Mark Henry on Making the Switch

Urban Fantasy author Mark Henry talks about a writer’s best weapon again the threat of unemployment: the ability to diversify. Today marks the release of his first erotic tale, Stocking Full of Coal, writing under the name Amanda Feral. Get all the details about how this new novel came to be and don’t miss the *Web Exclusive Review* of the story at the end of this post! 

Writers get a lot of questions. What font do you use? Where do you get your ideas? Do you ever bathe? But one that’s been popping up a lot recently is: can you really make a living as a lower midlist author with very little other marketable skills?

The answer is an unequivocal maybe, often accompanied by a shrug.

To say I had a successful urban fantasy series would be the overstatement of the year. While lots of people loved my Amanda Feral books (Happy Hour of the Damned, Road Trip of the Living Dead and Battle of the Network Zombies) with the simmering heat of a case of Montezuma’s Revenge, there just weren’t enough of them to keep my naughty zombie in business. The series sadly ended with the third book. I was heartbroken. And soon to be broke.

So what does an author staring down the barrel of unemployment do?

Well, like they used to say in the stock market, diversify!

It wasn’t a huge stretch to turn my general love of the irreverent into a reason to write erotica. After all, sex scenes were my surefire cure for writer’s block. The minute I’d run into a hurdle in the story, I’d break the curse by writing a hot sex scene. What can I say? Like so many in this business (and you know this if you’ve been to an RT Booklovers Convention), I have a dirty mind. So, I figured, why not harvest it for fun and, hopefully, profit.

Last year at the Columbus convention, I made steps toward dipping my foot into the sticky sweet waters of erotica. I chatted up folks at panels, at lunches, and afterward, by email. To my surprise, publishers were interested.

My fantastic agent, Jim McCarthy, suggested I write under my zombie character’s name, Amanda Feral. I was all for it. I knew I wanted my erotica to be similar in tone and depravity to my previous work and so it made perfect sense.

As a result, my first piece (snicker) of short erotic fiction, Stocking Full of Coal, debuts today from Ellora’s Cave. Beware, though, it’s not for the faint of heart. It’s darkly comic, bizarre, sexy and contains imagery that I guarantee erotica readers haven’t encountered before (or at the very least, very often). 

- Mark Henry

Additionally, Mark Henry asked us to tell you that he is further diversifying into the YA fantasy and graphic novel markets. He also writes screenplays, product descriptions and naughty phrases on bathroom walls. 

You can read the *Web Exclusive Review* of Stocking Full of Coal and then download your own copy from Ellora’s Cave here!