I like to think of my time between my two marriages as like the inter-war years in Germany. It was a time of debauchery and hedonism. A time of freedom and liberation. That is not to say I went on to marry Hitler, no, no, my second husband hates vegetarians, but that I had a ‘happy time’.

Just call me “The Weimar Republic”

I am not a particularly attractive woman. I’m ok, but I’m no beauty queen. At school and college I was the pretty girl’s best friend. I don’t know why the pretty girl always want to be my best friend but hey.
Yet, during the inter-war years, I WAS as popular as the pretty girl not because I started plucking my eyebrows and straightened my hair, (although I concede that may have been a factor) but because I had a fabulous man-pulling tool in my arsenal. (Oo-er.)

It was my job. There are some jobs that just do it for the opposite sex. Ask any male nurse or any fireman and they will tell you, “yes, the ladies love my work.” (Said in a really low voice, while taking off top)
So it is for a female erotic writer. The men love my work. I would simply have to announce “Oh yes, I’ve been writing sex scenes all day long,” in the pub and the fella would have abandoned my pretty best friend and would have been putty in my hands (which was not the desired effect but hey…)

Put it away, beauty queen! There are other ways to skin a cat.

The reason I am writing this is to say while erotica is massive at the moment and one or two authors are busily renovating their fourth or fifth homes in Provence on the proceeds of their book sales, for many more of us, the best sellers lists are a wet dream, and we have to take our job satisfaction elsewhere. And if that’s simply a sudden ‘irresistible’ aura then that’ll have to do.

There are other wonderful things about being an erotic writer – the shock on other parents’ face at the school gate when you tell them your book titles, the afternoons spent idly imagining plots, the first and final paragraphs, the editing process “How does he do that? He must have five hands?” the thrill of the first copy and the smell of the cover, the sight of the book on the shelves at Waterstones, or better still, in someone’s hands on the train.

There are many, many wonderful things indeed, but unless I have been particularly unlucky, then massive financial rewards aren’t one of them.

At the beginning of October and the beginning of March, I get my royalty checks. Last night, before setting off to invade Poland, my husband and I placed our bets. How much would I get this time? He said, “£800” which is uncharacteristically optimistic of him. I’m going for…£150. A cautious guess. I don’t know if my book sales will have gone up as part of the fifty shades effect or not. My last royalty cheque in March would not have bought a door knob on my imaginary house in Provence (£15) but I have, honest guv’, had pay outs of around £2000 mostly when rights had been sold to different countries (mostly Germany, oddly enough).

End of September, ‘salways an exciting time of year. I promise to let you know when the letter arrives.