How romance writing can help my business

Can writing hot romance be a business tool? Lingerie designer Kezia Venner, aka Belle Antoinette, turned to fiction to boost her sales. Our Writing Romance course with Heidi Rice helped her tune in with her customers while boosting her confidence as a writer.

Kezia Venner

As someone whose work often leans toward the ‘hotter’ end of the spectrum, I was immediately drawn to the Writing Romance course.

I wanted to find out whether what I was writing was actually any good, if writing something steamy was the right direction to take, and if the skills I learnt could contribute to promoting the lingerie I design — a real passion in my life.

A hot romance novel goes hand in hand with a beautiful set of lingerie, and this was made even more evident when Coco de Mer brought out a line of lingerie named ‘Fifty Shades Darker’.

This sparked the idea that a greater knowledge of the genre could be of help to me.

I discovered that yes, the skills in romantic and steamy writing that I was studying on the course would be more than helpful in my chosen career of lingerie.

Above all else, however, I gained confidence in my writing through this course.

Before I enrolled there had been only two people, both very close friends, that I had allowed to read any of my writing — and not a word of that had been what you could call ‘hot romance’.

Now, though, I want more people to read what I’m writing – with the caveat that maybe my mother isn’t one to do so!

Our tutor Heidi Rice was fantastic. She gave wonderful, detailed critiques of all our work.

– Kezia Venner

During the course, several fellow students read my work, and I read theirs. Through this process of giving and receiving feedback, I gained more skills than I ever thought I would.

I began to read my own work with the same scrutiny I would when reading my fellow students’ work to critique. I’d always had trouble doing this, hence why my first ‘novel’ was almost 200,000 words because I could just never cut it down.

Our tutor Heidi Rice was fantastic. Truly.

She gave wonderful, detailed critiques of all our work, and it was always exciting on a Monday afternoon to receive an email from her.

She clearly took great care with her notes, and evidently a generous amount of time to understand each of our characters. This all came together to help us improve and move on with our stories.

Her words are really what boosted me. She was encouraging to all of us throughout, and the videos at the beginning of each module were incredibly helpful and inspiring.

I am only 22, and I was worried that I would be inexperienced and feel behind the others during the course.

But, what I found was that the range of people enrolled on the course created an environment filled with all sorts of skills, levels and genres, which created a brilliant forum of critique.

From the first post, I felt accepted in the group and happy to share my work.

Since completing the course, I have continued writing. I have found what I believe to be my specialism — New Adult — and with the reviews from Heidi, I am glad to hear that I managed to achieve a ‘hot’ scene.

I am now halfway through a novel written with the two protagonists I created through this course, and I am loving every moment of writing their story.

I had a wonderful experience on this course, and was honestly a little sad when I submitted my final piece of writing.

It has improved my ability to write believable characters, dialogue and story, and also my ability to edit and draft my own work.

I feel I owe it to myself to go away and finish a novel for once, and now that I am sure of my genre, I am convinced that this is an achievable goal.

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Meet your Alum

Kezia Venner

Kezia Venner is a former student of our Writing a Romance Novel course. When she’s not penning steamy scenes, her time is taken up by her lingerie design business, Belle Antoinette.

More about Kezia Venner

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