When people in my life find out I’m a writer, I inevitably get the question—why erotic romance? Lately, people automatically assume I’m chasing the 50 Shades trend, but I was writing BDSM erotic romance before all that happened. When I was submitting my first book to agents, publishers were starting to shut down their erotic romance lines, lol. I was writing the “unpopular” thing. So why was I writing it?
Well, first, it was because erotic romance was the genre I loved to read the most. But the other part was that there were so few constraints or rules. Romance runs the gamut these days and the old “rules” are often broken all over the place. But in traditional romance, there are still some unwritten constraints if you want to fit in a certain lane of books and appeal to a certain group of readers. However, with erotic romance, you can pretty much do what you want because readers come into it with very open minds. That appeals to the rebel in me, lol.
So beyond knowing that my books will end in a happily ever after, I really have no set boundaries when I start a new story. And that came in handy with NOTHING BETWEEN US because I got to do a lot of fun things like:
- The opening scene has the hero sleeping with someone who is not the heroine. – This used to be an unwritten rule in romance. Hero/heroine can’t be with anyone else besides each other once the story starts. But in this book, the heroine is agoraphobic and watches her neighbor Colby through his bedroom window because it’s her only outlet to the outside world. And so she sees him with someone else. What was extra fun was that the scene she’s spying on is actually a scene I showed from another viewpoint in a previous book. So you find out that someone was watching during that scene in the last book.
- Diversity – It used to be that books with a heroine or hero of color were often labeled “multicultural” and shelved differently. Thankfully, the publishing community is shifting away from that and embracing diversity in all books. So though I’ve written POC characters in past books, this book is my first with an African-American heroine, which is exciting for me. My community is diverse, my readers are diverse, and I don’t want my characters to all look the same.
- Male/male – M/M romance has been around for a long while, but most of us who read it had to dig to find it, and you wouldn’t see it in mainstream books. But now more readers are catching on to this smexy genre, which has allowed me to write M/M/F ménage books with my mainstream publisher where the guys actually get to have a relationship with each other, too. And I even get to release my first strictly m/m romance novella later this year. Whee!
- Student/teacher taboo – In NOTHING BETWEEN US, I got to play around with the taboo of the student/teacher relationship. Colby is a school counselor now, but he used to be a teacher. And when the book starts, he runs into a student who disappeared 6 years earlier. Nothing untoward happened when they were student/teacher, but now Keats (the former student) is 23 and not the kid he used to be. That totally throws Mr. Do-the-Right-Thing Colby for a loop. That was really fun to write that tension between them.
- Guaranteed HEA, but what kind? – When we read romance, we get one guarantee—we’ll get a Happily Ever After or at least a Happy For Now. But the journey is what we enjoy. However, in writing a ménage romance, I get to add a few more variables and a little more unknown into the mix. Yes, you’ll get an HEA, but for who? All three? Just two? Which two? Sometimes I don’t even know how it will end up when I start writing it, lol. So it can add an extra layer of suspense, which is nice to have.
So that’s my long answer to the short question of why I write what I write. 🙂
What romance rules have you seen broken in the last years? Or what’s your favorite rule-breaking book? What taboos/tropes do you love to read about?
From the New York Times bestselling author of Need You Tonight comes a steamy Loving on the Edge novel that proves watching is only half the fun…
Unlike the heroine of her popular thriller series, Georgia Delaune can’t afford to take risks or push sexual boundaries—unless you count spying through her neighbor’s bedroom window, and never missing a single move he makes.
Colby Wilkes is more than willing to put on a show for the alluring woman next door. But his dominant side aches to show her the pleasures of submission up close. As a counselor, Colby is sensitive to Georgia’s fears. As a Dom at The Ranch, a private BDSM retreat, he’s the perfect teacher to unleash her passion.
But just as Georgia lowers her emotional barriers, an unexpected complication arrives: a bad boy musician from Colby’s past who adds fuel to her heated imagination. Now, the lonely author has two gorgeous men eager to fulfill every fantasy she’s ever written—and one she’s never dared to dream…
OUT JANUARY 6, 2014!
We are giving away a copy of book of choice from the Loving on the Edge series.
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