The fantasy author (and future guest on this blog) Karen de Lange has tagged me to do the Next Best Thing Challenge. The idea is simple:

1) Answer the 10 questions below.

2) Spread the fun and tag 5 more people to participate.
(NOTE: I have only four just now as I found out my fifth is unable to participate, drat).

So, thank you Karen!

1. What is the title of your book / WIP?

Neurotica: Erotica for the Insecure

2. Where did the idea of this book come from?

Frankly, I was just having some fun one day after I had run out of ideas for a short story I was working on. I was thinking how so many of us are just so terribly self loathing and insecure, particularly when we are naked. The rest just flowed, as they say.

3. What genre would your book fall under?

Erotic comedy, if that exists. If not, it does now. Maybe instead of neurotica I should call it cumedy. Ok, pretend I didn't say that. Besides, people would think that was just a typo.

4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

There is nothing I would love to see more than a film of my neurotic stories. When I think of my stories, I always think of their being a British film. I love the films of Richard Curtis so much. I don't know if he appreciates that endorsement, but there you go. I don't have anyone in particular in mind, but I do know they would have to be comedians, British, and terribly good-looking without knowing it.

5. What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

I think the title says it all: erotica for the insecure.

6. Is your book published or represented?

Highly doubtful. Having said that though, don't you think it's about time someone published this genre? I mean, let's face it, most of us are neurotic to some degree. And most of us have sex, to some degree. Very few of us are comfortable in our skin. I think this insecurity is something virtually everyone can relate to at some point. Perhaps not exclusively, but we all have our moments.

7. How long did it take you to write it?
Still in-progress. I began several of these stories will I was massively pregnant back in 2010-11. Everything has been on hiatus for at least a year. I have a babysitter for approximately 4 hours a week so I would say that the last 10% will take as long as the first 90%. 

8. What other books in your genre would you compare it to?

I cannot think of any other books in this genre. I have read many delightfully neurotic comedies though. But none like this in particular. I'm not sure if there is a reason for that, meaning there is no market for it, or if I am about to go as large as 50 Shades. Let's hope for the latter. Babysitters are expensive, even if it's only for four hours a week.

9. Which authors inspired you to write this book?

Woody Allen, for one. Many people do not realize he is an author as well as a filmmaker. Erma Bombeck for another. Of course, neither wrote erotic stories. Woody Allen is terribly neurotic and Erma Bombeck, aside from being my idol, has a wonderful way of expressing the ordinary most extraordinarily. I like to think of his neuroses combined with Erma's lovely sense of humor. The erotica? Well I guess that's just my scribbling down my friends' anecdotes from their dating days.

10. Tell us anything else that might pique our interest in your book.

It's funny. What can I say but it's just funny and I hated to waste all those improv classes from Second City. The steam is steamy and appropriately inappropriate as necessary. I think many people can identify, however briefly, with the insecurity. I don't think any of these stories sustain themselves as a novel. But as little snippets, randomly, while you're sitting on the commuter train or waiting for an appointment etc., well, they're just the right size.

I have written these, lengthwise, for the smartphone generation.

If I should ever get the time, and anyone with small children will tell you this will never happen, I intend to make audio versions of these. See the point above, I hate to waste all those improv classes. Although I am massively introverted, I do enjoy doing standup. I also intend to learn Japanese and put my tax receipts in the appropriate envelope before year end. We will see which of these I manage to tackle.


I guess it's Japanese. My accountant will not be surprised.


And the four authors I’m tagging (I'm going for electic today):

Paula Tiberius

Gary Vanucci

Jessica Subject

Alexandria Szeman

From my upcoming Neurotica (erotica for the self-loathing) short story: At the Office

I’ve been wanting you for months now. At first I thought you were watching me to report to my manager how often I went to the bathroom but I can’t help it, I have this fear I’ll pee myself if I get preoccupied at work and don’t notice the signs so I make a mission to go every 45 minutes. I see how your eyes follow me and it finally occurred to me that I might actually be attractive to you--or maybe you really are just a snitch. I never read people right. I think I’ve got it figured out then next thing I know I’m in a five-year relationship with someone who’s been sleeping with my best friend in his spare time and somehow I missed it even though it was blindingly obviously to anyone else but me. In fact, my friends told me a few times about it but I was in total denial. Even so, I am willing to second-guess you’re watching me.

The one and only Gregory Twinklebear
It is a difficult thing to be a writer with severe bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome. You have to find new ways to write because you cannot help yourself, you need to write. Having voice recognition software does help, but I find what I miss is the actual physical process of writing. To put it frankly, I like to type.

Ever since I was a little girl, I loved the actual physical process of typing. I love the clacking of the keys. I love the idea that I'm playing a keyboard. When I was little, I dreamed of nothing more than having a typewriter to myself and piano. There's clearly something within my brain that makes me want to type, to play piano, or just in general press buttons. I don't know whether it's the cause-and-effect syndrome which captivates me. Or whether I'm just a little bit hyperactive I like to move a lot. Having the software does help me keep writing, but it prevents me from doing what I love the most which is wiggling my fingers around like a Charlie Brown character playing the piano.

At first it's a bit difficult learning how to speak into the microphone. But I'm fortunate that I am ancient and had a lot of practice with Dictaphones back in the 80s and 90s. But still, there is something very sad about not writing, literally, anymore. Anyone who knows me knows that I can talk blue streak for hours on end. But it's just not the same when it comes to writing. I want to write I don't want to dictate. But when the choice comes down to not writing at all or dictating, obviously dictating wins.

But it is like having a ghost to do my writing for me. My five-year-old son is enthralled by all this. He stands next to me and watches as the words magically appear on the screen. Sometimes accurately sometimes not. He is keen to give it a whirl too. Mostly to search YouTube for Scooby-Doo videos. He can read and write, but the idea of speaking to the computer is just too exciting for him to resist. He wants a space helmet too. I may have to glue-gun a collander to his mic.

Anyway, being a Frank Zappa fan I of course could not resist typing a few inappropriate words. Don't worry, my son was watching BBC Kids by this point. My favorite catch-all test phrase for voice recognition software—and I don't remember which tune this is from—is “titties and beer, titties and beer, titties and beer” which comes out today as: “duties and beer, kitties Anne deer, TDs and bear”. I was amused to find all the permutations of titties and beer which appeared earlier today, on the software’s first run.

But looking at the screen now watching my words magically appear I see that the software has learned what titties and beer sounds like now which is bizarrely gratifying. As an erotic romance writer, goodness knows I will be having to write the word titties or some variation thereof shortly. Having to constantly edit for naughty words in one of my books would be a most tedious task. I would say “heinous” but goodness knows what the software might think that word is.

This blog was dictated by my new software. I had only to add some punctuation (and fix titties and beer).