Wednesday, January 30, 2013

How Sexy is That

It seems these days that the lines of demarcation between romance and porn are blurring. Since I write across the board, not paying attention specifically to what level of intimacy my stories will express, I have the advantage of tiptoeing back and forth across these lines.

This is one of the aspects of being an independent author that I enjoy most. Sure, I must forfeit some sales and notoriety, but I get to experience the freedom to write what I like - and what I like changes from time to time.

But, you might ask, where are the clear distinctions between romance, romantica, erotic romance, and erotica?

Truth is, I don't personally think there are clear distinctions ... anymore.

A great recent example of this can be found in the recent phenomenon called Fifty Shades of Grey.

I remember clearly, the first headlines about this best-selling series. They said things like: Bringing the erotic genre to the mainstream, The newest mommy porn.

There were many more, I'm sure, but none of them stand out in my memory.

But, a strange thing happened as this series gained popularity with the general buying public ... it moved from the erotic category at Amazon to the romance category. Strange how popularity affects what genre a story falls into. This series, once seen as an underground success, is now sold in places that state they abhor erotica like Target stores. Why? Because there is money to be made in an otherwise starving platform.

Some of the romance stories on the market today would have been labeled as erotica or even pornography just a few years ago. On the other hand, there have been some works seen as literary art, such as the Vladimir Nobokov classic, Lolita. I've written about this story before and still believe that, if put before a publisher today, would be seen as bordering on the sanctioning of statutory rape and rejected. Instead, it was listed by Time magazine as one of the 100 greatest literary works in history.

I personally feel that a story could fall into all of these genres within the span of romance at one time. Of course, it should be clear that one cannot have erotic romance or erotica without the sexual element being the main thrust (pun intended) of the story.

I also understand that there are those that simply do not want sex in their romance story, or do want to buy erotica for the sexual element only to find out it is mostly some mushy romance. While I do not personally pay any attention to, or even care about genre when I am writing a story, I do try hard to properly classify the story after it is complete. So in order to explain this method of classification (kind of) I'll use my own body of work, which, by the way, is for sale at all major retailers.

I'll start with my most recent work, Lexi's Run. I would classify this story as purely romance, albeit paranormal romantic suspense. This story is all about the development of the relationship between Alexis and Joseph. Sure, this story runs along the backdrop of hiding from a powerful man hellbent on making Alexis pay for rejecting him, running from, and then, taking down a major crime ring, and, of course, turning your love interest into a werewolf so you can be together (although this is not done on purpose) all without expressing, overtly, the sexual relationship between the two main characters. Was there sexual tension? I certainly hope so, but when all the problems are solved and the main characters finally have the chance to fully develop their relationship, Lexi is still a virgin. How's that for romance without the sexual element.

Now, going back to the novel that took place before this one, Lovestruck Succubus, it's all about the sex, at least at first. Hey what can I say, Azra, the main character of this story, must have sex to survive. Sure, she'd love to have a relationship like all those mortals do, but her demon physiology just can't handle it. That is, until she has a run in with Raif, then the story takes a turn toward romance. I would classify this story as romantica or erotic romance. My full description is: paranormal erotic romantic suspense.

Next is the sex in public series, Window Treatment and All the Right Places. This storyline follows our main character, Wendy Parker through self discovery. From a simple mistaken peek into someone elses apartment, she is brought into the world of voyeurism and exhibitionism. So, this series is themed on sexual discovery, but running right behind the main theme is her relationship with Rick, her boyfriend. First she simply draws into her new discovery but at all times, running in the background, is their growing relationship, which culminates in a marriage proposal in the second story. In the upcoming story, Center Stage, Wendy takes a step into uncharted territory and promises to amaze all the readers of the first two stories with just how far she's willing to go.
Believe it or not, this story was hard to classify. I list it as erotica, but I think it could fit reasonably well in erotic romance.

I think, in the end though, one must decide on their own, just what type of stories they are comfortable reading, and never judge an author by just one story because they may be, like me, an author that writes among more than one genre.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

A Little Taste

I wanted to start the new year with a taste of what's to come in the near future.

For those of you waiting patiently for the next installment in the Immortal Desires series, Demon Among Wolves, I'm currently working on this story and the next. I've struggled with this next story because it will prove to be a turning point in which the entire focus of the story will change. Some Characters will die while others are introduced, and the real main character to the series will be introduced.

Anyway, I continue to write short, fun stories full of intrigue and sensual naughtiness. Soon I will be finishing  the next installment in the popular storyline of Wendy Parker -- exhibitionist, voyeur, and fiance' to Rick. Here's an excerpt from the story. This is an excerpt from the upcoming story, Center Stage. Enjoy:

Trip and Fiona led us to our seats. I felt like we were in a grand processional with Trip in front of us and Fiona pushing us along from behind. Aside from the ushering, our seats were wonderful--right up in the front row and center stage. The theater buzzed with a kind of hushed expectancy as if all the patrons knew that something exciting was about to begin. I wondered if all the couples were given special invitations, or if there was some other means of gaining access to whatever event was going to take place here tonight.

The event started with all the fanfare and hoopla of a circus. A tall muscular man moved forward as the curtain opened. He wore an elaborate mask with long feathers curling over the top of his head, and a long beak nose extending in front. Other than his mask, he wore no clothing except for a small g-string that looked like it was made for a woman. The small pouch in front barely covered an enormous bulge. It could have been the minuscule amount of fabric covering him but he appeared extremely well-endowed--more than extreme--his size was such that he might have been best suited for a carnival, or side show. It suddenly occurred to me that this was going to be a grand exhibition, and I settled into my seat for something I knew I was going to enjoy.

The first act was a woman contortionist. She bent and stretched in unnatural but sensual ways that seemed to defy the limits of the human body. Another woman joined her, performing some kind of sensual Eastern style dance as the contortionist moved into the background and disappeared behind the curtain. Shortly thereafter, a man joined the woman in her dance. She was wearing a dress made of loose-fitting satin and sheer material, while the man wore loose pants and a vest. Their costumes made them appear almost like an Eastern Indian prince and princess. The couple joined in an embrace, and as they spun away, the man held a piece of the woman's dress. It unraveled as she turned until the remaining fabric fell from her body, leaving her completely naked on the stage. They danced around each other in a kind of mating dance one might see from birds, and on the next pass, the woman pulled the vest from the man's shoulders. When they again embraced and broke away, the woman carried with her, the man's pants. They must have been held to him with Velcro. Their dance continued, both of them now naked, until it evolved into a series of embraces and movements in which the man lifted the woman or she slid around him in some provocative manner.

Just as the act was ending, Trip and Fiona got up from their seats in unison. Trip whispered, "we'll be right back" as he passed in front of us. I wondered where they were going, hoping they weren't leaving us alone in this theater full of strangers. I looked around and saw most of the other couples getting very comfortable with each other. Although I would never admit it out loud, I'd secretly wished I was one of those acts up on the stage. Rick and I could sure find a way to entertain the audience.

Rick whispered, "look, the next act is starting," and caught my attention by placing his hand on my knee and moving it ever-so-cautiously upwards until he reached the hem of my short skirt.

A little shiver climbed up my spine and I mentally dared him to continue moving his hand up my thigh. Sadly, he didn't bite. He was preoccupied with the stage. A series of long ropes of fabric were lowering from the ceiling, and music began pumping through unseen speakers. It was the kind of music one might expect to hear in a strip club while men threw money at a woman climbing seductively up and down a brass pole. After the fabric stopped moving, falling into place a mere foot or two above the floor, a woman appeared through the curtains at the back of the stage. The woman was completely naked except for ballet shoes and a ribbon to hold her hair up. Her body was sleek and toned, and she moved onto the stage with a grace found only in well-seasoned dancers. I was drawn to the fluid motion of her tight muscular body as she wrapped her arms around both lengths of fabric and easily hoisted herself off the floor.

I felt Rick's hand slowly inching up my thigh as the truly talented woman on stage managed to get her legs wrapped around the sheets of fabric and perform the splits, exposing the entire audience to all her frontal assets. Although I would never admit it if asked, I found her not only talented in a physical sense, but quite sensual and artistic in her fluid movements along those threads of fabric. She slid slowly down the long sheets of fabric as the lights in the theater dimmed. Darkness enveloped the entire space as she touched the floor, and after she left the stage, a spotlight turned onto the curtains. I am still to this day not sure, but I think that when the curtain opened, my jaw actually dropped.

For those that may not have read the previous exploits of Wendy Parker, I will tell you that her adventure started not so long ago with a mistaken peek into someone else's apartment. Her decisions and actions led her into the exhibitionist and voyeuristic lifestyle. She soon drew her boyfriend, Rick into her activities. In her second story, Wendy continues her practices on a business trip to Seoul, South Korea, bringing Rick along, where her trip ends with a proposal of marriage.

Center Stage may be the last in this short series but fear not, there are others in the works.