Friday, 16 August 2013

Erotic fiction - am I too old to be writing it? And why my Facebook Author page is making a comeback...

I've got a lovely author friend who currently has the misfortune to be plagued by a "cyber stalker" who, for no reason other than it must be the only way they can get their kicks, poor thing, leaves my friend the occasional snide, nasty and sometimes quite personal comment on her blog. These comments never get published, of course, why give this person a platform? But the other day I was contacted by my friend to say that this "stalker" of hers now had an issue with me. I'd recently written a guest post on her blog to publicise the new cover for Striker, and this post did, of course, mention that Striker was a rather steamy romance. And this is, apparently, what this person had an issue with - not that the book was steamy, but that it had been written by me, a 45-year-old woman. In her words, and I'm paraphrasing here, she thought that the idea of middle-aged women writing erotic fiction was disgusting. Oh, really?

Am I too old to be writing about soccer and sex? Er, no!
Okay, so, I've got a couple of issues myself regarding her opinion. Firstly, can we drop the "middle-aged" thing, please? In my mind it's still 1991, and I'm still in my early 20s, raving away to 808 State down South Parade on a weekend (I'm really curled up on the sofa watching Casualty - the spirit is willing and all that...) so middle-aged is something I really don't feel. I'm very young at heart, and always will be, although I draw the line at following One Direction...

Anyway, back to her issue - the idea of anyone over the age of 35 writing anything sexual being wrong. Is it disgusting? Should we leave all the erotic fiction writing to the young? Now, no way am I taking this person's comment seriously, but it did make me wonder what people really think about erotic romance, and the people who write it. 

As most people who've followed my work know, I haven't always written novels that veer towards the steamy. Some of them have been quite sexy, but in No Matter What and See You At The Show I actually toned down the sex, and removed some scenes altogether. So they're probably a lot tamer than they originally were in draft form. And I've also written books that aren't steamy at all, trying my hand at rom coms and a sweet little Christmas love story. But as I got braver and more confident, things changed slightly with Striker. With that book I dared to step that little bit nearer to the erotic side of romance. Not erotica, I hasten to add. Because I do think there's a difference between erotic romance and erotica. Probably not all that much, in some cases, but a difference none-the-less. And Extra Time, the second installment in the Striker Trilogy has probably moved even further towards that boundary. And I'm taking a risk, because not all of those who've read my earlier books will take to this change in my writing. But I'm enjoying writing these books, very much. Does it matter that I'm in my 40s? Does it? Really? Do we actually care about the age of the person who wrote the book we're reading, as long as we're enjoying the story they've given us? I know I don't. 

I understand that it's difficult for some (usually younger) people to get their heads around the fact that anyone over the age of 40 may still actually have a sex life, but is it really that repulsing to think that they write about it, too? Look at Jackie Collins - she's got a few years on me and she's still doing it. And yes, I know I'm nowhere near the status of Jackie Collins, but I'm just trying to make a point. Would it put you off a book - and I'm talking a steamy book here - if you knew it had been written by someone in their 40s, 50s, or even 60s? Honestly? If Fifty Shades of Grey had been written by a pensioner would you still have read it, or would the thought of someone of that age writing about that kind of stuff repulse you too much to even think about it?

In reality, I don't think there's a reader out there who cares about the age of the author of the book they're reading. Like I said before, if the story is a good one then nothing else matters, least of all the author's age. Is that true of erotic fiction, too? Should I, as an author of the more sexy side of romance, be leaving all of that to the younger writers? Does it put you off reading my steamy novels, knowing I'm about to hit 45? 

I'd be really interested to hear people's views on this, because, my books probably won't be getting much tamer in the coming years. No matter what anyone else thinks... 

Okay, moving quickly onto one final thing. My Facebook Author Page. Now, I know that a couple of weeks ago I shut down my original page, feeling - at the time - that it made more sense to stick to just one Facebook account. Well, I've changed my mind, like I always do. It's a terrible habit of mine...

Anyway, there is now a brand new Michelle Betham author page over on Facebook. I'm starting from scratch, doing it properly this time, and using it for what it should be used for - promoting/talking about my books. If you want to find out more about my work, read extracts from forthcoming books, etc., then this is the place you need to be, although I will still be posting book-related stuff on my personal account, too. I just didn't feel comfortable not having an author page. So it's back - but, as it's brand new, I currently have no likes. Anyone feeling generous...? I'd be really grateful! You can find the all-new Michelle Betham author page HERE. And thank you in advance to anyone who kindly pops over there and "likes" me. 

So, discussion on erotic fiction and the middle-aged, and a plug for my new author page done, I think it's about time I got back to the final round of editing on Extra Time. And for those of you waiting for this second book in the Striker Trilogy, kick-off (I've probably over-used that term so much since I started writing these books, but I can't help meself...) is still scheduled for early September. And look out for the cover reveal some time next week, too.

And whatever you're reading - be it erotic fiction or a good old aga-saga - have a great weekend! 

If anyone would like to check out my own stab at erotic romance, written by someone over the age of 40, you can find Striker HERE over on Amazon, and it's now also available HERE on Kobo.


  1. The simple answer to this post is no, you are not too old to write erotica in any shape or form.
    For many Women in their forty's they have spent the good part of their twenty's and thirty's bringing up children and often sex may have taken a back seat. I think women reach a sexual peak through their forty' fifties and I hope well into the sixties LOL. I think if you as an author is comfortable writing erotica then go for it. The market right now is thirsty thanks to all those forty something women.

    1. Thank you, Jojo. :)I shall continue to write the more sexy side of romance in the hope that market stays thirsty!! lol!! :)

  2. I love this Michelle! Would we want to read erotic fiction from a teen with no experience? Who better to write it than a woman of the world? And people always have the option of whether or not they choose to indulge! Reading or otherwise ;)

    1. Exactly! :) Couldn't have put it better myself, Amanda. ;)

  3. I wonder what this stalker would make of a 40something guy who writes similar...

    Probably think I'm a disgusting old pervert.

    You're never too old Michelle... and the older you are, the more experience you have to write about.

  4. Michelle, I agree with the previous commenters here. I'll tell you a story. I was in the hairdressers recently and an old woman in the chair next to me was handed a magazine. She gasped and said, "My dear, I am 78 years old. Why do I need to read about fifty ways to please my man?" The teenage junior blushed, apologised profusely and said she'd get her something more suitable. The next comment from the old dear had me in stitches. She tutted and said, "At my age I've already learned a hundred and fifty ways to please my man!"

    When it comes to bedroom action, the older, the better. They've seen it all, done it all and know exactly what they're doing. And the same goes for people writing about sex. That's why there are no famous 20-somethings writing erotica.

    Excellent news about the Facebook page too. Popping over there right now!