Erotica 101: Legality (DOG EAR)

Erotica 101: Legality (DOG EAR)

o I’m happy as a clam. My manuscript has an agent, who hooked me up with a publisher. I’ve actually seen a couple of examples of cover art. I’ve talked to the editor and worked some issues. And so I’m at work and the phone rings.

It’s the editor. Do I have time to talk to some folks in legal? And did I get that emailed PDF file of the current manuscript? Good. Good.

Fifteen minutes later, I’m in a conference room with a spare laptop, ringing New York back, set on my end.

And there’s is my editor. And he’s got two lawyers, specialists in this sort of thing (“What sort of thing?” “Erotica and Pornography”). Really, is that something you actually specialize in in law school?

Turns out that my little foot-fetishment trick (described HERE) was still pretty close to the line. Not quite over it. Not quite. But there were three chapters they wanted to review. I do have the PDF in front of me, right?

Now, at this point, I’m thinking how screwed up our society can be. They are calling me about light erotica (and most of it hinted, not detailed). They don’t mind the whole POV-head-off-the-body-bit that made people sick. Or the Assyrian general floundering into a trap and being butchered. And not even Elisha’s own end, that of gut-stabbing herself and tumbling into a pyre (hey, it’s not a spoiler, not for those who know their history). But no, we want to worry about what Elisha’s uncle (and husband) has on his mind.

And so we sit and read through the chapters, working our way through each section. And if there is anything I can guarantee is a turnoff, it’s listening to a lawyer read erotica. It took two hours, quibbling about this, nittering about that, slowly working our way through. Every so often they’d hit something that really lit their alarm lights and I’d have to compose more prose on the fly, stuff like, “Okay, so how about ‘She lay back, her blood quickening, while her husband’s tongue took it’s pleasures…’ “. And then there would be a pause as the two looked at each other, then “Okay, yes, we can go with that.”

Thank goodness we finally got through it. So I took the notes home, made the changes and posted them over. Honesty, I don’t think it made any difference in the end product (other than diluting some of the hotter scenes). And I was too busy defending on another front, the bit where she sinks the deadbeats into the Cypriot harbor. Won that one – it stayed in.

But that’s writing for you. It’s like nothing you ever imagined it to be.

Erotic lawyer phone sex. That’s a first.


(This is the last one for the erotica series for now. Next week, Worst. Book. Ever.)