This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Liz will be awarding prizes to three randomly drawn commenters during the tour: a signed copy of the new release (either ebook or print); $100 Amazon gift card; and a gift of Stewart Realty (Zazzle) swag of choice. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.
I’ve been pondering the concept of what makes a work of fiction “erotic” or “romance” or anything other than just “a work of fiction.” It’s been a fairly ground breaking summer by anyone’s measure, what with a trilogy of blatant sexy time books hovering at the top of the New York Times best seller list for months, and every day bringing more stories of erotic romance authors getting snapped up and handed fat contracts from traditional publishers.
I will confess now I am NOT a traditional romance reader. I have never read a single book published by Harlequin, nor do I plan to. Nothing against them or the authors who make good money writing there. It is just not what I choose to read in the very limited hours I have to engage in that sort of activity. I don’t care for the recently trendy themes of vampires, werewolves/tigers/bears, sci fi or steam punk. Again—this is just my preference and in no way reflective on anyone who reads or writes in these categories.
When I pick up a book it is usually mainstream, sometimes Young Adult(if it came recommended to me). I love nothing more than diving in between the (now virtual) covers of a well-crafted story. But many of my favorite mainstream authors truly would not know a well-written sex scene if it bit them in the behind.
About 5 years ago, like many fans of erotic fiction, I was introduced to it in the interest of re-kindling heat in the marriage bed. “Ha!” I scoffed, this will be like reading comic books, a quick peruse, slap and tickle and it will have done what it was intended to do. I liked the concept of keeping the lights on and the bedroom door open during plot-advancing sex scenes so much, I started writing them myself.
In the intervening years, I have read my fair share of utter published garbage. It is both a good and a bad thing that it is “easy” to “get published” anymore, I suppose. It allows some real talents who would not otherwise make it through the maze of submissions politics and protocol to be heard, which is good. It allows some others who would not otherwise make it through the maze of submissions politics and protocol (and hard core editing) to be heard, which is not so good.
I have also read books by amazingly talented authors, who craft layered stories and leave in the naughty bits to move the story along. For me, there is not a single erotic thing about a wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am sex scene for the sake of a sex scene. I want my brain to be teased, lured into wanting the hero/heroine or hero/hero to get together so bad the anticipation is almost as hot as the act itself. The trick here, dear readers, is to MAKE that coming together scene so hot, so well-crafted and devoid of unnecessary yelling, anything shaped like a mushroom or colored purple, or repetitive words, that you are compelled to go back and read the whole thing again from build up to consummation.
As a reader, I can say I have done that with exactly one author.
Tease my brain first, fire my imagination, make me want to know how in the hell these two will ever:
1. hook up
2. go beyond the hook up
3. take it to the next level, and
4. be able to wake up next to each every morning and keep it hot
Make me invested in the characters, so that when they do have sex, be it in the empty hallway of a deserted real estate office, at a boring Open House or in their own bedroom, I want more. It’s not as easy as it may appear. And those who do that well, deserve all the “best seller” accolades they collect.
Escalation Clause: Stewart Realty book 6 is my most recent release. It is not meant to be read as a stand alone but as part of the Stewart Realty series, which begins with a trilogy of best selling books: Floor Time, Sweat Equity and Closing Costs.
About the Author:
Her groundbreaking romance subgenre, “Romance for Real Life,” has gained thousands of fans and followers who are interested less in the “HEA” and more in the “WHA” (“What Happens After?”)
Her beer blog a2beerwench.com is nationally recognized for its insider yet outsider views on the craft beer industry. Her books are set in the not-so-common worlds of breweries, on the soccer pitch and in high-powered real estate offices. Don’t ask her for anything “like” a Budweiser or risk painful injury.
Amazon Series - http://tinyurl.com/amzsrseries
B&N Series - http://tinyurl.com/bnnsrseries
ARe Series - http://tinyurl.com/aresrseries