An Interview with Scarlet Fox
Our most prolific and best selling author to date is none other than Scarlet Fox, the author of multiple series that feature bondage and D/s, with the occasional lesbian scene. We're pleased to be able to learn a little more about this prolific, and gifted newcomer to the world of erotica. Our questions are in bold, her answers in standard font.
Your bio includes the fact that you are a "traditionally published" author. Can you tell us any more about that?
Not much more honestly. If my erotica was connected to my regular books it would be a big hassle for me and might hurt my career. I don't write anything Christian or conservative or anything, but I don't want to take the risk that my publishing house would balk at my next book because they were worried about my erotica career hurting sales or something. I've published a number of books that have sold well enough to pay the bills. One was briefly on the NYT bestseller list. I'm not a big name, but well known among fans of my genre.
What made you decide to get serious about writing erotica?
I actually tell that story in book two of the Leather Bound Journal series which should be out in the next month or two. My husband bought me this stunning leather diary on our second date. He told me that he loved my writing and that I should combine my two gifts, being a submissive and writing, and chronicle our relationship as it developed.
That got me started, and turned me on. I showed the stories to a few girlfriends and they all said that it was the hottest thing they had ever read and that it put Fifty Shades to shame, so I thought it might work for a wider audience. I have a friend who works for Chained Hearts and when they started the company they asked me if I had any interest in a side gig writing erotica and I told them that I would love to give it a shot. I entered their first two erotica writing contests and won them both and now here we are.
You seem to balance risk taking and eroticism with safety and trust very well. What are your thoughts on that?
I have a friend who teaches 10th grade English. She told me that she had girls in her class asking about Fifty Shades and that some of the behavior in it was really irresponsible and she was worried that it would lead them into bad situations with emotionless psychopaths. I don't hate the books, they did a lot for erotica and brought BDSM into popular culture, but I was also worried about some of how their activities and relationship were portrayed.
I understand being over the top with situations in fiction. A super powerful billionaire and an awkward virgin is a powerful dynamic. But I don't ever want to come home and find an ex or a new lover, waiting in my house, controlling my job, my entire life, unless I have decided that this behavior is okay ahead of time. Even then, these behaviors are pretty extreme.
Christian Grey is not an affectionate caring Dom unless it appeals to him at the time. This is not good. And things like aftercare are almost completely ignored. And D/s relationships are about a human connection, not just a hot guy who likes rough sex. That's where I try to focus. On the humans who are working together, not the zeros in the Doms bank account.
When my school teacher friend challenged me to write a better Fifty Shades, I started working on it. That became the Knight and Day series. She offered her thoughts on the books before I published them and I made quite a few changes based on what she said. I don't know if tenth graders should be reading erotica or not, I'm not an expert on that, but I know they are going to, and if they read mine I want them to know that they should feel safer with their partner, not afraid.
You make your own covers, which certainly saves us a ton of work, and they are beautiful. Where did that desire come from?
I actually took some graphic design courses in college and have always wanted to design my own covers, but in the traditional publishing world that wasn't going to happen. I love that I can do that with you guys. And I wanted my covers to be real, not the insanely over the top garbage that I see with most erotic books on Amazon.
What are your future plans? Have you considered writing erotica full time?
To be honest, I write erotica pretty seriously already. I've had a number of private clients who want a story just for them, and I'm writing some erotic stuff every day now. But it isn't paying all the bills yet and I enjoy my other writing gigs too, so I would say that it will be a part time job for me for a while.
The good news is that I write a lot faster than a normal person who is just getting started with erotica. I write about 2,500 words of erotica every day, and edit a similar number. Then I do the same with my other writing. That covers around forty hours a week and I'm happy with that because I love what I do.
How much did you change in the Leather Bound Journal books? How close are they to your real relationship?
I changed any details that would give away who I am. There are only so many female writers living in Las Vegas, so I couldn't give much more away. I changed the names and a location or two, and of course my husband's job. His actual job is even cooler than being a pilot for private jets.
I didn't change a thing about the sex scenes or the relationship. He is really the most amazing guy ever and I'm grateful every day that I have such an amazing man. I'm sure that comes through in our relationship. Our friends often tell us that they are jealous of how happy and close we are. And I make sure to serve him well when we are playing. My devotion is the best way to repay him for being such an amazing husband and it's very much a part of who I am.
What do you do when you aren't writing or having sex?
We take our dogs with us hiking a lot. During the summer we go up into the mountains where it's cooler. In the winter we hike in areas around the city, near Red Rock Canyon, or ride our bikes. We cook together, something I love, and I go to Mexico when I need to finish a book by myself.
We also love Golden Knights hockey games and we try to go to a few games at the arena every year. Quarantine is driving me nuts. Not only did we miss a ton of hockey, but I love to be around people and staying home so much is tough for me.
What book will we see from you next?
I think it will be a book called Harder, which is definitely my most intense book so far. And book two of the Leather Bound Journal series is coming too. I'm very curious what the reaction will be for Harder. It's powerful stuff and I worked really hard to make sure that it was always safe, sane and consensual, even when things got really wild. It was a tough balancing act, but I'm very pleased with the result.
Do you have any advice for aspiring erotica writers?
The first is to write. There is a pretty clear roadmap to becoming a good writer, but most people just crank out stories that they think are hot and hope other people buy them. Start by studying like crazy. Get a subscription to Master Class and watch everything they have on writing. Read something every day on how to improve your writing. Then study some more and learn about grammar and punctuation.
Once you have some idea what you are actually doing, write some things and post them to a writing critique board or find a writer's group. I used Critique Circle a lot a few years ago to try out some new things and it was a big help.
And remember that if you want to sell books, you have to write to your audience. If you are turned on by tentacle vampires that never have sex and just tease each other all the time, that's great for you, but you must understand that the market for that is very limited. I happen to enjoy something that is fairly popular with erotica audiences, but I still have to consider my audience as I'm writing.
If you want to just write for you, then don't worry about anything, just write what you want. But don't be surprised when no one else wants to read it.
If you want to read more of Scarlet's blistering hot erotica, you can find it all on her Amazon author page at https://www.amazon.com/author/sfoxerotica