There’s many reasons a person becomes a writer, and author Beau Johnson’s motives were as good as any. After a long career in the health field, he spent the first few years of retirement enjoying the Florida beach, bikinis and beer. Fearing the long-term effect that lifestyle would have on both his body and mind, he picked up his pen as a way to keep the brain synapses firing.
Keep reading to learn how the Rhonda trilogy came to be, and the role he believes male authors have in writing erotic romance.
Q: Is Rhonda a real person?
A: Yes, she’s based on someone I knew for close to three years back in the eighties. A stewardess, Rhonda was the most attractive woman I knew back then. Unfortunately for me, she was married to a guy I grew up with. a frenemie. Instant conflict was built in!
Q: Did you have any qualms about writing the story?
A: Not at all. I was taking a writing course and began crafting her story. At the end of the semester I went back to the class with several pages. They responded, “Oh no, you never write about old girlfriends. It will turn into a rant of how she did you wrong.It’ll never sell.”
Q: What did you do with that response?
A: I thought, “Now you tell me!” Since she revived several fond memories, I just continued writing. Over three years, I accumulated almost 160,000 words. Overwhelmed and at a writing dead end, I wasn’t sure what to do next. Living in Palm Coast at the time, my writer’s group suggested working with an experienced editor, which I did. She helped organize the story-line and lent some authenticity and perspective to the female points of view in the story , based on her own adolescent experiences.
Q: How did you decide on a trilogy?
A: I was taking a writing course with Michael Ray King when the idea of a trilogy took form. it became an obvious necessity just from the sheer number of words accumulated at that point. It became unwieldy. The first book covers Rhonda’s upbringing and coming-of-age adolescent years.
Q: What’s in store for the second book?
A: The second book is “Liberated Rhonda”, and covers the time I knew her, in her mid-twenties, a time when she was really growing into her own woman, trying a wide variety of sexiness on for size. The most sensual woman I ever met, we enjoyed our time together. Reliving those memories brought a smile to my face. That book is actually written and is in the final editing stages.
Q: And the last book?
A: I haven’t written a word of the third book yet, but it will definitely show Rhonda at a point where she’s trying to grow up and settle down – becoming more serious-at least as much as she’s able. I’m not sure exactly where it will go, but The Muse will guide me, as she has in the past. I’m a seat of my pantser!
Q: Do you think a male writer of erotic romance brings any type of unique experience to this type of story?
A: I find women fascinating. So many colors, flavors, likes and dislikes. I like to focus on people’s subconscious – their internal thought processes and feelings. Comparing HIS thoughts and feelings on something and then contrasting them to what SHE is simultaneously thinking about the same phenomena is particularly interesting to me because they are frequently very different perceptions.
Q: Do you think men have a harder time with the romance aspect, and as a result end up using too much sex in erotica – leaving the story to play second fiddle?
A: When my writing career began I was a complete novice, and had no clue at all. Over time, I’m learning and gradually getting better. Writing about sex doesn’t present a problem for me – as long as it’s part of an overall larger story. I do believe men may have a hard time writing believable women characters for the simple fact that our thought processes are different. That’s one reason I hired a female editor. During my career in mental health, I’ve talked to and been privy to a lot of women’s thoughts and feelings. Women in general have a fantastic grasp for Romance and The Mating Game. Us guys frequently can’t see past the tip of our dick, especially when we’re young. In Liberating Rhonda, you see this through the characters of Anthony and Hot Rod. Both are young men who display that Alpha male attitude. I’ve known enough women in my life to cobble together a composite of what I hope is a believable cast of male and female characters who resonate with the readers. I bought several romance novels to see how they were written, but found the ‘meet, hookup and leave’ approach not particularly satisfying. I prefer sex to happen more naturally, a natural consequence of the ongoing relationship.