success in the erotic novel genre, with their online novel finding a loyal readership.
— Submitted photo
The “Ride” series began as something fun to do in the evenings between three close friends — writing a steamy romance novel together and publishing it online. In the beginning, no one was thinking about profits or a large fan base.
But now, the three women — Tanya Baikie, Jill Moores, and Maegan Rowe — have two eBooks to their name. Under the pseudonym Maegan Lynn Moores, the three have sales of more than 20,000 copies.
The first book “Wilde Ride” was self-published online in December of 2012. The erotic romance novel is centred on the steamy relationship between school teacher Ella Scott and Alpha-male Ryder Wilde. To the friends’ surprise, it quickly began selling downloads in the thousands not long after being uploaded to smashwords.com.
The success and feedback from “Wilde Ride” encouraged the Happy Valley-Goose Bay women to add another book to the series. In just a few months, they had penned “Sweet Ride” and published it online in May 25.
As of late July, “Sweet Ride” had amassed about 10,000 online sales, while their original novel, Wilde Ride, has roughly 12,000 downloads to date. The skyrocketing success of both novels shocked the women.
“For me, this was more about having fun,” said Moores. “We never thought we would make any money with this. We’re shocked with what we have now.”
The setting of “Sweet Ride” takes place two years after the events of “Wilde Ride.” And the two characters, Jack and Payton, were both secondary characters in the first book.
“They both have kind of dark pasts. Something happened to her,” said Baikie, while describing the plot of “Sweet Ride.”
“She’s living a life that’s not really who she is. And he’s had some incidents that happened to him in his past, too. They kind of, finally, get together and heal each other.”
Just like their first novel, “Sweet Ride” has a mix of erotic and romantic scenes. But the women agree that they went deeper with their newest novel. This time, they wrote from both the male and female perspective, rather than just the female character’s point of view.
“It was interesting writing from a man’s point of view. But it was good and it was fun and it seemed like it paid off,” said Baikie.
“This second book ... we took it more seriously. It was more of a job than the first one. The first one kind of started off as a joke.”
The extra effort seems to have paid off, as the ladies have noticed that the online reviews have been tremendous for “Sweet Ride.”
“We took a lot of the constructive criticism we received from readers (from the first novel),” noted Baikie.
“With our second book our ratings have been unbelievable compared to our first one.”
The book also has more of an emotional element compared to “Wilde Ride.” As the plot unfolds, the female character, Payton, must confront her traumatic past, while the male character, Jack, must also face certain demons.
“It’s definitely riskier not just with the sex scenes, but with the plot. … It’s pretty graphic. … It was rough. I cried writing it,” said Baikie.
The three friends also learned about the process of publishing and marketing their books, and improved from last time. In terms of the editing stage, the women said it went more smoothly.
“We found a way better editor,” said Rowe, adding the last time they still had mistakes even after an editor combed through it.
They also found more ways to publicize “Sweet Ride.” They started their own website - maeganlynnmoores.com. They were also featured on a book blog tour in the United States.
But even though their book-writing process seems to have a bigger air of professionalism, the novels are still, first and foremost, a fun hobby.
“This is the type of stuff we read, the type of stuff we like,” said Moores.
The third instalment of the “Ride” series will soon be underway. However, Rowe will be leaving town for post-secondary education, so Moores and Baikie will have to hold down the fort until she returns.
“Hopefully, when she’s done school ... she can get back into it with us,” said Moores.
An excerpt from "Sweet Ride":
Once inside the house, I maintain my effort in eluding him. I tell myself to always keep an eye on Jack because I can’t have him blindsiding me here.
I’ve managed to avoid any kind of contact with him over the past four months — ignoring his persistent phone calls and deleting all of the messages he left me.
He must’ve finally taken the hint that we’re through because he hasn’t even tried calling me in the last month or so.
Today’s the first time I’ve seen him since I found out about his ‘undercover work.’ My body’s reaction to him hasn’t changed since the night I first watched him step out of that SUV. I still want him, but I know I’m never going to have him. I think I’m doing a really good job of hiding my reaction to Jack when my mother suddenly approaches me.
“So, what’s the deal with you and Mr. Hottie?” she quietly asks me, so no one nearby can hear. She wraps her arm around my shoulders and hugs me into her side.
“What?” I ask back, my body stiffening against hers.
“Jack. Ryder’s friend. Did something happen between you two?”
“Why would you ask that?”
“Sweetie, the sexual tension in this room’s so thick you can cut it with a knife. You’d have to be blind not to see it. Now tell your mother. Were you involved with him?”
“It ended before it even began,” I tell her, my eyes glossing over.
Or at least that’s what I thought.