MOODBOARD: “Phantom Pains”
A long while back I shared this moodboard teasing a short story called “Phantom Pains”. This was one of my very first moodboards, and when I shared it, I didn’t share much about the story. Since then, my MOODBOARD posts have evolved into promotional material, as opposed to standard sharing material. I figured that I’d make a new board in order to promote “Phantom Pains”, which is my very first piece of erotica. You can read it in the latest issue of Peachfuzz Magazine now!
“Phantom Pains” Premise
As I said before, “Phantom Pains” is my first erotica, but it’s more of an erotic crime than anything. In the story, a paraplegic bank teller named Emma notices a strange man watching her during her workday. She immediately realizes that she’s being staked out as a potential robbery target, but then she finds the same man at her new nightly haunt, using his danger to reignite some of the thrills into her life.
A Specific Anthology Call
I originally wrote “Phantom Pains” for an anthology call. The anthology was specifically for “erotic crime”, but it focused on marginalized people. This call spoke to me because I know that my writing is hetero and white and that I don’t often branch into telling stories beyond my own. Fueled with drive, I decided on writing about a wheelchair-bound woman, and I spent a lot of time researching what it’s like to live as a paraplegic. This amazing Youtuber, Anya Darlow, provided me with so much info in her paraplegic lifestyle channel. She literally answers every possible question one might have, so check it out for yourself.
What I found most interesting was learning about “spasms”. Being naive, I of course had no idea about spasms. I’ll even admit that I had no idea that most paraplegics could still feel some sensation in their legs. Here’s a great video where she discusses her experiences:
Long story short, I had an amazing time penning my story with my favourite no-nonsense protagonist with a shitty job, Emma. She proved herself fearless and smart, while also being just reckless enough to be fun.
While I did have my story accepted for the anthology, the personnel situation at the press didn’t go down so well and I pulled my story before things got really ugly. This left “Phantom Pains” with no home, and because I was deep in novel edits during that time, I let this story sit on the back-burner for a little while.
A Hot Slavic Bank Robbery
A few years ago, my sister told me a story of a bank teller friend who was stalked once. I guess this is a common phenomenon, but people who plan on robbing banks will sometimes scope out the personnel at the bank, trying to figure out who the most “vulnerable” bank teller is. Obviously, as a woman, I found this creepy AF, so I used this in my story, because having a paraplegic bank teller would obviously add a perceived vulnerability, right?
I made my bank robber a stereotypical hot Slavic guy, because at the end of the day, this is an erotica story and I’ve always been into the Slavic accent. My brooding villain, however, isn’t entirely a bad guy, though, and has his own vulnerabilities, plus maybe a foot fetish, but yeah…
FUN FACT: The “dagger heels” Emma wears in a scene from the story were influenced by the ones that one of the “Try Guys” stupidly chose to wear in this video. They’re totally fetish heels and not actually meant for wearing in real life, but yeah. I love me some high heels. The highest pair I own is 5 inches, but they’re block heels and are still torture devices. 6 inches is death, man.
A New Home for An Erotic Story
I’ve always wanted to write erotica. For the longest time, I thought I could do it as a side gig under a pen name. Then I wrote one story and published it on Amazon. It did okay. Then I did more research and realized that in order to really “make it” as an erotic author, that I would need to be churning out new pieces at a ridiculous rate.
So yeah, as much as I love sexy stories, I just couldn’t allow myself to just write stuff full of extended sex scenes forever. “Erotica” doesn’t accurately describe my style, which was something I learned about myself while writing my How to Write A Sex Scene post. I don’t want to disparage the genre in any way. I understand the point of genre fiction and the escapism it provides, but I always like my work to lean more toward the raw and dark and gutting. I thrive in painful chaos.
Anyway, finding a proper “erotica” publisher for this one proved difficult, but I ultimately settled on one specific magazine. I sent it off and received a mighty high of an acceptance email a couple of months later from the delightfully artsy Peachfuzz Magazine.
Want to Read “Phantom Pains”?
You can buy yourself a print-only copy of Peachfuzz Magazine now. I was so happy to be able to grace the pages. It’s a truly old-school piece of classy smut and the magazine will make a nice piece to your literary collection. Get yours before the copies sell out!
If you’d like to read a full excerpt of “Phantom Pains” before buying, then just head on this way, fiends!