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Erotic Thrillers are Making Hollywood Sexy Again

Erotic Thrillers are Making Hollywood Sexy Again

Posted by on May 18, 2014 in The Need | 0 comments

LOS ANGELES, California (May 6, 2014) – With many declaring the sex scene dead, Hollywood is pumping up its acquisition of stories that bring eroticism to a new edge.

The 90’s decade brought with it a slew of action-packed, sex-infused thrillers like Basic Instinct, Single White Female, and Bound only to be met with a lull. Perhaps demand had declined because of the rise of gratuitous nudity on the Internet or perhaps the sexual revolution had finally ended, but it became clear studios were no longer seeing the market potential. Now with movies like Enemy and Under the Skin receiving critical acclaim, and the much anticipated Fifty Shades of Grey set for release in 2015, could we be seeing resurgence to the genre?

Author Dorota Skrzypek seems to think that may be the case. On route to self-publishing her next book, The Need, she started getting multiple responses to her query letters, “I was doing my due diligence in the midst of having a clear path forward, but I’m grateful for other options.” Other options may be just what audiences are yearning for as they get saturated with one-dimensional comic book hero films and romance novels with predictable plots. “Erotica is not just sex. It’s an emotional tug-of-war, and writing cross-genre gives it enough twists to keep the audience guessing” Skrzypek says of her new adult, erotic thriller. With more Hollywood A-listers considering meatier, Oscar-worthy roles from independent film producers, The Need, may be poised perfectly for the changing marketplace.

Dorota Skrzypek is author of the chick lit series, Sex, Life, & Hannah. Her latest manuscript, The Need, about a college-aged girl that falls in love with the woman holding her captive, won the 2013 FRW Golden Palm for New Adult Romance. Currently being considered by top literary agents, buzz about the break-out novel calls it “one powerful piece of writing, creepy as hell.” This book will be the first published under Dorota’s pen name: S.L. Hannah.  The Need is based on screenplay written by Scott Frazelle. To find out more, please visit

View original press release here.

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Which Cover Do You Like Best?

Posted by on Feb 17, 2014 in The Need | 1 comment


The new year has gotten off to a bustling start. A couple of projects popped up for me in January with quick turn-around deadlines, a couple of potential projects dropped in my lap that I had to bid on, and of course, there was the looming goal of finishing the third draft of The Need so I could get my two trusty editors working.

Sweating bullets that I was already a few weeks behind, head filling up with the typical doubts, like “I have to change everything,” and trying to pry my fingers away from the keyboard before I changed everything, I finished the latest draft of The Need on February 7th. With writing off my plate for at least a couple of weeks, I set off on a mission to create some cover art.

I read statistics like this all the time: 80% of whether your book gets reviewed and ultimately sells is determined by your cover art and your synopsis. No joke. So basically, all that effort we spend on building great story and great characters can go right out the window if we have a not-so-impressive cover and lackluster synopsis. As much as I dislike that statistic, I have to admit I am part of that 80%. If I blindly walk into a book store not looking for anything specific, I pick up books with covers that grab my attention, and then I flip to the back of the book. If I read something that sparks my interest, I will then open the book, skim through a few paragraphs, and make my “buy” decision.

I went back and forth on hiring a book cover designer. While I love the idea of working with a pro, I have also turned into a design geek the last few years and really like coming up with ideas of my own. Plus I now have years of experience when it comes to publishing blunders, and that has only helped me hone in on my craft. So…I decided to give myself the first shot at a potential cover for The Need.

What do you think? 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6? All feedback is greatly appreciated, even if it’s feedback like, “go hire a pro.”


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The Need Finals in The Golden Palm

The Need Finals in The Golden Palm

Posted by on Nov 15, 2013 in The Need | 0 comments

This August I decided to do something I’ve never done before. I decided to throw the dice and enter The Need into four writing contests. I did this for a couple of reasons. One, I wanted feedback from people that didn’t know me and were not familiar with my writing, and two, I wanted to see if The Need was compelling enough to win.

Towards the end of September the results started coming in, and they were mixed. Some judges loved The Need, some didn’t care for it at all, most had complimentary and critical things to say about it. It reminded me a lot of the feedback I was getting from my beta readers, and it made sense. Not everyone is going to love what you write, that’s just a fact, but what you hope for as a writer is that your writing will stir something in people, whether good of bad, and they’ll get passionate about sharing whatever has stirred within them with their friends.

On October 21st I got an email:

Congratulations!  The preliminary round of judging has been completed for the Florida Romance Writers 2013 Golden Palm Contest.  I am happy to announce that your entry was a Finalist in the New Adult Romance Category.

Apparently I had stirred something, and this means a lot to me. Especially as I sit here, in New York City for the weekend, working on the third draft of The Need. Wish me luck, lovelies. I’m excited to get this book out to you.

Here are my favorite judge comments from all the contests I entered:

This is an extremely well written book by a very talented writer. You have an excellent voice and wonderful word choice and imagery. Definitely as good (or better) than many of the published works I’ve read. You should be extremely proud.


I think the female-female scene was unpredictable in a really awesome way. I usually don’t read scenes like this, but loved it just the same. Great stuff.


This is one powerful piece of writing. This story is well-told, honest and creepy as hell. You do a brilliant job of portraying the prey and the predator. I’m not sure I’ve ever read anything that made me so uncomfortable! Which means it’s very, very good. Excellent, in fact.


The author does a wonderful job of showing the inner conflicts and emotions of a woman who is unsure of herself and her place in the world.


The story is well paced, and it is very suspenseful, packing fine dramatic tension throughout the sample. High marks for originality, and highly intriguing, if not exactly appealing in the conventional sense. Dialogue is often strange, but remains plausible.


I must say I wanted to keep reading THE NEED when I hit the end of the excerpt. That says a lot. Once the story got going it really kept my interest.


Excellent title! Your characters showed various levels and types of need so the title is very apropos.


I applaud you for writing in first person. It’s challenging and not easy to avoid an over use of pronouns for sentence beginnings all the while keeping  the flow going.



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The Need

Posted by on Jul 1, 2013 in The Need | 2 comments


I know, a proper life update has been due sine February, but as per usual the days slipped into weeks and then months…

There are a lot of changes that will be coming down the pipe this summer. First of all, as soon as I am done with this second draft of a manuscript I’ve been working on since November 2012, I will be creating an author web page for all of my books. As much as I’ve enjoyed ruminating over the pitfalls of dating and married life and writing the Sex, Life, & Hannah book series because it so perfectly goes hand in hand with all that, my author aspirations do stretch beyond contemporary romance crises, and I want you to be able to go on that journey with me. That being said, I will be writing one more book in the Sex, Life, & Hannah series because we all NEED TO KNOW who the hell Hannah ends up with in the end, but look for that in 2014, because right now my head is wrapped around this erotic thriller called: The Need.

A little back story. My husband wrote a screenplay in the summer of 2010 about a woman that gets trapped in a bizarre situation and tries to get out while fighting inner desires she never knew she had. It was sexy, it was controversial, and it didn’t require a huge budget. He started pitching it, and as most Hollywood stories go, got a few interesting bites, but nothing to get overly excited about. Of course at this point I was immersed in Sex, Life, & Hannah as well as trying to figure out the self-publishing business and working to pay the bills so there wasn’t a whole lot I could do to help. And then in 2011 we decided to produce a movie, which is a whole other story, so The Need got pushed to the back burner again.

Last year I hit a pretty pivotal mark as an author and self-publisher. First of all, I realized I love writing books and want to continue writing books as a career. It’s not about pet projects anymore or doing something just so I can prove I can, I want to build a library, and hit the best-seller lists and really make a name for myself in the romance genre. I also finally had an epiphany about how to get my books out there without breaking the bank. CreateSpace was a great print-on-demand platform and ebooks had really hit their stride; they weren’t looked down upon as the red-headed step-child of the book world anymore, they were a legitimate way to build your audience, and get serious agents and publishers interested in working with you. With this new inspiration and knowledge came the release of the Sex, Life, & Hannah Summer Season and the re-release of the first two Sex, Life, & Hannah books, and…a  new approach to life as an author. Deservedly, after all that I took a few months off writing. I also joined the Los Angeles Romance Authors group (a chapter of Romance Writers of America) and thought about what to do next.

National Novel Writing Month (NanoWrimo) is this crazy writing challenge that happens every November and pushes your boundaries and your perseverance by asking you to finish writing a novel in one month. I decided this would be the perfect opportunity to try my hand at two things I’d never done before: write an erotic thriller and adapt that screenplay that had been kicking around our house for two years. Needless to say, I did not finish writing a book in a month, even with the stellar outline provided by my husband’s script. It took me until April of this year to finish a first draft, but it got me working on another book, which is the most important thing you can do as an author.

So…stay tuned for the changes coming ahead to the website, and my new book. Meanwhile, enjoy the summer, and if you need a good beach read, click here.

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