This was my third book. It came from a combination of trying to find the “sugar to make the medicine go down” and being completely pissed at books like The Story of O and The Beauty series. Don’t get me wrong; I like a good porn book as well as the next guy, but some of the stuff these books were peddling was just plain dangerous. (It came out later that both of these authors had no experiences in the Scene… none!)
What I wanted to prove was that someone (Me, of course) could write hot porn that wasn’t just accurate, but was something you could “do at home.”
I quickly discovered that, while safety advice was valuable, it did horrible things to the story’s flow. Then, I remembered some of the books from my graduate studies. They had had wide margins for additional information. I modified this idea so that readers could look at both, eyes bouncing back and forth like those of fans at a tennis game or they could read the story, hopefully enraptured by its images and then come back later to see “how they did that.
This worked even better than I’d expected. My test readers loved the concept and the execution. I used a complex program called Pagemaker to put it together, something that was going to come back to haunt me. However, at that point, I had other concerns.
I really wasn’t happy with Masquerade Books. It was a lot of little things but they had The Loving Dominant and The Torquemada Killer as well as a contract giving them first refusal on future books. However, in the small print was the information that I could self-publish. That was the route I choose for Safe, Sane, Consensual and Fun.
A good friend, Catherine Maccora, did the cover and I hired a printer to make the books. One factor that influenced this was, at this time, I was running a mail-order, kink-supply company called “Diversified Services” that had a lot of books in its offerings. While it later went onto The Web, at this time, it was your basic mail-order catalog. This gave me a way to sell books independent of brick and mortar bookstores.
Sadly, sales weren’t spectacular, as was common with most of the self-published books in that era. It sold regularly but slow enough that I stopped work on my second detective novel, Murder at Roissy.
However, two factors intervened. First, Masquerade Books went out of business, freeing me to look for a conventional publisher, and the kitchen-table-top operation that had produced the first SM101s had morphed into a kink-book power-house. Janet Hardy, the boss of the place, took not only Safe, Sane, Consensual and Fun but also The Loving Dominant.
Sales were nice for a few years, but the growth of the Internet hit Greenery hard and they had to cut back on their books; Safe, Sane, Consensual and Fun was one they had to let go.
In some of the other pages here, I’ve recounted how Xcite books dropped in like a literary angel and revitalized my books as digital editions. Sadly, this was not to be the case with Safe, Sane, Consensual and Fun. The Pagemaker formatting came back to haunt me here. There was no way to convert that page format to the epub format they used. It’s gone and gone for good. However, if you are good and say your prayers by night, someday when the wolfbane blooms and you’re visiting a used bookstore, you might find a copy.