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Friday, July 27, 2012

GUEST BLOG: DIANA HUNTER

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Hello, and nice to meet you all here at Long and Short Reviews. I’ve lurked for quite some time, but this is my first time writing to you. Thanks to Judy and Marianne for the opportunity!

I have a confession to make: I love the fantasy genre. I got started back in 1970 when my aunt left a copy of The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart on my grandmother’s table. That was first time I made a conscious effort to remember an author’s name because it was the first time I read a book where the next in the series hadn’t been published yet. I was thirteen and watched the bookstores eagerly for the next installment.

Later I discovered other authors: JRR Tolkien, Katherine Kurtz, David Eddings, who swept me away to new worlds and sparked my imagination. Let me into a bookstore and I made a beeline for the fantasy section every time.

And yet I write erotic romance, not fantasy.

Why the disconnect? Luck. Fate. The whims of the early Internet.

Probably it was all three combined that led me to the Ellora’s Cave website back in May 2003. Reading through their submission guidelines, I realized I had a manuscript that fit their definition of erotic romance. I hadn’t really considered what genre it belonged in when I wrote Secret Submission; I just wrote the book.

Now, however, I discovered an entire genre dedicated to the romantic love that expressed itself in what society called taboo or kinky methods. I submitted my manuscript and a career was born. Seven full-length novels, five novellas, and eight short stories later, people associate the name Diana Hunter with erotic romance with a BDSM twist.

My stories go from the mild (Hooked), to the extreme (Stress Relief) and everywhere in between in the exploration of the male dominant/female submissive relationship. The biggest question I had when I started was, “How can a self-confident, feminist woman ever want to give up the independence she’s worked so hard to get?” Each book still explores that basic question as I’ve discovered there are as many answers as there are women on the planet.

But recently I deviated from my formula. I also enjoy murder mysteries (Agatha Christie, anyone? Poe?) and have long wanted to try my hand at writing one. Why not combine the tension and suspense of a murder mystery with the hot sex of an erotic romance? Thus, Shooting Star was conceived, written and published.

Readers are an eclectic lot. Everyone has genre preferences, but most read all sorts of books, both fiction and non.

Writers are the same way. We have the genre that made our careers, but we have lots of stories inside of us. I’ve used branding to separate out some of my stories so readers know what they’re getting when the purchase a book (I have a historical out, for example, that’s a true-life telling of a soldier’s adventures during the Civil War. I wouldn’t want anyone buying it and wondering where the whips and chains are!).

Still, Shooting Starfeels like going out on a limb for me. I’ve never written a murder mystery, so that’s nerve-wracking enough. But my real question lies with reader preferences. Will they accept a Diana Hunter book that doesn’t explore the question of a woman’s independence vs. a woman’s submission? Will they enjoy a book from me that balances two different genre in one book?

I’m hoping the answer is a resounding “yes!” And, who knows? If this book is a success, maybe I’ll try my hand at a fantasy erotic romance!

So how about it? Do you mind when authors experiment a little within their genre? What about branding? Should authors use different pen names to alert their readers of a genre shift? Or should readers expect the authors to write in different genre and accept it?

Again, great to be here and nice to “meet” you all! Leave a comment or a question and you might win a copy of "A Night to Remember", a short story I recently released.

Play safe,

Diana

About the Author:
Bondage. Chains. Rope. Tied down and taken.

We all have our fantasies, right? Diana started writing her stories back in 2002 when the web was young and she couldn’t find BDSM stories that explored the romantic love she knew existed. When a friend challenged her to write one of her own, she did—and Secret Submission was born, along with a career in writing BDSM-themed erotic romance.

When not tied to her writing, Diana can be found engaging in other, more mundane activities such as gardening, scrapbooking the memories of her two grown children, or weaving (yes, by hand, on a real loom). Still married to her best friend, she’s branched out and begun writing in other genres as well. After all, why should we only have one fantasy?

You can find Diana’s other works under the names CF Duprey (historical fiction), Diana Allandale (straight romance and short stories) and Mystic Shade (for the shadier sides of our desires).

Play safe!



Earth Captain III is coming to town.

Davison, NY, hasn’t seen this much excitement in decades. A real Hollywood movie is going to film right in their little village! Callie, Laura and Josh are caught up in the excitement, one looking for a story, one looking for love, one looking for acceptance amid the glitz and glamour of Tinseltown.

But the last Earth Captain movie brings more than romance...it also brings death. And one of the three is the target.

2 comments:

Andrea Goodell said...

First, I have to say I never read murder mystery. Sorry. However, I really don't mind when an auth writes out of her norm. But don't do it under a different pen name. I find it hard to follow a auth when the change names and I tend to be loyal. But if I can't find you then I can't buy you :)

Diana Hunter said...

Good point, Andrea. It's one I considered long and hard before embarking on this experiment. I'm almost ready to change all the books back under the Diana Hunter name.

Thanks for your input!