Monday, September 21, 2015

A WRITING JOURNEY

Introducing Tom Benson, talented author & entrepreneur, he's here to discuss his writing journey from poetry - to thrillers - to erotica.

Elementary to Erotica – my journey so far


I am always keen to learn about a fellow author’s route, from those tentative steps of composing a first piece of work, to first publication and beyond. 

Irrespective of age, or experience, the early days are the most difficult, as they are with most ventures.
It’s good for a writer’s morale to take stock occasionally, but publicly like this. It’s also self-marketing, but we can’t hide our light under a bushel, because therein lies obscurity.

My story may not be awe-inspiring, but I’ve reached another stage with my latest release.

Now is a good time for me to take a look back.

In 1992, following a military career of 23 years, I next took up retail management, which I did for 20 years. In the mid-90’s I started to write my military memoirs. It took over two years and the writing was abysmal. I abandoned the memoirs, and over the next few years I wrote short stories for my own amusement, not knowing anything of the required discipline.

In 2007 I wrote a rhyme whilst on a coffee break. A colleague told me I should join an online poetry site. I did and I wrote 700+poems in three years, but felt the need to do something more.

I read short stories and books on how to write them, whilst I practiced. I took out a subscription to a national writing magazine. In 2010 I won a competition and had my story included in an anthology. Poetry was left behind, as I spent every available minute producing ideas to create short stories.

I joined a website and a local writing group and learned much from having my work critiqued. I’d long had a yearning to write a novel, but felt it was beyond me. My first novel was inspired by a fellow poet on the other side of the world. We’d reviewed each other’s poetry and kept in touch. I’m delighted to say that our friendship has remained firm and we continue to support each other.

In December 2012 I published ‘Ten Days in Panama’, a romance-based thriller. I knew it wasn’t great, but I had introduced aspects of the thriller, and I knew I had to write something more exciting. It was a steep learning curve, just as it had been with short stories. I used the manuscript ‘rest’ periods as a time to continue writing short stories.

In October 2013 I published ‘Beyond The Law’, a crime thriller about a vigilante in Glasgow. During breaks from my novels, I honed my 12 best short stories to create an anthology. In May2014 I published ‘Smoke & Mirrors and other short stories’.

When I read ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ I was disappointed in the content. I got the impression that the author had a good idea, but minimal knowledge of her subject. I am amazed at the success of that series.

I had experimented with writing erotic stories, but they’d never been seen. I thought back over my life experiences and decided I had the knowledge and imagination to adapt them and create a variety of scenarios. In June 2014 I published my second short story anthology ‘Coming Around and other erotic stories’.

My work on thrillers continued. In July 2014I published ‘Amsterdam Calling’, a psychological thriller. Since moving on from poetry, my practice had been to work on more than one project simultaneously, so my next book was at an advanced stage.

I published ‘A Taste of Honey’ in December2014. It was another vigilante story, but this time about a rogue female detective – in the US.

From late 2014 into early 2015 I had a handful of private messages asking if I’d ever considered writing an erotic novel. These were not random queries, but from folk who had read my erotic anthology. Just as I had with my poetry a few years before, I sensed a challenge, but once again, a challenge I relished.

In September 2015, I completed the final draft of ‘Give & Take: A Tale of Erotica’. It has sold almost daily since publication.

If my first attempt at an erotic novel receives positive reviews, I will be happy to produce a sequel. It has two reviews already. Whether or not I find success in the world of erotica I’ll continue to write thrillers, but there is escape in writing contrasting genre.

I would suggest to any writer who feels the urge to try a new genre – do it. Don’t let anybody hold you back with their opinions. You owe it to yourself – and your readers.
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Nick and Kirsten are an attractive couple in their early 20’s and share an apartment. To the outside world they are perfectly matched, but behind closed doors things are not so straightforward.


Nick’s appetite for sexual experimentation goes beyond what Kirsten will allow. Kirsten’s love for Nick is pushed to the limit, however, she confides in a friend and takes a course of action that nobody would have expected – least of all her boyfriend.

The couple find themselves in a world where they will both see fantasy become reality, but at what cost?
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In November 2015 I aim to publish ‘Acts of Vengeance’, the sequel to ‘Beyond The Law’.

One of the greatest things we can all do as indie authors is to support our peers. Try to read other indie authors, and provide reviews. Make an effort to read widely in genre – it really does pay dividends.

Another good idea is to do as I’ve done here, and produce an occasional update on progress. It doesn’t matter if you’ve written one book so far, let people know you are out there.

As always, I thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts. Feedback is always welcome.
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In 1969 at the age of 17, Tom left his native Glasgow to join the British Army. Tom’s military career spanned from 1969 to 1992. He followed this with a career in Retail Management, in which he was employed from 1992 to 2012.

Tom has been writing since 2007. He has published five novels, two anthologies of short stories, and a series of five anthologies of genre-based poetry. He is presently working on two novels, and a third anthology of short stories. Tom is also a self-taught artist.
Tom’s websites:


Writer & Artisthttp://www.tom-benson.co.uk

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Thank you, Tom, impressive! Truly!

What do you think of Tom's journey?

Have you shared your success and or failures? 

Is it important, why or why not? 

Do you treat your writing as a business?

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is featuring
Annalisa Crawford 
She's sharing her secrets for writing scary!
Stop by on Wednesday to read her post.
Don't forget the Halloween Challenge sign up begins October 1st!




6 comments:

  1. You've certainly written a variety! That was quite the journey from memoir to erotica.

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  2. Quite the journey indeed. And yeah, it is always good to post updates and such too.

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  3. Very interesting career you've had. The last erotica I read was Anais Nin. I haven't tried out the 50 Shades, and I probably won't.

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  4. Hi Tom! HI Yolanda! I knew you'd published, Tom, but hadn't realised how prolific you were. Have you thought of offering PDFs to readers and asking them to review for you. It might be an urban myth, but I've read where people won't buy a book on Amazon with under 10 reviews. That may not always be right, but worth thinking about.

    Denise :-)

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  5. Hi Yolanda - it's Tom Benson. I have to introduce myself because I have difficulty registering on 'Blogger' links. My personalised Wordpress domain takes numerous attempts before acceptance on sites where there is a 'Select profile' option. I've managed to occasionally come up as 'anonymous'. It may register me with my poetry 'pen name' - Tomfoollery.
    I wanted to drop by and first of all thank you for this re-post, and the great intro.
    I'd also like to say a sincere thanks to those who have left comments.
    Alex - I believe that attempting different genre is good for us as authors because it can lead us in directions we might never have considered. I'm presently thinking about trying my hand at horror. In my short stories I tend to head off in different directions.
    Pat - Yes indeed. If we don't take the opportunity to remind ourselves of the journey and the effort it took, we might feel deflated and give up.
    C. Lee Mc - If I had to classify 'Fifty Shades ...' it would not be under erotica, but more likely fantasy. With the greatest respect to the author I believe she learned her topic from either the internet or other books. Perhaps I got an early edition, so I'll give her the benefit of the doubt. Don't waste your money or time on it.
    Denise - Hello again. When my latest book (Give & Take: A Tale of Erotica) was in 6th draft I sent it out to four women and two men for feedback. I then spent several weeks refining the story and developing the characters further. The work I produced 'behind the scenes' has left me with enough knowledge of my characters to produce a sequel.
    I try never to worry about the Amazon statistics because I've played both the pricing game and the reviews game on there and I believe there are so many parameters that have to be just right - we as authors have little control - apart from our writing.
    Should this link work - sincere thanks to all of you guys, and you especially Yolanda.
    Tom

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    1. It worked Tom!
      Thank you so much for your response to the comments, and especially for sharing your journey.
      Wishing you the best of luck as you pursue all your goals!

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