Please be advised that this is an ADULT post
What prompted you to write your books?
AR: Well, in the second half of 2014 I found a thread on a writing forum that I frequent. One that posed a challenge. The original poster said that short erotica was totally in and we should write and publish one in 7 days. As well as that we shouldn’t advertise the short in any way. This intrigued me.
The challenge was a way for us to find out if we could not only write erotica but if it would sell—on its own. I decided to do it and immediately failed. It took me way longer than 7 days to even write the first draft. Biker Babe took me two months to complete. What was even more embarrassing was when I looked over my time tracking, I found it only took me 7 actual hours to write the first draft. But I didn’t give up. I knew I was an inconsistent writer but I could get the work done. So I wrote Grim Reaper next. This time I did it in 8 days (7.5 hours for the first draft)! Even better than that was releasing two books in one series in the same month!
In November of 2014 I decided to finish what would become One Skid Mark. My tracking is a bit weird for this book but it looks like I started it at the end of June 2014 and finished around mid-November and it took only about 6 hours in total to write. This is weird, I really thought I started it after the first two Lady Godiva books. Anyway, that meant I had three books out on the April Ryder name. I hadn’t met the time requirement for the challenge but I found I quite liked writing serials.
Then real life took over for an insanely long time. It wasn’t until the end of 2015 that I was able to get back into the swing of things. Since I started the challenge back in 2014, I have completed four episodes of the Skid Marks series and novelised those parts into SkidMarks and the Selby Slammers and also written a Christmas-themed Skid Marks short story. There are also three Lady Godiva books available, which have been novelised as Lady Godiva 1. I’m currently working on a fourth book in the Lady Godiva series as well as another Skid Marks Christmas short.
I also didn’t think I was writing erotica. It seems no matter what genre I write I always somehow stray into romance. In my eyes the books are steamy romance. So it wasn’t until someone in a review said that they didn’t read erotic romance but my books changed their minds that I realised I had managed to include some erotica. So yeah, apparently I write erotic romance :)
You said earlier that you had three books out ‘under the April Ryder name’ what does that mean?
AR: April isn’t my real name. Part of the challenge was to put everything out under a new name so we could see unpolluted sales results. Ryder was easy to come up with. My first book was a motorcycle romance. Rider / Ryder / Ride her. I have no idea how I came up with April, but the name April Ryder didn’t seem to be in use on Amazon so I took it. Having a unique name is important as an author. It helps you build your brand and means you won’t get confused with the April Ryder who writes children’s books. Don’t worry there isn’t, I checked. That’d just be weird o.O
What other pen names do you have?
AR: Just one other at the moment. I write science fiction romances under Erica Conroy. A reviewer said they’re like Star Trek and Firefly got together and had a horny baby. They aren’t that steamy though. The story is more focused on the sci fi and romance aspects with perhaps one sex scene. But otherwise I was totally aiming for Star Trek and Firefly—just without the horniness!
What’s with the BBW?
AR: Big Beautiful Women. Since I am one and they say to write what you know, I decided to go with it. I keep it vague as to how big they are so that any woman who might consider themselves a little curvier than average can relate.
Isn’t writing sex scenes hard? Aren’t you afraid of what people will think?
AR: Yes and no. I think writing sex is just as hard / difficult as writing a fight scene. I don’t write many fight scenes so take from that what you will. If it’s part of the story and is meant to be there to move the plot along, show more about a character or develop a relationship then you just have to write it.
As for the second part of that question, I’m not afraid of what people think about my sex scenes. It’s one reason to write under a pen name. For some people it gives them confidence because you don’t have to tell your friends and family that you write about young women who spontaneously have sex in bathrooms or 40 yo women who leave their husbands and get rather intimate with two younger men :P
How do you come up with your sex scenes? Isn’t it all just slot A goes in the hole B?
AR: Well holes are involved!
Seriously though, I spend a lot of time sitting in the shower and just thinking. Usually a snippet of a scene will appear out of nowhere, for example Hayley and Rick fornicating on the basins in the men’s changing room. I knew I wanted Rick to be completely naked when she walked in and I wanted to use the basins in some way. Then I think about what Hayley is wearing and how that can be ripped off or pushed aside. The skates were great touch here! Many sex scenes that I’ve read mention the woman digging her heels into his backside, so why not use the skates she’s still wearing?
I think about the scene in bits and pieces and have a rough idea of what order they’ll happen in, but I won’t know for certain until it gets written down.
Reactions and thoughts aren’t fully formed until it’s time to write and the character herself dictates those. I want to get the logistics as realistic as I can and then add in the character’s personality to add to it.
In saying all of that though, Hayley and Jake’s sex scene in the Irish pub bathroom was a surprise. One moment I’m writing about them being seated for dinner at the pub, the next they’re running upstairs for some intimate alone time in the pub’s bathroom! Luckily I had an unwritten sex scene I had fleshed out enough that I could use here.
Basically I think up fantasies and if the fantasy works for me then I hope others might find it hot :)
A question on word choice: why do you call genitals by their real names and not use a euphemism?
AR: Because a lot of euphemisms for body parts really annoy me and pull me out of the story I’m reading. “He put his sex in her sex” is pretty boring. Or they go into flowery prose and he plants his seed in her lady garden. Makes me want to throw the book across the room—but I can’t because I read ebooks and don’t want to break another Kindle >.<
Why are your books so short?
AR: Remember that challenge I mentioned earlier? It’s in part due to that and because I’ve never completed a novel. The stories themselves just seem to come out in bite-sized chunks.
Those chunks are getting longer with each story I write. I’ve gone from 9,000 words for my first April Ryder book to 16,000 words.
At the moment writing short is easier and it means I finish writing them. Each chunk though is going to be novelised like Skid Marks and the Selby Slammers has been. That’s one way to finish a novel. I am, however, working my way up to a longer story.
I’m also not a very descriptive writer—unless you count Hayley’s inner thoughts on pancakes—and prefer to let the reader fill in the blanks. It’s why hair and eye colour aren’t mentioned often or at all in my books. That way it’s easier for the reader to insert themselves into the main character’s sensibly-heeled shoes or roller skates. Or they can imagine their Jake / Rick / Reaper to look like whatever they think a Jake / Rick / Reaper should look like :)
That and I’m lazy :P
Seriously though, as a reader I don’t like reading so much description that it either distracts from the story or I’m forced to skim or skip it. So I write the way I do because it’s what I’d like to read.
Do you hire an editor to edit your work?
AR: Yeah. For awhile there I didn’t as it was part of the above-mentioned challenge but when reviews call you out for mistakes and stuff you have to listen and get your shit sorted. I got my shit sorted and now use the same editor for both series. She’s great and I like it when she leaves a comment in track changes that is just: LOL. Not only does she fix my mistakes but she’ll question things if something is confusing or unclear.
For Lady Godiva she Americanizes the story for me as the series is set in an unspecified location in America—well it’s implied that it is. But for Skid Marks she leaves the New Zealand English as is because it’s set in a fictional suburb of New Zealand’s largest city. She seems to enjoy looking up New Zealand words that she doesn’t know. I think I make her a little envious of some things we have though, like Hayley’s income, Planned Parenthood or even Hobbits!
Skid Marks and the Selby Slammers: BBW Roller Derby Romance
by April Ryder
Release date: 27 March 2016
A Fun BBW Roller Derby RomanceAfter being dumped by her live-in boyfriend for a blonde stick insect and a job in Wellington, Hayley is tricked into trying out for the local roller derby team—the Selby Slammers. At the tryouts, hilarity ensues when she leaves her mark on not only the rink, but some of the hunky men from the inline hockey team who practice on the next rink over.
Meanwhile, Hayley attempts to pick up what's left of her (love) life but is thwarted at every turn by three men: 1) the surprise return of her ex, 2) Jake, the hunky hockey player, and 3) continually running into Rick the 'Dick' who may or may not have a crazy underwear fetish!
All three seem to be conspiring against her, taking turns causing unexpected problems in her new and very hectic (love) life.
“Adam, I'm gonna kill you. Right after I've finished eating these pancakes—ooh maple-flavoured syrup and berry compote. But after that I'll kill you! And then, I'll find a time machine and kick my own butt, cause damn, am I stupid or what? Nobody answer that!”
Note: This story is set in New Zealand and is therefore written in New Zealand English.
Skid Marks and the Selby Slammers is the full length novelised version of the first four installments in the Skid Marks serial.
Skid Marks and the Selby Slammers is the full length novelised version of the first four installments in the Skid Marks serial.
I opened the door, grabbed my towel and was in the process of wrapping it around me when I realised I wasn’t alone. Unfortunately, it wasn’t Jake who stood guiltily by my clothes with my panties clenched tightly in hand.
“You’re not Jake.”
“No,” he said. The guilty look on his face disappeared, quickly replaced with the angry one I was used to. “Sorry to disappoint you.”
We glared at each other. He was better at it though, seeing as he was clothed and seemed to have more practice.
“Wh-what are you doing?” I asked, hoping for some sane, logical response as to why the man who liked to yell at me had my panties. “This is the women’s changing room.”
I blinked. After the swear-filled tirade he had given me earlier, that’s all he had to say? I snapped. I know, completely out of character for me, but he deserved it.
I marched up to him, placed my fisted hands on my hips and got all up in his face, just like he had with me in the rink. “That giant tent in your hand? That’s mine.”
I couldn’t believe what he did next. He dropped them. On the floor. Right in a puddle of water.
“Oh my god,” I breathed as we both stared at my sodden plus-sized panties.
“Sorry,” he said and bent to retrieve them.
“Well, so you should be,” I admonished.
When he didn’t get back up, I knew something was wrong. I looked down at the top of his head and frowned. This had gone beyond the Outer Limits.
“What’s wrong?” I asked.
“You should put a towel on,” he murmured, speaking to the ground and not up at me.
“A towel?” I asked, confused. That’s when I remembered I was naked under my towel—except my towel was missing. I slapped one hand over my still tingling lady bits and an arm across my breasts, smacking him in the side of the head in the process.
He grunted and tilted slightly before righting himself while still crouched on the floor.
For a man who just had his hands on my panties, he sure was going to great extremes to avert his eyes. Why would a man do that? Why would he only be interested in panties and not the woman who wore them?
“God you don’t wear them, do you?” I asked without thinking.
That answer was too quick.
“I was just—never mind.”
On the one hand, I was curious about what he actually wanted them for but on the other, I was still naked and he wasn't. Not that I wanted him to join me in being naked!
“Oh god,” I groaned again.
I spied my towel on the floor behind me and retrieved it. I made sure it was wrapped around me extra tight before I made him leave.
He of course, tried to apologise again before shutting the door. “I’m sorry. It’s not what you—“
“Just get out. We’re even okay. We’re so totally even that you might owe me!” I froze, suddenly aware that I had possibly suggested that I wanted to see the other half of him—the half I hadn’t yet seen—naked. “Get out!”