Why I’m Proud to Say I Write Erotic Romance



Many things going on today. Why today, I don’t know. Beware the Ides of October?

I’ve got a guest post over at What’s Beyond Forks today. She also gave Rogue’s Possession a lovely review.

I also am up over at Paranormal Romantics, talking about the map I drew for my Twelve Kingdoms trilogy and why maps of imaginary worlds are so compelling.

Finally, the BDSM Goodreads group is featuring Ruby on the group homepage. You can listen to a clip of it, which is really quite fun, I think. There’s also an interview with me, in case you don’t know everything already. :-p


That’s stuff for Covenant of Thorns, Twelve Kingdoms and Facets of Passion, all on one day. What I get for simultaneously writing erotic romance, fantasy romance and fantasy.

It’s funny because I was at a conference this last weekend sponsored by a non-RWA writers’ organization. So the attendees wrote in a wide mix of genres. I gave a workshop called “More than Wham, Bam, Thank-you Ma’am: Wooing the Female Reader.” I wanted to make the case for adding love and sex to a story in ways that appeal to women. A number of the writers present came from a more hard-core epic fantasy lens. In fact, one guy handed me his book to peruse and, though the jacket copy mentioned probably five or six characters, not one was female. I nearly said I’d never read a book that doesn’t even mention a female character in the jacket copy, but I figured he wouldn’t care. I wasn’t his reader.

But I think I did take people aback a bit – even though I dedicated a slide at the start to a Fair Warning! that I write erotic romance and talk frankly about sex. A few people did leave, but more stayed. We had a great discussion. One question that comes up over and over is if I admit publicly to being a writer of erotic romance.

I find it funny that people ask that question. As if it’s something to hide, possibly to be ashamed of.

The gal who gave the opening luncheon address tossed off a remark that she wouldn’t want E.L. James’ paycheck (the writer of Fifty Shades of Grey) because she wouldn’t be able to face her grandchildren.

It struck me as a very odd thing to say.

After all, I have grandchildren. They’re obviously too young to understand now, but when they grow up, I’d be honest about what I write. I’d hope that they’d be proud to have me for a grandmother.

At a neighborhood party recently, the mother of three kids down the road said something interesting to me. She told me that she grew up in a farming community, filled with corn and conservative people. I wasn’t sure why she was telling me about it, but she finally said, “I am just so happy that my kids are growing up in a neighborhood where an erotic romance writer lives up the street. Even if they can’t read your books, it’s so good for them to know amazing people like you.”

It was one of the nicest things anyone has ever said to me.

15 Replies to “Why I’m Proud to Say I Write Erotic Romance”

  1. I wish I could say I don’t understand why you should hide what you write or read, but too often I’ve had weird looks when people see/hear what I read. I myself don’t care about that, because whatever I do people think I’m weird, but I can understand how reactions like that keep other people from telling others what kind of books they like.

  2. I am surprised that there is such a difference in romance. What I have experienced is that for the non-romance readers, they see all romance as the same – smut. And you would think the name “Harlequin” was a four letter word the way some talk about it. My hoity toity friends that read nonfiction thing I just read about sex all the time. But I found that those same people are not into talking about romance or care much about talking about relationships. I love hearing about relationships right down to the tweeny Disney channel movies about them. Yes, I like having a daughter to share those movies with. I am going to annoy my kids when they start dating I am sure.

    1. That’s an interesting point, Amy – the non-romance readers seem to call it all “mommy-porn” and never want to know more. I’m so amused by the image of you bugging your kids for all the details of their love lives!

  3. I’ve never, ever understood why romance (let alone erotic romance) gets the “stigma” it does. I mean, what’s the one thing (almost) everyone wants? Love. And let’s face it, past a certain age, sex. Um–I think we’re writing about what makes the world go round. 🙂

  4. “The gal who gave the opening luncheon address tossed off a remark that she wouldn’t want E.L. James’ paycheck (the writer of Fifty Shades of Grey) because she wouldn’t be able to face her grandchildren.” Hmm, that brings us back to the old question, “If she killed people in her books, would she be able to face her grandchildren?”

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