Alex Beecroft, accidental erotica writer
So, according to this article in Library Journal
I am a popular erotica writer (much like that other purveyor of full on steamy smut, Josh Lanyon.)
I have mixed feelings about this. It’s nice to be called a particularly popular author of anything, particularly in a respected publication like Library Journal. But on the other hand it’s kind of grieving to be constantly associated with a genre I don’t think I belong to. Surely I would know if I was writing erotica?
They define it this way in the article:
In a sexually explicit romance, the development of the emotional relationship drives the story. The sex scenes are integral to the story, but they are not the primary way in which the relationship develops. For erotic romance, the development of the relationship again is the focus of the story,…
“Erotica is not a romance at all,” explains author Hart. “The content is graphic, and the plot has a sexual premise, but the movement of the story is not about the emotional relationship or ‘happy ever after’ of the characters.” Berkley’s Hwang agrees. “I think the difference is really about how the sexual component is used.” An erotica story can be about anything, but the journey of the main characters is generally shown through the lens of their sexuality and sexual practices.
Right? So erotica is about the sex, while romance is about the love story.
Now I refer you to the review I had for Blessed Isle yesterday:
there’s a subtlety about Beecroft’s writing and her efforts (and total success) at keeping the sex out of the book. In doing so … the focus was shifted to the love story and the time period, which really only adds to the story.
Admittedly there’s more sex in most of my other books. But the sex scenes don’t drive the plot, the romance does. By LJ’s own definition, what I write is “sexually explicit romance,” not “erotica.” They even reviewed the Under the Hill books in their own magazine with these words
So I don’t know. I’m grateful to be mentioned, but I despair that I’ll ever be seen as a writer of the kind of stuff I think I write. Sometimes I wonder, am I really writing what I think I’m writing? Have I got it wrong? As @suleikhasnyder said on Twitter, maybe I’m an accidental erotica writer – maybe I really did slip and fall on it?
After all, I’ve been reading along with a sporking Gehayi is doing of 50 Shades of Gray, and from what I’ve read of it so far, I certainly wouldn’t call that erotica. There’s far too much angsting and conversation, and angsting about the conversation, and conversations about the angst. I may have blanked the sex scenes from memory, but I only remember there being one of them so far, and I didn’t think that was very sexy.
So if that’s what the mainstream literary world considers erotica, perhaps – by their standards – my stories about battle, religion, self-acceptance and angst, with some explicit sex scenes, really are erotica too?
Perhaps my perception of what is a ‘normal’ level of sex in a story has been warped by too much exposure to the outer reaches of slash fanfic, (where I scarcely bat an eye at incestuous tentacle porn any more) and because I’m nowhere near the extremes, I wrongly think I’m not within the fringes?
I don’t know. I do think that, if I can’t shake the label, perhaps it’s time to own it. Hence – Alex Beecroft, Accidental Writer of Erotica. I apologise in advance if you come to my books and are horribly disappointed by the lack of sex. But I’ve decided that after 5 years of protest, I cannot stop the world with my own two hands.