I write erotic romance under my real name – Barbara Elsborg. No place to hide because I appear to be the only Barbara Elsborg in the world. Ha ha. I knew my husband would come in useful for something one day! Oh yes and the two kids. It makes me easy to find in search engines – provided my name is spelt right but I know that many writers of erotica do so under a pen name. Probably because they need to keep what they do a secret from somebody- mother, boss, kids, the dog.
I’d spent a long while trying to get published so I wasn’t prepared to use a pen name. I wanted my name out there. I have to admit it was an easier decision because my mother was no longer around. She would not have approved. This was a woman who rang the BBC to complain if she saw a naked chest on the TV. A man’s at that! She’d never have spoken to me again. Damn. I missed a trick there.
But what do readers think we writers of erotic romance are like? Do you wonder why do we choose to write these sorts of stories? Are we all sexually frustrated, would-be sirens who live vicariously through our books? Er – yes. No, I mean no. Sorry.
All my heroes are stunningly good-looking but deeply flawed in some interesting way and able to make love all night, time after time with the upmost brilliance. They get up to all sorts of things that I’ve had to look up on Google. The best invention ever! All my heroines are tall (sorry I’m tall), slender (yep, so am I) and quirky (oh guess what, so am I). I do vary their hair color but I prefer short hair to long (yes that’s me – urchin cut). So what am I saying here? I’m the heroine of every story. Of course I am. I hope the reader is too.
Because what I’m trying to do is show readers worlds where people might have all sorts of issues and problems - in my book Strangers the hero and heroine are both trying to commit suicide at the start, in Fight to Remember (available in August from Loose-ID) the heroine loses her memory every time she falls asleep - but they END UP HAPPY. Yes, I know it’s fantasy, that the real world is nothing like that, it particularly lacks guys who can make love all night every night (sorry husband), not whine when they are ill (sorry husband), be funny and charming at the right time (very sorry husband but farting is not an art form) but it’s what we all want. To be happy. To have great sex. To have a partner who loves us, warts and all. (Yes I know you do, dear – apart from the warts) Even if the book has a Happy For Now rather than a Happy Ever After, (though all mine are HEA), it’s still that hope of a bright future that leads us to keep reading romances. The erotic bit just makes us hope for better sex as well as the rest of it.
There’s something else that romances do too, whether erotic or straight, they remind us of those early days when boy meets girl, or boy meets boy, etc when love and lust worked together, when your heart went wild at the mere thought of the other, when only the other mattered and the rest of the world could go hang. The time you actually fell in love.
That’s why I love writing what I do, because to me that’s such a great point in any relationship and one we should remember when we’re bogged down with mortgages and kids and pets and wasps nests and aging parents. I write erotic romance because I see it as an opportunity to create happiness, to remind those who experienced it of the magic of those early days, and to share it with others who haven’t been that lucky. Yet. Never give up hope. I write because even if our own lives aren’t that wonderful, we can escape for a while into one that is.
Barbara Elsborg lives in West Yorkshire in the north of England. She always wanted to be a spy, but having confessed to everyone without them even resorting to torture, she decided it was not for her. Vulcanology scorched her feet. A morbid fear of sharks put paid to marine biology. So instead, she spent several years successfully selling cyanide.
After dragging up two rotten, ungrateful children and frustrating her sexy, devoted, wonderful husband (who can now stop twisting her arm) she finally has time to conduct an affair with an electrifying plugged-in male, her laptop.
Her books feature quirky heroines and bad boys, and she hopes they are as much fun to read as they are to write.
Blurb for Strangers
Kate Snow’s had enough of bad boys until a one-way swim in the ocean puts her on a collision course with a man she can’t resist. Charlie Storm has turned being a bad boy into an art form. Already a famous pop star, mega-success in the movie business beckons until his inner demons send him spiraling out of control and right out to sea. The last thing he expects to do before he dies is crash into a suicidal woman.
When the worlds of these two strangers collide, their lives take an upward twist. In surviving the waves, they find they can’t stand to be apart, in or out of bed. Kate seizes a chance for happiness, seeing in Charlie a man she can finally trust to love her. Charlie can’t let go of Kate because she’s the only woman able to see the man he wants to be.
But the price of fame is high and when the world wants to drive them apart, life only seems safe in Kate’s bed.