I knew that would get your attention.
I am a women’s fiction and romance novelist. Friends and relatives have introduced me as the one who writes “sex books.” My novels have intricate plots and interesting characters. My settings and the occupations of my characters are unique. Yet, I am always being called out on my love scenes.
Romance novels are not all about sex. Maybe it’s because of that “Fifty Shades” phenomenon that has minds in the gutter. Erotica is a sub-genre of romance.
Personally, I don’t write erotica. I write about two people who meet, fall in love and through the course of their relationship, make love. It’s not about sex for sex’s sake. My characters are in loving, committed relationships. They have their struggles but in the end they find their “happily ever after.”
Women’s’ fiction and romance have sub-genres. There are traditional romances where the bedroom door closes and the rest is left to the reader’s imagination. Inspirational novels close the bedroom door only when the couple are married. In sensual novels, like mine, the hero and heroine fall in love and make love. It’s how relationships grow, usually, in “real life.” In erotica, sex takes center stage, though there is commitment.
Sex isn’t relegated to romance novels. Pick up a suspense novel, a science fiction novel, or any mainstream novel. Most have a sex scene or two. No one calls them “sex books.” Nicholas Sparks has love scenes and yet he isn’t called a ‘sex book” author. Danielle Steele isn’t called a “sex book” author.
Yet, my books raise eyebrows. Eyebrows are raised at me. I can tell that folks are wondering if I do my own research for writing the love scenes. Writers have vivid imaginations. What other profession allows one to live out one’s fantasies on paper? Maybe people are prudish? Maybe they are jealous?
It’s funny because sex is so prevalent in our society. Our music, movies, television shows are permeated with it. Yet, write a book with a sex scene or two and you are considered kinky.
At my age, I really don’t care what people think. After all, I am a romance novelist who also happens to be a professional belly dancer. Forget about trying to defend those two career choices. Why should I?
I consider myself sensual, like my books.
It’s not about sex.