was my second novel after Comfort Food
. It's a big departure from my first book and pretty much had to be. When I wrote my debut novel, I didn't really expect anyone to like it. I thought everyone would hate it. It was just a story I had to get out of me. I wouldn't have unleashed it on the world at all except that a writer friend and psychologist read it and thought it was great and encouraged me.
Obviously, my work is not for everyone. I'm a pretty specific flavor. But, when way more people than I expected actually got what I was trying to convey and talk about in Comfort Food
and liked it, I felt like there was no way I could write another Comfort Food
. i.e. what do you do for your second novel if your readers are freaking out over your first?
I'm unbelievably grateful that book didn't go viral and "hit big" because I wouldn't have a body of work now if it had. Even the small success of Comfort Food
was almost enough to make a second book impossible.
So for Guilty Pleasures
I decided to go in a totally different direction. Some consider Comfort Food
erotica. Some consider it an erotic thriller. Some think it's a psychological thriller and not erotica at all. Really, genre is just something where you sort of kind of try to hit the mark so you can find readers who "might like this sort of book". It's not an exact science, and a book just is what it is. A book. After you write it, you're stuck with classifying it, and if it doesn't fit any genre formula "exactly" you'll have a hard time finding the readership.
But Guilty Pleasures
is definitely erotica. It's the dominant rich guy fantasy who just "handles everything" and a lot of multiple partners and weird and dirty stuff. Though it's still got probably more psychology than sex.
I don't really write "surprise endings". I know sometimes readers are surprised by an ending in one of my books, and that's always fun, but I don't sit around trying to come up with the weirdest or most surprising ending possible. It's just what naturally follows for me from the story that came before.Guilty Pleasures
is a sticky wicket because some readers are genuinely surprised by the ending (which is fun), but I didn't write it expecting readers to be surprised. Because it's really something that Vivian is surprised by because she's not omniscient and we're in her POV. While a reader can easily step back and see things from a less biased perspective, the character herself, cannot. I think a lot of readers can see the bigger picture and see exactly where we're going, and that's okay. Because it wasn't intended as a "shock twist ending". If you're surprised, that's a cool bonus. But really it's more about how Vivian feels. Why would Vivian expect this to be how things go, given what we know about her and how she feels about her circumstances and the man in her life. Would you expect it if you were her?
I know I wouldn't. That's the kind of thing that only happens in novels. ;)
If you read and enjoy Guilty Pleasures
, you will likely also enjoy Broken Dolls
which is what I've been calling the "sort of sequel" because it's not a direct sequel. There are recurring characters and settings but the book mainly focuses on a minor character you meet in Guilty Pleasures
. Broken Dolls
also works as a stand alone.
Thank you for reading!