The Devil’s Life

cover of The Devil's Doorbell, torso of woman swathed in crimson velvetToday at the Café I’m welcoming a special guest! Fantabulous contemporary romance author Megan Mulry is a contributor in my brainchild, The Devil’s Doorbell, an anthology of erotic fiction. Here’s the blurb:

A woman’s pleasure is a dangerous thing. A primal appetite that, once awakened, can never be sated. A secret that gives power to those who know it. A magic that, once unleashed, can never be contained.

Some say the clitoris is the devil’s doorbell, set to summon him forth at the merest touch…

It’s time to ring the bell.

Here are seven tales of sexual empowerment and erotic defiance, featuring the hottest storytellers of erotic fiction.

Buy the Book

Take it away, Megan!

Thanks so much for having me to the Café! I should probably promote my latest release or something, but NAH. I’m hanging at the corner of wait and see at the moment, so I thought it’d make more sense to write about how it feels here at the crossroads.

This profession of ours is a bizarre combination of creativity and productivity and I’ve been allowing myself to stand here and just…percolate…for the past few months. I wrote over ten full length books in the past five years (not including novellas, etc.) and I was beginning to waffle between thinking that was a ton (in some literary circles) to not nearly enough (in some romance circles). So, basically, I just stopped. Quit Twitter. Told my agent I was going AWOL for a few months. Focused on my family.

At the moment, I’m all about this concept of enough. On the one hand, the trap of enough is one of the worst plagues on our society, because for so many people, nothing/everything is ever/never enough. Take right now, for example. I’m sitting in a microbrewery in a beautiful beachside town on a Tuesday afternoon drinking a summer wheat and writing this blog. This is so much MORE than enough. I’m married to a good man, the mother of two good children, I’m still on happy speaking terms with my four siblings and surviving parent—so I’ve basically got it all.

And yet.

That voice in my head was starting to tell me it wasn’t quite enough. And it was getting louder and louder over the past few years. Let me back up for minute.

In 2010, I decided I was really going to be a real writer, for real. I sat down with my husband and we drew up a seven-year business plan. If I didn’t have an agent by 2011, I’d quit. If I didn’t have book deal by 2012, I’d quit. If I didn’t hit a list by 2013, I’d quit. After that, I’d be Jackie Collins, right? So, yeah. In 2011, I got a fabulous New York agent and a three-book deal. In 2012, I got a starred review in Publishers Weekly, my debut book was an NPR best book of the year, and it was optioned by NBC/Universal. In 2013, I hit the USA Today bestseller list. I kept writing. I wrote more books. I ghostwrote more books. I was a real writer! Writing! For money! Dreams really do come true!

I was not Jackie Collins.

I was good. I mean, I didn’t legit expect to hit it out of the park. In fact, Christina Dodd is my moral compass when it comes to really “hitting it big”…which she did with her twentieth book. That’s right. Her TWENTIETH book. So, damn, I don’t know what happened exactly, but I woke up about six months ago and there was the dog still needing to be walked and the school fees to be paid and friends getting diagnosed with cancer and my 10-year-old daughter was suddenly 16. And all that time I had been in another room with my earbuds in. Don’t get me wrong! I loved being in that room with my earbuds in! I mean, I SERIOUSLY loved it. I could go six hours without getting up from my chair and not even notice the passage of time. I loved (love!) writing. Seriously. Love. It.

But there’s a season, and a time to every purpose and all that. I have little ones. I don’t want to look back and think I could have been present rather than, well, half-present (or even a quarter present, if we’re being honest). I was over at my mom’s a couple of months ago and I watched a show called American Pickers. When I got home I told my husband and kids, “Hey you guys, I just saw this really fun show called American Pickers which is like Hoarders…but without the mental illness!” And the three of them looked at me and my husband laughed and said, “Yeah, we watch it all the time when you’re writing.” Honestly? I didn’t even KNOW the show, much less that my entire family had been watching episode after episode while I was deep inside my Bose noise reduction headphones. And in the grand scheme of things (Syria! Trump! Abortion!) I get that my epiphany about American Pickers is pretty minor. But it wasn’t minor for me.

So I looked at the numbers (reducing this creative endeavor to brass tacks, aka dollar signs) and I realized I could make about the same amount of money by Uber driving and babysitting. At base, I’m a pragmatist. Dollars are dollars. Yes. That’s right…Uber driving and babysitting. And never thinking about deadlines or bad reviews. Never spending spring break doing copyedits. Never having to decide between Twitter promo or going to the mall with my teenager. Really just not thinking. Period. Because my bifurcated brain was tired, people. I’d been thinking (hard!) for six years straight (Be creative! Be fresh! Be relevant!) and that shit wears you down.

All that said, I haven’t really stopped writing. (Seven-year plan, remember?) I’m just off contract for the first time in five years and it feels fucking awesome. I’ll be skydiving when I’m in Las Vegas for RT next week (if any of you are there, please join me!) and this part of my writing career right now feels just like jumping out of an airplane: exhilarating, dangerous, potentially fatal, beautiful, liberating, and most of all, FUN! Because when I think back to why I first started writing romance it was all about the fun. Life is so full of legitimate horrors and strife—I wanted to make a concerted effort NOT to add to that.

So off we go! Hop in the back of my Uber, hop out of the airplane over Lake Mead, do something that makes you remember why you started writing in the first place, why life is worth living. HAVE FUN!

Hope to see you in Vegas!

Megan MulryMegan Mulry writes sexy, stylish, romantic fiction. Her first book, A Royal Pain, was an NPR Best Book of 2012 and USA Today bestseller. Before discovering her passion for romance novels, she worked in magazine publishing and finance. After many years in New York, Boston, London, and Chicago, she now lives with her family in Florida.

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