P.F. Kozak - Guest Author Gets Her Feet Wet

Apr 11, 2007

Good Morning!

It’s a pleasure to guest blog here on Romantic Inks. Thanks to Haven Rich, and to The Inclined, for the opportunity. And thank you, Haven, for setting me up for the blog. As you can see, the login works! This is my virgin attempt at posting here - so let’s give it a go!


P.F. Kozak RosesFor those of you who don’t know me, hello! I’m P.F. Kozak, and I’m an Aphrodisia Author. I write for Kensington’s Aphrodisia line of erotic romance. I had two books published in 2006, Passion, a contemporary story set in England, and Sins and Secrets, a Victorian historical. With Aphrodisia, the heat is turned up quite a bit more than in traditional romances. Traditional romance novels take you to the bedroom door. Aphrodisia novels take you inside.

I didn’t particularly anticipate getting published by writing erotica. I aspired to write since I was a kid, and studied writing and journalism in college. Along the way, I got sidetracked with making a living. The creative outlet of my writing took a back seat to paying the rent. It was a form of journaling that got me seriously back into writing again. Weaving erotic thoughts, stories, and fantasies into that work resulted in a book-length manuscript.

Here is where fate intervened. They say luck and timing are everything. After what happened to me, I believe it! I heard about Kensington starting the Aphrodisia line. My source told me they were beating the bushes for new authors, and that they wanted to experiment with new concepts.

One of the experimental ideas was to tell an erotic romance from the first person point of view. They didn’t want just one narrator, they wanted two! They were looking for a double first person novel, with male and female narration.

It just so happened that the book-length work I already had in the can was exactly that. It required some revision and tweaking to meet the requirements of Aphrodisia, which I did straight away. Then I submitted my work to my soon-to-be Kensington editor. She decided I was the one to fulfill the “he said/she said” story they wanted, and she bought my book.

That story was Passion. It was an experiment going in; we all knew that there were readers who would not especially like the “he said/she said” aspect. But I didn’t expect the extreme reactions the book received. It was very much “love it” or “hate it.” There was no middle of the road reaction to Passion. To those who loved it and said so, in reviews, or comments posted on book sites, I am very grateful.

I signed a two-book deal. The second book was another experiment The Powers That Be at Kensington wished to try. They wanted to emulate the “Choose Your Own Adventure” books that a lot of us may remember from our childhood. In this case, that would mean giving the reader a choice at certain points in the story as to how the sexual encounters would play out.

I thought it might be fun, and certainly a challenge to write, so I agreed. Sins and Secrets became my second book. The Victorian era was a perfect setting for licentious trysts and scandalous affairs. I wound up getting more emotionally involved with the characters than I thought I would. Also, having the freedom to play out a scene two different ways with the choose-your-own-sexual-adventure structure was as satisfying as it was challenging.

Again, I got some very gratifying reader and reviewer reaction. And my editor felt it really worked. She offered me another deal, which included a second choose-your-own story in the contract. That book is Take Me There, due for release this November. It is a contemporary paranormal story with a heroine I absolutely love, and very intense, sometimes very funny, complications. How can a girl choose between a perfect man and a “ghost” lover who has traveled the cosmos to be with her?

I will also have a novella in the collection Bound to Ecstasy, which involves, you might guess, some D/S BDSM in the story. The novella is called Mirrors Within Mirrors. This will also be out in November.

I’ve acquired an agent. When we first started working together, she urged me to find one category or genre, and stick to it. But as time has gone on, and she’s become more familiar with my work, that’s become less of an issue. If someone wants to write exclusively within a particular category, that’s great. We certainly all have genres and types of stories we prefer to read. However, my approach is a bit different.

For me, at least so far, I want the focus to be on the characters—what makes them tick and how they relate to each other. Both as an author and as a reader, I want to explore how characters change within a relationship. That can be in any time period or setting, or different genres, or in a paranormal.

My writing career has been a whirlwind, actually more of a cyclone. I have a demanding full-time job. I write evenings and weekends, using my free time to meet my deadlines. It’s a huge challenge to meet all the obligations. But somehow, I’m managing it.

This all has happened for me in the past two years. And I find I love it. It’s the love of the work that motivates me to do it, that enables me to do it, and that feeds me the energy to keep on keeping on.

I’ve waited a long time to be an author. I slow down once in awhile and remind myself I’ve actually done it! And I expect to keep writing for a very long time.

See you all tomorrow!


P.F. Kozak - http://www.pfkozak.com

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