Opinions

Opinions are like noses … everyone’s got one..and they all smell!

Okay, so that’s not exactly how that saying goes, but I thought I’d clean it up for my public. Anyway, the point is, no matter where you turn in the writing world, someone has some tidbit to help you on your way. Unfortunately, much of the time it conflicts with the last great bit of advice someone gave you. And if you’ve been doing this writing gig for any amount of time you know of what I speak!

It starts with the first critique of your writing whether it’s a friend or a contest. Heroine’s wishy-washy. Heroine’s overpowering. Too much description. Too much dialogue. Too much internal angst. Not enough deep POV. You just can’t make everyone happy.

And there it is and it bears repeating. You. Can. NOT. Please. Everyone!

All of us have different things that pull us in and throw us out of stories. What works for me may be a can’t-possibly-finish-wall-banging trope for you. Ask anyone who writes erotic romance and they’ll tell you they hear as many “I don’t like when X” as “there’s never enough X”. It’s because readers bring their own personal experience to the table when they open your book. What they love, what they hate, and what makes a book go on their keeper shelf are dependent on so many factors that the author can’t control.

But why am I even mentioning this? Because I’m analyzing and re-evaluating my self-published books. As I get ready to put up the last of the Tilling Passions Series I’m trying to figure out how to increase the sales. I’ve been pretty open about the dismal showing they’ve had. While others are talking about paying college tuitions and buying new cars I’m barely making enough to take my family out to dinner … at McDonald’s … dessert not included. And please don’t tell me one more time this is a marathon and not sprint. I have the patience of a kid on Christmas morning. I’d like to see results. NOW, thank you very much. Maybe not pay-the-mortgage-vacation-in-Europe kind of money, but something that is worth the gas to cash the check kind of money.

Okay, that being said. I’ve rewritten all three books from their original published manuscripts. (Well, I’m finishing the third.) Gave them new titles and spiffy new covers. Had every person I know enlist their family and “tag” and “like” them. Wrote new blurbs and put them up on Amazon/Barnes & Nobel/Smashwords and soon All Romance Ebooks. But they sit buried in the noise of thousands of releases making tiny little Horton Hears a Who quiet cries, trying to get noticed. Unfortunately, it seems there are no elephants to pluck my books from obscurity.

So now, I’m giving something new a try. In this world where people have no more than 30 seconds to check something out before they have to answer email, chat on the phone, move another load of laundry from the washer to the dryer, tweet, go pick up a kid at practice, finish making dinner or update their Facebook status there isn’t a lot of time to be reading through book descriptions on Amazon. I’ve honed the craft of writing back cover blurbs that cover a full story in 180 words or less. Intrigue. Romance. Lust. The story that took a whole book to unfold, boiled down into a few short sentences that grab the reader. Remember the days standing in the bookstore or library and reading the back cover? There was plenty of time to get a feel for what might lie between the covers. Well, it seems those days are gone.

So I’m trying something new. Quick, short blurbs in my book descriptions. A few sentences that hopefully will hook a reader before they surf to another page.

BLIND HER WITH BLISS:
She’s trying to find herself. He’s attempting to hide. Together they’ll discover a truth that threatens them both…

Investigating the death of her best friend, uptight accountant, JULIE TILLING, discovers an erotic world of adult nightclubs and Internet intrigue. When shock jock DAMON COREY rocks her world in a wild night of lust, she wonders if she’s found love…or the key to solving a murder.

DECEIVE HER WITH DESIRE:
A woman determined to protect her heart. An agent hell bent on proving himself. One night that changes their lives…

DEIRDRE TILLING had no way of knowing that attending her friend’s party would throw her into a dangerous world of corrupt businessmen and police stings. Of course her sexual romp with undercover DEA agent, AYDEN SCOTT only pushes her deeper into the drug smuggling ring running up the Maine coast. As the heat rises between Deirdre and Ayden, one thing becomes painfully obvious…their relationship has jeopardized his mission and now someone wants them both dead.

There you have them. I don’t know if they’ll work. But the theory of grab ’em quick seems to make sense. I’ll let you know if it works. What do you think? You can check out the original blurbs HERE and HERE. I haven’t changed them at B&N.

There are so many choices for new authors who want to see their book in the hands of a smiling reader. The road to publication no longer follows a straight path to NY. It is often a twisting maze of luck and perseverence.

With new publishing houses popping up every day and other publishers imploding, leaving authors begging for the manuscripts back, it can be a mine field wading through facts and rumors. Add to that the loud voices of those that are finding gold in the hills of self-publishing and you have a plethora of confusion on what is best for your manuscript.

So where do you start?

First, decide what it is you want from your writing. The satisfaction of seeing your words in print? A little extra income? A living wage and writing full time? What is your ultimate goal? It will certainly give you direction. For me, quite honestly, it was the income. As so many of you know I had to give up teaching due to medical reasons. And though it wasn’t much in the grand scheme of things, my salary did contribute to the family budget. I want to have that again. And I will.

With that in mind I wrote my first book and began sending it out while working on my second book. Rejections piled up and still I wrote and sent out queries on my second book. More rejections followed. I finally stepped back and reassessed, looked at the market (because I wanted income) and wrote a book I thought would fit the erotic romance market which was growing exponentially at the time. I also realized my only avenue wasn’t print, but digital publishers. I queried several new up-and-coming publishers and three well established houses. I got four offers, an offer of re-write and a rejection. One publisher called me directly. Boy, was I thrilled. But I didn’t jump on it. Why? Because it was a publishing house that had been around only a year.

Here’s the thing I did next and I think more authors should take time to do. I emailed random authors on the publisher’s author list. Why? Because they’re in there and know better than anyone how the publisher works. The good, bad and downright ugly. I asked specific questions about editing staff and techniques. About sales and royalty payments. How long from contract to publication. I even asked about percentage of books going to print. Authors are wonderful people and most will be honest … brutally honest, which is what I wanted. Granted, there were some who did not respond to my emails, but that gave me information also.

From these emails I accepted a contract with Liquid Silver Books. And though I no longer have books there, I will be forever grateful to them for giving me such a wonderful start to my writing career. I HIGHLY recommend them and would tell that to anyone who asks. And let me just tell you, two of the four who offered contracts and whose authors never responded to me have recently gone under. Seriously, a little research goes a long way.

And what of self-publication? Another avenue to explore and consider. It’s not as difficult for someone like me who publishes digitally anyway. There are no huge formatting issues for upload so don’t let that slow you down. Nor does the marketing and promotion change. Because if you’re with an e-publisher already, you know the importance of getting out there and marketing your book. So what is there to consider? Editing and cover design, both of which can be a considerable outlay of money. Whether you have the readers who are auto-buys for your books or your looking to begin a readership. All are important things to weigh when you’re thinking of going this route.

There is money out there for sure, but don’t go into self-publication with stars in your eyes. The reality is many people aren’t selling. Many aren’t making money. *slowly raises hand* Sales get sales. If a book doesn’t have sales, it isn’t going to show up on the lists. If it doesn’t show up on lists, it’s not going to get the attention of new readers. And all the great reviews and marketing aren’t going to get your book in front of the general Amazon surfer, which is your ultimate goal. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying don’t go that route. I’m simply saying, like all parts of the publishing world, go into it well informed.

My goal for 2012 is to have my toes dipping in all of the markets, mass market print, digital and self-pubbing. There is no one way that is correct. In this day and age, an author needs to weigh their options and make decisions that fit them best.

In celebration of Halloween, I’ve decided to devote the next three Wednesdays to all things spookie and mysterious. This week’s topic … HORROR!

Now, as a disclaimer I’m going to tell you, I’m not really a fan of reading or watching horror. I’ve read Stephen King, but only those that were more psychological rather than outright horror. I’m just not into all that blood and gore. However, I can watch classic Hitchcock, television and movies. I think it has to do with the fact that his horror happens off screen. No severed heads rolling across the screen or bloody limbs hanging in the trees.*shiver* Seriously, I can’t stand that stuff.

Of course I had to look at the science behind actually choosing to expose ourselves to something that frightens us. It turns out research has shown we’re hardwired to enjoy the hunt, the thrill of the unknown. There’s a rush of endorphines, the body’s natural pain killer, flooding our brain when we become frightened. The fight or flight response is triggered, increasing our heartrate, dilating our eyes and tensing our muscles.

When we realize there truly is no threat, the life-saving reactions of our bodies become a pleasurable adrenaline rush. Hence the thrill of the fear.

This also translates over to high-risk activities like skydiving, white-water rafting and bungee jumping. See, these things I enjoy. When I participate in these activities I’m left with memories that don’t haunt my dreams or wake me in the night.

Horror movies on the other hand … yeeeeah, those visuals live with me long after the movie is over. I watched a B-rated horror movie when I was a teen that I knew would scare the bejeebers out of me. (cheap tickets, dark theater, new boyfriend … you get the picture) Anyway, I’ve forgotten very little of that movie. I remember how each and every person died when the door to hell was opened at a vacation home of some college kids. Of course the hero and heroine managed to fall into the depths of hell, stab the devil with a very large cross which he threw out of the gates of hell which they in turn used to seal the door shut again saving the world from the clutches of satan. I saw this movie over 30 years ago and remember huge chunks of the gore. If I want horror (which I wouldn’t), I’d just replay a few those scenes (which I don’t).

The only horror type movie that I watched every year even though I knew it would scare me for weeks was an odd version of Frankenstein. Definitely a more romantic version of the original. It was a mini-series and included a wife and everything. It ran for three or four years and it must have been shown around Halloween. I wish I knew the name of it because I just loved that movie and I wonder if I would enjoy it as much as an adult.

Okay, so I’ve rambled enough. What about you? Do you enjoy horror movies and/or books? Any favorites you can recommend for my other visitors … because you know I’m not watching them. LOL!

This is the story of an avid reader. A regular JoAnn who stops at Starbucks and buys her double double mocha latte with extra foam on her way to the bookstore. It’s a wonderful day. She’s visited her favorite author’s websites and has her list all ready.

The bookstore is bustling and JoAnn gets all caught up in the excitement of adding to her “to be read” pile. She peruses the paranormal shelf, choosing a couple of books, even picking up a book written by a debut author. She then heads over to check out the latest releases in the historical section. gathering several more books and finishes her visit in the erotic romance section bashfully picking out the backlist of her favorite authors. With two bags filled with books, she heads to the front of the store.

But on her way to the register she comes across someone who has all the books in her bags for free. That’s right. Completely free.

“Why are you buying those books. I’ll give them to you for free.”
“Wow, why don’t they cost me anything?”
“Oh, I got one copy of the book and made more copies. I’m happy to give them away.”
“Well, if you’re here in the bookstore, then it must be legal.”
“Who cares if it’s legal. Everyone’s doing it. Besides authors are rich. They’ve already been paid to write the books.”
“Well, then I’ll take one of everything you’ve got.”

People wouldn’t do this. Of course it would never happen in a bookstore. But it happens all the time on the internet. As much as authors shout from the rafters about internet piracy and their bottom lines, readers don’t seem to understand how much money authors and publishers are losing to these thieves.

I don’t usually get too uptight about people pirating my books. I’ve never had many downloaded. But in the last two days, one of my best selling books has been downloaded 22,000 times … for free. I made no money from these books that were stolen from me. I’m sick. I’m not foolish enough to think that all of these people would have purchased the book, but even if a third of them had, I could make my mortgage payment from the royalties off those sales for THREE months!

THREE MONTHS!

And now I’m pissed. Downright indignant that people continue to think this practice is all right. Worse than the torrent sites offering books for free are people who go on ebay or create their own sites and SELL illegal copies of books. Talk about adding insult to injury!

I’m not sure if everyone understands that authors who write for digital publishers don’t get paid advances. My hard work is only rewarded when people BUY my books and I get royalties from the sales. Writing is what pays my bills. There isn’t anyone who wants to work a full week making widgets only to have all the widgets given away and the business not paying them for their time. Yeah, it’s the same thing.

I know I’m preaching to the choir here on the blog. You’re all wonderful authors and readers and I appreciate all of you. But seriously, I’m beyond frustrated with this particular website that’s giving away my book and all the people who visit it and steal from me. I’m fortunate that my publisher actually has someone who sends out cease and desist letters, but they take time to get the books taken down. Congress is working on copyright infringement laws, but they’re just not coming through fast enough for me. I believe if the music industry was able to fight the illegal downloads, the publishing industry will be able to follow suit.

In the meantime, please get your books from reputable sites where the author and publisher are making money from the sales. Secretaries, editors and cover artists also depend on book sales for their salaries.

Because seriously, this kind of pirate isn’t sexy at all!

I’ve been watching a lot of movies recently. I love getting lost in them. All genres … save for horror. I can’t wrap my head around blood and mayhem. Besides they give me terrible nightmares, but I digress…

As I’ve been watching, my writer’s brain has been translating the images into the written word. Dissecting what makes the movies work … or not. Figuring out why I’m laughing or crying or sitting on the edge of my seat in breathless anticipation.

And one of the conclusions I’ve drawn is that in many ways movie makers have it so much easier than writers. First, you have the music. Running in the background, the tone of the melody creates the mood. It can be quick and happy or dark and scary. It can be used to build tension, slowly gathering to a crescendo and *wham* there’s that first kiss you’ve eagerly anticipated. And you release that breath you’ve been holding in a satisfying sigh of contentment.

And then of course there are the visual cues. The confused look when a hand is grasped. The dark lighting of a haunted house. The panoramic vista of a emerald mountain that underscores the epic journey about to be undertaken. There is no point-of-view character describing the scene. No one’s internal thoughts to engage the viewer. Just the images to carry the viewer into the story.

On the other hand a screen writer has only the dialogue of the characters to tell their story. There are no paragraphs of exposition to bring in the tragic backstory of the hero. No opportunities for the heroine to be in her head and share her innermost secrets. That all has to come naturally through conversations between characters. Maybe not the easiest job. But then of course, tears and smiles help do some of the work.

That isn’t to say I could ever write a screenplay. Writing dialogue just about kills me. But I don’t know, I still think movie makers have it easier than authors. What do you think? Am I off base on this one? And if you’ve seen any really good movies this summer let me know, I’m always looking for some good entertainment.

I’ve only been in the publishing world for six years this month (oh, happy anniversary to me!). Though it’s a relatively short time in the grand scheme of things, I think the past five years, heck, the last two even, have seen the publishing world change exponentially.

One of the things I find interesting is the discussions of genre. I’m not sure if it’s because more genres are popping up or if authors, looking to break into a highly competitive market, are mashing genres together and therefore defying a genre definition.

Let me first start by saying. I read romance. I write romance. I didn’t know that books (other than non-fiction) didn’t fall into that category. I know some readers who are surprised to find the book they’re reading is considered romance when it was shelved in the science fiction section. The fact is, romance is no longer just sweet contemporary and historical love stories. And there in lies the confusion.

This blog post was sparked by a discussion of what constitutes science fiction. In my opinion (which is what this blog is all about), science fiction stories deal with some imagined technology and its impact on the characters. These stories often, but not always, take place in the future, which means they can also be considered futuristic romances. Though for me, when defining my books, I tend to think of futuristic as specific to an alternate future, like Healer’s Garden. Whereas A Touch of Lilly, which also takes place in the future, but in another galaxy, I would consider science fiction.

Steampunk is a specific type of science fiction that is an alternate history rather than future. The stories involve a period in time when steampower was used. The science fiction is the fantastical weapons and machines powered by steam that the author creates. Think Wild, Wild West with Will Smith (*sigh*) and Kevin Kline.

Another umbrella term for genre especially popular today is the Paranormal category. Stories in this genre often blend and can easily be defined as one sub-genre or another. For me, the easily defined paranormal stories are those that involve vampires, zombies or shifters. My Shifting Bonds series falls into this category.

But … if a story includes faeries, gnomes or magic, then it’s defined as Fantasy romance. This sub-genre is further delineated by the term Urban Fantasy. These stories often are written in first person and take place in an urban setting, though it can be contemporary, historical or future time setting, the defining factor is the world created has magic and mysticism as part of the every day landscape. Urban fantasies however involve human characters with the powers rather than mystical creatures, though shifters, vampires and angels also play a role.

Of course once authors start blurring the lines between genres, mixing and matching as plots, settings and characters develop, more and more authors are having a hard time pigeon-holing their stories. This of course leaves the marketing departments of publishing houses with the difficulty of figuring out how best to market a book and where to shelve it in the bookstores. Which in turn, sometimes leaves readers stumbling around the bookstore trying to figure out how exactly to find their favorite author’s new book.

So, what do you think, did I hit the nail on the head or am I completely off the mark with my definitions? Leave me a comment. I’d like to know how you see this new genre confusion.

I’m going to preface this post by saying I have no family in the military. It’s kind of amazing actually since my family (extending on both sides) in the grand scheme of things is HUGE!

So I come at this holiday only as an observer, an American who supports soldiers and their families 110%, but who freely admits that I’m tired of having sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, cousins, aunts and uncles, husbands and wives, mothers and fathers killed on foreign soil every day. There is just something wrong when the Sunday morning news program showcases the losses of wars and has no problem finding families who’ve lost loved ones in the last few months.

It makes me so sad how many soldiers have been killed. I know these soldiers and their families believe in the war they’re fighting and I admire them, really I do. I’m not over in Iraq or Afghanistan. I don’t live there. I don’t know any families over there. I don’t know any soldiers who have seen the horrors going on in those countries. But I’m really just not sure fighting day in and day out in such dangerous conditions is really making the United States a safer place to live.

On this Memorial Day I say prayers for the safety of the men and women serving overseas and for their families who wait anxiously for their safe return. I hope this year will see the end of America feeling like they have to be the world’s bodyguards and bring our service men and women home.

Last I heard we lived in the twenty-first century not in seventeenth century New England in the middle of the Salem witch trials. Still, a group of smallminded individuals with very little to do but stir up trouble decided that a 10th grade teacher in Pennsylvania needed to be hunted ambushed crucified outed. It seems this English teacher with 33 years experience teaching in the same school was doing something shameful behind the backs of the townspeople … she was writing erotic romance under a pen name to keep her private life–well, private!.

Oh, the horror!

Because you know all erotic romance authors are thinking about sex alllll the time. She probably was thinking each and everyone of the young men she was teaching was a possible research opportunity … yeah right! Where the hell would any parent in their right mind come up with that idea?

I started writing erotic romance before Little Boy Blue was out of high school. My children knew what type of books I wrote. Their friends knew what type of books I wrote. And trust me when I tell you there wasn’t one of them that wondered if their friend’s mother was thinking lurid thoughts about them. Ever imagine your parents “doing it”? Ewww … right? This falls in the same category IMHO.

The story broke two days ago. I must have read about it just a short time after it was released. I was in tears for Judy Mays. I wondered if the administration of the school was going to suspend her or worse. As a former teacher in a small town I know how rumors take on a life of their own and often steamroll over people and leave devastation in their wake.

But happily for Judy and her family, none of that happened.

What followed was a tidal wave of support on twitter and Facebook from the romance community (and many others) that warmed my heart. Judy’s situation went viral and authors all over stood up and shouted at the top of their lungs “Oh hell no!”. Within hours support on the facebook page topped 1,000 followers. Within 24 hours it had gone over the 5,000 mark and it’s still climbing … exponentially! Students, former students, parents, authors, heck people who only saw the story on the news, have all banded together to say that a teacher has a right to a private life. But it’s the romance community circling the wagons that just makes me smile. Despite the difficulty of acquiring contracts, romance authors support and encourage one another.

I know Judy. I had the privilege of meeting her at Romanticon in 2009. The woman is funny and kind. I have no doubt she makes English come alive for her students. And 33 years? Well, she’s got to love her job to stay with it that long. Despite the rough bumps she may have had to endure as this was unfolding, I suspect the publicity has give her sales a veeery nice bump.

I sure hope she and her family are able to take a nice, long summer vacation on someone’s small-minded stupidity!

Rock on, Judy!

Wow! This post last week generated a lot of discussion. Thank you so much to all of you who stopped by and shared. Because sometimes stepping up to the plate and offering an opinion means taking a risk. This is especially true in this day of the internet when nothing dies. Opinions, rants, daily diaries, pictures and every other minutae that gets posted on blogs, twitter, facebook or any other social media may eventually slip quiently into the cyber black hole of the internet, but someone, anyone with a keyboard and half a brain can venture into that quagmire and suck it out of the morass of the blogosphere.

Which is exactly why so many people are extremely cautious about what they put in writing on the Internet. I, on the other hand, treat my blog like any other part of my life … if it’s a thought in Nina’s head it becomes public information. (Notice I said thought, I have plenty of secrets that aren’t mine to spill. Though sometimes I’d like to. 😉 )

I really am a firm believer in putting it out there, dealing with it, then moving on. I’ve had my fair share of cry-fests with friends over something sensitive or hurtful. But instead of letting it fester, I laid it on the table and named it. Yeeeeeah, and I’m not always tactful about it either. (Hence the tears.) There have been times when it became the proverbial bandaid that I pulled off so fast it took skin with it. Those moments are replayed in my memory banks and I cringe at my lack of judgment to move a little more cautiously. And though I’m learning to be a little less abrasive, it doesn’t stop me from spewing whatever is bugging/intriguing/exciting/hurting/upsetting/embarrassing me at the moment. And I have to say, I’ve never, not once, lost a friend because I let my feelings be known.

Oh, you better believe I’ve taken people by surprise. Truly, not intentionally … it’s just that my filter broke, umm, er … oh, when I was born. And yes, “open mouth, insert foot” is something I am very familiar with, though less and less since I have learned about both patience and discretion. I still feel there would be fewer misunderstandings if people would speak up about how they feel (and if someone would invent a sarcasm font … but that’s a subject for another post). Yes, it’s uncomfortable. Yes, sometimes it means putting yourself out there and taking a risk. But I really believe that opinions should be shared. Not with the intention of having someone else think like you, but perhaps to expand another person’s world.

I didn’t always see through the lenses I have now. Experience and people have shaped and defined how I perceive the world around me. Someone sharing their insight, making a suggestion or even expressing how they’re feeling about something I’ve done  has  helped me change and grow.  Because of other poeple, I think I react to new situations with more poise and maturity (stop laughing, I can fake acting like an adult). I don’t have to like someone else’s opinion. They don’t have to like mine. But the sharing may change us both.

So what the heck does this have to do with my blog? Everything.

I’d like to think I don’t shy away from controversal topics. I throw them out there, hopefully with professionalism and a touch of witty snark. And it’s not only about blogging, but all aspects of the writing profession from agents and editors to readers and colleagues. I think people should stand up for themselves and their beliefs, especially if it goes against the grain. Just because it’s status quo doesn’t mean it’s the best way to do something. It’s important that people talk about things rather than letting them stew. Man, I’ve just seen too many people who didn’t speak up, become frustrated and unhappy. Life’s too short for that … IN MY OPINION. 😉

So what about you? Do you have a hard time sticking up for yourself and/or voicing an opinion (especially if it doesn’t jive with the masses)? Are there times when you think it’s worth it to keep your feelings close to the vest. Or are you like me and just let everything flap in the wind and hope the sail you made doesn’t carry you into shark infested waters? Because you know me I’m noey, a busy body, insatiably curious.

Well an interesting thing happened during my New Year’s celebration this year. (Yes, it’s true I had a birthday and no, I’m not going to tell you how many candles were on the cake. 😉 ) There were lots of munchies and a glass of champagne or two or three or a bottle, and more than a few games of cards, but I’m not talking about any of that. I was surprised when somewhere around 4 am (yep, I was still up then) one of my extended family members started talking about my books.

Now, I’ll admit, it gets a little foggy as to how the conversation actually began. I remember feeling pretty smug that the attention was on me and my writing. But pride quickly turned to surprise. I can tell you, I had no idea the whole discussion would wind down a very precarious path. Well, not for me or Mr. Nina, but for a couple of people still hanging around the cribbage board.

You see, I was asked how I managed to reconcile what I write with the Big Guy Upstairs. Whoa. What??? (Hear the needle scrape across the record.) I’ve been asked a lot of things about writing erotica, but this was the first time someone wondered how I could write porn and exploit women and not feel like I’d thrown all my morals out the window.

Now, I LOVE a good debate. (Mr. NIna calls them arguments, but I prefer the term “heated discussion”. And I’m very good at them.) You see, I grew up in a family where not only were we encouraged to express an opposing opinion we were expected to debate our feelings on it. So I mentally rubbed my hands together and jumped into the fray with both feet. Both my writing and my faith are part of me. I don’t feel a need to defend either one. But educating? Ah, that’s where I went with this. It was the whole EROTIC ROMANCE vs. PORN discussion we smut peddlers seem to fall into every now and again. (Like every time my mother-in-law visits, but this isn’t about her … really.)

So I patiently explained why I write romance with the door open and not Hustler Forum letters. But then it got into the multiple partner situation and how wrong it is to encourage infidelity. Well no, it just so happens every one of my stories ends with a “Happy Ever After” and a commitment from all parties. Relationships are consensual regardless of the number of partners. And it’s about the fantasy of the story. Even Mr. Nina jumped into the discussion at this point. (I think mostly because he reaps the rewards of a long day of me writing erotic romance stories … if you follow me. 😉 ) Interestingly this person (who is my age) could not see any of it. He held fast to the notion that it was all porn and fantasies only lead to affairs. Huh. Not my experience, but okay.

After an hour or so we weren’t circling anything but the same points … so of course there was no resolution. I wasn’t going to feel guilty and he wasn’t going to change his mind. Though I am hoping he has a better understanding of how I feel about my writing and my stories. I figure a little education never hurt anyone even if it happens close to sunrise after more than a few beers. Nothing like a little alcohol to help someone truly express how embarassed they are by what I write. LOL!

So now I throw it out to you. Have you ever had to defend your reading/writing habits? Is there a moral disconnect between erotic romance and your faith? Cuz you know me … I’m dying of curiousity here.

Connect