Ann Wesley Hardin - our modern-day Venus.
You know you’re in for a good time when you order an erotic novel you know nothing about just because you know the author and you peak inside the cover to discover some great critical praise:
“A hilarious book that will have you chuckling throughout.”
“Sexy and funny, Out of This World is absolutely entertaining!”
A funny erotic novel? People write that?
We discover Arnie Simpson, a sexy, brilliant, (and perhaps extra terrestrial?) mechanic who works on Cessna airplane engines in a small town. A plane lands. Arnie looks up. A woman steps out. “She had an unusual aura surrounding her that he could plainly see. It seemed to undulate and vibrate. Were those her emotions? Her thoughts? Whatever the visible energy emanating from her was, it was doing outlandish things to his dick.”
Say “hello” to Ann Wesley Hardin.
I've honestly never read an erotic novel before. (Yes, REALLY.) And I must say, this book really was funny: “Ava [a doctor] brought up the rear, studying Arnie’s assets with more than professional interest. Oh to have him bending her over the examining table – armed with a French tickler and strawberry-flavored body lotion.” Hehehe… And yet, there was also this sweetness to the story. (Is that acceptable in erotic novels?) I never thought something that’s usually considered to be so dirty could be so… innocent. Because this wasn’t just about the physical act of love. This was about love. And respect. And inner conflicts.
All served up with a great sense of joy about sex.
And while reading Ann’s book, I had 5 Screenwriting Epiphanies:
5) Erotica is very similar to horror films. Because it’s not really about the scare (or, in this case, the orgasm). It’s really about the context. And it’s really about how well you handle the rising tension that leads up to the inevitable climax. (Yes, pun intended.) Arnie and Ava first saw each other on page 14. And from that moment on, they desperately longed for each other every single page, paragraph, sentence, and comma until they’re finally alone on page 74. It’s in those pages filled with sexual tension leading up to page 74 that you find the fun in Ann’s writings. Even then, they only had oral intercourse. They didn’t actually have real intercourse until page 108. I was having so much fun, I almost didn’t want them to hook up.
4) Sometimes smaller moments like a first kiss can be more fun than hours of sex. “He kissed her the minute her mouth opened, capturing her lower lip and sucking it before covering her mouth with his. Tactile lips held an intimate candlelight dinner, sampling, sipping, feeding. His tongue slipped in for a tentative taste, flicking her teeth and upper lip then venturing in farther to skim along the roof of her mouth. Good Lord. She never realized she had a G-spot in there.”
3) Know your genre and don’t be afraid to play with it. When Ava stepped off that plane, did Ann give us the usual description of the gorgeous, sultry, bosomy woman? Oh no. She wrote, “This one was incredibly… odd looking. Arnie never paid much attention to anyone’s appearance male or female… But that hair. It was white.” It’s fun because she’s toying with the conventions of the genre and not doing what you’d expect.
2) It’s not what it’s about – it’s how it’s about it. I mentioned this recently on TriggerStreet in Gary’s Review, but ya know, I thought of this again, and I think it’s true. Ebert has a phrase that he will occasionally throw into one of his reviews (like in his recent Departed review): "It's not what it's about -- it's how it's about it." I guess when you have to sit through so many movies every year like he does (or read and write as many scripts as we do), concept doesn't matter as much as execution and what the story is really about. Because it’s never about what it’s about. A romantic comedy is not just about being a romantic comedy. It’s really about… accepting yourself or something. And I think Ann's book is another example of that. This may be an erotic novel but this isn’t really about the sex. This is how it’s about the sex. It’s how these two people come together (literally and figuratively), and it's about their inner conflicts and other obstacles I won't reveal that they overcome for love.
1) What the gurus never tell you - MAKE IT FUN.
“Ava didn’t mess around.
He convulsed as she sucked him into her tight, slick mouth and he felt her tongue bind the length of his shaft. Up. Down. His head found heaven at the back of her throat.
With incredible expertise and mind-boggling economy of movement she explored every sensitive region on his cock, fondled his balls gently in her hands, and generally proved how freaking awesome it was to be blown by someone who’d gotten a degree in men’s anatomy.
Why hadn’t he dated a proctologist before?
Every man should, at least once.
Like once would be enough.”