Thursday, January 12, 2012

2012 Lesbian Fiction Appreciation Event: Cheryl Dragon: Was I Ahead of the Curve?

 Back in December of 2007, I published my first f/f erotic romance. Sorority Girl Pledge Time was an idea I loved and I wrote it. As a writer, I like a challenge at times. Writing in a different genre can get the muse working in new ways. I write the characters that show up.

Loose Id liked the story and bought it. Of course, I’d heard f/f wasn’t a huge seller. Ellora's Cave didn’t publish this genre back then (they’ve since begun acquiring it). To my surprise, the book sold as well as my others. I never had any reason to complain. Check it out here…

Synopsis: Hazing has never been this hot!

At the mercy and sexual whim of their kinky sorority president, Ashley and Blanca must work together to please her and each other. However, these former enemies find more than great sex, kinky toys, and Dom/sub play. Lesbian Ashley finds herself falling for the experimenting Blanca.

In the past Blanca used sex to get what she wanted from men, so women are no different. She finds the pleasure and intense connection is more intimate with women, but true love and great sex in the form of her high school nemesis is just too weird. Still, even when she backslides and brings two men in to play with, Blanca wants Ashley nearby. One night could push them apart or bring them together for good.

Can they build trust and find love under the wrathful paddle of their sorority president?

However, working a full-time job, I could only do so much writing. And my ménage stories took off faster. My most recent ménage is Moonlight & Mustangs.

Fast forward to December of 2011, I received a request from a fan via Facebook message. She wanted f/f interaction in my Lucky Springs series. These stories are about ménage + (m/m/m/f) relationships in a small Louisiana town called Lucky Springs. There are also sex parties where people can shed their inhibitions and group relationships can feel very normal. There are f/f/m groups in Lucky Springs, but their sex lives aren’t the focus of any of the stories thus far.

But would readers of this series (that features m/m/m/f relationships) want f/f mixed in? Or a f/f/m story? These are the questions that taunt authors who like to shake things up but don’t want to confuse readers who are invested in a series. I can start a different series if readers want it, and avoid any frustration. I don’t have the answer but there will be a lot more stories in Lucky Springs so feel free to chime in.

The market moves and evolves. I hope that message and KT’s great blog promotion are signs that f/f is trending up. I do enjoy the variety and the deeply emotional connections female characters make….as friends or more. All this makes me think that in 2007, I was ahead of the market.

Sorority Girl Pledge Time still sells every month. It was added to an Amazon listmania and when that list is trending, my sales pop.

I’ve had plenty of editors and agents tell me f/f doesn’t sell well and it’ll never be big. For a while, I believed it. I wrote it only when I had the idea and characters that demanded writing but I didn’t make it a priority. Most are shorts and since KT caught my attention, I’m polishing up one to submit to a f/f friendly and actively acquiring epub. Hopefully it’ll be a great addition to my other writing.

One more example of how f/f is popping up. All Romance eBooks has a group as part of their café. Sapphic Sensuality is devoted to f/f stories, the authors who write them and the readers who love them.

Happy New Year! May 2012 be the year of F/F!

A lover of unusual things, Cheryl Dragon enjoys writing unique stories with sinfully hot erotic romance. Her two favorite settings are Las Vegas and New Orleans...where anything can happen! Cheryl lives in the Chicagoland area with her deaf albino cat. By day she analyzes numbers for a division of a large international conglomerate, which leaves the creative juices free for her erotic romance novels.


Cathy in AK said...

Thanks for the heads up on the ARe group!

I heard the same thing about low F/F sales when I was writing Rulebreaker, but it didn't stop me from finishing it and seeking publication. And it won't stop me from writing the next one either : )

Heather Massey said...

>I’ve had plenty of editors and agents tell mef/f doesn’t sell well and it’ll never be big

Gee, isn't that what they said about paranormal romance?

Thanks for sharing your story, and many happy sales!

@Cathy Go get 'em, tigress!

She said...

Every genre at one time was told that. I hope the authors who are writing f/f keep at it. I think readers are not aware how the genre is changing. When I look at the subgenres within the romance category, each subgenre had the same perception. No one wants to read it but authors remained persistent and look what's available and look at the quality of much of the writing.

LVLM(Leah) said...

I remember seeing your book back in 2007 when I was looking for f/f. It was the rare f/f out there. I think at that time there were only a handful and even those were hard to find because epubs didn't really make it them easy to find.

I think the f/f genre has come a long way since then and I've seen an explosion of books. Just authors need to keep writing it and pushing for it to be published. I think the readership is there.

About All Romance, one thing that has happened since they've opened is that they got a lesbian section. In 2008 they didn't even have that. And now it's so easy to find f/f there and there's tons to choose from.

Also Goodreads has a few groups that discuss f/f and lesbian. I love that there's so much more discussion about f/f books.

Good luck and hope you get to put out more f/f!