School teacher's racy bonkbuster to give Fifty Shades a run for its money
"My book is going to put Northern Ireland on the map for erotica," says author Leonora Morrison
A Co Antrim school teacher has written Northern Ireland's first bonkbuster with hopes it will give Fifty Shades of Grey a run for its money.
Set in Northern Ireland, The Bed and the Bookcase takes on the themes of sex and religion as it follows the X-rated sex diary of a racy redhead called Ginger.
The book's author, who is remaining anonymous under the pseudonym Leonora Morrison for fear of reprisals from her strictly religious family, told Sunday Life she was inspired to write the raunchy novel after reading Fifty Shades of Grey and "hating it".
She began publishing erotic short stories on a swingers website and as they became more and more popular online she was encouraged to turn them into a book.
"Fifty Shades was so badly written and did absolutely nothing for me," she said. "I even prefer Mills and Boon to Fifty Shades which I just thought was very repetitive - it's the only book I've never finished. I really think it was just luck that saw it do so well."
The author said she deliberately set out to make her book "filthy".
>>Read red-hot extracts from The Bed and the Bookcase below<<
"A lot of that sort of literature out there is aimed towards women, there's nothing out there for men so I wanted to have a go at writing something that would appeal to both," she said.
"I knew I could do better than Fifty Shades, it's so boring, so I knew I wanted my book to be more shocking. I know mine is better."
The writer had her book rejected by several local publishers who said it was "too much" for them before Spinetinglers agreed to print The Bed and the Bookcase.
Leonora has compared her book to the once banned 1928 publication Lady Chatterley's Lover, by DH Lawrence, and said she believes people in Northern Ireland will call for her novel to be boycotted because of its controversial content.
"I'm expecting people to be calling for it to be banned because you know what our local politicians and ministers are like," she said.
"As long as they don't come looking for blood we're fine, thank goodness big Ian's not still about, because religious people here really will not like it as I write about sex in the Bible."
Detailing what her lead character Ginger gets up to, Leonora said: "She meets a lot of different men, has a lot of sex, and has a lot of disappointments.
"She knows she's looking for something in particular but she's not finding it. At the end, Ginger gets a glimpse of what she knows she's always wanted but it doesn't necessarily mean she's going to get it."
On why she made the book so very sexually explicit, the author said: "I did set out to shock in the end because that's how you make something stand out. If people have an opinion either way then that's good.
"Northern Ireland is such a small place, we have to change and our attitudes have to become more modern. We are so prudish."
While admitting The Bed and the Bookcase contains "elements of truth" about her internet dating experiences, Leonora insisted that the sex scenes are "entirely made up".
And while she said she has big plans for the book, the teacher said she will remain anonymous until it's a hit.
"My family hasn't read it nor will they, my mother would kill me if I went public," she said.
"If it sells millions of copies then I'll reveal my identity. I can't afford to lose my job before then."
Leonora is already in the process of creating a soundtrack to go with her novel, and has created "Ginger Rocks" merchandise T-shirts too.
People around the world have already read her erotic blog stories, but the author wanted to make sure some Northern Ireland landmarks got a name-check in her novel.
"When I was writing online, people in Australia, America, Gibraltar and Dubai all got in touch to tell me they were reading.
"In the book I write about St George's market, the Giro d'Italia, the Belfast Giants, and several forest parks.
"If it really takes off I would look to see tours go around the landmarks."
Leonora is feeling confident that Ginger's extreme exploits will be popular with readers, and is already working on a second novel about a Sagittarian truck driver who travels the world meeting different women along the way.
"The Bed and the Bookcase is with a screenwriter, so fingers crossed, if it sells enough copies he's going to come back to me," she said.
"I see no reason why this couldn't be as big as Fifty Shades, hopefully it will put Northern Ireland on the map as far as erotica is concerned."
Red hot extracts from The Bed and the Bookcase:
- "After careful deliberation and a lot of thinking I set my sights on a much older guy to help me out with the problem of still being a virgin. We met several times a week, not alone, but as part of a group I was a member of at the time. You have to start somewhere and it might as well be someone easily manipulated, not too smart, a little bit of a tart and easy on the eye."
- "He says, 'suspenders, very nice', and starts kissing me slowly running his hands under the hem of my dress, feeling the flesh above my stocking tops. He stands up and leads me to the bedroom, tries to remove my dress, but there is a back zip and belt so that doesn't go as slickly as it does in the movies. I end up taking it off myself."
- "He then tells me he likes my underwear, it turns him on a lot. I tell him it is a refreshing change for someone to like the wrapping as well as the present. He says he really likes black underwear and he loves the way my breasts are in the bra. Can I turn the camera back on and cam with him? I agree as long as he turns his on too."
- The Bed and the Bookcase is available from Amazon priced £3 now, and is available in paperback priced at £12.99 and hardback priced at£19.99.
Belfast Telegraph Digital