If you’ve never heard of me or my books, I write sexually explicit books about rock stars. My latest release, Hot Ticket, is about the bass player of a fictional rock band called Sinners. His particular kink is a pain fetish. He also likes to restrain women and “torture” them with pleasure. Each member of the band has his own particular kink. One enjoys using toys. One prefers to go at it as discreetly as possible in public. There’s a voyeur who likes to watch. And then there is Trey Mills. So maybe you’re wondering if I tell my mother what kind of books I write? Yeah, she knows.
Most of the members of my family are fans of my books. You didn’t think I was raised by a bunch of prudes, did you? My mom and aunt are voracious readers. They read everything I write and ask for more. My sister, who rarely reads, has even read my books. And enjoyed them. And told me her husband really enjoyed that she read them because it put her in “the mood”, which I did not need to know, thank you very much. Dad likes to tease me about the books I write, as my dad is the kind of person who teases about everything (including my advanced degrees in science—he thinks a BS degree is bulls**t, a MS is more s**t and a PhD is piled higher and deeper, just so you know what I’m dealing with here), but even dear Daddy drove two hours to attend one of my book signings and I could see the pride on his face. Even my grandmothers own my books. One of grandmothers read them and said I would have to explain some of the terms that she didn’t understand. I’m glad she’s a bit senile and forgot to ask for further clarification. Having a discussion about the kinky birds and the naughty bees with my grandmother is not on my bucket list. My son has never read my books, and I think we’re going to keep it that way, but I sometimes talk to him about the characters. He’s used to his mother talking about fictional people as if they are real. Now the extended family are more likely to whisper amongst themselves that I write “that kind of book”, but it doesn’t bother me and it doesn’t stop them from buying them and reading them. It just stops them from telling everyone that they did read and even enjoyed them. It might embarrass them to admit it. I write books that are explicitly sexual in nature, not books about serial killers. Strangely, in our society, sexually explicit material is more taboo than grotesquely violent material. I have never understood why. There is nothing wrong with sex and everything wrong with violence. A lot of people are more embarrassed to buy condoms and lube than to purchase bullets for their semi-automatic assault rifle. Why is that?
I think the main distinction between porn, erotica and erotic romance is the opinion of the reader. I didn’t used to think that. I used to think porn was strictly for titillation, erotica was literature that included sex as a main theme but did not necessarily involve love, and erotic romance was literature that included both sex and love and ended with a happily ever after. To some people, my books are erotic romance. They recognize that the developing relationship is the most important part of the book, and that the lead characters happen to enjoy having sex with each other. To some people, my books are erotica. They get so caught up in the explicitness of the sex scenes that their eyeballs start steaming and they can’t get into the deeper meaning of the books. And to a few people, my books are porn. They probably think Animal Planet is a porn channel as well. Sex happens—maybe not to you—but it happens. I used to be bothered when someone would refer to my books as porn, but now I’ve figured out that it’s a personal problem, I mean, opinion. One person’s outlandish porn is another person’s Friday night.
If you were a best-selling author of erotica, would you be proud of it or would you try to hide it?