I noticed how this tale has been hitting heart strings of many of the inmate wives and girlfriends I know from Prisontalk so I contacted the writer, Ms. Terry Towers who graciously agreed to give me an interview about Conugal Visits, it's impact on inmate wives and whats in store for the sequel.
How long have you been writing erotic romance?
I started writing erotic romance a couple of years ago. I started off ghostwriting for a couple of erotica companies as a freelance writer. Basically, they would send me a scenario and I would write a story based on what they wanted. It didn't take me long (especially when I started seeing my work under various names on the internet) to realize that it was time I write for me instead of others. I began writing for myself in Dec of 2010 and released my first books, which were paranormal erotic romance under a different pen name, in May of 2011. I saw relative success with the paranormal books so in October, 2011 the pen name of Terry Towers was born and the books under that name took off almost right away. I've been very fortunate with the success I've had so far with my Terry Towers books.
Well, for some reason the movie Con-Air - the one with Nicholas Cage - came to my mind one day. I was considering doing a series titled "Good Girls With Bad Boys" for some time before that, so with that idea floating through the back of my mind, the Con-Air movie snapped the pieces into place for me, in a sense. Call me a sap, but when I watched that movie - geez, perhaps ten years ago - I remember tears forming in my eyes when the hero and reunited with his wife after his sentence was up. Once the idea started forming I began remembering random movies and reading books over the years on women who meet the inmates through various sources and falling in love with them. So it was a combination of a dozen different factors really.
Have you had any response from wives and girlfriends of inmates?
When I first released the book I was a little hesitant about it. Questions such as what if I get some facts wrong? I tried my best juggling what would work for the story with what I learned scanning the rules/regulations concerning inmate visits and conjugal visits. I was basically hoping on the fact that readers would enjoy the story enough that they would forgive me taking some liberties for the sake of the storyline. What if inmates/wives of inmates take offence to me making an erotic romance out of this particular situation, was another of my concerns. Again, I simply hoped people would enjoy the story enough that they wouldn't take offence to the book.
That being said: The thing with erotica readers is that you don't really hear much from them, reviews or otherwise. However, I have had several readers write that they were touched by Conjugal Visits. So despite this book not being quite as successful as some of my other works, it appears that it has touched people more than some of my more popular books have.
Tell me about your realization process concerning the fact that some people enjoy the inmate/visit fantasy?
Women can't get enough of alpha males, so when writing a fictional story inmates are perfect examples of an alpha male. I have discovered is that readers love an edgy, bad boy type of hero that has a softer side to him that gets revealed to the heroine. In the case of the hero in my story, he's dedicated to Sylvia and Sylvia loves that fact. He calls when he says he will, writes everyday, and always excited to see and speak to her. Perhaps this isn't the ideal situation, but Trevor fulfills her emotionally. So I think readers enjoy the idea of the inmate/visit fantasy because they get the best of both worlds with this type of hero... The fantasy would see him as a exciting, a little dangerous and sexy, but at the same time is emotionally open and supportive.
Do you have other inmate/prison related stories or do you plan to?
For right now, I plan on releasing "Conjugal Visits 2: New Beginnings" in mid-Feb 2012. In this story, Trevor is released and we see if Sylvia and Trevor can make a relationship work that began and grew while he was in prison. I'm going to try and highlight the struggles they'll face turning the prison relationship into a "normal" one.
Do you think that readers can relate to the heroine in your story if they are in the situation? If they are not?
When I was writing the heroine, I wanted there to be a plot twist that would both surprise the readers and also give me a basis for another book in that series, if I found that this first book was received well enough. With Sylvia, she's held onto a horrible secret, a secret that has haunted her and so she reaches out to Trevor in an attempt to simply gain closure and perhaps forgiveness, at first at least. However, as she gets to know him and sees what kind of man he truly is she finds herself falling for him. I think women can easily identify with the situation, I think many of us have had a secret that we have wanted to tell someone important in our lives, but our fear of losing them keeps us from gaining the courage to say what we need to say. Both Sylvia and Trevor have done things that regret and wish they could take back, as I am sure we all have in our lives. Despite Trevor being in incarcerated, Trevor becomes the man she feels she can take to, the one she leans on for advice and knows will be there when she needs him... in a manner of speaking.
What made you decide to try the Kindle Single format?
When I first decided to branch off on my own I was considering doing the rounds and submitting to e-book publishers such as Ellora's Cave etc. but once I discovered the wait time for a decision and then for them to get around to publishing your work if you were approved I started to consider other options. That's when I stumbled onto Amazon and their self-publishing. Once I was set up with Amazon, other authors informed me of Smashwords, All Romance and other distributers that are indie author friendly.