Monday, 17 September 2012

Erotic Writers' Lunch - a date with Jan Bowles

Earlier in September I visited the historical city of Lincoln to visit fellow British writer with Siren Publishing, the lovely Jan Bowles.


This was my first visit to this gorgeous city and I will forgive her not warning me of the INCREDIBLY steep hill up to the cathedral where we were meeting (!!!) particularly as we discovered we are alike in lots of ways from how we write to what we write to what we were wearing (black cowl neck jumpers – it was cold!).

Jan said I was the first author she had met despite writing since 2009, so I am glad to have arranged to meet her for lunch. Although I have to admit I rather interrogated the poor woman since she has been writing so much longer than me. Having just completed my first year as a writer I am still keen to know more about what it takes to become a bestselling writer like Jan who recently got an award from Siren for being one of their top 25 bestselling authors for 2011.

It is interesting to note (since I also write BDSM stories) that her own BDSM ones sell better than her cowboy ones. And, although she is interested in writing historical stories, she knows full well that they don’t sell as well, but she would like to have a go at sci-fi some time. (At this moment in time my sci-fi has sold much better than my BDSM stories on Bookstrand, which in turn sold vastly more than the romantic comedies, but not so on Amazon where the BDSM ones are better sellers). In fact, when I checked out Siren’s top bestsellers on Amazon UK the day before our meeting, Jan had four books in the top 12!!!  

Along the same lines was her answer to my question about why she sets her stories in the US rather than the UK – they sell better. (I deliberately don’t name a city so that UK readers can visualise my stories set in the UK and US ones can do the same over the pond!). We had a laugh over what we call having to ‘Americanise’ our work, eg, color and not colour, take out and not take away – and we have both found certain idioms creeping into our conversational language like calling someone ‘honey’ and ‘sweetie’!

I asked her what form of promotion works best and Jan said she got a lot of traffic to her blog/website when she started posting the first chapters of her books whereas, to date, I’ve only done a short extract. Hmm. Food for thought.

We also talked about the difference between male and female writers. I knew that men tend to write more action and the women more about the emotions of their characters, but I hadn’t realised it is a known fact that men write in shorter sentences! I wonder if I have a male brain because I just cannot do the purple prose and struggle to add ‘description’ to my stories!!

Thank you, Jan. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting you and hope to meet up again in the near future and I plan to do more Erotic Writers’ lunch date posts (not necessarily in Lincoln! although it was a beautiful city) so watch out for them.


1 comment:

  1. Hi, Jen

    I really enjoyed our get together in Lincoln, and you're right that hill is VERY steep!

    Writing is a very lonely business, and it was nice to meet not only a fellow author, but a fellow Siren author!