Without a doubt, Emma Holly's inspired more women than I'd ever imagined to say, "who knew sex with two gay guys could be so hot?" Well, Emma just plain knows what turns chicks on: romance, romance, romance. And beautifully created scenes filled with raw sexual imagery, supported by intense, nuanced emotion.
I like Emma because she tells it like it is, and cause she was so excited about her new novel, "Prince of Ice," and the nifty little way she starts the piece hot out of the gate. I like when writer's are still thrilled they get to do what they do. So please, a warm buongiorno to one of the best writers of romanceroticromancerotica...
When Michelle invited me to blog, she suggested that since I write both erotica and romance, I might discuss my take on the difference between them. So here it is.
The difference between erotica and romance is in the eye of the beholder.
And that's exactly where it belongs.
To me, every erotic novel I've written qualifies as a romance, and every romance I've written qualifies as erotica. Do I need people to agree with my assessment? I hope not, because if I do, I'm saying any disapproving person who comes to my awareness has the power to make me feel badly about what I write, and that is simply not acceptable to me.
Labels like "erotica" or "romance" so often imply value judgments--though the judgment definitely varies. Some will think it's okay to read what they think of as erotica, but God forbid they should pick up a romance. Some will parse it even further and say, "Well, it's fine to read erotic romance, but that erotica--feh! That's all soulless, exploitive stuff." Which conveniently lumps what they don't like under the label they don't approve of, thus allowing them to feel good about what they read.
But I don't really disapprove of this. Whatever mental gymnastics it takes, I think people ought to feel good about what they read. I think they ought to allow themselves the life-giving pleasure of reading stories that arouse them. And if over time they open themselves to more potentially pleasurable reading options, I'll be clapping silently in the corner. To take more joy in reading is a benefit I'd like to see everyone enjoy.
Most of all, though, I'm a firm believer that our outer world mirrors our inner one. What I think is what I attract. If I get all uptight about how other people view erotica and romance, I'll never escape the debate. I'll see opinions that annoy me everywhere I turn. I'll get sucked in to the argument and I'll waste a lot of energy that I could better spend reading a steamy novel.
The freedom that matters most is in the mind--freedom to think what we think, to feel what we feel, to apply or not apply whatever labels we please. When the only opinion that matters to me is my own, I'm free to think well of myself, I'm free to enjoy what brings me pleasure with no sense of defensiveness, I'm free to be happy.
And that, dear readers, makes me much more likely to live and let live when others choose differently.
erotica v romantic erotica v romance?
Visit Emma Holly.com! And for God's sake, go read her books.
Squawk Radio Week Begins Monday with Lisa Kleypas here, and the first-seen anywhere excerpt from "Sugar Daddy," at Romance: B(u)y the Book!
Encore! Please read my feature of "Courting Midnight," and Emma's AuthorView, at Romance: B(u)y the Book
Encore due! Please check out Stacy's interview w/moi Part I one at Stacy's Place on Earth. She's got a great contest Monday when she publishes Part II, plus a great "list contest" going right now. ps. I hate that she asks better questions than I do.
Encore tre! WINNERS to Hot Topic Week contests will be posted here this weekend.
Encore quattro! Grazie mille to our Hot Topic Week GuestBloggers! You got such great discussions going, and I know there were lots of folks out there lurking, which is, I suppose, appropriately voyeuristic considering the discussion.