BELLE BY NIGHT, the latest novel by erotica writer Rachell Nichole came out yesterday! I am faced with the daunting task of writing my first sex scene in STEEL BLOOD, so I invited her here to pick the expert’s brain a bit.
First of all, tell us a bit about what inspired BELLE BY NIGHT!
Well, there were probably a few inspirations for this one. In another life, I worked as a preschool teacher, so Anna’s love and connection with her students was something I really wanted to incorporate in a book someday, because it’s just kind of a really special bond that I shared with my students over the years, and I’d always kind of wanted a book that incorporated that. Then, a couple years ago, I found this amazing movie, For A Good Time, Call… about these young women who start rooming together in NY and one works for a phone sex company, and they decide to go into business together and create their own business. It was a fabulous movie, if you haven’t seen it, you should check it out. So anyways, I saw this movie and I was like… omg, what if this preschool teacher is also a phone sex operator in her secret life, and one of her callers is one of the parents of a student?!?? I stuck “phone sex operator/preschool teacher” on a sticky note, and earlier this year when my publisher put out a special call for secret lives stories, I was like, “AH, I already have a great concept for this book. I’m going to write it.” And everything just kind of snowballed from there.
What makes BELLE BY NIGHT stand out from your other erotica novels and from the erotica genre in general?
Well, I think in relation to my other books, there are some similarities. I like to write hot erotic romance, so the heat level is on par with many of my other works. I also like unusual concepts and kinky erotica stories. So like in An Affair Across Times Square, there’s a huge element of voyeurism and phone sex, which I kind of explore a lot more in Belle By Night. I also wrote my first (of several) kinky books last year about a Dom club owner, and a submissive writer who was only submissive in the bedroom. There was quite a lot of sexting, and quite a bit of kink in To Sir, and I’ve kind of explored a bit more of that in Belle By Night. As for what makes it stand out… I think I build stories that are full of romantic and external plot-driven conflict that is overlaid with great sex. That’s kind of my formula. The sex is always intricate in the plot lines of my erotic romances, but there’s always more than just sex going on, and there’s always a happily ever after at the end. You don’t find those two things in a lot of erotica or erotic romance nowadays. I always put my characters through their paces in my stories, so while they’re having all this great sex, they’re also kind of going through hell. It’s a fun dynamic to play with.
How do you gauge a good balance of explicit text versus the rest of the plot/narrative?
I like to think of my books as 35% external plot lines/conflict, 30% relationship conflict, 35% sex. That’s usually the kind of balance I like to stick to, and I sometimes get it right in that zone, but sometimes not. Belle By Night starts with almost 50% sex, 40% external conflict, before it evens out toward the middle and end, when there’s a bit less sex and a bit more romance and conflict. But I like to think I give my readers a good taste of everything.
Do you find it difficult to make each sex scene unique, both within an individual book and within your other published works?
Er… sometimes. I try to keep a log of sex scenes. I know that probably sounds kind of weird. But it was a technique I heard at a workshop once by a fellow romance writer. The workshop was all about everything in a sex scene that wasn’t the actual the sex. One of the things she said was that in 80% of romances, there are three love scenes, the first in the bed, the second in the shower, and the third in the bed, and I was like, omg, she’s absolutely right! So now, I try to avoid that formula at all costs. My erotic romances that are novel length usually have between 6 and 10 sex scenes, and I make sure that each one is different in the book, either by position or location, or sometimes just the emotional impact or the kind of kink involved. It varies. And I try to not initiate the same situation or have too many scenes in the same or similar location between one book and the next. Variety is the spice of life, of course.
What’s the most important piece of advice you would give to someone before they attempt to write their first sex scene?
Stop thinking. Turn off the part of your brain that second guesses, the part that would be bashful, or editing-minded, or overanalyze. It’s just like having sex – if you think too much, you’ll ruin it. Stop thinking and start feeling. My rule of thumb has always been, if it makes the author hot while writing it, it will make the readers hot. If it makes you giggle, you’re doing something wrong. 🙂 Let your Id take control, and just go for it.
And finally, leave us with a short excerpt from BELLE BY NIGHT to show us how it’s done!
Opening the door quickly with one hand, she tugged him closer with the other. When the door was closed, she pushed him back against it and raised up on tiptoe to kiss him. Her ankle wobbled, and she lifted her foot, ignoring it as she nibbled his bottom lip. He groaned against her mouth and bent down so she could reach him better.
Then he was cupping the backs of her thighs and lifting her. She let him hold her body tight against his as she devoured his mouth. Heat singed her insides as their tongues dueled. Finally, she broke the kiss, panting. “Put me down,” she told him, careful to keep her voice from being too Mistress-like.
He nodded and slowly lowered her to her feet. She got to feel every delicious inch of him on the way down. She shivered, anticipation coiling tightly within her core. Now all she had to do was figure out how she wanted him. So many delicious thoughts ran through her mind.
“Before you ask, I am better prepared this time.” He smiled and pulled out his wallet.
“Mmm, that’s very good.” Pet. She held out her hand, and he placed a condom on her palm. Such a good boy. He put his wallet back in his jeans pocket and grinned. He reached for her, but she stopped him with a hand on his chest. She trailed it down his front to his belt buckle. She didn’t take her gaze off his as she unbuckled his belt and undid his pants. She watched the desire grow on his face as she dipped her fingers into the edge of his boxers.
He moaned and thrust harder into her hand. She laughed. Patience, my darling pet. She stroked him lightly, teasing him, loving the lust-filled gaze he gave her. She reached behind him and dug her nails ever so gently into the tight muscles of his ass.
She smiled. He toed off first one sneaker, then the other. She released him briefly so he could pull off his socks and toss them aside. Then she was tugging down his jeans and boxers. He helped her remove them. Clutching the condom tightly, she reached for the hem of his shirt. He raised his hands, and she pulled the cotton fabric off. When he was standing before her naked, she sighed, devouring him with her gaze. He stood motionless, letting her look her fill. What a fill it was. He was already hard and ready for her. Like a good submissive ought to be. She resisted the urge to praise him. Even knowing she had to give him up soon wasn’t enough to detract from her enjoyment of the moment. If she didn’t get to keep him, she was intent on enjoying every second of their time together.
She reached a hand out to him, and he took it. Silently, she tugged him to the bottom of the staircase. He made to head up the stairs, but she held tightly to his hand. He glanced at her, and she shook her head. She pivoted him and released his hand to reach up to his shoulders. She raised her eyebrows expectantly and pressed down just slightly.
He grinned and let her push him into a seated position on the third stair. He planted his feet on the floor, and his hungry gaze captured hers. Watching him intently, she put the condom wrapper between her teeth and began stripping. Sure she had his full attention, and intent on pushing his control just a bit farther, she took her time, slowly pulling up the hem of her shirt to expose her abdomen, then higher, inch by slow inch, until her breasts were visible over the edges of her bra. She discarded her shirt and returned her gaze to his.
She was going to make this last as long as he could stand it. Until he was on the very precipice of his control. She should feel some pain in her leg after standing so long, but all she could feel was the rush of desire pumping through her bloodstream. The depths of her desire for this man should have scared her, but she was past caring. Letting him go would hurt like hell, but she would worry about that later.
She reached behind her and unhooked her bra, letting it glide ever so sensuously down her arms until her breasts were finally exposed. Her nipples were hard peaks. She couldn’t wait to feel his hands on them, his mouth. She was going to test her own willpower now, just as much as his.
Anna by day, but Belle by night, Annabelle Stevens trades in her classroom ruler for a telephone and leather bustier when the sun goes down. With her heart set on finishing her Master’s degree and opening her own low-cost preschool, she had to earn extra cash somehow. And as a phone sex operator, she makes more than she could working three day jobs. But when day and night collide, Mistress Belle’s favorite caller jeopardizes her normal life, and she has to choose–the dream she’s always wanted, or the secret identity that lets her be the Domme she truly is.
Widower Dean Wellington has one goal in life: to be the best father he can be to his autistic son, Preston. But when he realizes he’s falling far short, he fears he can’t give Preston everything he needs alone. When his search for a wife leads to one disastrous date after another, he finds solace in the unlikeliest of places: a phone sex operator. He knows Mistress Belle can’t be appropriate mother material, but when she orders him to bend his will to hers, he’s lost to the passionate storm she calls forth.
When Dean realizes he’ll never find a better mother for his son than Preston’s teacher Anna, he has to choose between the Mistress that brings out his darkest desires, and giving his son everything he deserves. Little does Dean know that the choice may not be a choice at all.
Rachell Nichole is a contemporary erotic romance author, who loves writing sexy romances about memorable characters who have to fight to hold on to love.
Rachell holds two undergraduate degrees, one in Professional Writing and the other in French. She also received a Master of Fine Arts in Writing Popular Fiction at Seton Hill University. She is the author of The Marietta Hotels Series, Spicy with a Side of Cranberry Sauce, Break Through the Ice, To Sir, and Queen of Hearts.
Rachell lives in Pennsylvania with a mountain of books, the love of her life, and an invisible cat who likes to snuggle.