The first story I ever sold was about a woman whose nineteen-year-old husband, Matthew, died on their wedding night before they’d consummated the marriage. Twenty-one years later she is still mourning for him, unable to move past the fact that she’d never made love to the love of her life. Then one day she meets a man for a blind date. But it is not her date she falls in love with – it is his 19-year-old son, who is the mirror-image of her long-dead husband. She ends up in bed with the young man, finally fulfilling her love for Matthew and enabling her to finally move on with her life.
Four months later, the story was published under the title Hot Sex With a Teenaged Boy! I quickly figured out that I wasn’t going to be short-listed for a Pulitzer any time soon and decided to go where the money was: garbage. Thus began my career as the prolific author of mountains of pulp trash, including My Husband Lost Me in a Poker Game!, I Auctioned Off My Virginity on eBay!, Babysitting Hooker for Hire!, I Sold My Baby to the Mafia!, and my all-time personal favorite, I Had the New Year’s Baby with Santa!
After a ten-year hiatus spent raising my young children and building my accounting practice, I decided to get back into writing. But no more trash. I had already produced enough to fill a landfill. I started writing what was supposed to be a Christmas-themed romance for a publisher whose allowable sexual content was limited to ‘kissing and hugging.’
After about forty pages-worth of blowing kisses across the room and using the word ‘gosh’, I was ready to drown myself in the bathtub. I decided to entertain myself by throwing in a fellatio scene. It took place under a sprig of mistletoe so by my thinking it was still a Christmas book. It turned out the publisher did not feel the same way, and we ended up parting ways.
The sugary-sweet Christmas romance turned into Why I Held Your Hand. Will it win me that Pulitzer? I would be extremely surprised. But does it feature a pilfered vile of sperm, a babysitting hooker, or a scene with Santa in the delivery room yelling push, Persephone, push? It does not. I did, however, end up revising the mistletoe scene. The general details of the scene are still intact, though. I just removed the mistletoe.