Forget 50 Shades of Grey...

Erica Hayes
Erica Hayes

They are filled with steamy stories of lustful vampires, angels and warriors, battling the forces of evil in a futuristic metropolis.

But bestselling author Erica Hayes writes her fantasy novels in a location rather closer to home – the Alnwick branch of Costa Coffee.

The Australian-born writer, who lives in Longhoughton, is behind a string of erotic novels such as Poison Kissed, Blood Cursed, and ‘sexy vampire romance’ Hunter’s Blood.

Erica, 38, moved to Northumberland a year ago with husband Sean, an air force officer on a three-year exchange at RAF Boulmer.

Her books already sell thousands of copies in countries such as the US, and the latest, Revelation, is available in the UK from today.

It is the story of a Biblical apocalypse in modern-day New York – and its characters, a squad of ‘warrior angels’, get into plenty of romantic scrapes as well as physical ones in a string of passionate scenes.

“It’s a whole lot of fun. Revelation is actually one of my less explicit books. I have another series that’s darker and sexier,” said full-time writer Erica, who moved to Northumberland from Newcastle, in south-eastern Australia, last January.

“We love it so far. Northumberland people are so friendly and welcoming,” she said.

“As soon as we say something, we’re a tad conspicuous, and everyone is always interested to know where we come from and what on earth we’re doing here.”

She has been writing ‘urban fantasy’ since the 1990s, and now writes around two books a year – doing much of her work at a table in the Alnwick coffee shop, on Bondgate Without.

While the genre is mainly popular in the US, it received a big boost in this country thanks to erotic novel 50 Shades of Grey, by British author EL James, which sold 6million copies in the UK last year.

And Erica’s neighbours, at RAF service personnel accommodation in Longhoughton, take her line of work in their stride.

“I don’t think they’ve ever had a romance author before. They keep threatening to tear my books to shreds in their monthly book club,” she said.