Afterword on Lily Quinn

A little while ago, I added an end note to the first Lily Quinn book about the process of writing the whole book. For most retailers, this will only go out to readers who buy it after I added it. For anyone else interested in reading about how and why we wrote Lily Quinn, here it is:

Well, that was filthy, wasn’t it? We hope you had half as much fun reading Wanted Undead or Alive as Eric and I did writing it.

Okay, we actually hope for more than half. But the point is that we had a ton of fun writing this book and the entire Lily Quinn series. We pretty much took our favorite genres, tropes and dirty fantasies, then mixed them together in a big jug. Cheers!

I’ll admit that this isn’t what we usually write… sort of. Let me explain: Since long before Eric and I started publishing Lily Quinn stories, we’ve been writing science fiction and fantasy novels under the names Erica Lindquist and Aron Christensen. As of this publication, we have eleven fiction books and two non-fiction books (table-top RPG game storytelling guides) published under those names. Right now, we’re working on several more genre books that will be released with the Lindquist and Christensen names on them. Weird westerns, in case you were wondering. In case you’re not familiar with the genre, that’s westerns with monsters and/or magic.

But since even before any of those books, Eric and I have been writing each other naughty stories. Just for fun, just for each other. Sometimes they’re about original characters, video game characters (we have written some wicked smutty Borderlands and Resident Evil fanfic), or television characters. I have a particular lady-boner for Shiro from the new Voltron franchise. Mmm.

Where was I? Well, Eric and I had been privately engaged in the filthy fiction trade for a long time when I shame-facedly admitted that to some friends. They not only failed to be aghast, but they thought it was awesome. Yeah, acceptance! That was a damned good day.

Just about the time I finally adjusted to the idea that my friends knew this dirty little secret, one of them suggested that we go all out and actually publish some of them. By that time, we had released almost a dozen mainstream genre books and knew the self-publishing process pretty well. This meant that loosing some naughty stories on the general public should be easy, my friend reasoned. Right?

I think I choked on my soda or lemonade or whatever the fuck I was drinking right then. It might have been nothing – the idea of letting other people read our smut was enough to have me choking on nothing but pure shock. That was insanity… wasn’t it?

I sat on the idea for months, just pondering it. I fantasized about what it would be like to be a porn author, how much fun it would be to write full-length stories instead of just single scenarios. Oooh, and cover art! That’s always one of the best parts of writing a book, when we get to commission art and actually see our creations…!

Before I knew it, the idea had fully taken root. I wanted to do it. So did Eric. We were still a little nervous, though, so we put together a collection of three other non-paranormal stories about Miss Rose, a psychology professor and domme, and her student, Alex. I had written the first two stories just for Eric years before, but I added a final chapter to the collection before we gave it to our friends.

To say we chewed our nails while we waited to hear back would be an understatement. I just about chewed my fingers off. But they liked Miss Rose! A couple of readers said they wished our glasses-wearing domme were real – they would sign up for a session in a heartbeat!

We couldn’t ask for a much better response than that. So we edited the Miss Rose collection, came up with a new set of pen names, and published it.

Then we got to the even more fun work of figuring out what other naughty stories we were going to write. Miss Rose was a lot of fun, but Eric and I both wanted to write something with more magic and monsters in it. We’re still sci-fi and fantasy nerds at heart, after all.

But one of the things that was most important to us was that the sex be a true part of the story. I’ve read romance and erotica before, and when the sex isn’t important to the overall narrative thread, I quickly lose interest. Because I’m also a story whore – story comes first, before anything else.

And because there’s a lot of bad porn out there. Written porn has always been my preferred form of smut, and the quality – of story, of characters, and editing – that’s freely available is so often disappointing. That’s one of the reasons Eric and I have been writing each other custom pieces for almost two decades.

And you know what? People deserve good porn. If we couldn’t find the kind and quality of naughty writing we wanted, we figured there might be other people looking for something better, too. So we figured that we were writing the stuff we always wanted to read, and if anyone else was looking for the same thing, there was finally some great sex with fun stories for them, too.

It was also very important to Eric and I that we create a sex-positive body of fiction. Everyone in what we call the Quinniverse has fun. No one gets their hearts broken – at least not for long – and you won’t find anyone in these pages ashamed of sex, of who they sleep with or what they like. Everyone enjoys themselves and has fun.

So we created Lilith Quinn, a half-succubus monster hunter who needed sex to do her job. From there, we came up with the outline for the entire series in about a week. It came together so perfectly, so naturally that we could barely write it all down fast enough. There were issues, sure – like exactly how Lily’s powers worked, managing the over-arching story and the romance – but plotting the Lily Quinn series was some of the greatest fun I’ve ever had.

I wrote up detailed outlines of each book for Eric and he had the entire series drafted in three months! Three! It took me a hell of a lot longer to do rewrites (where I heavily embellish Eric’s work and add between 30-50% of the final word count) and edits, then to subject beta readers to our creations.

Our other writing projects pretty much came to a screeching halt for eighteen months while we wrote, edited and released the Lily Quinn books. That was a long time to step away from our other stories, but I loved every minute of it! I love the world, the characters and all the sex they have. I adore every bit of the silly, sappy bullshit that Eric and I created together. We’ve written quite a few books by now, but Lily Quinn – for all its silliness, naughtiness and porn’s inability to ever reach the largest audiences – may be my favorite thing we’ve ever written.

So thank you for joining us on this crazy little adventure. It’s been a blast!

– Natalie Severine

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