…Including to Known Pornographers–and That’s Cool….”
Or, The debt I owe to other writers; Or, What I write and why.
I use that quote from The Big Lebowski quite frequently to describe my view of romance novels. It is only somewhat tongue in cheek, and if you are offended by the fact that I view erotica as a type of porn, well, it is your prerogative to live behind comfortable illusions. I prefer not to. Jane Austen proved that you can have entirely satisfying love stories without a hint of sex, so for romance to so ubiquitously contain the unfettered erotic means that it is there for another purpose–namely, stimulation, fantasy, vicarious satisfaction. That sure seems to suit my definition of porn. And as an even deeper point, I have no problem with pornography itself. It’s been part of human culture for thousands of years. Who are we to try and stop it now? I say embrace it, find your niche, and enjoy.
That is what romance novels are for me. The best ones have both an erotic charge and a true sense of romance, of love–the stories, for me, are ones where I can believe in the emotional journey of the characters but also enjoy the thrills right along with them. Because, while I like the thrills, if I can’t also believe in the love, it’s less enjoyable. I have to be able to trust the relationship between the characters, same as in real life you have to be able to trust your partner.
I have a particular reading preference, and it is, of course, what I intend to write, and that is the British Regency period–basically the Napoleonic years and about 10 years after. I might swing into very early Victorian era, maybe. I might drift back into very late Georgian period, possibly.
I might at some point try an American setting–it might be colonial, or any point up to the aftermath of the Civil War. No later, though. I can’t do Victorian morality in the Eastern US same as I can’t in England, and I can’t do Westerns. Partly because I love the male-oriented Westerns, where there is not really a place for romance, and partly because the Western romances I have read seemed…hm…how to say it nicely…well, they seemed much more about making a sexual connection and then pretending it is love, than vice versa.
I don’t like medievals because I can’t get past the fleas thing.
I don’t like contemporaries because, duh, BORING.
I secretly enjoy reading some of the paranormals but can’t bring myself to write them because, SERIOUSLY, WHY NOW? OH MY GOD WHAT’S SO SPECIAL ABOUT MODERN WOMEN, SERIOUSLY, YOU GUYS?
I don’t like either bad action or bad dialogue (my favorite line ever? “Oh, Logan. You’re completely inside me at last. How wonderful.” And I am so not joking when I type that). With Regency that is a moot issue, on both points. Other than needing to do flashbacks to battles against Napoleon (or the Americans–War of 1812, baby), actiony action will never come up. And if you weren’t witty, you weren’t anything in Society, so I will (good Lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise) never write a single line of speech that patently terrible. Or even close to it, for that matter.
So that, in brief, is what I like to read and therefore what I like to write. And, ultimately, the point of writing is to write the kind of stories you want to read. Otherwise, how are you going to write with passion or enthusiasm or even sustain your own interest in the piece long enough to get it fully written in the first place?
I like to read my own stories. It’s what made me decide to share them with you. 🙂