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How do you personally distinguish between pornography, erotica, and erotic romance?
A lot of people only use the word “pornography” when they want to put something down or criticize it, as if “porn” implies only things that are of low quality or in poor taste–but it comes from the misguided idea that ANY writing about sex is automatically of low quality or in poor taste. To me personally, there’s no real difference between “erotica” and “pornography” because it’s a false dichotomy between “good” and “bad,” or between “art” and “commercial.” It becomes erotic romance when you include emotional bonding and guarantee a happy ending. Erotic romance is a very specific flavor of erotica.
What authors do you think write excellent erotic fiction?
There are so many! There are some who were my erotic fiction peers in the nineties like Laura Antoniou, Thomas S. Roche, and M. Christian, and there are folks who broke onto the scene in the 2000s like Alison Tyler and Kal Cobalt, and more recently you’ve got a lot of talent coming through romance specifically, like Elizabeth Schechter, Tiffany Reisz, and L.A. Witt. I don’t get to read as much as I used to, though, because I’m writing so much. I’ve learned I can’t read a book while I’m writing a book. And lately I’m always writing a book.
How do you judge what makes a good erotic story when writing your own fiction?
Did it get me hot? That’s the number one thing. If I’m bored or unaroused while writing it, the reader will feel the same.
What are the biggest public misconceptions about erotic romance?
I think the biggest misconception is that romance novels are stupid or brainless, and especially that if there’s sex involved it must be even stupider. What’s terrible is that so many of the negative attitudes about romance are really just hidden misogyny. If men were writing and reading it, it’d be considered an art form, but because it’s by women for women a lot of people assume it’s worthless. The other really huge misconception is that what women enjoy in an erotic romance novel is the same thing they want in the actual bedroom. No one assumes that people who like to read mysteries actually want to be detectives, or murderers, for that matter. Readers of fiction actually do understand that they are reading fiction and that there’s a difference between fantasy and reality.
Who is your favorite erotic author and why?
I really can’t pick a single favorite of all time. I gave quite a list to an earlier question, and I could just keep adding to it: Pat Califia, John Preston, Angela Carter, Anais Nin, etc. If I had to say who I’m most excited about at the moment, whose books I’m hotly anticipating, though? It’s a tie between Tiffany Reisz and Alison Tyler. They both write very authentically and openly about kink and sexuality, with interesting characters and none of the “oh no!” blushing virgin kind of attitude that infuses a lot of the stuff out there.
James has finally pushed Karina beyond her limit—not her limit for kinky sex play, but for his extreme secrecy. She has had enough and breaks things off. But James won’t give up on Karina and will do whatever it takes to get her back. He’s ready to share his deepest, darkest secrets, but is Karina ready to hear them?
James offers Karina not only the truth but a place at his side… onstage. He wants Karina to star in his final musical production and enter his life and his world fully and completely. As the two work together, they rekindle the trust and love they’d lost. But James’s world is full of deceit. When he is blackmailed by an unscrupulous music industry executive, James must give in to unreasonable demands or risk exposure of his and Karina’s secret sex life.
Will Karina and James’s love be strong enough to withstand the many obstacles being thrown their way?
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