I’ve had it all. The raised eyebrows, the nose in the air, the disdain very present in the eyes. Even the rolled eyes. Everything that screams disapproval. All because I say I write erotica romance. People can’t seem to get past the ‘erotica’ part of that statement and focus on the part that I’m published. I write stories that are turned into professionally edited manuscripts with wonderful cover art, ISBN’d, copywritten, and marketed. I work very hard to create characters that are real, flawed, and redeemed through love, all in the space of at minimum twenty thousand words. My largest body of work so far has been about 157,000 words, which is 642 pages and represents two years of my time.
And that book will probably never see the light of day.
Now, for anyone who has sat down to write down a story, carried it through days, weeks or even years to fulfillment, submitted to many (dozens) of publishing houses, received many (dozens) of rejections, revised under advice, changed or deleted characters or dialogue you love, resubmitted, to finally get one person who will give your work a chance…then lets talk. Writing is a very solitary life because when submerged in my worlds I live in my imagination. I hear the voices of my characters. I dream the scenarios of their lives.
And I do all of this working full time in retail, being a full time mother to a wonderful little boy, and maintain relationships with friends. I usually hike on weekends with my boyfriend and try to get in some exercise. Sometimes I sacrifice sleep, personal time and normal stuff that most people do in order to meet a deadline.
But I can’t NOT write. I might explode if I’m not at my laptop trying to find a synonym for the words ‘gazed into his eyes’. And why erotica romance? Because I’m good at writing it. The sex is graphic because the love is intense. My stories are not about people who court each other, go to church on Sunday, and sleep in separate beds. My stories are about people with problems…about an ex-soldier fighting PTSD, a woman who was raped at fifteen, a deaf woman trying to be normal, a woman dealing with the consequences of choices she made to deal with health problems. These characters are raw. Their emotions are encased in ice. These people are helpless, hopeless…until love finds them. So sex between these people and their partners isn’t going to have euphemisms like ‘manhood’ and ‘joined together in bliss’.
What I write isn’t for everyone. I know that. Everyone has different tastes and opinions. There are people out there who think the word ‘cock’ is vulgar. Really, I get it. But I am a writer. I am a published author. And I don’t deserve the eye roll. None of us who write erotica romance do. To my fellow sister and brother writers, I say give me more. Give me more sex. Give me more erotica. Give me more happy-ever-afters.
Give me more.