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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.
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