Erotica Readers & Writers Association Blog

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Crossroads Coming into View

By: Craig J. Sorensen

In 1990, I started to write a book based on a fantasy world that had rattled around in my head since I was a kid.  I finished over 100 pages, then the story became disjointed.  I moved on to writing other things.




I finished my first book in 1994.  It was a modern fantasy, based on an uptight businesswoman who enters into a series of dreams, each of which features a door where she can wish for something and will receive it.  A sort of homage to the saying, “be careful what you wish for, or you will surely get it.”  Actually, it was more about “be careful how you wish for it.”  The dreams summarily invaded further and further into her real life, and vice versa.

I tried to find an agent or publisher.  I had no writing credits whatsoever.  I only tried a couple then slipped the book into a three ring binder and stashed it in a box.  Truth was, the writing quality wasn’t where it should be, and deep down, I knew that.  I went back into poetry and short stories, which I had played with since I had joined the Army in 1980.

Fast forward to 2004, and I returned to that story I’d start in 1990.  Over the years since then, I’d come back to the idea time and time again, written bits of it, built back stories and character sketches, drew pictures and maps.  I committed, January 1, 2004, to finish the first installment of the trilogy I envisioned by the end of the year.

And I achieved that goal. 

I planned to find a publisher or an agent.  I didn’t actually submit to anyone, I just looked hard enough to know that selling a novel about an imagined ancient world, a story with no magical element to it, would probably be a hard sell, especially for an entirely unpublished author.

And so I tried my hand at literary short stories.  I found some encouraging words, but to the point, from one prospective editor, “you write really well, but your story lacked vibrancy.”  It was a fair cop.  The stories I had been writing just didn’t sparkle.

One nasty little story I had written among my literary efforts sat off to the side, certainly no lit mag would want it.  Then my wife sent me a call she had seen.  Seemed that nasty story was a possible fit.  I sent out the story and had an acceptance within 24 hours.  Never mind that the magazine folded before the story was published.  I was paid.  I was an author.

Seems I had a home in erotica.  I found my energy there.  Something in my writing filled in. The characters were more lively, the settings and situations more vibrant.  A mountain I had seemed unable to climb suddenly seemed more ascendable.  A timely slowing of my duties at my day job left me my early waking hours to devote to my writing, and the success I was experiencing in erotica spurred me on.

Fast forward to late 2011.  I have around forty published short stories to my name and a couple of completed books in the hopper, even more in the works.  I’ve hit almost every goal I set for myself when I decided that I needed to get my “street cred” as a writer.  In truth, I’ve achieved some things I did not anticipate.

Suddenly, a crossroads appeared in the windshield.

To be continued…

4 comments:

  1. Hey, Craig,

    I really look forward to reading a novel by you. Your short stories always seem to have more meat (and I don't mean that in a salacious sense) than really fits into 5000 words. One can tell that your characters have histories and quirks that don't really get exposed.

    I'd say good luck - but I don't think you need it.

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  2. Do I have to wait until next month to know the rest :-)? I always feel nourished and inspired hearing about another writer who took on the very daunting challenges of making it in the marketplace, succeeded, and learned more about himself as an artist. It's so different from the more popular myths of the "chosen" spokesman for the generation who magically glides on to get an agent, million-dollar book deal and movie deal in the blink of an eye. Your very real story is so much more valuable--and I am very curious as to what comes next!

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  3. Thank you Donna,

    There is one thing that I have become very aware of over recent years: It's more about the journey than the destination.

    And I'm looking forward to sharing what this leg of my journey has revealed.

    I hope the result will be worth the wait!

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