I’m delighted to welcome Andrew Harding today, who is the first male erotica writer to visit my blog :). We’ve got a very interesting interview and blurb and an excerpt from Andrew’s 4th book in the Hybrid Series, Wet Daddy. Welcome, Andrew, and onto the questions!
How did you get started writing in general and with the erotica in particular?
I have MS and got to the stage where I hit the fatigue wall, so many sufferers know about. The thought of doing nothing wasn’t an option for me. I’d always said I’d write a book one day, so I bought the laptop, having plenty of time on my hands. That first book was the beginning of a trilogy. My sister, after reading the first two, said I should write something with more guts to it. I finished the last book in the trilogy and started the Hybrid Series. I had no idea I’d write erotica and was a bit shocked that I seemed to be good at it. My sister read a few paragraphs at a dinner party that had them gasping and giggling. She turned to me and said, “Finish it, it’s good.”
What was the best piece of writing advice you received?
Write every day, even if you don’t think you have something to say, you’ll be surprised what comes out. Read things over and over, and change it until you know you’re proud of it.
What do you think makes good erotica?
To be honest, I don’t read any. I’m on a path in the series and I don’t want that path diluted. I have no idea where the characters are taking me and to have another persons writing in my head would change it. I can’t take that chance.
How do you promote your books? Do you have any advice on marketing books for a new writer?
I promote them on Twitter and Facebook. I have a publisher for the first two books, but they haven’t a clue how to market them, having never dealt with books so extreme. I wish they’d told me before wasting a year of my life. That’s why they are all ebooks.
In this blog with Travis Luedke, he talks about discrimination against male erotica writers. Have you ever encountered anything like that? And do you find that both men and women read your books?
I wasn’t aware that there was discrimination against male erotic writers. I haven’t come across it myself and have male and female readers. What I do get is, people not wishing to review and I think it’s because they are so over the top, they don’t want their name linked to the books. I could be wrong but what else can you think when they have 5 star reviews?
Do you have advice for any male writers out there who are thinking of writing erotica, and for new writers in general?
You have to write in everything, no matter how shocking you think it is. I’ve looked at some, written in the small hours, and in the cold light of day, nearly passed out. I left every word where it was. My way of thinking is, unless you’re prepared to write it, warts and all, don’t bother. It wouldn’t read true to the reader and you would certainly hear about it in bad reviews.
Where do you get all your ideas and your characters from?
I think they choose me. Sounds daft, but that’s the only way I can describe it. When I think I know where I’m going in the story, I shouldn’t be so clever, the characters turn right, and I’m going down a different road entirely. I just let it happen now, although at first I did question it. The stories turn out better if I go along with what flows out, than I could ever have thought up myself. If I had to plan a book, I wouldn’t have written one.
Following on from that, where did you get your ideas for the Hybrid Series from?
They are first and foremost thrillers, but I knew the paranormal would be in there, as it fascinates me and has my whole life. I honestly don’t know where they come from. I have one sentence for an idea and then I find a good title to go with that. The rest just flows out of my head, and it’s a good job I type fast or I’d never keep up. I love writing the quirky characters, well if I’m honest, they all are. They are a dream to write. The books are not just erotica though and the police and forensic work is researched so that the seam is invisible between reality and fantasy. I don’t hold back when crimes are described, either. You get the lot, like it or lump it.
Who would play Alli and Harvey in the film of the book?
I’ve been asked this before. No idea as they are written in a way that anyone could play them. You’ll see that I haven’t described one character in any of the books. I might have mentioned their hair or clothes but not one thing that you could say, he should be that character. Not something I set out to do, it just happened. They are character driven books and read like screenplays, I’ve been told.
Do you have a writing routine? Do you need absolute quiet to write or background music/noise?
Complete silence is the only way for me to concentrate. Marketing my books is done in one hit, first thing in the morning, when I schedule about sixty tweets to cover eighteen hours. Then the day is mine, to write. That’s what I call heaven.
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block and if so, how do you get over it?
I wish, sometimes. This lot in my head wouldn’t even let me have a lie in. I haven’t finished the series yet and don’t know what would happen when I start something new. Ask me again…
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I’ll be a panster until I drop and why would I want to stop all the fun I’m having? This is a journey I’d have laid bets I wouldn’t be on, if you’d asked me a few years ago. To have a day where you’ve no idea where you’ll end up, is exciting for me and what keeps me writing. I’m learning every day with the research and then it’s woven into the story without me thinking about it. I can’t explain it.
What do you enjoy most about being a writer?
The escape. This has given me a new life with plenty to look forward to and I can go or do whatever my characters want. Notice I didn’t say ‘where I want’ because that never happens and I love it.
And the last question – what’s next for you?
My online book He Who Shall Not Be Named (HWSNBN) is attracting a lot of traffic. From 8K hits a month, up to the end of December, it’s gone insane. Over 31K pages of my book have been read, each month of this year. March is on track to do the same. It’s a spin off Hybrid book and the characters will meet and work with the series characters, to catch their killer, later on in the book. I have posted chapter 11 and the book is well over 59K words, so there is plenty to read. When it’s finished, it will have the Hybrid touch added, all I can’t write in it now, such as the erotica, and it’ll be published on Amazon.
It amazes me that I can kill as many humans as I like, swear like a trooper, but anything to do with sex and you’re a leper to every search-engine on the planet. It doesn’t make sense to me…
It doesn’t make sense to me either. Thanks so much, Andrew, for visiting and answer all my questions. Now onto the details of the book:
Having just solved one despicable murder and enjoyed a few hours of relaxation, Harvey, Alli and the rest of the Hybrids are thrust once again into a murder scene that beggars belief. Their boss from MI5 goes with them to see how they execute a job, to gain the staggering clear-up rate, they accomplish on every case. What awaits them is a serial murder that only belongs in nightmares and shocks them all, Hybrid and human alike. This book contains descriptions of scenes of an explicit sexual nature which are suitable for adults only. The contents are not suitable for readers under the age of eighteen years of age.
“Olli, Gina; we’re going up to your rooms now.”
Gina was surprised, “I was only in that room, this morning, Harvey. You don’t need to drag everyone, up there,” Gina was adamant.
“I think we do. You’ve only used two of the rooms for your stuff and things have changed, Gina.”
Her eyes lit up and we could feel the excitement in her. She took hold of Olli and dragged him through the back door. We followed them and couldn’t help laughing. She couldn’t help herself when she got so excited.
“When you get upstairs, start at the far end of the landing, Gina.” Harvey didn’t yell. She would’ve heard it through me. We could hear Olli laughing at her, as he was dragged along.
They waited patiently outside the furthest door, and I had to ask, “Why didn’t you go in, Gina?” Harvey was dying for the explanation, too.
“I didn’t want to, until you were all here, Alli.”
I laughed at her, “What was the hurry?” She just grinned at me. You know me; I go a bit over the top.
Harvey squeezed me as he loved the way she carried on, “Open it Gina?” he coaxed her.
She looked up to Olli, “You do it.”
He turned the handle and pushed the door open. “Oh my God, it’s beautiful!” Olli picked her up or she’d never go in and showed her around her bathroom. I knew she was crying; I could feel every tear.
A roll top bath stood in the centre, like mine. She’d always loved my bathroom and never moaned when they had to use it. She came running out to hug Harvey and me, “It’s just perfect. Thank you.”
“Open that door, Gina?” Harvey gave her a key.
She wasn’t scared anymore, and opened it quickly; rushing in to look around.
“Olli, get in here, you’re going to love this?” Harvey reached in to put a light on. She’d only seen it with the light from the hall and we could see why she said it, now.
They had lots of frames, like we have in our toy room, and the all important hoist in the centre of the ceiling. Quite a few whips and other toys hung on the walls. Olli was rubbing his hands together, “Thanks, Harvey. We really didn’t expect this.”
“I know you didn’t, Olli. You’ve lived with us the longest and have never wished for anymore than you had. If you look over there you’ll find something you wanted to buy yourself.” Olli hurried over to the bench and picked up Harvey’s present to him.
“Cheers, Harvey. Lucas you won’t be the only one dressing as straight as a fucking dye!” We could hear giggling, behind us.
“What the hell is it, Lucas?” Chris asked, quite innocently.
Lucas laughed at him, “Something that would make your bloody eyes water, just looking at it. Bring it out here, Olli? Chris is interested.”
We heard Olli giggle, “Show him yours.”
“Oh, fuck! He’ll see it better if you show him that one.” Olli kept him waiting as he was doubled-up, trying not to laugh.
“Show him your cock, Lucas, don’t be shy?” The innuendo in Olli’s voice had Andy in a heap on the floor, knowing Lucas didn’t want to and he couldn’t get out of it.
Reese and Chris were laughing but very interested now.
“Fuck it!” flowed out of Lucas. He dropped his jeans and boxers and waited for comments from the two gay humans.
“Doesn’t that bloody hurt? That band looks fucking tight,” Chris couldn’t take his eyes off it.
Olli poked his arm out of the door, “It’s this, he’s got up his cock.” His fist held the thick steel rod with the ball on the end.
“Jesus! How the fuck do you piss?” Chris was totally shocked.
A smile grew on Lucas’s face, “That’s the fun part. Getting it out and working it back in. I find I’m drinking so much more water these days and Andy loves it.” We were in fits, laughing at them.
What straightened us out was the crack of a whip, inside their toy room.
“We haven’t finished showing you around, Gina,” Harvey reminded her.
“I’m coming. I just couldn’t resist lashing Olli’s bum, could I pet?”
Olli giggled and came out, zipping up his jeans, “Never a moment wasted.”
They must think they’re in a fucking nut house, Harvey?
Reese had heard me, “No we don’t, Alli. Don’t ever think that. We’re both envious as you can have it all. You have a happier life than most hybrids, I know.”
“We all have Harvey to thank for that, me included. I never thought I’d have anything more than the tiny room I lived in and trying to write books. Harvey changed everything for me.”
He cuddled me, “And you for me.”
“That’s it. Too bloody maudlin by half,” Jo piped up, changing the subject. “Let’s see the rest of this floor?”
Harvey glanced at her. Thanks, Jo.
Andrew Harding worked in manufacturing all his life and seventeen years ago was diagnosed with Progressive Multiple Sclerosis. Although it was tough, he worked on for thirteen years and finally had to stop because he had arthritis in his left thumb.
All through his life he wanted to write a book, and with time on his hands that first book grew into three. The Spirit Trilogy: Spirit, Force and Parity.
Next, a fantasy crime series of books. A Government project to use Hybrids in the police force, with a heavy lacing of eroticism and just the way the Hybrids roll. The Hybrid Series: Split Decision, Critical Moments and Devil’s Dyke and Wet Daddy. Book 5 ‘Medium Rare’ will be published in a couple of months.
His life-long fascination with Crime, the Paranormal and the Supernatural has given Andrew Harding a huge amalgum to dip into, and more importantly, a new lease on life.
You can find Andrew’s website at http://ahardingbooks.com/