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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

GUEST BLOG: Stephanie Draven, Laura Kaye, Leia Rice

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Listen Up Authors, This is What I Wanna Read!
Three HQN Authors Put On Their Reader Hats & Talk About Their Literary Desires

Harlequin offers the world a buffet of romance and steamy sex stories. Today, authors Laura Kaye, Leia Rice and Stephanie Draven are here to discuss what they wish they saw more of when they go shopping for books they love.

Ladies, what kind of erotic stories do you want to read that you just don’t see enough of?

Stephanie Draven: These days there seem to be a lot of rules about romance and erotica. Everybody has to wear a condom. Nobody can have sex just for fun. The heroine has to be a stand-in for your best friend. The hero should be an alpha-hole or else you’re writing cutesy contemporary romance. And so on, and so on. I’m so bloody sick of it. I have a wondrously loving and healthy real life relationship--I don’t need to see my choices validated in fiction. I want to read stories that push the envelope. I want to read about things that scandalize me and make me uncomfortable like the public sex scene in my newest novella, The Fever and the Fury. I want to read about risky behavior. I want to read about people behaving badly. I want to read about the bad girls. The sluts, the tramps, the vamps. Stories with heroines who take on the football team for the sheer joy of it. A hero who isn’t just a pretend rake--but who is a true libertine. One of the authors I think is genuine chain-yanker right now is Jasmine Haynes. I want to read more stories like hers.

Laura Kaye: I’m a complete and total vampire nut, so I’m always searching for paranormal erotica and paranormal erotic romance, and it’s not rare, but it’s also not the most common thing out there. I’d love to see more paranormal menage, more paranormal BDSM, and for the love of the guys, I want more paranormal male-male. I’d be interested in these stories if both/all characters were paranormal, or if only one protagonist was and the other(s) human. It just adds a whole other layer to the erotic tension of the story. Oh, and as a general lover of the group sex fantasy, I’m shouting an enthusiastic hell-to-the-yes for Stephanie’s idea of the football team! LOL [Note from Stephanie: Do vampires play football, because if so, I think we’ve got a story!]

Leia Rice: I like historicals, but I’m tired of seeing regencies. I’d like to see some more unique historicals set in ancient Rome, or in the Far East, or during war time, with our couple all cooped up in a bunker while the world is falling apart around them. Something that will spark my interest without having to submerge myself in the Tudor court. The Tudors got their attention, let’s move on to something else that’s spicy and lends us to a piece of history as well!

What kind of erotic stories have you seen too much of? Or what kind of stories really annoy you?

Laura Kaye: I’m not sure I’ve seen “too much” of any one thing, but there are things that bug me. I’m personally not a fan of the unwilling hero premise used in a way meant to titillate--the general idea of these stories being where a female “convinces” a male he wants her and ultimately loves her through a relationship that begins with him in prison or tied down against his will, etc. I also find myself gritting my teeth through anal sex scenes where the characters don’t use lube. Every time an author writes an anal sex scene without lube, a kitten dies. Seriously. A cute little fur ball of a kitten with a sweet pink nose and big pleading eyes. LOL Whatever the fetish or activity, I just need the author to sell it to me, make me believe the characters need/want/enjoy it (and why), and keep me interested with scenes that raise the stakes each time.

Stephanie Draven: There’s a lot of boring sex out there. I’ve been reading contemporary romances where there’s just not a lot at stake--and if the story doesn’t have a sexual journey in it, if the characters haven’t learned something about themselves, then it’s a snooze-fest for me. That’s probably why I shy away from erotica where there’s nothing particularly taboo going on. If the hero and heroine aren’t doing it in public, risking getting caught, tying each other up, taking pictures for the internet or otherwise raising the tension level, I’m not sure why the story isn’t fading to black on the sex scenes.

Leia Rice: Regencies. How many times can you have a nobleman bang a lady’s maid? It just gets old after awhile. I also think that it set a standard for historical erotica that is very hard to write around if you choose not to write a regency. For example, I love the French Revolution, but how many erotica stories do you find during that time? Or any other time, for that matter? Everyone is looking for what they are used to, but very few are writing outside of that box.


About the Authors:
Stephanie Draven is a multi-published award-nominated author of myth-inspired paranormal romance. Writing for HQN Nocturne, Stephanie’s Mythica series asks the question: What if the monsters of ancient mythology still walked the earth...and what if you found out that you were one of them? Currently a denizen of Baltimore, that city of ravens and purple night skies, Stephanie lives there with her favorite nocturnal creatures–three scheming cats and a deliciously wicked husband. And when she is not busy with dark domestic rituals, she writes her books.

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Laura Kaye is a multi-published author of paranormal, contemporary and erotic romance. Three of her four current books have hit bestseller lists, and two have been nominated for or won awards. Available books include: HEARTS IN DARKNESS (contemporary romance), FOREVER FREED (NJRW Golden Leaf Award for Best Paranormal of 2011), JUST GOTTA SAY (erotic romance), and NORTH OF NEED (Book 1 in the Hearts of the Anemoi series, contemporary fantasy romance). IN THE SERVICE OF THE KING is the first in a mini-series of novellas featuring the Vampire Warrior Kings. Laura lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.

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Leia Rice is an avid lover of everything Parisian, Ancient Grecian and Ancient Roman. She wishes that women would still wear the pretty dresses and petticoats that they did back in the 18th century, but she’s well aware how much of a pain they must have been. Leia writes historical fiction, romance and erotica in these areas, because she cannot get enough of each respective time period.

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Debby said...

Hmmm I like your list of rules. Now no one should follow them

Beautiful Disaster said...

Artistic Bohemians came to mind when I was reading your excerpts:) I think y'all are right in saying shaking up the social norm in your typical romance novels is a fresh breath. As a reader I like something challenging that makes me think or in Stephanie's words "scandalize me".
Thanks Ladies.

Victoria said...

Love the author comments. I'm not a big fan of sex just to have sex on the page. I can't stand it when there really isn't a reason other than to fill a page. Thank yo.

Laura Kaye said...

Thanks for the comments, guys!

booklover0226 said...


Thank you for another great post; it made me laugh and ponder.

Leia, like you, I love the French Revolution but have not read any erotica during the time period.

Tracey D
booklover0226 at gmail dot com

books4me said...

I want to read great sex scenes that the "average" person doesn't have. Since I read to escape to another place, I want to read hot scenes that are "out of the ordinary" but I think the hard part, perhaps, for authors is to keep it exciting and not doing the same thing in every sex scene.

books4me67 at ymail dot com

Laura Kaye said...

@books4me67 - you are SO right and I totally agree. There's a place for "regular/vanilla" sex in a story, but I want the fantasy element, too, and that's naughty/forbidden/risky/unique sex! LOL Bring it on!

Thanks for all the comments, everyone!