Saturday, February 25, 2006

Erotic Romance Gets Attention

There were so many things that happened while I was taking my break from blogging. Every day, I found articles and things of interest that I wanted to blog about. I was surprised at how hard it was to keep from running to the laptop. Of course--during the almost four days that I was without my laptop--it wasn't a problem. :)

USA Today had an article on Monday, 2/20. Its title was, "Romance Novels For Women Get Frankly Sexual."

Now, if you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you're not surprised by this trend. As I've said in the past, I was one of the founding members of Passionate Ink, RWA's erotic romance chapter. We started with a group of 25 writers last May and, by July, had over 300 members and were approved for RWA chapter status.

I like reading erotic romance and I like writing erotic romance.

According to the article, "Kensington introduced its erotica line, Aphrodisia, in January. Harlequin's Spice imprint hits stores in May, and HarperCollins will publish the first two titles in its Avon Red line in June. Berkley was a pioneer with its Heat line last May."

My biggest complaint with the article was its shaky grasp of the definitions. It seemed to lump all such books in a generic definition of "erotica." I'm used to this. I have a friend who insists on describing my books as "porn." I've learned to just grit my teeth and ignore her.

Serious readers of the genre know there are distinct differences between porn, erotica and erotic romance. I'm listing the Passionate Ink definitions below:

Porn: stories written for the express purpose of causing sexual titillation. Plot, character development, and romance are NOT primary to these stories. They are designed to sexually arouse the reader and nothing else.

Erotica: stories written about the sexual journey of the characters and how this impacts them as individuals. Emotion and character growth are important facets of a true erotic story. However, erotica is NOT designed to show the development of a romantic relationship, although it’s not prohibited if the author chooses to explore romance. Happily Ever Afters are NOT an intrinsic part of erotica, though they can be included.

Erotic Romance: stories written about the development of a romantic relationship through sexual interaction. The sex is an inherent part of the story, character growth, and relationship development, and couldn’t be removed without damaging the storyline. Happily Ever After is a REQUIREMENT to be an erotic romance.

I like erotic romances for several reasons: (1) There are no tired formulas or predictable plot lines the way there are in so many romances; (2) The genre is wide open: you can have a thriller, a paranormal, a contemporary or a mixture of all three; (3) The heroines are take-charge instead of passive wimps and (4) There are no silly euphemisms like "pulsing manhood."

So, even though USA Today wasn't careful with their definitions, I welcome the article.

1 comment:

For The Trees said...

Your battle with the genre-lumpers is the same one I'm dealing with when I talk about POD. I haven't paid anyone anything and yet I'm lumped in with the "you're no good, you had to pay to print your book" crowd.

Oh, well, someday it'll all blur together and it won't matter. In the meantime you've got a new genre that's wide open and free. Write away!