Romance or Porn?
By Cindy Spencer Pape
First of all, I’d like to thank Delilah for having me here today. I’m with her at Romanticon, but I promise I’ll try to sneak in for a few minutes tonight to reply to comments!
So, about that porn business…
Oddly, I don’t particularly object to the word porn. After all, one woman’s porn is another woman’s romance. It’s just a word. Sticks and stones, remember? Except that words can and do hurt, of course. But when your teenaged son introduces you to his buddies by saying, “This is my mom, she writes porn,” the word quickly loses any sting. My kid is bragging, you understand. He’s horribly proud of my success, even while not wanting to read a word of my “chick books.”
My books range from steamy to heavily erotic. I’m in a position to be open about that. My husband’s career is secure, my sons are too old to care and young enough to be impressed when they see a book with mom’s name on it. I could care less what my neighbors think, and my relatives gave up on me a long time ago. So what you see is what you get. If you buy an Ellora’s Cave Exotika or “Quickie,” you’re gonna get a lot of sex and a fairly light plot. That’s the nature of the beast. The names alone should tip you off. On the other hand, if you buy one of my Carina Press or Cerridwen Press books, you get a complex paranormal romance with a moderate dose of smoldering sex. And that’s how it’s labeled. Take the hint—all of the books are rated by their publishers. And if you’re still not sure, I’ve happily answered emails of the people who have asked. I want the readers to be happy—I’m never going to steer someone to read a book that will make them uncomfortable. But hot doesn’t mean poorly written. I agonize over each and every sentence of a Quickie as much as I do one of my “Spicy” cowboy stories for the Wild Rose Press.
E-publishing lends itself to hotter, more explicit literature. People like buying their super sexy stuff on-line. No disapproving sales clerk shaking a finger, and a lot of towns don’t have a store that will even carry the really steamy stories. As the song (click here to see a video that will make you laugh your ass off, if you have a sense of humor about this sort of thing) says, “The internet is for porn.” That’s a fact of life. In the world of e-books, hotter sells better. And I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m in this business to hopefully make a living some day.
So I write what the market demands. Does that make me pornographer? Depends on your definition. Does that make me a slut? My husband only wishes. I call myself a romance author, and tell people I write very steamy books. I refuse to write anything that degrades women or men, or is just sex for sex’s sake. Even in my quickies, you’re going to find an HEA, limited though it may be due to space. Humans (or vampires, werewolves, gargoyles, etc.) are sexual creatures, and sex IS a big part of romance. I have no problem taking you behind the bedroom doors. If you don’t care for that in a story, I have some lovely friends who write sweet romances, and I’ll be happy to send you to their web sites.
So, on that note, this week I have two new releases out: Motor City Witch, from Carina Press is a paranormal romance with a few hot sex scenes. (Click here for more information.) Just for Jess, from Ellora’s Cave Exotika, on the other hand, is HOT! One female vampire, three sexy males and a private island retreat. Oh, yeah, this one isn’t for the faint of heart. If you like your romance to sizzle, though, check this one out:
Just for Jess
Immortal Cravings, Book Three
Vampire Jessamy Maitland is a classic workaholic, until her friends team up to buy her a weekend with the incredibly sexy vampire Dermott McMahon on his luxurious private island. Dermott is determined to get Jess to kick back and relax, so he’s enlisted the help of three lion shifter friends.
Jess finds herself faced with three days of no phone, no computer and four sexy, horny males, all determined to wait on her hand and foot and show her a scorching good time. Naked. Together. In ways she’s never imagined. With those odds, what’s a vampire to do? There’s nothing for it but take them up on their offer and discover that sometimes it’s okay to play.