Heat levels vs. erotic romance (and erotica)

In one of my writers’ groups the subject of heat levels in romance came up, and how to describe romance novel sexy times (or lack thereof) on some sort of scale.

You probably think this is an easy discussion, right? Ha!

There is literally no industry standard for heat levels, and yet romance readers constantly want to know what to expect sexiness-wise between the covers.

Having no industry standard means everyone has their own opinion including one particular retailer which randomly puts romance books into their “Erotica Dungeon” even if said romance book is not erotica (plus erotica is not a heat level — more on that below). Continue reading

Getting to know me: Gemma Snow’s Interview 2017

This re-post of an interview I did with erotic romance author Gemma Snow is the third in a series of blog interviews I’ve done over the years. The first post explains my purpose.

Gemma Snow’s Interview

Today’s post is from a 2017 interview I did for Gemma Snow’s blog to promote The Westerman Affair when it was originally published by Loose Id. I met Gemma Snow virtually as a fellow Loose Id author. Loose Id is a now-defunct publisher, and both Gemma and I have republished our books.

The Interview

I got to sit down with Regina Kammer to talk writing, inspiration and her new book, The Westerman Affair! Continue reading

NaNoPrep2020: Pantsing Adam and Lydia’s story

Welp, it’s October 2020 and time for NaNoPrep2020, otherwise known as Preptober. Also, it’s the absolute end of October and I really just started prepping my NaNoWriMo novel this week. Ugh, sigh.

But, I have a premise, I have the fake NaNo cover, and I think farming is over for right now. (Okay, well, farming never ends, but it sometimes takes a seasonal break. By the way, did you know I was a gentlefolk farmer?)

This year I’m totally pantsing it. I have a vague premise of a story involving Lydia and Adam from The Vicereine, the sex club in my Art & Discipline series. The title is tentatively A Model Alliance.

Who are Lydia and Adam, you might ask?
Continue reading

Getting to know me: Cameron Allie’s Author Spotlight 2016

This is the second in a series of posts re-posting blog interviews I’ve done over the years. The first post explains my purpose.

Cameron Allie’s Author Spotlight

Today’s post is from a 2016 interview I did to promote my novella Undamaged way back when it was part of Paige Tyler’s Dallas Fire & Rescue Kindle World (I have since re-released it). I met Cameron virtually in the Romance Writers of America (RWA) erotic romance chapter Passionate Ink. She graciously offered to host me on her blog. Continue reading

NaNoPrep2019: Victorian erotic romance! Plus NaNoTips!

It’s preparation time for NaNoWriMo, an event also known as NaNoPrep. So, what do I have for NaNoPrep2019?

Another Victorian art world erotic romance with seasoned characters! Yay!

I have a rough outline (yes, I am somewhere in between a plotter and a pantser. So, like, a plotser.). I’ve made a fake cover. I have a working title.

Introducing my 2019 NaNoWriMo novel: An Improper Association (Art & Discipline Book 3) (and check out my fake NaNoWriMo cover!). Continue reading

Romancing the Throne, Part 2: The Eunuch’s Submission

In the opulent palace of Ctesiphon, the capital of ancient Parthia, lives a princess who searches for the stolen throne of her kingdom, the sella regia. She engages the services of a palace eunuch in her quest, a handsome and astute advisor. Over the years, respect and esteem transform into love, love deepens into trust, trust sparks sexual exploration.

Thus is the set up for my two short stories “An Unexpected Discovery”, an erotic romance, and the follow up, “The Eunuch”, a BDSM flash fiction erotica short. In “An Unexpected Discovery” the Parthian princess Roedogune searches for the sella regia with the assistance of Arashis, the eunuch assigned to her by her husband. It’s an erotic romance, so it’s not really giving it away to say Roedogune and Arashis end up together — romance is about the emotional and physical journey since readers already know there will be a happily-ever-after.

Creating a romantic connection between characters is what a romance writer does. And sometimes that writer is given an opportunity to explore the relationship beyond the happily-ever-after, to take a peek into the life of a couple after that first flush of excitement.

Continuing a romance is especially wonderful if the characters are beloved characters, more so if these are characters who almost did not make the page. Continue reading

Definitions: Erotica, Erotic Romance, Steamy Romance (Reprise)

In a couple of discussion forums I’m on, the question of what is erotic romance vs. what is steamy romance has come up yet again.

As a writer of both, and of erotica, I know the answer. I wrote a blog post about it way back in 2015. Since some parts of that post are no longer relevant (especially the bits about a now-defunct publisher), I decided it was time to reprise my definitions post, with some updates.

I’ve been writing erotica, erotic romance, and steamy romance for well over a decade, and am mystified (and annoyed) that our industry has not yet solidified the definitions of these genres. Does definition diminish creativity? Not at all. What it does is help industry professionals better understand what is being written, marketed, and sold. With definitions, the industry as a whole would be on the same page. Continue reading

NaNoPrep2018: A(nother) Victorian spanking novel! #NaNoPrep2018

I have a title! A hero and heroine! Plus a fake cover! I’m still working on the blurb and the outline!

That’s right — it’s October and that means NaNoPrep2018 (also called Preptober and NaNoPlanO) for National Novel Writing Month 2018!! Continue reading

Republishing Madness: Two steps forward, one step back, but still moving

For the last three years of my author life I’ve felt like Sisyphus pushing a stone up a hill, only to have it roll back down, thus negating any progress. It has been very frustrating, to say the least. Instead of writing, I’ve spent time and energy (and money) republishing novels and stories. Too often, I think I have given a story a good home, only to find it orphaned.

Republishing involves: re-editing (sometimes editing out a publisher’s style and reasserting my own); new covers; possibly new blurbs; ebook formatting; paperback formatting; new ISBNs (stupidly expensive in the US); uploading to retailer sites; plus promotion, promotion, promotion.

Basically everything an author has to do when self-publishing, except all of that stuff had already been done and now you have to do it all over again. Sigh. Continue reading