How to Write a Sex Demon Without Writing Erotica- Zoe Winters
Please note that I’m not suggesting that “writing a sex demon without writing erotica” is somehow “better” than the alternative. I am certainly no prude. I am merely suggesting it is possible, I did it with Save My Soul, and here is how/why.
It’s important to me that romance and erotica be seen as two separate genres. While I have enjoyed so-called “erotic romances”, I think it blurs the line for the general reader and causes sets of expectations to form that are harmful for both genres separately. For example… when all many read is erotic romance, then they read a romance that doesn’t do this genre-bending, then suddenly it is “inadequate” or the author is a “prude” or some other thing that has nothing to do with the quality of the story or writing and more to do with the fact that the reader was looking for spank material in a romance-flavored package. While there is nothing wrong with that, it is unfair to expect erotica inside romance, just because you got it in some other book.
On the other end of that scale, true erotica does not require a “happy ending” and it doesn’t have to be about love or romance. It can explore much darker territory than the average romance and when the market is diluted with nothing but readers who expect HEAs and “fluffy darkness”, it ends up hijacking a genre that was just fine before.
There is some brilliant erotica out there, and I hate to see it watered down by the expectations of the average romance reader (just like the average romance reader would hate to see all the things they love about romance diluted by too much darkness and explicit language and sex). Books like “Lip Service” by M.J. Rose, in my opinion are brilliantly-written erotica, but not romance. When everything is “erotic romance” then readers who want all the rules of romance with their erotica will get disgruntled by books such as “Lip Service”.
Even though there is sometimes overlap, I feel that they are intended to be very different genres. When I write romance, my focus is on the relationship and the banter between the two characters, as well as outside influences having nothing at all to do with sex. In the case of Save My Soul, it was about Luc being trapped in this house and the issues of both trying to get him out of the house and trying to feed him until then (without sacrificing Anna or putting her at risk of death from too much sex with an incubus).
I also think people confuse explicit/graphic with erotic. Something can be very erotic but still not fit the definitions of “erotica” or “erotic romance” merely from using tamer language. Unless I have to, I don’t name body parts. I think I did use both “clit” and “mound” (on the same page even!) in Save My Soul, but that was only because I would have to do word acrobatics to express what was happening otherwise. I don’t go out of my way to do that because my purpose in avoiding naming body parts isn’t because I’m “afraid” of the words. Only that they don’t serve my current purposes.
However, I don’t think I name the male genitalia once. Again, not because I’m a prude, but because, erotic romance readers aside, most romance readers are just fine with parts not being named. In such cases he might “slide inside her”, which I personally find FAR more erotic than, “his BODY PART slid into her BODY PART”. Sometimes we really have to question if our titillation over certain word choice is a result of those words being empirically sexy or a result of our cultural guilt and shame over sex which makes them “naughty” to say and therefore titillating by design even if not by true nature.
I can see the place for this in down and dirty erotica, because that is a big part of it’s point. In romance, not so much. Also, I find dialogue/banter and situational set-up far more personally erotic than dirty word-choice, which may be fairly ironic for a writer. So I hope that answers why/how I can write about a sex demon without it being erotic romance. (As the genre definition. What personally turns someone on will vary from person to person.)
All he’s asking for is her soul.
After buying the antebellum home she’s fantasized about since childhood, Anna Worthington discovers Luc, a dangerously seductive incubus who has been trapped in the house by a fifty-year-old curse. To rid herself of her problem house guest she’ll call on a priest, gypsies, ghost hunters, and the coven of witches from lust bunny hell. All she has to do is resist him long enough to break the spell so they can go their separate ways. If she doesn’t, she could die. And that would be the best case scenario.
Reviews: Goodreads Page Average 4.22 out of 5 stars!
Thanks to The Bookish Snob Promotions and Zoe Winters I have the opportunity to give away 2 copies of Save My Soul! I have 1 e-copy and 1 print copy open internationally.
I will announce a winner on June 19th!
To enter just answer me this: “What is it about paranormal romance that draws you?”
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Next Stop-June 15th- GoodChoiceReading
Zoe Winters writes quirky and sometimes dark paranormal romance.
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Zoe’s goal as a writer: “I want to write a book that makes you almost pee your pants because you don’t want to put it down long enough to go to the bathroom. I want to write a book that you miss meals for. I want to write a book you miss bathing for. I want to grab hold of you and not let go until the very last page, where you crumble to the floor in a blissful heap, ask for a cigarette, and say: “Damn, was it good for you too,” then tell 300 of your closest friends about it on Twitter.”