I was going to blog about Sexpo today, the sex exhibition Jess, Rhian and fellow Aussie author, Maggie Nash attended on Friday just gone, but something has happened to change that. (Besides, Maggie and Jess have done an awesome job of covering the event, so check out their blogs here and here. But be warned, NSFW.)

So, what happened today that made me change my mind about regalling you all with tales from the den of carnal pleasures (aka, Sydney Sexpo)? I signed a new contract this morning.

Little bit of backstory before I tell you about the new contract. I started my professional writing life with erotic sci-fi. I grew up watching Dr Who and Star Trek (and my first crush was on Han Solo) so naturally when I decided to write an erotic romance what better sub-genre to explore than sci-fi. Actually, it was’t even as planned as that. I opened a new Word doc and began writing with no real idea of what was going to come out of my brain. Pretty much all my books are written this way, which can be surprisingly fun or frustratingly annoying. My first ever erotic tale was definitely sci-fi. Shifting Lust is still my best seller at Changeling Press and I have to say, the hero–a brooding, menacing bounty hunter called Raiven a’Tor still has a very special place in my heart.

After that came more sci-fi with elements of paranormal. Then came paranormal all by itself (Savage Retribution, Captive Heat, Death, The Vamp and His Brother to name a few). Then I went back to visit sci-fi again, this time with fantasy elements (the infamous The Sun Sword is that book, which only recently came out in print.) followed by some more sci-fi, this time with a foursome unlike any other (Spaceport: R&R). Never in amongst all that did I dream I would ever write a contemporary erotic rom-com. But I did.

Mid 2009, Mari Carr asked me to be a part of Ellora’s Cave Tempt the Cougar series, a strictly non-paranormal, non-sci-fi series. I was as nervous as all hell, but love Mari sooo damn much I couldn’t say no. Copping A Feel was released August this year and, according to my EC editor (the most fabulous Kelli Collins) it was the best thing I’d ever subbed to her. “Freaking hilarious” I think was the words she used.
Of course, me being me, I didn’t believe her and before I knew it, I was submerged again in the paranormal worlds where wild horny sex happens between non-humans and the fate of the world hangs in the balance (Savage Transformation and Endless Lust). Savage Transformation was released last month and Endless Lust will be coming soon from Ellora’s Cave. But somewhere in amongst all that timeline, my Samhain Editor, (the most wonderful Heidi Moore) threw down a challenge. Write her a menage contemporary erotic romance. And do it in 10 days.

So, I did. I opened a new Word doc, put my fingers on the keys and waited. And a few minutes later I wrote this line…

Joseph Hudson tossed his snowboard aside, threw his goggles over his shoulder and swung a fist at his best mate.

Nine days later, I subbed Triple Dare, a 25,000 word m/f/m erotic rom-com to Heidi. Here’s the unofficial blurb.

Joseph Hudson is serious, determined and phenomenally successful. He isn’t Australia’s Businessman of the year for nothing. So how does he find himself lost on the side of a mountain in the Colorado Rockies in the middle of winter with night fast approaching? Three simple words….I dare you.

Fear isn’t in Rob Thorton’s vocabulary, life is for the taking and Rob uses both hands. Daring his best mate into an impromptu snowboarding trip to the US is just the latest in a lifetime of dares. Besides, Rob has an ulterior motive for the trip. And a plan…

Anna McCarthy has seen plenty of trouble in her job as Park Ranger and nothing spells more trouble than the two Australians on her mountain. Even with all her skills Anna can’t stop her body responding to their smooth Aussie accents or the sexy muscles beneath their ski suits.

Finding themselves in a remote cabin, Anna knows keeping a close eye on them isn’t enough. With a storm raging outside, the temperature in the cabin continues to rise until all bets are off.

After all, who can say no to a dare? Especially a triple dare….

Turns out, Triple Dare was quite good. Good enough for Samhain to include it in their Red Hot Winter Antho coming out January which still totally blows me away. Heidi said it was the best thing I’ve ever written (and she’d contracted four of my books at this stage–none of them contemporary) and demanded I write a sequel. So I did. And this morning, I found a contract for Dare To Love in my inbox.

So what is the point of all this rambling, Lexxie, I hear you say. The point is this. Just cause you think you’re a dyed-in-the-wool one thing, doesn’t mean you are. If you never challenge yourself, you’ll never know what you can do. I never ever thought I’d one day be writing erotic rom-coms, but I’ve written three and have another six bubbling about in my brain. Six non-paranormal, non-sci-fi, non-the-world-is-threatened-and-everything-is-dire erotic rom-coms that just won’t stay in the deep recessess of my mind. A mind I was believe could only write weird, twisted and down-right disturbing.

So, don’t let the fear of not-knowing or the certainty of only knowing the safe stop you. If you want to do something you haven’t tried before–do it. Cause you never know where you’ll end up.