Title: The Secret Life of girls
Author: Chloe Thurlow
Author: Chloe Thurlow
Genre: Contemporary Erotic
Pages: 220, published by Xcite, and ebook
Source: Amazon, bookshops and motorway service stations!
Published: September 2012
Author's Website: www.chloethurlow.com
The Secret Life of Girls
After my tutor at Cambridge gave me a copy of A Spy in the House of Love by Anais Nin, I read all her books and wrote my first short story. It was about a girl going for a job at a casting agents where she is seduced into taking off her clothes and then finds herself giving into her pent up passions and desires. The story was published in a literary magazine whose editor had studied under the same tutor at my college – the erotic can be terribly incestuous.
This little success encouraged me to write my first novel, which I called Bella, and was based on aspects of my own life. I loved Nabokov's Lolita. I made my character a few years older and too clever and worldly wise for her own good. The book ended up too literary to be erotic and too erotic to be a mainstream coming of age novel. The publishers all turned it down and I put the book in a drawer and didn't take it out again for five years.
In that time, I published four other novels with Nexus and Xcite and had the thrill of A Girl's Adventure going into the best-seller lists for about 5 minutes. When I took Bella out again, I rewrote it completely, cut about 15,000 words – so painful but so essential, and gave the finished work the title The Secret Life of Girls. It was published by Xcite and is now my favourite book. I have been planning a follow up which I will call Bella in America – I just need to take a year off to write it.
The Secret Life of Girls – to quote the blurb – is a fictionalized memoir of Bella. She is 18 and attends finishing school on the English coast. When her father dies, her mother remarries a man who secretly buys the manor house left in trust to Bella to pay off her father's debts. The betrayal cuts Bella to the core - the house is a part of her. She has nothing left - except she is beautiful, bold and unafraid to use sex to get revenge - as well as for her own pleasure. Bella also has some success on leaving school as a singing star and plans to move to America – the seeds of the unwritten follow-up.
I had come to see through writing my other novels that, while it is character that drives plot, the erotic must evolve through cause and effect. The erotic is a literary genre and, for me, the first law is good writing. That's what I work hard on and which is why each novel takes so long to complete.
Since its publication, The Secret Life of Girls has had loads of great reviews and I will end with just one, because it cleverly sums up the book with a single line '...a potent blend of classic erotica, bubbling with modernity, Elizabeth Woodham, on Amazon.