Red letter nana
Invercargill author Catherine Taylor warns her books make Fifty Shades of Grey look like a kindergarten novel. She talks to Lauren Hayes about writing erotic fiction ahead of the release of her latest novel.
Most of us tend to think of our grannies, grandmas and nanas as sweet old dearies, pottering around the pot plants, baking bikkies and darning grandad’s socks.
One Invercargill grandmother doesn’t quite fit that mould.
This grandmother is a fulltime author, publishing under the name Catherine Taylor. She’s preparing to release her fourth book this weekend, but anyone expecting a collection of coal range recipes or a gardening guide is a little far off the mark.
Taylor’s upcoming novel, Master, is an erotic work, with the author making no apologies for her adults only content.
‘‘All my books are erotica – they’ve got explicit sex scenes in them and BDSM scenes,’’ Taylor says
"I make Fifty Shades look like a kindergarten novel."
It may be too intense for some readers, but many others seem to enjoy the thrill.
Taylor's debut novel, The Finest Line, was first released as an ebook in 2012 and ranked at number 15 on Amazon's bestsellers erotica chart.
Its two sequels, A Line Crossed and A Line Drawn, have also been well received, and Taylor now earns enough to live from selling the books online.
The series is particularly popular in the United Kingdom, where, apparently, there is more of a market for erotic fiction, and word on the street is her new novel will also do quite well.
However, when the good reviews, bestselling accolades and editors' picks first started rolling in, Taylor almost could not believe her success.
"I was really, absolutely aghast when it happened. I was absolutely blown away."
The success is extra sweet for the author, as she has self published all of her novels, first as ebooks before offering them in paperback.
She had tried going down the traditional publishing route with earlier suspense novels, but found it paved with bureaucracy and heartache.
Self-publishing was a lot more rewarding, both financially and personally, for Taylor and, during the past two years, she has discovered many authors are also willing to help out newbies in the business.
She is now a strong advocate for people following their writing dreams through self-publishing.
"Why anyone would go through traditional publishers is beyond me."
Despite the risque subject matter of her books, her family are supportive of her career and proud of her success.
Taylor's husband even helped edit her latest work, giving him a chance to finally see what all the fuss was about, while her grown children joke about her career with their friends, Taylor says.
"The kids have a bit of a laugh. My youngest son, he likes to say to his mates, 'Oh, yeah, my mum writes porn.' "
So what's it actually like, penning prose that only a few decades ago would have landed an author in jail?
Taylor says she finds writing the steamier sections a lot of fun, although there are a few ground rules when it comes to describing the dirty deed.
"It's important that you make your sex scenes interesting - you can't have them repetitive," she explains.
"You've got to know what you're talking about." Catherine Taylor's latest novel Master will be released as an ebook on Sunday.
The Southland Times