthie’s Club shut down around 2010. That left all those stories no longer published — and a lot of ideas in my head for more stories.

Then I learned about this little thing called “self-publishing.” You mean I could prepare an ebook and put it up for sale on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords? I figured, Why not? It’ll be fun to try something new.

Yes, that’s a recurring theme for me. It drives part of my writing. Because stories can come in forms of fantasies that I want to see played out and see where they go. I imagine that scores of people have fantasies, and authors move those from their heads to the computer screen (or typewriter if you’re old school like that).

And sex scenes can be electric to write. Sometimes, my fingers can’t type fast enough to get the action out. Thank goodness I can type fairly well, and don’t have to hunt-and-peck — which would’ve driven me bonkers from impatience.

However, my writing is not just about the sex. (Okay, you got me: that part of storytelling is fun.) Deeply satisfying is writing about people connecting on emotional levels — not just physical. I’ve noticed that my writing in the past couple of years has come to include this. Before, I was pretty single-minded on writing about people simply enjoying pleasure. Now, though, the characters also enjoy togetherness. And that has broadened my writing to involve scenes besides sex.

In turn, that expanded my stories from only the erotica category to romance. Which is something I never saw coming. I read a mixture of stories, including general fiction, thrillers, and erotica. I don’t come from reading a vast library of romantic books. So I feel as a newbie in the field. (By the way, the romance that I’ve read which has probably stuck with me the most is The Lover by Marguerite Duras. An exquisite book.)

Relationships and emotions are complex, and I probably capture only a fraction of them in my stories. I’m fascinated by relationships and emotions, so there’s plenty for me to explore. My most recent novel is The Sweet Taste of Revenge, in which the main character divorces her cheating husband and plans to get revenge on him. That’s been an interesting challenge. I’m not a woman, nor have I been divorced. But in writing the book, I hope I was fair to the character. It was quite a ride.

Speaking of a ride, I suppose that’s the reasoning behind why I write. It’s the rush that I get when I take an idea and turn it into a story. That can be with an erotic and romantic story — or tamer stuff. I use August MacGregor as a pen name for the Rated Mature content and my real name for the rest. Writing is way too much fun to commit to only one type of story.

With my August pen name, I try to tell stories of people enjoying the sensual things in life and connecting with each other — but making mistakes along the way. I find that to be another part that brings interest to writing. Because things don’t always proceed perfectly. When a character is in love with someone, the second character may not feel the same way in return. People cheat in relationships. Not every couple has simultaneous orgasms that are mind-blowing every single time.

Which brings the hope that a story with people making mistakes is more interesting for the reader. Because I’d love for my stories to be a ride for readers, just like the stories were a ride to put together.


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First Day of Summer: Free Ebooks

Sizzle Up Your Summer!

It’s Gonna Be A Scorcher!

Your Kindle Will Burn Up!

I had to get those out of my system. Those headlines came to mind, and I thought they were really cheesy, but I couldn’t help myself.

I’m giving away several ebooks in the hope of adding to your hot summer reading list. Reading on the beach is a standard vacation activity, and I’d love for my stories to be read on the beach. As well as by the pool. And on a couch. And in bed.

Which makes me think of Sam-I-Am’s list from Green Eggs and Ham … but I’d like to think my writing is more appetizing than that dish.

Today through Wednesday (June 22), the following ebook titles will be free on Amazon. They’re mostly short stories, along with a novella. PLEASE NOTE that these stories include explicit sexual activities between consenting adults, so ONLY read if you are at least 18 years of age.

These two titles are free today only, since this is the last day of their term on Kindle Unlimited:

I hope you enjoy the stories!


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Reading Heartbeating

(Note: the first link is safe for work, but the second is not. Which is a good reason to click on it.)

The infographic says
6 minutes of reading
can slow your heartbeat,
and I like that reaction
of readers ingesting
some scenes in my stories.

But in other scenes,
I hope for quickened thumping
of readers’ hearts
as their eyes leap from
word to word
line to line
in a rush to find out
what sensual thing
happens next.
Because in my stories,
it’s fantasy time
and not the kind of fantasy
of strolling by a lazy stream
(birds chirping
sun shining)
and seeing a flying pegasus
swoop down nearby, then
is led by a friendly elf
to the stream for a drink.

Rather, the fantasies are meant
to elevate heart rates
like books that come
with trigger warnings
which turns away some readers
but is a draw
for other readers who
(while they’re deep
in the forest of the story)
find a good position to prop the book
with one hand turning the pages,
while the other hand
teases their own triggers,
causing heart rates to skyrocket.


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Best Friends

Thanks to all who downloaded my free e-books over the weekend. I very much hope you enjoy the stories!

And now, a quote from Groucho Marx…

“Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.”
― Groucho Marx, The Essential Groucho: Writings For By And About Groucho Marx

dog, by Chris Frewin (Flickr, Creative Commons)

Chris Frewin (Flickr, Creative Commons)

*****

Quote from Good Reads. The photo above is used under the non-commercial Creative Commons license. Click on image to jump to photographer’s Flickr page.


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Amazon’s New Payments Per KU Pages Read

Last week, Blondewritemore’s post That magical moment when you decide NOT to quit writing was a great description of those times when a writer — and other artists, I would imagine — has a build-up of doubts that lead to wonderings whether he or she should continue writing. And when you decide not to quit, that moment is indeed magical — as you rediscover the magic that made you fall into love with writing in the first place.

It happens to me lots of times. I wrote about self-doubt back in November, after I ran across a quote from Neil Gaiman in which he describes doubts rising as he was working on a novel. He called his agent to share these doubts, and she illuminated him with the fact that he had called her with doubts after every novel — as all her other clients did.

That quote helps me in times when doubts start creeping into my writer’s house, like an invasion of little robbers. The quote is one of those helpful things to get me back on my feet. Or, rather, back on my butt — and my fingers back to tapping on my laptop’s keys.

Amazon recently changed the way it pays authors who have books in their Kindle Unlimited (KU) program. KU is a subscription service where customers pay a monthly fee ($10, I believe), and they can dive into an orgy of reading, to inhale as many KU books as they like. Authors who include their books in the KU program give their solemn oath that the books are not available in electronic form anywhere else.

Yes, this is a monopoly on ebooks for Amazon. You’ll find advice out there giving benefits and drawbacks of including your book in KU. The piece of advice I found valuable was that having a book in KU is good for beginning authors, since a customer doesn’t have to risk money on an author they’re not familiar with, since the monthly fee covers all the KU books the customer wants to try.

I have several books in KU, and I’ve found that it has led to more books being read. The KU borrows have added to sales. And that’s good stuff to an author who hopes to eventually make writing a career.

So back to Amazon’s change in its payments for KU books … Used to be that authors were paid a portion of the monthly KU fund based on how many of your KU books were borrowed.

As of July 1, authors are now paid by pages read. The proper, initial-capped term is Kindle Edition Normalized Pages (KENP) Read.

At first, I didn’t know what to make of this. But now, I like it. Because of the chart showing me, each day, how many pages of my KU books have been read. And that’s sweet stuff. Previously, I never knew if a KU book was being read. Just because a customer borrowed a book didn’t mean they actually read it. Now the data tell me that, yes, pages are being read. And how many.

It’s a boost to an author’s confidence to see the chart and say, Hey, 5,000 pages of my books were read yesterday! Sure, the numbers go up and down daily. But they provide feedback of being read. Similar to receiving comments on a blog post and reviews on a book.

I don’t know how the payment change will turn out financially for authors. If an author has mostly short stories on KU, I can see the change lowering their payments. For me, though, it wasn’t as if a hundred of my books were being borrowed every day — so the financial change won’t be significant. However, the change in feedback certainly is.


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Too Many Good Books

bookshelves, by Sue Langford (Flickr, Creative Commons)

Sue Langford (Flickr, Creative Commons)

“Life isn’t really short. There are just too many good books to read in one lifetime.”

― Mokokoma Mokhonoana, The Confessions of a Misfit

*****

Source: Goodreads. The photo above is used under the non-commercial Creative Commons license. Click on image to jump to photographer’s Flickr page.