I had a comment on my Facebook page from a twenty-something young man, asking if all the inspiration for my writing came from intimate encounters. A woman writer in a Facebook cross-promotion group was confused after I listed my book under Romance and asked if erotica was indeed romance.
I’m going to make a broad assumption, probably one that stereotypes women. But I think if an explicit book has no romance, it isn’t going to sell to women. I have to say, as a writer of sensual romance, that personally I find page after page of descriptions of sex limiting. I read a lot of explicit romance and tend to skip over the graphic parts if they go on too long. I want some story along with the sex.
To bolster my argument that erotica needs romance, I’ll use Torrid Books as an example, just because they’ve published my sensual romance, Take a Chance on Love. Torrid, a division of Whiskey Creek Press LLC, bills their company as having published “Burning, Passionate Romance” for 10 years. Their submissions page says they’ve been publishing “Sensual and Erotica Romance” since 2003. They explain it like this:
Sensual and Erotic Romance is a work that is both romantic and sexually explicit. Erotic Romance is not pornography. This genre is romance—love in all its beauty, but without the flowery words to describe body parts and actions.
This publisher has three new lines seeking submissions:
1) Weave in a hot, sexy—perhaps even slightly taboo—romance and you have a Twilight Temptation.
2) This is love, romance and sex in all its many guises, it’s Alternative Love!
3) The only new line not specifically mentioning romance is The Man Cave: A romantic plot or sub-plot is not mandatory, but may also be part of the story. Because it’s aimed at men. Which kind of proves my point. Men like their smut straight, and Torrid Books is aware of that. Women like their erotica romantic.
So, okay, you say. Torrid Books is one publisher.
You’re right. Let’s move along.
In the order they come up on a Google search:
· Ellora’s Cave bills themselves as the “premier publisher of erotic romance.”
· Fanny Press publishes “erotic romances about polyamory, bondage, and the supernatural.”
· Siren Publishing sells “quality erotic romance for the sophisticated reader.”
· Carnal Desires Publishing offers “works of literary erotica targeting mature, sophisticated, uninhibited readers who frankly enjoy character-driven erotic romance novels.”
· Phaze Books, covering all the bases in explicit romance, publishes “Erotic Romance and Women's Erotica in eBook and print.”
I’m assuming these publishers know what sells. If they didn’t think women needed romance in their erotic reading, why would they strive so hard to keep emphasizing that what they’re selling is romance.
So back to my original questions: Is erotica romance, and does all my inspiration come from intimacy. I think I’ve answered the first. I haven’t much addressed the second because it’s a typical young man’s question to a woman who writes about sex. But here’s the answer: These are works of fiction, and all the hot fantasy men, sexy invented women, and the made-up erotic sexual situations that occur between them in my books are complete figments of my imagination.
Title: Take a Chance on Love
Genre: Sensual Contemporary Romance
Author: Christi Williams
Release date: April 15, 2013
Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press LLC/Torrid Books
My fiction is contemporary, so the settings and the characters are completely modern and struggle with today’s issues. But the men and women in my writing leave a big footprint, because their personalities and their solutions to problems hark back to the iconic days which really don’t exist anymore. My characters truly live by the Code of the West.
Christi Williams writes sensual romance set in Wyoming. My strong heroines love cowboys and lawmen! I love hearing from readers, so please contact me.
Facebook book page: https://www.facebook.com/writerchristi?ref=hl
Twitter: @writerchristi https://twitter.com/WriterChristi
blog: Some Like It Hotter http://writerchristi.blogspot.com/