Kensington Books Senior Editor Kate Duffy is probably the one woman in "the industry" over whom I've had a fangrl moment. I mean, she created Brava and Silhouette and has gathered the books and authors that have entertained -- and continue to entertain -- millions of romance fiction readers.
Kate and all of this week's Hot Topic GuestBloggers graciously agreed to write about the differences between - and definitions of - erotica and erotic romance (erom) so we could have that big ol dialogue we've been aching for. I also asked them what having access to erotic lit has meant to women, and the actualization of their sexual fantasies/sexualities.
A warm Bella buongiorno for Ms. Kate as she carves right into the heart of the issues :
I love Michelle’s approach to this topic but I don’t have anything remotely intelligent to say about the differences between erotica and erotic romance. I just know I am not a huge fan of the former, and I am a huge fan of the latter. If it doesn’t have romance, no matter what the sensuality level, just pass me by.
And I also don’t know how important fantasy is to women. I know romance is pretty damn rare in real life. So are compassion, empathy, generosity, humor, intelligence and
bravery. And yet you find all these elements in romance novels. So, yeah, I guess these fantasies are fairly important to women. At least to this woman.
Frankly, I am in this for the money. Your money. I want it all. And romance publishing is my cunning plan to get it.
Most discussions I have seen on websites were about where we are in romance publishing or where we’ve been. My experience here is limited. Most of what I read made me want to drive a #2 pencil through my brain, so I had to quit.
But the feeling I got was that while you guys were discussing, I was making plans for 2009. And, for the most part, those plans are limited to exploiting to their utmost potential the creativity and imagination of great writers. Selling their books. Selling lots of their books. Making lots of money.
Brava, the imprint I oversee, publishes the kind of books I want to read. When I was first asked to explain these books, I called them erotic romance and I defined them as,
”Erotic romance is sexual love and desire combined with deep emotional commitment.”
I think it’s that commitment that separates some of the erotic romance from some of the erotica. In other words, the hero and heroine may think it’s lust, the reader know it’s love. The hero and heroine may think it’s temporary, the reader knows it’s forever.
So, thanks, Michelle, for making me stop and take a minute to think about what I am doing. And thanks for letting me put on my two cents.
What do you think separates erotic romance from erotica? At what point do you figure out it's love, not lust that's driving the h/hn?
Encore! Author and Erotica Editor Adam Nevill (Virgin Books) visits tomorrow as Hot Topic Week continues. Adam lives in London and has a BA (Hons) in English Literature and a Masters degree in Creative Writing from the University of St Andrews. He began writing professionally for magazines and newspapers in 1995, before switching exclusively to fiction. He is the author of nine erotic novels under the name Lindsay Gordon, published by the Nexus imprint at Virgin Books, and of the occult thriller "Banquet for the Damned" under his own name. His short supernatural fiction will be featured in this year’s Best Fantasy and Horror anthologies in both the UK and US. He began editing Nexus in January 2005 and became Erotica Editor of all fiction imprints and erotic memoirs for Virgin Books in June 2005. He currently commissions and edits around seventy books a year with his assistant editor Donna Condon.
Encore due! Special thanks to fellow Minnesotan Connie Brockway for allowing me to use Kate's Squawk Radio Chicken. You can visit Connie et. al at www.SquawkRadio.com.
Encore tre! Today, Bella Stacy has published an interview she did recently with me at Stacy's Place on Earth. Sheesh, she's a tough interviewer. And I can't seem to shut up. Shocking, that.