Drawing the lines between romance, erotic romance, erotica, & porn

I read a post by L.E. May recently, Do books still get judged by their cover? which reflected some of what I’ve been thinking in the last month or so.

These past few weeks, I’ve been doing a fair bit of writing/editing/promotion. So much that I’ve hardly been out on my bike (oh, the shame!) My main focus has been split between the third in the Harford Scarlet series, Playing Away/With Fire (I know, I know; I call it ‘Playing Away’, the Publisher knows it as ‘Playing With Fire’ and we’ll have to sort it out soon) and a continuation of my BDSM story, Playing Power Games (Mum – if you’re reading this DO NOT click on that link. Please). I also did some rewriting of Playing Up, making it a prologue for the Harford Scarlet series, and added it to Amazon and Smashwords (Mum – please don’t click on those either, I’ll do a PG13 version for you).

I’ve noticed one thing: worryingly, the heat level in each piece of work is at a different level.

Adding in the second novel, Playing Around (coming in December 2014), and I generally cover each one of the categories in the title of this post, except ‘porn’ (too much character development apparently). I’d say most of my work varies between romance and erotica, but there is a lot of ground to cover there.

Why does this matter? I’d like to think you’ll know what you’re getting when you pick up a ‘Toria Lyons’ piece of work. The pedant in me would prefer consistency. The daughter in me would like to be writing something her mother could read. *blushes* The pragmatist in me is screaming that for the sake of my overdraft, I should be writing whatever will earn me a few pennies. And the writer in me just wants to write what she is inspired to write, at that moment in time.

Why has this happened? Because when I write, it depends what mood I’m in. Sometimes I like to do the emotional stuff, sometimes I like to move the plot on, and sometimes I love to write a naughty sex scene. Games was actually a deliberate challenge to write something waaaaaaay out of my comfort zone (it was a Literotica Valentine’s Day contest entry and I’m still chuffed to say it came third on the US-dominated site), and continuing the tale has included a lot of research that I never thought I would be doing. BDSM protocols can be rather complex, toys very varied and personal reactions vary.

What has this got to do with the lovely post by L.E. May? Well, I’m always surprised to open Playing For Keeps and see the under the title, ‘An erotic novel’!

I suppose it’s the bluntness, it rather slaps you in the face. THIS IS EROTIC, THIS IS! Has anyone said they wouldn’t read it due to the implication that it’s a bit saucy?  Not that I know of, although to be honest, I haven’t given them the chance!

I’m hoping I’ll be judged solely what’s inside the cover pages. *fingers firmly crossed*

 

(As a sidenote, I’m finding it weird to sign books on request. I’ve always believed that defacing a book was wrong, so writing in one is still really peculiar to me. Plus I never know what to write, and I’m terrified of making a mistake and spoiling the whole book! I’m getting better at it though, and buying me a drink first certainly helps.)

*hic*

Tx

2 thoughts on “Drawing the lines between romance, erotic romance, erotica, & porn”

  1. Wow, I can’t believe someone read my blog! Thank you!

    I completely relate to what you said here. I published under a pen name so my mum wouldn’t find out – but in the excitement I told her – she’s read it – likes it actually… I won’t even go into how I feel about that!!

    It’s strange that if I tell someone I wrote a novel with a few sex scenes in it, they say “ooh I’ll like that, what’s it called?” But if I say my book was published by an erotic fiction publisher I get raised eyebrows and silence.

    The sex scenes are part of the story, I didn’t write them to turn on my readers, I just wrote a story and it turned out that sex was involved!
    I don’t know if there’s a sub-genre for that?

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