Tuesday 22 December 2015


I’ve always been a writer at heart—I wrote long before I published my first book on December 12, 2005.

There have been many highs and lows during my publishing journey.  Readers have emailed me or written reviews that assured me my words had affected them in the way I’d hoped.  A few of them have even become long-term online friends.  There are others, though, who have given a book of mine a low-rated review, stating that they didn’t enjoy it as much as some of my other works, but never took the time to post reviews for the ones they did enjoy.  For those people is obviously easier to criticize than to give praise.

I’ve never let this trouble me; I appreciate feedback, whether positive or negative.  My reading choices are diverse, and so is my writing.  I enjoy every story I’ve ever written—I’m one of those writers who first write for themselves and then hope to find others out there with similar tastes.  I don’t expect everyone to like everything I’ve written, although I write every story with the same passion and commitment.  What I hope for is for them to take a minute to read the book’s blurb to see if the story is for them before purchasing it, or downloading it for free.

Fellow writers, however, are the ones who have surprised me the most.  I’ve met some incredibly generous authors who have willingly shared their secrets of success and helped in many other ways.  But, there have been others who deliberately tried to sabotage my books because they weren’t doing as well themselves or saw me as a threat.

This is the most baffling thing of all.  As a writer I know how many tireless, lonely hours I spend at the keyboard trying to breathe life into my story ideas.  The very last thing I would ever do is shoot another writer down.

Not everyone is cut out to be a writer.  There are some people who are capable of penning masterpieces who simply lack the desire or patience to write them.  There are others who have the tenacity but lack the talent.  I don’t believe that the internet should be flooded with interior writing, but I do believe that anyone who’s made their very best effort by putting their heart and soul into a story deserves a chance for it to be read.

Due to certain constraints in my personal life, I haven’t been able to write or publish as I would have wished in the last two years.  Now that I’m able to devote more time to writing again, I’ve found that self publishing has changed beyond recognition.  It’s no longer simply a matter of writing a good book and letting readers find it organically.  To be successful, most writers now spend countless hours on social networks cultivating fans, and thousands on dollars on advertising.  There are a lucky few who built their fan bases years ago and now can afford to do less.

I’m not one for socializing on the internet.  For me, it was enough to write and price my books cheaply so that they reached as wide an audience as possible.  For years this approach worked—and more successfully than I could have ever dreamed—but now my books are no longer able to compete, especially on Amazon, due to lack of visibility.

The books I write are geared for a niche market.  I enjoyed giving readers something a little different, but as a full-time writer I have to make some tough decisions if I want to be able to support myself from my royalties.  The choice is now to continue using this pen name, but publish more commercial books, or create another which will give me that freedom.  It will be hard to abandon Lexy, she’s been so good to me, but it may be time to spread my wings and fly, taking the good memories I have of her with me.

I will make my decision on the first day of 2016 and see where it takes me.

Lastly, Coming Home for Christmas has now been updated and is available on all major online retailers.  It’s gone from a measly 12K words to 50K words in length and encapsulates the follow-up I’d planned.  And in true Lexy fashion I believe that length is important and promise that you’ll find it even more satisfying.

Please, please, post reviews on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads, iTunes or Kobo, and anywhere else you’re able, for this and any of my books.  Thank you.


Lexy xxxx

Wednesday 24 June 2015


I like erotica to tease me, stimulate me, titillate me but never totally satisfy me.  I use it as preplay—something to get me in the mood for a night, or day, of fun and frolics.

It’s not something I want to read on the way to work or during my lunch break.

Fifty Shades of Grey is not erotica to me.  It’s romance, erotic romance at best.  But what publishers have noted is that erotic romance sells better if they are categorized as erotica.  And because they are longer works, readers can’t help themselves—in a world where ‘more is more’, they go for length.

Turned Out! was a 4000 word BBW erotica short I previously published on 27th November, 2013.  It was meant to be kinky and funny, but some readers didn’t appreciate my warped sense of humour.  4 out of 6 reviews were positive, but two readers gave the book 1-star reviews.  I could have gone with the majority vote, but after some consideration I realized that it might not be a true reflection of readers’ thoughts.  I don’t give bad reviews.  If I don’t enjoy a book, I simply think that it wasn’t written for me and leave it alone.  That got me to thinking - perhaps there are readers out there who do the same. With that in mind, I looked for ways to improve the story.  It’s now a 12000 word slightly less erotic story which I hope you will enjoy.

If, like me, you preferred the shorter, nastier version, do nothing.  For those of you who wanted more, here’s your chance—Turned Out! is available for FREE download June 24 -28, 2015.

All reviews appreciated.  Thank you.

 Turned Out! on Amazon US

Saturday 23 November 2013


2013 has been a terrible year in terms of writing.  When I’m feeling a little down, writing is my refuge.  I create a make-believe world and happily inhabit it with my characters, but when I’m full blown depressed, writing is the last thing I can do.  I miss it and think about it all the time, but I cannot make myself sit down and do it.

I started my Seducing the Billoinaire series at the end of January and promised to finish it by the end of February—I never would have published the first part if I felt that I couldn’t deliver on that promise.  Then I received some devastating news that sent me reeling.

I’ve fought with the series since then and finally I finished writing and editing it yesterday, almost nine months late.

I’m taking a break and hope to come back with a bang in 2014.

The writing muse is fickle, though, and I may find that I write up a storm now that I have no obligations to do so.

Thursday 24 January 2013


My latest release, Seducing the Billionaire, is a 4-part erotica series which will be fully released by the end of February.  The books will not be standalones and should be read in order.  Each part will be 8-12K words long and will sell for $0.99/£0.77.  Once the series is complete, the books will be bundled into one volume and priced at $2.99/£2.31.  So, buying the four books separately will cost readers $0.99/£0.77 more.  However, they would have had the chance to meet the characters long before the readers who will eventually buy the bundle.  They would have also had the thrill of anticipating each instalment and watching the series develop and unfold.  Some readers enjoy that sort of thing and will think it worth the extra cost.  The way Amazon’s royalty system works I actually make a little more money if readers buy the bundle, hence the added incentive for them to do so.  By the end of the series I hope there are enough reviews posted to enable readers to make a decision either way - confidently buy the bundle, or make a smaller investment at the beginning which in turn will be a bigger cost if they enjoy it and want to read the other books.

I hope that by stating things clearly at the start of this series I will avoid having readers complain about the length of the books or feel cheated by buying the books singly.

Thursday 27 December 2012


I took a mini break in November and feel so, so much better now.  It wasn't so much a month filled with fun and frolics, but rather a month of renewing the spirit, being with family and reminding myself not to take things too seriously.

Due to a combination of factors and a lack of recent releases, my sales have taken an alarming nosedive and it made me less inclined to write.  However, the time away made me remember why it is I write - not to be a bestselling author or make millions - simply to entertain readers who have a similar sense of humour and sensibility.

The Internet and the upsurgence of networking sites have spawned a new breed of people: ones who make vicious comments from the safety of Cyberspace, often using assumed identities and saying things that they would not have the courage to say in public.  There have been Facebook battles which have spilled over and resulted in the loss of life in the real world, and Twitter arguments which involved thousands of users sending furious tweets back and forth.  Book reviews are the latest weapons of choice for these hate-filled people.  Some of them seem to think it acceptable to give 1-star reviews and leave the nastiest possible comments.  What they don't realize is that intelligent readers realize their words are symptoms of the issues in their personal lives and little to do with the books they are reviewing.

I never buy a book, whether it has good or bad reviews, unless I try a sample first to see if the writer's style and voice appeal to me.  Most retailers give readers the option to do this and yet some reviewers make stupid comments like, "I couldn't get past the first page!"  As I mentioned before - reviews often reveal more about the reviewers than the books they review.  Which fool spends money on a book they haven't taken the time to sample?

With all the bad press reviews have received lately, it's surprising that many readers still buy books based on them.  Therefore, all I ask of you is, please take the time to leave a review if you read my work.  Be honest and let me know what you liked or didn't like.

Wednesday 8 August 2012


I wish I was one of those people who are able to do several things at once and do them all well.  Sadly, I’m not.  Most of the stories I have available for sale at the moment were written in 2005 and 2007, both times when I took career breaks and wrote full time. I have five romance novellas/novels sitting unedited on my PC since 2005 and about twenty short stories in various stages of development which I’ve started since then.

The weekends are usually over by the time I get into my writing zone and going part time is not an option.  But writing fulfils me in a way that nothing else does, so I have decided to find the time to indulge this passion of mine.  I plan to make September a month to remember!  And if I can get my royalties up to an acceptable level, I may even be able to take yet another career break in 2013!

Wednesday 16 November 2011


First, let me admit that no one has ever offered me a publishing contract and probably never will!  However, I’ve been catching up with my reading, especially of my favourite romance authors and logged on to Mary Balogh’s website to see what’s new.  The last time I visited, aeons ago, the author had mentioned that she intended to write a book about Gwendoline, Lady Muir, a secondary character in the books of the Bedwyn series.  I was thrilled to learn that the manuscript was almost complete, but was totally flabbergasted when I read that the hardback would be available August, 2012!  It’s probably because I want to read the story so much, but for the first time the incredible length of time between the completion of a manuscript by the author and the time it takes to appear in print was brought home forcibly to me.

Mary’s books are flawlessly edited.  I can only recall just one tiny error, ‘blues eyes’, in the twenty or so books of hers which I’ve read; if there were more I was too engrossed to notice.  I know great care is taken in ensuring that her books are perfect, so I appreciate that the book can’t be available the day after she finishes writing it.  But surely by writing the book she’s done the hard part of the publishing process?  Why does the rest of it take so long?  It may be that there is a need to space the publication of her books—there are several planned in the interim—but call me impatient, I want to read that book now!

Mary also mentions on her website that one of my favourite books by her, A Summer to Remember, was almost not written because a previous editor didn’t like the heroine of the book.  I’m even more flabbergasted by this fact!  An editor deciding what I can and can’t write!  We would have come to blows for that.  Another favourite of mine, A Precious Jewel, almost didn’t get written, but this time because it was unlike the traditional Regency romances being written at the time.  Luckily, the story compelled Mary to write it and thank God she gave in to that inner voice because it’s a wonderful book.

So, I will remain an independent author.  Traditional publishing is too long-winded a process for an impatient person like me.  I was a disobedient child and I’m no better as an adult—I could not have anyone tell me what to write.  I go with my instincts and never worry about how unpopular my choices are.  None of these attributes makes me a good candidate for a three- or five-book deal from a traditional publisher, so it’s safe to say that we will avoid each other like the plague.

Monday 14 November 2011


As of this morning I’ve sold 30,627 Kindle books since 29th August, 2010.  My Bedtime Erotica collections make up eighty-eight percent of those sales with 26,877 copies sold, while my first romance novel, Soca Nights, makes up five percent with 1584 copies sold.  These figures are far beyond my expectations and I still have to pinch myself to ensure that I’m not dreaming.

But I’ve learned some surprising lessons this past year—the most surprising is the realization that many writers of other genres don’t consider writers of erotica to be ‘real’ writers.  Writers’ forums are great places to gather information, but they are not places to air your views unless you’re one of the popular people.  It’s a bizarre experience posting a response in a thread, only to have the next person ignore your post completely and respond to, or quote, the person above you.  I’m an introvert and have made lurking an art form since I published my first book in 2005.  This year I made an effort to join debates and to share the knowledge I’ve gained on my six-year publishing journey.  The reception I received in forums was lacklustre at best, so in future I plan to lurk to my heart’s content and only offer congratulations and commiserations when due since there are enough writers willing to voice their opinions for me ever to feel the need to voice mine.

This year’s reviews have been eye-openers, too.  Some clearly showed that I had made the desired connection with the readers while others forced me to look at my work more critically from a reader’s point of view.  Though most were informative there were a few which seemed placed on my books’ pages to thrash them while promoting other books.  I ignored these because I can tell when a reviewer has read my book, so if he/she is simply quoting from another review then the expressed opinion is irrelevant and of no use to me.
Every creative writing class I’ve taken has focussed on character development and the importance of creating characters who are dissimilar to you as a writer.  I try to portray real characters whose thoughts and actions rarely reflect mine.  Yet, one reviewer seemed to think that she knew me intimately just from reading one of my books.  She has absolutely no idea who the hell I am, or what I do or don’t do in bed and with whom!  My relatives and close friends found her review ridiculous and most felt that I should have written a rebuttal, but if the thoughts expressed are genuine reflections of what she felt after reading my book then perhaps I’m a better writer than I give myself credit for.

Another reviewer was less than complimentary about my short story, Perfect Score, in which the heroine gets her own back eventually.  The reviewer didn’t finish reading the story and accused me of calling the fuller-figured heroine ‘fat and ugly’, but anyone who reads and understands the story knows that it’s first told from the male protagonist’s point of view and then switches to the female’s.  The contrasting points of view are the main feature of the story, so unless the story is read in its entirety the essence is lost to the reader.  In the planned revisions of my collections I may rework this story.

Great sales, good and bad reviews, and personal attacks—part and parcel of the joys of being a writer.  As the saying goes, ‘What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.’

Saturday 17 September 2011


I was thinking of doing a ‘super’ blog post, but this interview which I did for Whohub pretty much sums up everything about me in a nutshell.

What did you first read? How did you begin to write? Who were the first to read what you wrote?
I don’t recall reading my first book, but I have fond memories of reading the entire series of Famous Five, Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys when I was little. Then I discovered Mills & Boon at about the age of nine and literally fell in love with them. I still read M&B romances occasionally but only Historical Romance, since Tender Romance has now become like Modern Romance – all about arrogant, foreign billionaires, beautiful English virgins and storylines so similar that I once read four new Modern Romances one after the other and couldn’t remember a single story when I’d finished them.

While at school I loved English Literature but didn’t particularly like English Language. I managed to get good grades, especially for my short stories, but had no aspirations of being a writer. Then about five years ago my older sister told me about a publisher who was looking for short stories of erotica by women of colour. The only erotic story I had written up until then was one page long and written purely for my own gratification. I decided to try writing another story and it was like a dam bursting open. In no time I had written seven stories and was thinking more in terms of publishing my own book rather than have my stories included in an anthology.

My younger sister was the first to read my writing. She read a few paragraphs aloud in a heavily-accented voice and had me rolling on the floor, dying of laughter. But eventually she read it objectively and gave me her opinion. I love the fact that we are close enough for her to be brutally frank with me.

What is your favourite genre? Can you provide a link to a site where we can read some of your work or learn something about it?
Romance is my favourite genre, but I find it harder to write than erotica. I immediately pulled my romance novel Soca Nights off the shelves when I published it in Aug’08 because I wasn’t happy when I read it in print. It is yet to be re-released. Some lucky (or perhaps unlucky) reader managed to buy one copy before I pulled it, so she (it’s unlikely to have been a man) will have one of only five printed copied of that edition of the book. I had no such problems with my erotica. Though they have been re-edited and are all due for future editing, I am quite happy for them to be sold as they are.

Feel free to visit my website to read complete stories from each of my three books of erotica at www.lexyharper.com/

What is your creative process like? What happens before sitting down to write?
I dream up stories in my head on my way to work, at the office, during my lunch break and on my way home and then type them up as complete stories or as bullet points depending on my mood.

Nothing specific has to happen before I start, but I prefer to have everything in order so that there are no distractions. Once my computer is booted up I usually play several games of Spider Solitaire before I begin typing.

What voice do you find most to your liking: first person or third person?
I find books written in third person generally more palatable, but good writing in first person can be more compelling. I wouldn’t write an entire novel in first person, but occasionally a character will insist on writing her own story like my character, Honey, in Telephone Sex. Like Marmite, you either love her or hate her.

What well known writers do you admire most?
I am in awe of Toni Morrison, Arundhati Roy and Zora Neale Hurston. I like happy endings so I don’t read many literary books, but Beloved is my favourite book of all time, followed very closely by both God of Small Things and Their Eyes Were Watching God.

Deep down inside, who do you write for?
Ultimately I write for myself. I write books that I want to read and hope that I will always stay true to this simple philosophy.

Does reader feed-back help you?
The first person to read my book and give me feedback is someone who has become very dear to me, my friend Tania Leigh. She bought and read the first badly-edited edition of my book and sent me an email telling me that she had enjoyed it. I’m still astonished that she was able to finish it because she is a gifted poet and a budding writer herself. For her to have been able to see past the errors to the essence of what I was trying to say is truly remarkable. Kisses, Tania!

Generally, if feedback is constructive I take it on board, but I never take criticism to heart. For example, readers complained that I used Italics too liberally in the black and white editions of my books. Fair point – when I published the colour editions I edited the majority of them out. On the other hand, I ignored comments about the books being too raw, though there are days when even I think they are. I have no doubt that the next editions will be tamer, but for now I will leave them as they are.

Do you participate in competitions? Have you received any awards?
I entered one competition and didn't win. On re-reading the story months later I realized that I had rushed the ending after spending weeks creating a dramatic opening.

Do you share rough drafts of your writings with someone whose opinion you trust?
I once showed a rough draft of an erotic short story to two of my friends. One was scandalized and the other not scandalized enough; neither gave me feedback that I could use. My sister categorically refuses to read an incomplete story, so I finish my manuscripts before she reads them and make changes where necessary.

What discipline do you impose on yourself regarding schedules, goals, etc.?
I don't have an agent or publisher to satisfy, so I try to write only when I'm in the mood.

What is your process?
I’m lazy, so I lie in bed and write on my laptop. I no longer print my work. I do all corrections on the screen, proofing with text-to-speech software. This method is by no means foolproof, but it’s cheaper than paying for professional editing and I’m reasonably satisfied with the results.

What sites do you frequent on-line to share experiences or information?
I have a full-time job, so I don’t have as much time as I would like for networking. I update my website periodically and occasionally send snippets to my Twitter account. I seldom log on to my MySpace page and even less rarely to Facebook. But networking is essential and I find that my sales dip significantly when I haven’t networked for several months.

What has been your experience with publishers?
I did extensive research and decided to self-publish my books because I wanted to remain anonymous, but largely because I suspected that no publisher would have me!

I received 50 free books delivered to my address in the UK free of cost as part of the US$499 self-publishing deal for my first book Bedtime Erotica. This was not the cheapest deal on the market at the time but I reasoned that I could sell the books and recoup some of the money invested, or give them to friends and family instead of buying birthday and Christmas gifts for the next ten years or so.

By the time the book was published and ready for the market I had already written the seven stories that would make up my next book. Though Bedtime Erotica was selling faster than I had imagined (research showed many self-published books sell less than 100 copies), I waited until the royalties surpassed my initial outlay before publishing the second. I then re-released my first book, giving it a cover more appropriate to the content and correcting a few embarrassing spelling and grammatical errors.

Self-publishing is often confused with vanity publishing, but though they share traits they are quite distinct things. Yes, I had to pay upfront and stood to lose the entire sum if I had never sold a copy. But having the 50 free copies made the deal worth while for me since it wasn’t a sum beyond my means as I had a full-time job. And the joy I felt when I held the first copy of my book in my hand is indescribable - a moment I will always treasure.

The cheapest vanity publishing deal I found in the UK at the time was for the equivalent of USD$3000 - $7500 (GBP £2000 - £5000) to print between 1000 – 2500 copies of my book. This sum was more than I was prepared to pay and I had no way of offloading the books other than lugging them from bookstore to bookstore begging the owners to take a few copies. In contrast, my self-published books were sold by Amazon.com (but sadly not by Amazon.co.uk) and printed only on demand.

There was even a scheme called Talent Acquisition (or something similar), run by the publishers which was a way for self-published writers to gain the attention of mainstream publishers. I enrolled in the scheme, but opted out soon afterwards when there were no calls from eager publishers offering me that magic six-figure deal.

To date I have not been acquisitioned or offered even a two-figure deal, but I have made a tidy little sum and have kept the rights to my work. So, if you have a real burning desire to be published and feel that you have something you want to share with the world, potentially at your own cost, self-publishing is an option you should consider.

What are you working on now?
I’m working on my romance novels at the moment. I plan to publish seven romance novels by the end of 2010…if I could just get started!

PS. As you can see I’m really, really lazy!  I should have had seven romance novels out by the end of last year – in reality I’m yet to publish the second one.  Bad Lexy!

Saturday 3 September 2011


I published the first edition of Bedtime Erotica on 12th December, 2005. A lifetime ago, and yet in some ways it feels like it was yesterday. I still remember the excitement of holding the advance copy of my book in my hand and the feeling of satisfaction that swept through me. I was finally a writer. A self-published writer, but a writer nevertheless!

A few bad reviews soon burst my bubble of euphoria. I found myself focussing on them, instead of the larger number of positive reviews. I knew the book had flaws; I was already working on an updated version, but it was tough to receive reviews which gave no credit for my storytelling.

Today I'm so much stronger! I embrace all reviews, accepting whatever praise or criticism they offer. I've learned the most from some of my bad reviews, but I simply ignore the ones which seem written of out sheer spite. I know my value as a writer and I know that there are fans out there who get my particular style of writing. I don't ever expect to appear on a bestseller list, but I've sold 24859 Kindle books since Sep'10 and 8086 paperbacks to date. I'm not about to stop writing because of a bad review or three.