George Pappas, author of Monogamy Sucks
These days I am the most confident I’ve ever felt as a writer. My writing dreams of being a full-time author are finally in reach.
After a shaky start, my novel Monogamy Sucks is receiving critical support from readers and fellow authors that I always hoped for. I have found an incredibly supportive writing community on Twitter that inspires me daily.
My novel Monogamy Sucks has performed well on Amazon. It has been ranked as high #11 among Erotica novels on Amazon Kindle and is consistently ranked in sales among the top 50,000 to 100,000 in the Kindle store out of 800,000 e-books.
My next novel about Internet dating and sex is slated to come out later this summer, and I am currently working on a story for a paranormal erotica print anthology by Lazy Day Publishing that is scheduled to come out in October.
But it hasn’t always been this way. Until recently, I was an isolated writer leery of sharing my work with anyone.
Overcoming fears and doubts is one of the more daunting challenges a writer faces.
If you don’t believe in your own work, why should anyone else?
Easier said than done. From an early age, we are taught that writing — good writing is the bastion of a gifted few. Successful or lauded authors are put on a pedestal and considered to possess almost God-like powers to create stories that captivate us. I believe subconsciously we begin to believe our own stories are not worthy of telling by comparison. I know this feeling well and lived with it longer than I should have.
My own fears and doubts kept my novel Monogamy Sucks, which was recently published as an e-book by Lazy Day Publishing, in my computer for more than 12 years. I never showed my work to anyone — not even my closest friends or family.
I personally was afraid that no one would grasp my novel’s vision or understand what I was trying to do — explore the limits of monogamy through the eyes of a liberated male who goes on a taboo bending journey into the swinging lifestyle.
It wasn’t just that I was dealing with controversial subjects such as swinging, threesomes, orgies, but that I was also challenging the status quo of monogamy and writing my novel from an edgy male perspective.
Questions haunted me.
- Would I turn off potential female readers?
- Would I go too far and readers be put off my novel’s explicit erotic material?
- Would readers enjoy and be amused by my main character Jake Dalmas’ dark and sarcastic sense of humor, which represents the core of my book?
I have been pleasantly surprised that female readers have embraced my novel as much as they have. However, I didn’t know if that would be the case at the time.
I also worried if there was a market for my controversial novel. My first novel Letters From Cyberspace, which I self-published in 2001, was completely ignored, and it was a book written from the female point of view.
I also had a frustrating experience in trying to find an agent and publisher for my first book and doubted if it would be any easier with this novel.
Additionally, I was reluctant to relinquish control over the content of my novel.
So all of this anxiety conspired to keep my novel under wraps for years as I worked on draft after draft waiting to bring it out myself.
A little over a year ago in May 2010, I finally decided after much consideration to bring out my novel one chapter at a time on a dedicated blog — www.monogamysucks.wordpress.com.
I had seen a photo feature on the Huffington Post about how many bestsellers started out as blogs. I figured what did I have to lose?
Still, in the weeks and days shortly before and after my novel’s May 2010 blog launch, I dreaded what people might think.
All of my worst fears proved unfounded. I didn’t find a group of haters waiting to attack my novel, but instead found supporters and potential readers. What ultimately surprised me was the overwhelming positive response I received to my blog novel. Readers praised my novel’s humor and sexuality. They mentioned how they could relate to Jake’s foibles and experiences and wanted to read the entire book.
Two months into my blog novel experiment, Lazy Day Publishing, a new digital publisher, offered to publish my novel. It was more than I ever could have imagined.
What did I learn from all this that I can suggest to my fellow writers?
Bring some sunshine into your private writing world. Embrace the Internet. Start a blog and begin blogging about your writing experiences, and even more importantly, reveal some of your writing online. Build up your own readership and supporters. Don’t wait to be discovered by agents and publishers. Go on Twitter and Facebook and meet fellow writers and potential publishing contacts and readers.
Writers no longer need to languish in isolation and obscurity wondering if anyone will ever care about their writing projects. A new writing destiny can now be at your fingertips. You can truly make it your own.
I believe the next literary star will most likely be found on the Internet not in
University workshops or the notorious “slush” pile. Just look at what
happened to indie novelist Amanda Hocking. She was discovered through her blog and now has prosperous writing career. Stories like hers have been an inspiration for many of us writers.
The DIY revolution that made Punk Rock and independent filmmaking so thrilling has finally taken over the publishing industry.
George Pappas is a Los Angeles-based novelist, blogger, poet and lyricist. Lazy Day Publishing released his second novel of erotic fiction Monogamy Sucks as an e-book in December 2010. Pappas launched the first six chapters of his novel on his blog in summer 2010 after more than 12 years of writing and researching his work. His novel explores intriguing notions about monogamy, relationships, casual sex and the swinging lifestyle.
Pappas is a lifelong resident of southern California and has been writing fiction since he was 15. When he’s not writing, Pappas enjoys traveling, music, reading his favorite novelists Henry Miller and Anais Nin, watching films, exploring life’s many adventures and pleasures, and living near the ocean.
BTW: I read George’s book, and I must say, I did enjoy it–a lot. the main character is self-deprecating, which makes the ‘swinger’ angle much easier for a monogamous type reader to take. George writes flawed but likeable characters and while our genres are different, I think we have that in common. Feel free to sample One Insular Tahiti if you enjoy characters struggling with their own darkness.