This is a page of my notes on Asking for Trouble plus some tiny scraps of paper detailing scenes from the novel. When I’m trying to figure out the structure of a book, one of my methods is to summarise key scenes, both written and unwritten, on pieces of paper and make a big, messy jigsaw on the floor. The jigsaw never gets completed (especially if I’ve forgotten to shut the cat away) but it helps shape the story and shows me the direction I need to go in next. Some scenes get deleted; some never get written; some are inspired by the jigsaw because, like I said, the jigsaw is incomplete; it has holes.
I love this part of novel writing. You can have two or three elements in the story which refuse to connect or a lone fragment that surely belongs to the horror novel that’s been on the back burner for years or a sex scene which is actually a short story in its own right. Stuff happens when you do the jigsaw. It can take days, weeks even. You number the scenes, put them in an envelope, get them out again the following day.
I find the best magic comes from the biggest problems. You might find a perfect way to connect those seemingly disparate elements. You might have to sacrifice one of your favourite parts for this to work. You might have to accept they won’t connect except in a feeble, forced way and then you have to do the big, strong thing and let go! Get rid! Delete! But always, always, something new is born.
This really feels like creation to me: what was once a miserable piece of carpet tormenting you through a hole in the scrappy jigsaw is now an amazingly hot piece of dialogue brimming with sexual tension and desire. And it’s just begging to be written!
Why am I telling you this? Because Alison Tyler has a wonderful new blog, Scruffy Jottings About Filth, featuring a fascinating – and expanding – array of smut writers’ notes. I sent AT a couple of pages of notes relating to my latest novel, Split. Then I got to wondering if my note-making style had changed over the years.
Asking for Trouble, my controversial and bestselling book, was published ten years ago. Yes, ten! It’s never been out of print, has been number one on Amazon UK’s erotica charts and still regularly hops up and down the top twenty. Sales have recently been gathering pace in the States as well. (Hey, what kept ya?) Anyway, later in the year, I’m going to have a party for my porn and you’re invited!
But look, my scruffy jottings have barely changed in the last decade: same handwriting, same type of notebook and pen, same dark and twisted fantasies! So Happy Birthday me! Here’s to knowing what you like while also staying open to exploration – but not so open that your likes fall out!
A month! That’s quite a lot of me.
If you’re not already, I hope you’ll become a regular at Alison’s super-smoochy salon.
Discover what my best time is for writing and what happens for me when I write. Stay tuned for the low-down on my ideal man, the colour of my bedsheets and my inner voices. There’ll be sexy excerpts from my smut and Alison will be giving away goodies, including a signed copy of my latest novel, Split.
So take a stroll over there. The lights are low, we’re drinking pastis and it feels like we have all the time in the world. Cheers everybody! Here’s to sex and decadence.
If you want to read the excerpt without going all squinty-eyed, try this.
I think that’s all my news. Weird.
No, I tell a lie. I do have news: Asking for Trouble received a great ‘five flame’ review on Bluegrass Romance Reviews. They say: ‘ASKING FOR TROUBLE is a flaming hot erotica novel that will leave you speechless. Ms. Lloyd gives a candid view of her lead character’s life … Nothing is off limits and the boundaries between reality and fantasy soon become a blur. I must say the writing is captivating and the storytelling superb.’
‘Jealousy is all the fun you think they had.’
– Erica Jong
The next four letters – I, J, K, L – in Alison Tyler‘s adorable alphasmut series are now available. I’m in J is for Jealousy (US here) with ‘Such a Special Couple’, a story about a woman who finds pictures of her boyfriend’s ex in his forbidden ‘Bluebeard room’. She’s not happy.
My contributor’s copies arrived today and I’m thrilled to see I’m there with fellow filthsters Nikki Magennis, Shanna Germain, Sommer Marsden and Jeremy Edwards. Today, Alison’s featuring J is for Jealousy on her blog so head that way for more.
Billy, the main vampire in my novella, The Vampire’s Heart, is quite literally a green-eyed monster: ‘His eyes were as hauntingly green as the aurora borealis that sometimes lit the northern skies.’ Check out this fabulous review from Tumperkin who writes about my ‘startling and lovely prose. [Lloyd] is such a visual writer. You see and feel every detail.’ Ah, that makes me happy.
And if you’re in the UK and want to spend money on some smut, now’s your chance. There are bargains galore on Amazon. Get the chart-topping Asking for Trouble for only £3.59! Darker Than Love and Lust Bites for just £3.99! And since you’ve saved yourself so much money, why not treat yourself to Split which is a snip at £5.99! And hell, while you’re there you may as well add Jealousy for £6.39. Hurry while stocks last!
I think I’ll stop there before I start sounding cheap.
The image is a bit ropey but who gives a damn? Yesterday, Asking for Trouble made it to number one on Amazon UK’s bestselling erotica chart! It’s been at number two plenty in its life but I’ve never seen it at these dizzy heights before. Hurrah! I have peaked!