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Karen Heslop’s Experiments in Erotica

Adult Content Creators’ Corner

By Guy WhitePublished 2 months ago 4 min read

(Originally Published October 18, 2021)

Pen names serve a lot of purposes. Between 1977 and 1982, Stephen King was very prolific. It may or may not have been related to his heavy cocaine use for most of it. At the time, the common publishing wisdom was you only publish one book a year. So he released four books (Rage, The Long Walk, Road Work, and The Running Man) using the pen name Richard Bachman to prevent it from looking like he was flooding the market.

Because of a belief that romance published with a woman’s name attached to it sells better, several men opt to use a feminine nom de plume. (Though it can be hard to tease out if that’s because a woman’s name sells better, or there have just been more women writing romance since the 1960s.) Beyond using a persona just for sales, some people use pen names for anonymities sake. But some use it for a slightly different marketing reason. It helps keep different readerships separate and able to find the type of stories they want.

Karen Heslop publishes her erotica under two pen names, Lillia Wett and Rianne Burnett. Under Lillia Wett, she writes “down to earth but also raunchy” MILF erotica featuring teachers, doctors, librarians, and more. A few of the Wett books contain BDSM elements. In her Burnett books, you find adventurous black women exploring their sexuality “with all sorts of fantastical creatures.” Some of these stories also contain “D/s kinks while others just like the idea of trying out something non-human.” Kinky or not, all the Burnett books are “meant to stretch the sexy imagination.”

Some writers may have two or more pen names but keep it a secret. (If you believe some of the rumors/jokes floating around NSFW Twitter, half of the erotica writer population is just Alexa Sommers/Amelia Riley/Aubry Andrews.) But Heslop is very public with her pen names, listing them on her Twitter profile.

Heslop says that it offers her “the freedom to be all aspects of myself on Twitter. I think that gets lost sometimes with pen name Twitter accounts.” She sites the pressure to project the persona around the pen name and how it can lead some followers to believe the pen name persona and the person are the same. (We’ve seen this play out for one member of the AAA multi-headed hydra. A stalker convinced herself that Amelia Riley’s “I’m fucking your husband” persona was real and outed her to her employer.) For Heslop, it’s not judging others, just a personal decision about how she wants to run her erotica writing business.

It’s unfortunate that there’s such a terrible stigma attached to creating adult content. I’d love to say that I’m being brave by putting it all out there, but really I just know that I’m in a position where nobody would care. None of the people I know in real life follow me on Twitter, and so far, none of my freelance opportunities have been affected.

Not everyone does that, of course, but it can make things a little uncomfortable when it comes to establishing boundaries. I have the option to not post sexy stuff if I don’t feel like it, and that works well for me.

Heslop has made it work for her, but she hadn’t intended to write erotica when she started. “I’ve been writing speculative stories for years.” What started out as a story about a geneticist studying a community of mutants took an erotic turn when “I realized that their intimacy was important to the story. Better yet, I needed to write actual sex scenes.” To her, “erotica is simply another perspective on what the humans and monsters are doing.”

She decided she’d give it a try, and if she didn’t like the end result, she was going to tuck it away in some quiet corner of her hard drive. When she was finished, the draft was not banished to the digital artic. Instead, she submitted it to several erotica magazines in 2019. “It wasn’t accepted though one of the magazines had high praise for the sex scenes.”

As 2020 began being 2020, a lot of Heslop’s freelance work dried up. So, she decided to try her hand at self-publishing. “I’d read so much about writers taking their careers into their own hands and putting their work out there, I thought I’d give it a shot.” She took her story of a geneticist and mutants and published it as Experiments in Love. ​​”Sure, I could fail, but what if I really could write decent sex scenes and stories? I wanted to find out if I could do more than write for fun.”

She’s proud that she took the risk of self-publishing speculative erotica. “I decided that I didn’t see enough Black main characters in the genre and just started writing it.”

You can find her books on Amazon. If you are interested in MILF erotica, you can read her Lillia Wett books. If you’re looking for monsters, mutants, and other non-humans, you want the Rianne Burnett books. You can find her on Twitter, where she loves to hear from readers who’ve enjoyed her work.


About the Creator

Guy White

I write about sweet-hearted guys in sexy situations. Respectfully naughty. Sometimes funny & always dyslexic and ADHD. 37 he/him 💍

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