Anne Calhoun, Romance Author

Sharp. Sexy. Romantic.

Hot in Handcuffs Blog Hop!

AKA: In Which Anne Explains How She Came To Write Liberating Lacey…

[ETA: The contest is now closed, and the winner is Rahab M! Thanks to all who entered!]

(If you don’t care about how Lacey came to be, I’m gifting either one Kindle version of Liberating Lacey or a paperback version to one person who comments. US residents only, please. Thanks for stopping by!)

A few years ago when I was just starting out as a writer I read an erotic romance by a really well-known author. The hero was a cop, the heroine was a shy young thing coming into her sexual own. There was emotional conflict, there was sex, there was growth, there was a scene where the heroine asks the hero to use his handcuffs on her. Pretty standard erorom stuff, right? Except the handcuffs scene lasted all of TWO PARAGRAPHS and I was freakin’ pissed.

I mean, I felt short-changed.

Because, for the love of all that’s right and holy and erotic, don’t flinch. If you’re going to go there, you should GO THERE, and you should hang out. Get the lay of the land. Take a bunch of notes. Maybe draw some sketches. All for the purpose of sending the rest of us a really detailed, explicit travelogue. It’s just kind. Polite. Like holding the door open for the next person, or offering the bread basket to your neighbor at the dinner table. It’s what your mom raised you to do, and you should do.

That author had a different story to tell, but something about the cop/handcuffs thing getting tossed into the story, almost an afterthought, caught my attention. What if everything they did, everything in the story built to that really compelling night? And what if that night was really explicitly described? How would going deep into the emotions affect the story that came before, and what happened after?

That’s how my first erotic romance novel was born.

Around the time I started writing the story, I learned Ellora’s Cave was actively seeking older woman/younger man stories (in the very initial pages of Lacey, Hunter was actually older than she was). I don’t find age to be a very interesting conflict so I mixed it up; Hunter was not only younger than Lacey, she was completely out of his league. We see that fairly frequently in “wrong side of the tracks” backstories, but usually the bad-boy-teenager has grown up to be Filthy Rich. Hunter isn’t. He’s a pretty average guy. Respectable upbringing. Decent job. Loves his dad. Hates downtime. Knows who he is, what he does, and what he has to offer.

Protects a secret that tells him no matter how much he offers, he isn’t enough for Lacey.

When I started writing that book I always knew the most important scene in the book would be that “hot in handcuffs” scene. I always knew she’d ask him to do it, and I knew it would be the demise of everything they’d built up to that point. With as much as they had going against them, a kinky role play wasn’t going to provide the foundation for a long-term relationship.

Because sometimes handcuffs aren’t enough, but being loved for who you are always is.

Let’s see…other interesting facts about Lacey. The finished book came in at 82K words, which is a bit short for a single title romance, but respectable. The book I sold to Ellora’s Cave was 31K, comprised of the initial scene at bar/parking lot, the restaurant scene where she asks him to role play a bad cop, the role play, a really horribly written breakup scene, and the reunion. That’s it. EC bought the book, and then my editor, God bless her and her children’s children, let me take the time I wanted to revise it. I started in September with the promise she’d have it by 10/1, then by 10/15, then by Halloween, then Thanksgiving. I finally delivered on Christmas Eve. I extensively revised every word of the 31K I’d submitted, and added everything else. The scene in the park with the Ultimate Frisbee game. The night at the Metropolitan Club, and its aftermath. The botched dinner date. Lacey’s mom walking in on Hunter. Whole Foods. Sweet Dreams. The scene in the rain. Even the ending was different.

And speaking of endings, I frequently get emails asking for more of Hunter and Lacey. Occasionally they kick around in my brain a little, little flashes from people I know and love. Mental postcards. They’re not done with me yet…just don’t hold your breath. ;)

Thanks for stopping by the Hot in Handcuffs blog hop. For the giveaway you can comment or tweet me @annecalhoun with Hot in Handcuffs in the tweet. Hop on over to the next blog, and thanks for stopping by!

 

27 Responses »

  1. I love how your book came about. I hate when the bondage scenes are too short too. I can’t wait to read your books now.

    kesummer69 at gmail dot com

  2. Hi Anne,
    Love the inspiration behind the story! I also love hearing that you ended up selling a much shorter (word count) story than the original version. That’s what happened with my debut book, Die Run Hide. I submitted a 96k version and then had to edit down to 75k. I negotiated 3 months to do the edit and, thank goodness, the editor agreed. I narrowly beat the deadline. Some knuckle-biting along the way. But in the end, I was satisfied with a tighter read. Good luck the with blog hop!

    Patrice (we met at the Ohio conference a few years back….you might remember we sat at the same table as the agent, Cori Deyoe?)

  3. Thanks for participating! I looove Liberating Lacey!

  4. Thanks for the chance to win!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

  5. Thank you so much for the giveaway!
    email – biochemguy22(at)yahoo(dot)com

  6. Thanks for the chance to win.
    skpetal at hotmail dot com

    • My Mom and I had a party for the two of us, where we went and got mani/pedis, massages and blodoy mary’s, to celebrate her recovery from cancer. Can’t think of a more memorable “party” than that :)

  7. It’s so neat to hear about how the book came about. Thanks for the chance to win!

    Jyl22075 at gmail.com

  8. I love all your books and especially the covers! Awesome Blog Hop!

    susanmplatt AT hotmail DOT com

  9. I love the inspiration for your first erotic romance. I agree with you, I would feel short changed too!
    kitcat76(at)hotmail(dot)com

  10. Thanks for the awesome giveaway!
    cassandrahicks1989@yahoo.com

  11. Thanks for the great post and the chance to win!!
    Ashley A
    ash_app@hotmail.com

  12. What a detailed post! I have wanted to read Liberating Lacey for awhile now as it’s been recommended to me by a number of pple now. So thanks for the opportunity to win a copy.
    ryjosy at yahoo dot com

  13. Very nice post.

    bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)com

  14. Thank goodness you had an understanding editor. It’s so important to get the story right. And you so did.

  15. Thank you for sharing your story. I really enjoyed reading it. Thanks for the giveaway.
    kaylyndavis1986@yahoo.com

  16. I will definitely have to chack out you book. Thanks so much for the giveaway.
    June
    manning_J2004 at yahoo dot com

  17. I totally understand how you would be upset up the handcuff scene lasting all of two paragraphs. I would be highly disappointed as well. I’ve read some short stories and novellas that claimed to be erotic and when finished I was like: “Is that it?” Very disappointing. LOL I’m glad to hear that your experience brought forth your own book. :) I think that’s awesome!
    Well anyway, thank you for the giveaway!

  18. The book sounds awesome! Thanks for the giveaway!

    molly at reviewsbymolly dot com

  19. I enjoyed the post. Thanks for the giveaway.
    sstrode at scrtc dot com

  20. Thanks for having the giveaway!

    It’s always interesting to hear how authors come up with stories, and it is also interesting to see the effect that the current market (what publishers are looking for) can affect how a story turns out.

    dmr8888 at yahoo dot com

  21. Thanks for the awesome hop and giveaway!
    shadowluvs2read(at)gmail(dot)com

    • Hi There! We currently have an Event to help out our mebemrs who have Giveaways/Reviews. Please come check us out!I’m your newest follower from the Welcome Wednesday Blog Hop. When you have a chance, please come and meet us over at voiceBoks.com. It is a great site that allows women to engage and really connect with each other. You won’t find the same unpromising atmosphere that you normally do elsewhere. Our site allows you to gain INSTANT followers (yes, they really do follow, you’ll see), INCREASE YOUR TRAFFIC, and have a chance to connect with some great women. The traffic we generate for our mebemrs is usually VERY good considering we’re a fairly new site. In just 1 month after our relaunch, we accumulated over 18,000 posts and 365,500 page visits! Please come take a look and I guarantee you will be impressed with the results.You may also check out these sites for testimonials of our site:and… Hope to see you there!Sincerely,Lexie Lane

  22. Thank you for sharing the inspiration behind Liberating Lacey. I really enjoyed reading it. Thank you as well for participating in this blog hop and your giveaway
    Best wishes and continued success

    cms72023 at gmail dot com

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