My First Smut

My First Smut: It Was My Entrance to a Whole Secret World

My First Smut is a recurring feature where we talk about our formative smut experiences. These short confessionals may include such details as: What book did you read? How old were you? Were there other people involved? What made the experience special? What role does smut play in your life?

This week, romance and erotica author Jason Z. Christie talks about the influence Jackie Collins has had on his writing.


First romance novel you read:

Chances by Jackie Collins

How old were you?

11?

How’d you get your hands on the book?

It was my aunt’s. She also had a lot of super trashy paranormal paperbacks that I can’t even discuss the contents of here.

What was the reading experience like?

I had previously only read Scholastic stuff, Newberry/Caldecott award-winning kid books, and things like I, Robot by Isaac Asimov. It was eye-opening, for sure. This thing beat comic books all to hell!

I read all the time anyway, but this was my entrance into a whole secret world, and one I’ve never returned from. Life-changing, to be melodramatic about it.

What made the experience special?

Well, I was an adolescent male. More or less. This was…an awakening. Other than Playboy, I had no experience with anything like this. It gave the written word an entirely new set of powers over my mind. Jackie Collins put adult film material in my head before the advent of VCRs, and I love her for it.

It’s only recently that I’ve realized how much of an influence she has had over my own work. She wrote smutty parts, but they were encased in grand stories that would have stood on their own regardless. It was only after I had written several myself that I began to understand that it was largely her influence at work. I definitely didn’t get it from Judy Blume.

What role does smut play in your life?

I recently wrote a two chapter (long chapters!) mass adult film tryout that occurs in the Palladium in L.A., if that’s any indication. Even my attempt at toning things down and writing a Young Adult novel still managed to have the, erm, P-word in it.

At the same time, I tend to write characters that are very much in love, in most cases. That allows for richer stories, and gives the characters the freedom to explore some pretty wild fantasies, while remaining grounded in each other. I’m a romantic with a raging libido.

It’s such a part of my life, in fact, that I’ve even channeled my novel writing abilities into my first book of pure erotica. Even then, they’re self-contained little tales that manage to convey some aspects of a good relationship, while remaining utterly filthy.

It’s my lifestyle, for that matter, and extends off of the page and into the real world.


Author Jason Z. Christie tries to temper his smut writings with deep romance, and has learned that it’s far harder to shock soccer moms than he had ever imagined.

Check out Jason’s books here | Connect with Jason on Instagram


Have an early smut experience you’d like to share with us? If you’d like to see your story featured, send us an email or fill out our questionnaire and we’ll post it in an upcoming week.

My First Smut

My First Smut: Reading Smut Inspires Writing Smut

My First Smut is a recurring feature where we talk about our formative smut experiences. These short confessionals may include such details as: What book did you read? How old were you? Were there other people involved? What made the experience special? What role does smut play in your life?

This week, romance author KB Alan talks about entering the eye-opening world of erotic romance—and the joys of e-books.


First romance novel you read:

I don’t actually remember the first romance book I read, but I DO remember the first erotic romance I read: Lora Leigh’s Harmony’s Way.

How old were you?

In my late twenties.

How’d you get your hands on the book?

I picked it out of the paperback carousel at my local library.

What was the reading experience like?

I was reading A LOT of books at the time, and going through all the paperbacks my library had available, so I grabbed this up with no idea what it was. My world was seriously rocked at the erotic romance and explicit sex (let say I was in a personal smut drought at the time). I looked the author up online and found that she had several books only available as digital downloads through an erotic romance publisher. My addiction to ebooks was born!

What made the experience special?

That erotic romance digital first publisher ended up being MY publisher several years later. After reading *a lot* of erotic romances, I decided to try writing one. I submitted to that same publisher, and Perfect Formation was published in 2009, when I was 34.

Bio

KB Alan lives the single life in Southern California. She acknowledges that she should probably turn off the computer and leave the house once in a while in order to find her own happily ever after, but for now she’s content to delude herself with the theory that Mr. Right is bound to come knocking on her door through no real effort of her own. Please refrain from pointing out the many flaws in this system. Other comments, however, are happily received.

Connect with KB!

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram


Thanks KB! We’re looking forward to reading your latest erotic romance, Perfect Temptation! Watch this space for a review coming soon.

Have an early smut experience you’d like to share with us? If you’d like to see your story featured, send us an email or fill out our questionnaire and we’ll post it in an upcoming week.

My First Smut

My First Smut: Smut in the Pandemic

My First Smut is a recurring feature where we talk about our formative smut experiences. These short confessionals may include such details as: What book did you read? How old were you? Were there other people involved? What made the experience special? What role does smut play in your life?

This week, author Jane Morris talks about finally giving romance a chance in the early days of the pandemic…and loving it.


First romance novel you read:

Credence by Penelope Douglas

How old were you?

Late thirties

How’d you get your hands on the book?

I saw it recommend on Instagram and the pandemic had just started, so I grabbed the ebook.

What was the reading experience like?

I was never willing to try romance because I judged it wrongly, like many people do. This book completely transported me. The descriptions of everything made the world so real, and I was able to escape into this immersive atmosphere of nature and passion and longing.

What made the experience special?

The fact that I felt like I was in on a secret while reading made it memorable. It was like doing something I wasn’t supposed to be doing, reading while my kids played or slept. The fact that the sex scenes were so visceral and including every detail made me feel like I was a voyeur in their world, a world I would totally judge in real life while secretly wanting to live in it.

What role does smut play in your life?

It’s a fabulous escape from everyday life. Instead of drinking hard liquor on Friday nights like my husband, or smoking a joint like I did in my teens to escape, I enjoy the process of finding the perfect story that grabs me by the throat and won’t let go. Reading those books inspired me to write my own, and include every dirty detail just the way I would want to read it.

Bio

Jane Morris is the author of the bestselling Teacher Misery series. Her new contemporary romance novel based on a historical love triangle, Memento Mori, released earlier this week!

Connect with Jane at teachermisery.com or on Twitter and Instagram @teachermisery.


Thanks Jane! We’re always excited to hear from people who are new(ish) to romance and embracing the genre whole-heartedly! Looking forward to reading Memento Mori—watch this space for a review coming soon!

Have an early smut experience you’d like to share with us? If you’d like to see your story featured, send us an email or fill out our questionnaire and we’ll post it in an upcoming week.

My First Smut

My First Smut: Romance Gets Us Through the Hard Times

My First Smut is a recurring feature where we talk about our formative smut experiences. These short confessionals may include such details as: What book did you read? How old were you? Were there other people involved? What made the experience special? What role does smut play in your life?

This week, romance novelist Sara Ohlin talks about romance getting her through high school. We can relate.


First romance novel you read:

I was always lost in a good book growing up so it’s hard for me to remember my first romance exactly, but it was either a Danielle Steel or The Heir by Johanna Lindsey. Nora Roberts books and Rosamunde Pilcher quickly followed.

How old were you?

I was around 16 or 17. My family had just moved from our beautiful life in Colorado to Ohio. I started a new high school as a sophomore and I was miserable! I was also used to reading classics and horribly sad books with unhappy endings. Discovering romance books was so much fun!

How’d you get your hands on the book?

I got them all from the library. Thank goodness for libraries!

What was the reading experience like?

All of these authors swept me away with their emotions and sometimes over the top plot and I loved all of it. I was also pleasantly surprised to discover characters in books could have a happy ending. And they were great escape from my real life full of family tension and secrets and a high school I hated going to.

What made the experience special?

It was definitely lovely for me to read about women discovering their strengths, finding themselves, falling in love, and getting their happy ever after. It was also a way for me to learn about sex because we never talked about sex growing up. Ever. Not even the emotional component to sex, which is just as important in my humble opinion. And to discover that women deserved love, deserved sex, deserved to enjoy sex and to be treated wonderfully, it was eye-opening.

What role does smut play in your life?

I’m happily immersed in the romance genre, from writing it to reading it, to trying to get other people to appreciate it. I love romance books and am usually reading several books at once, mostly on my Kindle because I can make the font bigger, but if I love a book to pieces, I’ll buy the print copy as well.

I still adore the library and have often discovered new to me romance writers at the different libraries in the different cities I’ve lived in. When I was first married, my husband and I moved to a small town in Georgia and I devoured every Brenda Jackson, Nora Roberts and Johanna Lindsey novel the library had. For such a small town, they had an amazing romance section.

After my mom died of cancer ten years ago, I found I mostly only had the stomach to read romance novels. I wanted to be swept away with great emotion, great love and great sex, and I wanted a guaranteed happy ending.

Today I still mostly read romance, and I love all the categories, from contemporary to paranormal to monster, to historical. And I love finding so much more diversity in romance! Some of my favorites, and I know I’ll forget some, are Talia Hibbert, Kristen Ashley, April White, Naima Simone, Tasha L. Harrison, Penny Reid, Olivia Dade, Fiona Quinn, R.M. Virtues, Kennedy Ryan…so many! So many great books, never enough time!


Bio & Links

Puget Sound based writer, Sara Ohlin is a mom, wannabe photographer, obsessive reader, ridiculous foodie, and the author of the contemporary romance novels, Handling the Rancher, Salvaging Love, Seducing the Dragonfly, Igniting Love and Flirting with Forever. She has over sixteen years of creative non-fiction and memoir writing experience, and you can find her essays at Anderbo.com, Feminine Collective, Mothers Always Write, Her View from Home, and in anthologies such as Are We Feeling Better Yet? Women Speak about Healthcare in America, Take Care: Tales, Tips, & Love from Women Caregivers, and Chicken Soup for the Soul.

Although she’s the author of many essays about life, grief, motherhood and the connections we make through delicious food and shared meals, Sara loves creating imaginary worlds with tight-knit communities in her romance novels. She credits her mother, Mary, Nora Roberts and Rosamunde Pilcher for her love of romance.

If she’s not reading or writing, you will most likely find her in the kitchen creating scrumptious meals with her kids and husband, or perhaps cooking up her next love story. She once met a person who both “didn’t read books” and wasn’t “that into food” and it nearly broke her heart.

You can learn more on her website.

Connect with Sara: Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest | BookBub | Goodreads


Thanks Sara! Sara’s latest book, Flirting with Forever, just released on Tuesday, and we’re excited to give it a read! Watch this space for a review coming soon.

Have an early smut experience you’d like to share with us? If you’d like to see your story featured, send us an email or fill out our questionnaire and we’ll post it in an upcoming week.

My First Smut

My First Smut: From Roberts to Reage

My First Smut is a recurring feature where we talk about our formative smut experiences. These short confessionals may include such details as: What book did you read? How old were you? Were there other people involved? What made the experience special? What role does smut play in your life?

This week, romance author KT Samois talks about the journey from Nora Roberts to The Story of O.


First romance novel you read:

Now that I think about it, I’ve been reading romance novels for so long that I actually can’t remember my first one! I remember a few that made particular impressions, though, so I’ll share those instead. I must have been in my early teens when I picked up Nora Roberts’ Taming Natasha. By sixteen, I’d progressed to titles like Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey, and the worldbuilding and villain were enough to have me hooked. Later on in college, I took a semester of French literature. What started with Voltaire’s Candide ended with Reage’s The Story of O… and after that, nothing else on the bookshelf was about to intimidate me!

How old were you?

I started reading softer romances in my early teens, but by the time I was in college I’d developed a preference for smut. You know how it goes… You start out as a little goth reading Interview With The Vampire in high school, and before you know it you’re purchasing The Taming Of Sleeping Beauty on your very first Kindle and wondering if you burst into flames before or after you read it! (Answer: After. Definitely after. You could have lit a candle off of my blush.)

How’d you get your hands on the book?

My mother’s a huge Nora Roberts fan, so I’d bet money on having found Taming Natasha on a bookshelf at home. On the other hand, I borrowed Kushiel’s Dart from the library the summer I interned there shelving books. Ironically, the dirtiest books I own were purchased at my Campus Bookstore for my French literature course. To this day, I have no idea how that reading list made it past the Dean.

What was the reading experience like?

Reading Taming Natasha felt terribly grown-up at the time, and I’m sure there were plenty of dreamy teenaged sighs at the tasteful fade-to-black scenes. By the time I made it to Kushiel’s Dart, I’d acquired a terrible habit of developing crushes on the villains, and a taste for dark smut written well.

On the other hand, Reage’s The Story of O was the first book in years I read with my back to a wall so nobody could read over my shoulder. The author managed to identify the thread of decadence I’d enjoyed in Kushiel’s Dart and had created a world where that dynamic was writ large. The book’s about as thick as a stack of playing cards, and I’m sure I put it down ten times a chapter… but it made its impression. In retrospect, I think Reage’s use of language — and her ability to titillate and challenge her reader simultaneously — was what attracted me to the genre as an author.

What made the experience special?

I remember having a moment of clarity after reading The Story of O for the first time. There was something about creating an experience that hovered at the intersection of beauty and decay that really interested me as an author, and as a reader. O wasn’t a typical heroine, and none of the men in the novel were heroes as I knew them, but there had been a certain ambition to her that drew me in. She wasn’t carried along by the plot; she was making unapologetic choices, even if they weren’t ones I would have made, and it was refreshing to see a female character written with such agency.

What role does smut play in your life?

Pre-Covid, I was often in the air a couple of times a month for business. A solid book gets me through the inevitable layovers and delays and once in the air, a spicy scene or two keeps me from crying when we hit turbulence. Now that I’ve transitioned from reader to author, it’s a fun opportunity to invite my readers to meet heroines that challenge their assumptions, and heroes that inspire all the best bad ideas.


K.T. Samois is the pseudonym for a duo of high-octane overachievers.

T is an account executive by day and airport insomniac by night, who passes the inevitable flight delays by writing spicy stories long-form. She is shamelessly ENTJ, and has a dog.

K is a published artist, professional designer, and hobbyist hacker who is sustained on Colombian coffee. She is proudly INTJ, and has a cat.

Together, they write romance novels about heroes with a license to thrill, and heroines with killer instincts. Follow them at www.ktsamois.com for behind the scenes peeks, upcoming releases, and the occasional pet and/or travel photo.


Thanks KT! KT’s debut novel, No Time for Caution, released on May 1! We look forward to reading it—watch this space for a review coming soon.

Have an early smut experience you’d like to share with us? If you’d like to see your story featured, send us an email or fill out our questionnaire and we’ll post it in an upcoming week.