I want to take a moment to welcome Bree back to this blog! Last time I wrote a review of her book Georgia: Restrained. Today, Bree is back from New Zealand with a guest post!:
Getting to know Bree Guildford
Hello! I am Bree and I love writing erotic romance. A lot of my stories have a strong girl-on-girl component, and I also enjoy delving into the world of polyamory. I have always been drawn to stories that have a focus on the emotional side of relationships, and this is an important aspect of my own writing. I love writing about sex, but I also love writing about the relationship between characters... in fact, I find it almost impossible to write something that is purely sexual; this is why I acknowledge myself as a writer of erotic romance, rather than erotica.
While writing erotic romance is a big part of who I am, there is a little more to me than my dirty mind! I am happily married and have four children, aged between four and ten. I am halfway through a communication degree and hope to work in media relations after I graduate. I am a big sports nut, and in my 'other' life, I write about rugby for various online publications. I enjoy escaping for a weekend here and there with my wife, but with four kids that only happens once in a blue moon!
So how did I get into writing erotic romance?
Ever since I was little I have enjoyed writing. In my early teens I was all about the teen angst driven poetry, in my mid teens I was more about romance, and by the time I turned 18, I was taking a lot of pleasure (literally and figuratively) out of writing secretive sex scenes.
I tried my hardest to want to write something 'clean', to want to write something that I could share with my mum, my nana, my grandma, my sister, my friends... but those stories were the ones that fizzled out after a few pages. Erotica, it seemed, was where my abilities lay, and I was embarrassed about it! It got to the point that I gave up writing at all, because surely it wasn't appropriate to be writing so explicitly about sex!
Then I met the wonderful woman who is now my wife. There was no such thing as 'TMI' in our friendship, and early on I confessed to her that I enjoyed writing about sex, but had always felt a bit awkward about it. It didn't take a lot for her to convince me that I should give it another go, so one day I began writing again.
It was a boy-meets-girl story, and rather than trying to make the sex a not-so important part of the story, I made sex one of the key components of the story. Rather than feeling embarrassed about writing all things sex, I felt somewhat empowered. I cannot even tell you how nervous I was when I sent my friend-now-wife the document for the first time. It was a couple of scenes long and I was so incredibly scared she was going to laugh at me, or be horrified by what I had written. Her reaction though? “MORE – NOW!”
And so it began.
That was almost three years ago now, and while I have a lot of unfinished stories on my computer, I don't let that get me down. No one can become an expert overnight, and I have learnt something from every single story that didn't make it. I look back on my earlier stories now and almost cringe, because the writing isn't very good. The ideas are certainly there, but my writing back then was nothing like it is now. I'm not saying I have mastered the art – I know I haven't – but it does feel good to look at my old work, and compare it to my new work, and know that I have improved.
Toward the end of 2013 I decided that my writing shouldn't be something that I kept secret. Until that point it was only my wife and a couple of online friends who had read my work, and I realised that if I wanted to feel like a real writer, I had to put my work out there for everyone to read. It was a scary prospect. What if no one wanted to read my work? What if the only feedback I received was negative? It was daunting, but I knew it was a risk I had to take.
I decided on my pen name, then created a Facebook and a Twitter account, as well as a blog. That was the easy part though. The VERY first example of my work that I posted was my story 'Georgia: Restrained'. I was so nervous when I went to bed after posting it, and considered deleting the post. What if no one read it? What if people DID read it, but they all hated it? The next morning I woke up and found my story had been read! There was even a tweet which was along the lines of 'loved your story, can't wait for more', and in honesty, it brought tears to my eyes.
Eventually I self-published 'Georgia: Restrained' on Smashwords, and have now added another four books to what has become the 'Georgia & Zoe' series. As with sharing my writing for the first time on my blog, I was terrified about the response when I published Georgia: Restrained on Smashwords, but when I got up the following morning it had been downloaded 50 times! Within a week it was up to 200 downloads, and that is what really gave me the confidence to embrace this side of who I am.
I doubt I will ever become a famous author, but knowing there are people out there who are looking forward to the next story in the Georgia & Zoe series coming out, that is enough for me! The next big step for me is going to be putting a book on Smashwords and actually charging for it... I think when someone actually BUYS one of my books, that is going to be when I feel like I really do belong in the amazing community of erotica writers!
Where you can find Bree