Publishing since 2015, Sophie Pert crafts steamy and romantic stories about transformations and the journeys we go through looking for love, new experiences, and acceptance. Be it contemporary, romance, science fiction, adventure, or fantasy: when you pick up a Sophie Pert story you know you’re going to get an intense and sweet story about finding love and your place in this world.
When did you start writing erotica books and what was your inspiration for it?
I honestly don’t remember when I started. It was a very long time ago. And as for why…
When you’re in bed with someone it can be both the most terrifying and the most exciting moment at the very same time. Because you’re never really as vulnerable, as open and exposed, as you are when you’re in the arms of someone else.
So writing Romance is really about embracing that and running with it. It’s about finding characters who have a hard time opening up and giving them the opportunity to blossom. And as an author I think that’s both beautiful and undeniably appealing.
What was your first book that you wrote?
In the lead up to first hitting publish I was terrified and I spent a few months or a year even just writing circles around myself. I wrote a bunch of stories over and over and then published them all out of order. So my first book published was His Feminine Side, but the first book I actually wrote was, I believe, Wish For a Second Chance. At the core of it, it’s basically a story about missed opportunities, regrets, and getting a chance to try again. A man is given a wish and he uses it to travel back in time to the first day of college and winds up in the body of himself, but if he’d been born a woman instead.
That idea of regrets and second chances is actually one that I find I keep coming back to. Since November 2022 I’ve been writing a story called My Second Chance that follows the same basic premise, but dives into the idea with a lot more depth. That new story is actually available for free and it updates with a new page every day!
Why did you decide to become an author?
I took a meandering path to get here, but becoming an author has been an aspiration for pretty much as long as I can remember. I mean I get to play pretend and imagine fantastical scenarios, all while getting to indulge my introvert nature, hide in my house, and drink buckets of coffee. I can’t think of any other job that could make me happier!
What has been the high point of your career?
I don’t really like to think of my career, or my life in general, in terms of high points or low points. I find that when I do I wind up chasing that high or afraid of that low and it just occupies my whole mind.
There are some moments that I truly treasure, though.
Fans reaching out with kind words are always high on my list of best moments. I’ve had a few people tell me that my books gave them the courage to embrace their inner self and, really, I can’t think of a higher compliment than that. I don’t know if my silly little books are really worth all that, but it’s lovely to hear that people think they are.
What are your favourite stories to write?
The real world can be harsh and unforgiving. It can be cruel and cold. And don’t get me wrong I do love fiction that interrogates those ideas and makes you think, makes you open your eyes to new ideas and perspectives.
But for me, and maybe this is just a sign of the times, I really prefer writing stories so sweet they’ll give you a toothache.
I like writing sweet stories about good people finding true love. I like writing funny stories about witty people who make bad puns that make their partners groan. I like writing stories about finding love in unexpected places and finding acceptance and a place in the world that is warm and fuzzy and comforting.
I like kissing books and happily ever afters, and those are the stories I love to write!
What makes your heart race as a reader, and also a writer?
I should probably say something about the steamy scenes and the shuddering embraces and thrusting this and quivering that, but that’s honestly not the truth.
The truth is that my heart races when someone almost says I love you but holds back because they’re scared. When someone is kissed and their foot pops up and they just melt into it because it feels so right. When a character is shaking and trembling because they just can’t help but want the person they’re with, when they need them with their heart and their soul and their everything.
It’s those moments that make my heart race. The thrill of new love and the uncertainty of it. Will they make it? Will they get their happily ever after? Those are the moments that always draw me in and, for me, make a book impossible to put down.
What is your favorite book that you have written?
Oh this one is easy! I have a book that I wrote years ago at this point that I absolutely love because it was completely out of left field for me. It kind of came out all in a rush, and it was also the first of the longer stories I’ve ever written.
It’s called When Fantasy Becomes Reality and it’s about a cocky athletic jock kind of guy who gets dragged to a LARP by his nerdy roommate and winds up caught in a magic spell that turns him into a lithe and lively elven rogue. He has to battle orcs and save the world, not to mention kiss the boy in the end.
Not only was it the first longer book I’ve written but it was the first book of mine that kind of branched out into the fantasy genre. I had a whole lot of fun writing it and I’ve always toyed with the idea of going back and trying to dip my toe back into fantasy or other genres like that.
How do you keep your ideas and stories fresh?
I’ve been doing this for a number of years now, well over a decade if you count all of my creative work together and not just this specific work. And the only thing that I’ve found that works to keep me fresh and ready for this is to take time away from the projects without taking time away from being creative entirely.
So I’ve got a whole bunch of different creative endeavors on the go. A lot of them are writing based, even if they aren’t writing based in this genre, but a lot of them are explorations of new forms of creativity. Painting, cooking, photography, decorating, gardening, videos, dancing, etc. Basically anything that strikes my interest, and anything I can do to get my creative energy out of my body and into a project.
Having those different outlets means that when I feel like I’m getting burned out on something I can step away and dip my toe into something else to kind of recharge my batteries.
I used to have a real problem with burnout and I still do, truly, but this method is really the best one I’ve found to keep myself regularly hungry to write and keep getting the stories down. I find nowadays that a day or two away from the keyboard and working on something else is about the most I can manage before I start getting the itch to get back in and get more words down.
Do you have a writing routine?
I absolutely do. I’ve got so many different writing routines and different must haves and generally I ignore them all in favor of procrastination!
But seriously, jokes aside there is no routine that works as well as just sitting down and putting the words on the page. I’ve tried a whole bunch of different methods and a whole bunch of different environments and conditions and techniques and tools and in the end the one that I always come back to is simple:
Write. Just write. Just start writing.
It might just be me, but when I actually start writing I enter a kind of flow state and the words just pour out onto the page. I’m a very big planner so before I start writing I know, pretty much, exactly where the story is going to go but without all the specific little details that turn it from a skeleton to a fully realized living concept and so once I jump into that flow state and start fleshing it out, well I start to fall in love with the story and the world on the page. And once that happens it’s so easy to just cruise along getting the words out.
So I suppose that’s kind of my routine. Find a block of time where I won’t be interrupted and just start writing.
What is your best-selling book, and do you know why it sells so well?
Recently my best selling book is definitely the first book in my ongoing series, I’ll Be That Girl. The whole series is about best friends becoming more when one of the two friends poses as the others girlfriend. I’m not sure why it’s been doing well, but I like to think the series premise as a whole probably contributes to it. I mean they’re really stories about acceptance and love, but also it’s a whole lot of low stakes rom com fun! Who doesn’t love that?
And hey, the latest book in the series just hit shelves at the end of March so I’ll give a shameless plug here and recommend I’ll Be His Girl if you’re looking for a sweet and steamy, low stakes gender swap rom com!
Do you enjoy hearing from readers?
Absolutely! Some of the loveliest moments in my day are when I’m reading reviews or emails from readers! Writing is a bit of an isolating career at times, because you’re basically sitting in a room all by yourself silently typing on a keyboard. To know that there are people out there who read and enjoy my work reminds me that I’m not just silently shouting into the void.
How much of your work is based on personal experience versus fantasy?
I want to say all and none. Don’t get me wrong, my life is not nearly as exciting as the stories that I write. But at the same time writing and finding emotional truth for your characters through writing is about pulling from your own history to put yourself in the mindset of the character that you’re speaking for.
I think basically what I’m saying is that I probably haven’t done a tenth of the exciting things that my characters have done, but the emotions and the thoughts they have while they’re doing them are based on events from my own history. When I’m searching for the way to express their state of mind while they’re in a heightened moment I look to my own past and my own history and find an analogue, then amp up and adjust the emotions to suit their unique situation.
In that way all of the stories are really based on personal experiences. I don’t really draw the exact details or the events and things don’t happen blow by blow for my characters in the way they did for me, but there is a part of me and my emotional truth in every reaction and internal thought and motivation that they have. The stories are me, even if the details are all different.
Still, though, there are days where I wouldn’t say no to a bit of excitement along the lines of what my characters get to experience!
Do you friends and family know that you are an erotic author? If so, how did they react when they found out?
I don’t really hide the fact that I write romance novels for a living, but I also don’t advertise it and I absolutely don’t share my pen name. There is exactly one person in the world who knows my pen names, the only person I can trust in this world and the only person I know will never tell anyone without my permission.
For everyone else? Well everyone knows what I do but not in any kind of specifics.
When people find out the situation always pretty much plays out the same. I tell them I write for a living. They ask if they can read anything I’ve written. I tell them no. They ask why not. I say because my books are dirty dirty kissing books and they’d never be able to look at me again without blushing. And then they blush anyways.
What’s the secret to a strong title and great cover art?
This question really gets to the core of what makes being an indie author different from being a traditionally published author. Under the traditional system authors are really primarily responsible for getting the story written and working with an editor to get it finalized. As an indie author you’ve got that and then on top of it you’re an editor, a graphic designer, a marketer, an advertiser, and a whole boatload of other things.
And the truth is that each of those disciplines is an entire job in and of itself. Each one is extraordinarily complex and it’s really an impossibility to try to break it down into a little morsel to try to answer this question.
My point, I suppose, is that there is no ‘secret’ to a strong title and great cover art just as there is no ‘secret’ to a compellingly written novel. All of that work is work, it is a discipline in and of itself. If you want to get good at it, if you want to know what works and doesn’t work, then the first tool you need in your kit is research. Learn how to learn and where to look for information first, and then use that skill to find the information you’re looking for.
Because there are a whole lot of people who are a whole lot smarter and better at all that than me out there, and they’d be more equipped to answer this.
Oh, but there are a bunch of charlatans and scam artists as well. Beware the guru who promises success for the low low price of a monthly subscription fee. Chances are they don’t have the first clue what they’re doing, because if they did they’d be doing it themselves instead of trying to sell you a course on how to do it yourself.
Which authors inspire you?
Oh boy! Get ready for a bit of a rant!
Danielle Steele and that’s without ever having read a single one of her books. If you read into the history of Danielle Steele then… well I defy anyone to read that and not be impressed. She was a woman writing in fiction at a level of success that was unheard of while she was topping the charts and yet still when she went to dinner parties people treated her work like it was a cute little hobby she did on the side while her husband earned the real money. She has an unbelievable work ethic, still releases seven novels a year, as of a few years ago at least, and produces multiple novels at the same time on an old typewriter at her home office in either Paris or San Francisco and in 1989 she held the Guinness Record for most consecutive weeks with a book on the New York Times Bestseller list with 381 weeks! Danielle Steele is an absolute boss and I will fight anyone who says different, and her motto is absolutely simple and undeniably words to live by:
“There are no miracles. There is only discipline.”
I want to be Danielle Steele. Everyone who wants to be an author should want to be Danielle Steele.
What mistakes have you made in your career?
I think of mistakes the same way I do high points, I don’t like to linger on the mistakes I’ve made or let them fester.
Mistakes are inevitable and are usually, in my experience, caused by either carelessness or ignorance. The important thing, when a mistake happens, is to kind of circle it out and quarantine it and find out the circumstances that led to it. Figure that out and then make sure it doesn’t happen again.
Mistakes happen. Mistakes are fine. Mistakes are rarely ever fatal, at least when you’re living your life behind a keyboard and you apply some measure of care to what you type.
But a mistake left to fester or a mistake repeated time and again, that can pile up and cause problems down the line. So as hard as it might be, and I am certainly not going to say that it’s easy, the best thing to do when a mistake happens is not just to fix it, but to so fully invest yourself in it that you make sure it never happens again.
What have been your personal triumphs?
I gave a book to someone to read once, to the one person who knows about my pen name. I didn’t watch them while they read it, because that would be absolutely horrifying, but they read it in the same general space I was in. A few rooms over.
I heard them laugh. I heard them cry. I heard them read the whole thing, a full-length novel, cover to cover without stopping on a lazy afternoon because they couldn’t put it down.
This person knows my pen name and I asked them to read this book because I trust them and because I respect their opinion on books. And so having someone I hold in such high esteem live in the book and experience everything that viscerally really hit me at my emotional core.
They loved it and I felt like I was on cloud nine for weeks afterwards.
What advice would you offer a writer who wants to embark or a successful erotica career?
Just publish. Learn the basics of how to publish and then just publish. Right now it is the easiest time in history for a writer to publish and make a living publishing, and the only barrier to that is actually hitting the publish button.
It’s scary. Believe me. It’s absolutely terrifying and I understand that and I’ve been there.
But you can do it.