Science fiction is popular for both writers and readers of erotic romances. The reason is simple, at least it is for me. Give me a fictional world and I’ll design it to meet any number of needs. The rules, regulations, and social standards modern people live in won’t get in the way of characters’ desires because they don’t exist. Domineering men and submissive women or the other way around (which doesn’t happen much in erotic romance) don’t require justification when that’s standard operating procedure. I don’t have to justify why a man places a woman over his knee and repeatedly applies his hand to her ass. Everyone, readers included when they suspend belief, simply accepts that this is how things are. A woman doesn’t yell “insanity” if the man in her life treats her like a small child. Instead, she gets the norms of the world she finds herself.
Okay, that’s all well and good. A woman wears a collar and crawls on hands and knees behind the hunk who commands her to.
But what’s their physical world like?
Setting is vital to me, the most important thing in many ways. I can’t start a story until I know what the characters’ world looks like. And here’s a secret. I suck at creating fictional worlds. If you’ve read some Vonna Harper erotic fiction, you may have noticed I don’t put my characters on distant, exotic planets with complex social and political structure. Instead, I tend to rely on the corner of the world I know.
Case in point, one of my recent releases is Midnight Touch. Much of this story about a couple each with a heavy load of emotional baggage takes place in eastern Oregon. No urban center or exotic city for me because those things do nothing for me. Give me wide open spaces every time—spaces where the limited number of residents live their isolated lives in private. Sara’s dead ex-husband was a domineering SOB who got away with treating her as he wanted because there was no one for her to turn to or confide in. She seldom saw anyone and didn’t know whether she could trust those she did. I didn’t need to invent a planet because I had remote ranching country with more cattle than humans. I know what eastern Oregon’s high desert land looks like because I’ve been there. No need to try to figure out where water and other necessities come from. I’ve seen the wells.
I also know the hero doesn’t belong there, but he has no choice because Sara needs him in ways only he can understand.
As for the reasons—looks like you’ll have to read Midnight Touch to understand, hint, hint. You might also wind up with a darn good idea what eastern Oregon is like.