My Dad writes Porn

E. H. Howard

After squealing louder than an air raid siren, this was how my daughter described my writing aspirations to anybody who would listen. Although she’s a grown woman with a family, the thought of her father even knowing about sex made her feel queasy (I guess we all feel that way about our parents). Whilst less vocal, my other two children were equally perturbed by my behaviour.

It all started when I won a competition with a short erotica story and decided that it was a good format for me. With the 2011 nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month) coming up, I decided to try not only to write erotica, but to do it in a month. I had a plan. The year before, I’d drafted 25 chapter headings, each to be 2k words to hit the target. I did the same for my planned erotica, but just like reality sex, each chapter was over too quickly. I couldn’t pace myself at all.

My own definitions are that Porn is gratuitous sex, for the sake of depicting sex. It has nothing to do with relationships. Erotica is creating sexual scenarios the reader can fantasise about being in. All writers want the reader to live through their character’s eyes and erotica is creating a whole-body experience.

My attempt at full-blown erotica became a serial bonk fest in various positions. It wasn’t satisfying for me to write. Therefore, regardless of how much I tried, I knew I was failing. I shifted more towards incorporating stimulating encounters within a story. Sex provided another dimension to engage the reader. It heightened tension just as much as the creaking stair, or darkened passage.

One of the difficulties of writing sex is the vocabulary of the mechanics. Certain “real” words work, others don’t. Clitoris seems OK, shortened to clit, it’s possibly even better. Penis is awful, shortened to pen, I think that’s going places we shouldn’t. Therefore, I had to settle on my own words I felt comfortable with. I also believe there’s a US and a British syntax, but most English speakers get the gist of most euphemisms. Wang, Dang and Dong all work in their place.

An extra challenge is that I often write from a female point of view. Even though I have a lot of female friends, I swear I’ll never understand what goes on inside their heads. Of course it might just be the women I know, but their urges, hungers and impulses really don’t appear different to a man’s.

Like most men, I’ve smirked at Jack Nicholson’s advice in the film, As Good as it Gets, ‘Write it like a man, but then remove reason and accountability.’
Isn’t the truth that regardless of gender, we all want to give and receive pleasure? I try to show my characters taking this to the point of ecstatic oblivion.

Of course I’m aroused by what I write. I think if it doesn’t work for me, then I’m not hitting the spot. Of course on the tenth edit, the moves are becoming known, but it still works at some level.

A key theme for Amara’s Daughter was that sexual orientation or gender has nothing to do with being good or bad. To do this, I had to depict both predatory and consensual sex. Doing so pushed the book way out of the Disney-clean, wholesome YA category, but then who decided young adult is 13 year olds? Show me a group of over 16’s where sex isn’t an overriding part of their behaviour and thinking. As most young people now get their first impressions of sex from internet porn, I’m in agreement with a recent report suggesting YA authors should consider putting more authentic sex scenes into their literature.

Surely, it’s naïve to think that by keeping adult themes to specifically adult books we’re protecting anybody. I deliberately made the decision to make each sexual encounter more intense as the book progressed on the basis that if the attempted rape in the first chapter offended the reader, they really didn’t want to get to chapter 13 …

Swords, Sandals and Sex – High
fantasy on speed
Carved from ice with blades of fire, the rigidly feminist state of Serenia breeds heroes

Unimaginably perfect, Amara the Magnificent, the legendary Ultimate Warrior is their greatest.

Five years since Amara’s mysterious
disappearance, her daughter, Maryan, struggles to escape her mother’s
formidable shadow. Shunned by most, her only friends are oddball characters
from the edge of society.

The Queen sees Maryan as an asset to
the nation, a pawn to play with and a pretty bauble to appease the neighbouring
king, but lurking beneath the surface, an ancient terror plots to wipe out
Maryan’s bloodline.

Friend, lover, and more, Amara’s
Daughter is a turbulent, rite of passage story tracing Maryan’s growth from
naive schoolgirl to the woman destiny needs her to be.

About E. H Howard in his own words:
E. H Howard
‘Living in Cheshire with my wife and our two dogs (Milly and Molly,) I’ve run a successful computer consultancy for many years. The business continues to thrive and I feel blessed that people pay me to solve complex problems for them.

One day, we hope to spend a portion of our year on the Greek islands, where I would love to spend most days writing, but for now, I’m content that with three adult children, I’m being presented with grandchildren at a fabulous rate.

I split my writing time between short stories and novels. I love to take the challenge of creating a viable story in a reduced number of words for flash competitions.

At the top of my list of all-time favourites are CS Lewis and JRR Tolkein. Following them are Robert Jordan and Trudi Canavan, with a whole host of modern writers cramming up behind, including Kim Harrison (Hollows series), Margaret Stohl/ kami Garcia (Caster Chronicles) and Ben Aaaronovitch (Rivers of London.)’
Something to titillate your senses

Click ‘more’ for an extract of Amara’s Daughter

A snippet from 
Amara’s Daughter

“I hoped you’d
come.” Fredrick rose from the chair, a silhouette against the window.

A tingle ran
through her and she was in his arms without a thought. His mouth covered hers.
The passion of his embrace drowned all reason.

He lifted her,
sweeping her back and forcing her onto the desk with her legs straddled wide
around his hips. One hand gripped behind her head, holding her in a kiss, the
other pressed against her breast before sliding along her body, moving lower,
prying at the folds of her garments.

“Stop!” She jerked
her head aside to break his kiss.

He kept his weight
pressed against her, but lifted from the kiss to study her face. “Why? Why
“I’m to marry

His hand kept
searching, probing, touching. “He’d never know.”
“I would.”
“We could run away.
I’ve collected a lot of money over the last few months. We could work as guards
down in Baraland.”

Shadowed in the
gloom, she thought she could still see traces of the boy she’d loved. She sat
up from the desk, holding him against her. Nestled into the muscle of his
shoulder she listened to their twin hearts beating.
Finding her earlobe
with his teeth, he raked his fingers across her back. The heat of his breath drew
her farther into wild imaginings. She could feel the bulge of his erection
against her, a forbidden and sensual pressure. Mere fabric was all that
prevented him from entering her. He started to fumble at his waist to loosen
his belt.

“No!” She shoved
him back and stood up.

“I bet the others
have poisoned you against me, haven’t they?” He swept one hand back across his
shaggy hair. “One damned mistake.” His eyes flickered away from hers.

“Tell me about that
one mistake.”