A week ago, “Lacey Noonan’’ was a web developer who moonlighted as an author of erotic fiction.
A week later, she still is — but she’s also become a relative household name after her latest, “A Gronking to Remember,’’ blew up online to become one of the top erotic novels in Amazon’s Kindle Store.
We recently corresponded with the author for a Q&A on her overnight success.
BDC: Is “Lacey Noonan’’ your real name or a pen name? If the latter, why did you pick it?
Lacey: A gentleman never asks and a lady never tells! But, okay. Yes. It’s a pen name. I wasn’t sure where this was going to go at the beginning. Like, would I have to have a gross conversation with my dad about this? It was down to Lacey Noonan and Antoinetta Cellphone. I think I picked the worse one.
BDC: How did you come up with the idea for “A Gronking to Remember?’’ Any autobiographical elements to it?
Lacey: It came out of the ether. Most of my other stories I can remember where and when I thought of them, but this one is a mystery. I mean, Gronk was lighting it up this season, so he was in the back of my mind. But I think it’s maybe because I did the cover first. The words flowed from that.
I’ve found that the more stories I write the further and further “out there’’ I require them to be. But with this one, it’s the Reese’s Pieces idea. You take two very disparate things like peanut butter and chocolate and jam them together and then voila, this new magical combination is born unto the world! The more wildly divergent the topics, the better.
The autobiographical elements are in there but they’re not as dramatic. You’ve got to crank up the drama. I’ve definitely been in tense situations with guys arguing about sports on TV and I’ve definitely masturbated in a garage. That about covers it.
BDC: How did you get into writing erotic novels?
Lacey: I read an article about Sasquatch erotica last year and how much money these people were making. I thought that was hilarious and why not me too? I can do that. So it was kind of a nihilistic approach to start out with and I was rewarded for that approach with no reward. Until I gave up and started writing what I wanted.
BDC: Have you ever done any traditional writing?
Lacey: I’ve been trying to get some “real’’ writing published for a long time now on the side. Which was another reason for me to just get the Led out. I wanted to feel the special rush of publishing stuff on my own to a deafening indifference.
BDC: How has the response been to “Gronking?’’ Has the media coverage led to sales? If you can provide any specifics, that would be great.
Lacey: It’s really hard to say what is affecting sales—this is only the third day of the whirlwind. Gilbert Gottfried reading from the book on TMZ was pretty special. And the WZLX on-air interview was surreal, if short. I’m guessing the whirlwind will be over soon and we can all get back to our normal lives. I mean, this book didn’t even exist a week ago as a Word doc on my computer.
BDC: Did you have an inkling this would blow up online like it has?
Lacey: You always have this hope in the back of your head that this will be “the one,’’ but to be honest I just wrote this story to make my friends laugh and then… what do you know, Gilbert Gottfried is reading it on TMZ a week later. Life is nuts. I was excited to do a Slate.com interview though I was expecting some more hard-hitting questions from them along the lines of the NFL’s stance towards women.
BDC: Can you tell us any more about yourself than what’s in your bio? Are you from New England?
Lacey: I’ve lived in three New England states. NH, MA and right now in CT. Hopefully I’ll get to the other three before I’m done. That way I can have cheered for the Pats in every state.
BDC: Your book is subtitled “Book One in the Rob Gronkowski Erotica Series’’ — what are your plans?
Lacey: I had zero plans to write a second one, but now I guess I have to? I’m a free spirit, so if I do write something it will have to be on my own terms. People might not like the new direction. I tend to go off on tangents. We’ll see. The clamor for more is hard to ignore. My fans just might get what they’re asking for if they don’t watch out!
BDC: There’s some speculation that this book was written by a man, so I have to ask — are you a man or a woman?
Lacey: This is strange to me. I feel Joyce Carol Oates would have kind words of wisdom to share on the topic as I question my prose’s sexuality. Yes, I’m a woman.
BDC: Do your friends and family know you write these novels, or is it private? You mention your husband in your bio, Does he know?
Lacey: My husband knows. Some friends know. That’s about it. He actually helped with some of the finer football details in the Gronkalish book. But I am the heat commander. I control the boners.
BDC: Is there a community around this sort of stuff? Conventions? Online forums?
Lacey: No idea whatsoever. There are writer message boards and things. There does seem to be a roving peanut gallery of online commentators who like to leave meandering, bonkers reviews on amazon. I can appreciate that. It is probably the art of our time. Next to erotic fanfic of course!
BDC: What’s your next project?
Lacey: I don’t know. Now I’m nervous to pick. I have a gigantic google doc full of ideas, possibly hundreds. I’ll just have to pick one and let ‘er rip, mother***er.
BDC: Since you mention it above, what is your take on the NFL’s stance toward women?
Lacey: That’s a complex issue and one I’ve been thinking about a lot since this Gronk book took off.
NFL players have done some pretty deplorable stuff lately, but so have janitors, hedge fund managers and Hollywood actors, so you can’t blame the entire structure. That being said, I think the NFL could do a waaaaay better job. We’ll see if that new set of rules they just came out with will hold water. As long as there isn’t any more perceived sneaking around behind the truth like with the Ray Rice video debacle the next time something s***** happens. I mean, I really don’t see how Ray Rice can have a career after this, but I also watched with horror as Mike Vick suited up once again. In a perfect world, the actual criminal court system would handle this and ACTUALLY handle it, but for some reason we live in a world where Roger Goodell is asked to be our moral compass, which sometimes feels like asking a deer in the headlights to be a spokesperson for driving safety.