Friday, March 9, 2012
Why erotic short stories aren't going away...
They are short. They are sexy. The word nipple is used.
What most people don't mention, but the readers know, is that at some point in the story, we get to see that the characters are real people. They face some kind of real life issues. Maybe (like in my upcoming story, Taking Control) one of them has been battered by the media to the point that they have given up on relationships. They have lived their life being sheep and are looking, but don't realize it, for a moment to be in control...to be powerful.
Maybe they have been in a relationship before and been screwed over so many times that they have a hard time trusting anyone and the story is about them learning to let go, to trust again. Maybe it is about them learning to enjoy the little things, the moments that take your breath away.
But there will be sex. The readers know when they pick up a short erotic romance novel that there will be sexual tension that crackles between the two (or more) characters, that they will find a way to grow, as characters, somehow in that small space of time and that there will be a payoff that is like fireworks going off. The bigger the fireworks show, the better.
You can get them on your tablets. You can get them on your phone. You can read them on the beach or in the comfort of your home and unlike days gone by when people in the doctor's office could see that you weren't reading something five inches thick and with a cover that was easily recognizable as it was on Oprah's Book Club last week...no one knows that you are reading about something naughty. Unless you blush.
And that is why they aren't going away.
I read a blog yesterday written by a man who called the fact that romance holds such a huge chunk of the market 'unexplainable' and had to giggle. Really? Unexplainable, dude? I find it exceptionally explainable. In times gone by, Edgar Allan Poe wrote short stories and they were called trash and he had a heck of a time making a living off of them...
Yeah...I bet you know who I am talking about. Poe is sort of well known, now. Considered by some the father of the detective genre, his work was arguably some of the most interesting of his time. But he died and a critic was quick to post a really long obituary about what a general waste of space he was and how no one would remember who he was as he was a drunk nobody. We all remember Poe. The critic? Not so much.
Penny dreadfuls saw success in the 19th century. Again, these short stories (intended for adolescents) saw widespread print and were very popular. One of them was Sweeney Todd. You may have heard of it. Again...bashed at the time. They were considered to be corrupting the public...
Will people keep reading romance? Well, they have been around since 1740 that we know about (possibly earlier...arguably the some of the Greek myths could be called romances as well) and are still here in 2012. As long as two people find new ways to fall in and out of love and new ways to hurt each other and grow and develop as people because of it, other people will want to write about it and still others will want to read about it. Especially if the people doing the writing do it in smart, sassy, funny--and sometimes steamy--ways.
Will people keep debating whether it is a valid form of literature? Oh, hell yes. And as long as some of us are making a living at it, well, it will continue to piss off others who aren't making a living with their more 'credible' forms of literature.
Will I keep writing romance?
Yes. I like to think that some people really like what I write. And for the ones, like that blogger, who consider what I do to be the literary equivalent of finger painting...
Well, I like to piss people like that off. It makes me happy. Finger painting is such good, clean, fun, after all.