Susan Van Kirk's Three May Keep A Secret has been republished by Harlequinn's Worldwide Mystery. The WWK interview about the book can be accessed here. We're so glad another publisher picked up this series.
KM Rockwood's "Burning Desire," and Paula Gail Benson's "Living One's Own Truth," have been published in the anthology Heartbreaks & Half-truths. Congratulations to all of the WWK writers.
Please join Margaret S. Hamilton's Kings River Life podcast of her short story "Busted at the Book Sale" here. Congratulations, Margaret!
Look for Kaye George and Margaret S. Hamilton's short stories in the new Mid-Century Murder by Darkhouse Books. Kaye's story is "Life and Death on the Road" and Margaret's story is titled "4BR/3.5BA Contemporary."
Grace Topping's second novel in Laura Bishop staging series, Staging Wars, was released by Henery Press on April 28th. Look for the interview here from April 29th.
Kaye George's second novel in the Vintage Sweets mystery series, Deadly Sweet Tooth, was released on June 2. Look for the interview here on June 10.
Annette Dashofy's 10th Zoe Chambers mystery, Til Death, will be released on June 16th. Look for the interview here on June 17.
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Erotic Romance with Maryn Sinclair
EBD: Maryn, before I ask you questions, give us the log line and hook of Sexual Persuasion.
MS: Can two people with trust issues overcome their messy pasts and build a relationship?
EBD: Is trust a common theme in female erotic novels?
MS: I can only speak for my work, but I think trust is a common theme in any romance, whether it’s the written word or in real life.
EBD: Prior to Sexual Persuasion, had you written other erotic romance novels? What was your orientation?
MS: No, I’d never written an erotic romance, but I have written graphic sex scenes in my romantic suspense/suspense novels. One critique partner advised me to eliminate them to make my novels more salable, but I haven’t. I don’t understand why making love is so offensive that writers “suggest” it or put it behind closed doors, and killing people by violent means isn’t. Graphic murder = Good, or at least, acceptable. Making love = Bad, or at best, secretive. (I’m shaking my head.) Yes, I realize that many mysteries keep the nasty details of the crime off-scene, but almost all love scenes are behind closed doors, even in most romantic suspense novels. Maybe someone can explain why to me.
EBD: Did the publisher have any guidelines, or did you read their books to find out what was required?
MS: They wanted hot sex. Period. That’s the genre and that’s what people read erotic romance and erotica for. I found it a very difficult genre to write because I didn’t want the sex to be contrived. Of course it is in some instances. It can’t help but be. My personal criterion: write a good story and make the sex believable.
EBD: I understand that the publisher liked your writing and teamed you with a creative editor, which I find to be an unbelievable investment in a writer, but an economically sound decision given your level of writing. How did you work with the editor, and what was the editor’s job?
MS: It’s an interesting story. I sent my novel to four erotic eBook publishers. All four rejected the book, but Loose Id told me why and what they liked about the book, multiple plotlines, for instance. The editor asked if I’d be interested in working with a developmental editor. I hopped at the chance. What a great opportunity. She was terrific. She pointed out the good things and was very complimentary. That was a bit of ego stroking, and it encouraged me to keep trying to please her. She eased me along, then they offered me a contract. I’ve had four edits on Sexual Persuasion, three different editors, not counting the developmental editor. They have been first rate all the way, and I feel fortunate to have them as my publisher.
EBD: The sex scenes are vivid. But I noticed that you used only the “F” word, in its literal sense, without using pejoratives. Is this a requirement for the female erotic reader?
MS: I don’t think there are requirements other than writing a good, sexy story and writing it well. I have no problem with graphic language, and if I found the right place for my character(s) to use it and it made sense to do so, I would have. I do in my suspense books.
EBD: In Sexual Persuasion, the subject matter includes heterosexuality, homosexuality, and sadomasochism. Is there any subject matter that is verboten?
MS: Yes. The following topics taken directly from the Loose Id website are unacceptable: pedophilia; necrophilia--undead doesn't count; bestiality; sentient shifters, aliens and paranormal creatures are OK; scat or golden showers—territorial marking may be acceptable in extraordinary cases; rape or incest calculated to arouse the reader. Villains may commit rape or incest to demonstrate malicious intent, but it should occur in a manner that is not arousing, or offstage. Rape or incest can have occurred in a character's past, but the hero or heroine should never perpetrate rape or incest during the scope of the story; forced seduction, capture, or dubious consent are acceptable; snuff.
I had to look up a couple of those words because I wasn’t sure what they meant. I wouldn’t write them anyway. These are pretty standard taboos for erotic romance. Remember, erotic romance is not porn. Neither is erotica, which doesn’t necessarily have to have a happily ever after (HEA) ending.
EBD: Although in Sexual Persuasion, there not only is history, but backstory that eventually compounds the plot. Is this complex storytelling normal in erotic romance literature?
MS: I think you have to look at erotic romance as an umbrella under which every other genre is represented: mystery, suspense, thrillers, historical, fantasy, science fiction, steam punk, chic lit, humor, GLBT, westerns—you name it, except for novels geared toward youth. That’s a huge umbrella, and people should stop trying to limit it or treat it differently than other novels. The one thing it has in common is a sensual relationship, whether it’s between a man and a woman, two men, two women, or a combination of multiples. There are no murders in Sexual Persuasion, but there are crimes committed and elements that put it in the suspense category.
EBD: In three consecutive paragraphs, you use the following verbs: pleasuring, dancing, ran, bit, sucked, enthralled, excited, unzip, slipped, stepped, easing, and pushed. Was it hard coming up with new and active verbs?
MS: I have more trouble with laugh, smile, look, just, there, was, and had. I hope I didn’t overuse the ones you mentioned within three consecutive paragraphs. I’ll have to run a FIND on those.
EBD: I understand that Loose ID bought another of your manuscripts. What’s the title, and how does this book differ from Sexual Persuasion?
MS: Yes. The next one is called THE ESCORT, and it’s quite different, although my main characters in both books think they don’t want to be involved in a relationship. Since erotic romance insists on a happy ever after ending, there’s no surprise that they all change their minds. Besides, I couldn’t spend months writing a book about lovers and not have the main characters wind up together. What would be the point? THE ESCORT has more humor, though there are dark subplots.
EBD: Will you continue to write erotic romance novels, or will you pursue other genres in the future?
MS: I’ll write whatever moves me at the time. Erotic romance has forged a road to publication that my suspense novels haven’t. There’s something to be said for that. Whatever I write, in whatever genre, I’ll strive to keep the reader interested by writing a good story. There’s a lot of schlock out there in all genres, and there’s a lot of great material. A writer’s goal is to write the best book(s)he can, whether it’s mystery or suspense…or erotic romance. It’s a constant learning process, and that’s what I love about it. So I’ll keep doing what I’m doing, whatever that might be.
EBD: Having written only traditional mysteries, I know that writing a new genre increased my writing skills. How has successfully writing an erotic romance novel added to your skill as a writer?
MS: I’m not sure a change in genres has much to do with increasing a writer’s skills. To me, those skills are technical and come with the actual writing process. An athlete improves because of practice—doing the same thing over and over increases his or her skills. Same with writing. The more we write, the more we learn. Changing genres makes you THINK differently. For example, erotic romance, and romance in general, is all about emotions—deep POV. How does a character feel? If you write in third person, you write as if you’re expressing the thoughts in first person. That’s deep. I learned the technique in my transition, and I’ll use it in other genres because it draws the reader into the character’s heads and makes a more meaningful connection with the reader.
Buyer’s link: http://www.loose-id.com/Sexual-Persuasion.aspx
Email address: MarynSinclair@gmail.com