I’m often asked why I started writing erotic romance, and with the publication of The Journey why I chose to include BDSM and ménage in a love story with an action/adventure plot. Why can’t I pick a genre and stick to it?
The answers to both questions are the same. Because the story called for it. Sure, I could have watered down the sex to be less graphic and, in fact, a few beta readers suggested that I do so.
So, why did I leave it in? Other readers felt the plot supported the scenes in question, and that they were an integral part of the story. I started out to write about a woman lost in the woods who was waylaid by fairies.
I knew from the beginning the human/fairy relationship would necessitate it be erotica. But I had no idea how far the plot would twist along a dark path until the heroine, Milena, mustered the courage to accept the challenge. She had to take extreme measures, including the granting of sexual favors, to find and free the hero, Thomas. And he had not been fully truthful with her about his dealings, causing great heartache and anguish. Milena’s actions required the use of dark magic, which was justified to protect both herself and the escaped slaves.
I could have written The Journey as a traditional paranormal fantasy, perhaps even a sensual love story, but anything less than erotica was not sufficient to ply the dark depths of humanity and explore the misery of prejudice and violence against people because of race or religious beliefs.
One contest judge commented that the BDSM in the story was “disturbing” but somehow did not find the torture and murder of innocent human beings to be at issue. I am always mystified that, in any genre, graphic violence rarely triggers the same reaction as graphic sex.
I did try and remove the erotic content from Hot Chocolate Kiss, a novelette also published by Eternal Press, and the story stopped cold. I put it back in and it has garnered five star reviews, even from readers who don’t traditionally read erotica, including several male readers who said they were surprised at how much they liked it.
I want to tell the best story I can, and I don’t want to be typecast. I’ve learned to trust my writer’s instinct and stories the way they need to be told, even if it means crossing into territory that I haven’t previously explored. I’ve learned to trust my readers will “get it.”
I’d love to have anyone who has read any of my stories share their thoughts. Haven’t read any yet? Check out excerpts of Hot Chocolate Kiss and The Journey here.