If your phone call ends with you shouting: “He didn’t light the fire! That was hypothetical!” — You just gave a bad reference.
Virginia Flowers is an award-winning, high-producing erotica and erotic-romance author with a long list of stories to her name. You could disappear into her backlist for days, and then emerge with wild eyes, disheveled clothes, and a dozen new imaginary friends—because her characters are so relatable and interesting you want them to really exist.
Her most recent novel is a sweet, sexy new erotic romance, Showing Off. It’s striking a chord with readers, because when she ran a special promotion, it rocketed to fourth place (picture link!) on the free list for its Amazon category in under three days. Moreover, it did this with only one reader review! Granted, that review was from a top Amazon reviewer, who gave it a strong thumbs up.
I sat down with Virginia to ask her a few questions about her amazing success.
LFB: I hate you, Virginia. Your success makes me angry.
VF: Yes. I feel the hate flowing through you. Come embrace the dark side, young writer.
LFB: In Showing Off, the heroine (and my new best friend) Erica pulls herself together after a broken marriage. To help her along, she has a band of attractive, high-achieving suitors trying to capture her attention. She has fun with them, sure, but she’s also on a path of self-discovery. What is it that makes Erica tick?
VF: One of the things I wanted to do with Erica was take a character who was already very strong woman in her personal life and introduce her to situations that are well outside her norm, to put her off balance and see just how she reacts.
That path of discovery coincided nicely with a reconnection with her need for companionship (not just sexual of course, though that plays a strong role in this novel). So we get to really see how this woman starts out strong, goes through this period of reflection and self-discovery, and how it reveals her own vulnerabilities.
LFB: What’s so hot about the idea of showing off? Why do you think it’s such a prevalent kink for so many men and women?
VF: It’s taboo. We have certain wonderfully erotic regions of our body that we’ve decided are supposed to be hidden most of the time. Seeing them is titillating (what a lovely word that is); we’re supposed to become aroused when we see them. I suppose in Medieval times, just seeing an ankle was considered titillating for most western cultures.
I’m not a huge exhibitionst myself, though I admit to having indulged in some public sexual escapades with partners that were very enjoyable. Even getting caught was a bit hot. It’s just that we’re not supposed to be doing it which is the naughty, arousing part.
I [have] indulged in… public sexual escapades… that were… hot.
LFB: I like how Erica finds a way to be a classy show-off. She doesn’t just flip a switch and turn nasty and filthy, she shows off in ways that I could show off, or any of your readers could show off. She also stands up for herself when people try to treat her as a mere sex object. She’s like the exhibitionist you could introduce to your mother, if you wanted your mother to start teasing delivery men.
Were these conscious choices as you wrote her character?
VF: Very conscious. I could have written the traditional “I like to flash and here’s my body, and yes I would be happy to smoke your sausage for you, too” sort of book. But I felt that had been done to death already, there’s plenty of stories like that out there. Erica is not a slut, just a woman who discovers she climaxes quite nicely when her naughty parts are on display.
She was raised a good Catholic girl, so sleeping around isn’t an acceptable practice. And I wanted her to continue to be a strong woman while giving in to her vulnerable sides, so I very consciously made it about her turning people on without them being allowed to touch her (other than the two lovers she meets during the course of the novel). That way she is both strong and in control, which she likes, while being able to put herself in a very vulnerable position of exposure.
LFB: It seems like she’s less wish-fulfillment erotica, and more of a reader proxy like in romantica.
VF: This is also a Romance book. While there is some sex, and its quite steamy, the novel revolves around relationships more than it does sex. If Erica focused on having sex during all her encounters, I felt it would stray from that sense of falling in love and discovering not only how to express those needs she had found in herself, but how to build a relationship that encompasses those needs..
LFB: You have a character, Mr. Dimples (Michael) who is mourning a broken marriage of his own. He lost his wife, who was serving the U.S. in Iraq. Some of your other stories have military themes as well, themes we often don’t get in erotica and erotic romance. Do you have some background that makes you want to especially recognize the contributions of service men and women?
VF: I served as well when I left high school. I was in the Army Reserves and worked as a medical lab technician. I also have close relatives who have served, though I feel fortunate that my family has not suffered any loss of life or limb during any of our missions overseas. I have a strong sense of pride for what those people put themselves through on a daily basis, the sacrifices those families make for the rest of us.
LFB: How long have you been writing, and do you have a grand plan for what’s coming up this year?
VF: I started writing in 8th grade. My first story was about an avalanche that crashes down on a ski resort and the brave people who rescue those who are trapped. It was a complete rip-off of a bad horror movie I had seen.
I’d always loved writing and telling stories. I grew up in Maine, where there is still a very strong storytelling tradition, mostly humorous, and this was a big influence when I was younger. In high school my English teachers were tougher and discouraging, so I moved into the sciences and aimed for a teaching career.
Then life intruded. I went in the military, then didn’t get around to going to college for about 6 years. When I finally went back to school, I took a creative writing course for fun… and fell in love with writing all over again. Hearing people read my piece aloud in class and asking who wrote it because they loved it was a real kick. This was also early in the Internet era, and I started posting short stories of erotica to various forums and message boards.
Even though I left school without finishing (I waited until much later in life to get my degree), I continued to write stories, and in the late 90’s received an online award from what was, at that time, one of the better reviewers of erotica online, the Celestial Review. My story, Diary of a Voyeur, was named one of the Best Stories of the Month, and Best Stories of the Year.
Then life intruded again, now with family, marriage, and kids…
LFB: Don’t get me started with those things… kids. It’s like my vagina betrayed me.
VF: I discovered a year ago how easy it was to self-publish on sites like Amazon, so I dusted off my old stories and made simple covers, and well… here I am now, with my first novel under my belt. Which I’m very very very proud of, by the way.
LFB: Yes, as I said, I hate your accomplishments. I hope you’re not planning any more?
VF: I’m thinking of a follow up to Showing Off, detailing more of the developing relationship between Erica and Michael and her explorations into exhibitionism. I’m also outlining a novel about a middle aged mom who loses her job and accidentally falls into work as a prostitute to make ends meet. I’m also working on some mystery and fantasy stories, though at this point my first love is Romance.
LFB: All my hate has left me pleasantly exhausted!
If you’ve ever wanted to try showing off… just follow the adventures of your new friend Erica as she tests the waters, and finds the temperature to be exactly as hot as she needs.
So I’m back in the crazylady phase of my mental cycle. I laugh out loud at internal jokes, I frown, shake my head, mutter. My reliable fix: Dress sharp and ignore cats.
At the skate place for kid’s party. Lots of guys flirting. I just looked down and saw my shirt in the blacklight. Yep.
Last night I woke up with the frightening realization: I haven’t talked about myself enough on this blog lately. Then I bolted upright: I have blog-prizes to send out. From last [email protected]#! year!!
My husband had been sleep-groping me, and I’d been sleep-letting him. It was like we were at sleep-Bonnaroo all over again. When I jack-knifed, I hurt his wrist and woke him up. Don’t feel bad for him, he knew the risks.
“What the hell, Lindsey?”
“I just thought of something.”
“That is an emergency.”
“Don’t ask what it was.”
“Did you dream you were killing me in my sleep again?”
“Ha-ha, no, but it was about you.” Usually I can deflect attention by talking about the other person. Unfortunately, it worked again.
“Tell me what it was.” His voice was guarded.
“I just forgot. No I didn’t.” He wouldn’t have believed that anyway. Then I had a random question… “Are your pajamas flammable?”
“Fuck. Were you setting me on fire?”
Things were looking bad for me. So I screamed “Vagina!” and kicked the blankets off.
In the confusion that followed, I fled the room and locked myself in the bathroom. When I came out, he had fallen into a restless, troubled sleep.
Which brings me to: Holy Crap, I have books to send to winners of my bloghops!
Bloghop 1: Romancing the Hop! Romance + Hopping!
If you notice the odd publication dates (the second bloghop is before the first bloghop), that’s just me being so clueless that I generated space-time distortion.
When I select winners, I give them a choice: A paper copy of my weird erotic romance book Trapper & Emmeline, a PDF of the book, or some CA$H so they can buy someone else’s book. A few unlucky souls picked the paper copy, and promptly received nothing for months and months!
Now they are getting a free paper book! I will get in contact with them…
Free ebooks? From Lindsey? You kid me!
Me not kid you! I often give away free stuff, I just rarely deliver it. You’re probably wondering, “If Lindsey gives away so much free stuff, how does she make money?” Easy! I give away more free stuff. Duh. Here is how you can get free stuff (aka, ebooks) from me:
- Write my name on your stomach! I don’t know why I thought of this, but I’m doing it. Also, take a picture and send it to me.
- Win something by posting cool comments when I do a bloghop
- Leave an honest review on Amazon for one of my works. (Good, bad, indifferent—I don’t care. I only ask for the truth!!!!!) There’s nothing that helps an ebook perform better on Amazon than reviews… if you like my stories, tell the world, and I will write more! (Unless, you know, you have friends and family, and you feel self-conscious leaving reviews for erotica. Then I get it.)
- Easiest of all? Sign up for my mailing list! You will get announcements of freebies! For example I have an email going out sometime this weekend about free days next week…
I look forward to your stomachs.