Last question and final book give aways – this afternoon post for your chance to win either LB Gregg’s GOBSMACKED OR Jamie Craig’s HIDDEN BEAUTY in print, or an e-copy of MASTER OF OBSIDAIN. That’s right three books, three lucky posters!
Marisa: My final question is: What trends have you seen in erotic fiction over the last 12 months and how do you feel about them? Again – I’ll ask if you care – or as author do you write the books you want to write and hope an audience finds them.
A: From our side of the relationship, it looks like there’s two areas that have proliferated in the market more than others – shifter stories and any type of menage. M/M is certainly on the rise, but in a lot of ways, that’s still a little niche for some publishers. Others have a good smattering of shifters and ménages amongst their bestsellers. Why? Most likely, because both genres offer a wide variety of options to people who like them. Shifters can be het or gay, any type of animal or setting imaginable, while menage can answer female fantasies of the only female in a circle of men or the interest of men who also want to be involved with each other. There’s a place for almost any kind of romance conceivable. It makes sense that as erotic writing becomes more mainstream, that those genres become more popular.
Pepper and I don’t really pay attention or care much about the trends, though. If we did, we wouldn’t waste time writing stories that only sell a handful of copies sometimes, lol. The fact of the matter is, romance and relationships in any form fascinate us. If we get struck by a plot bunny about a contemporary het couple, we’re going to write it, even though non-kinky contemporary het doesn’t necessarily sell well in today’s e-market. And if we decide we’re in the mood to write something dark like our Master series, we’re going to do it, knowing full well that it will not be to a lot of people’s tastes. There are a ton of characters just waiting for us to discover their stories, characters we are passionate about. Sometimes that fits in with trends, and sometimes it doesn’t. In the end, we know we’re pouring too much of ourselves into our writing to settle for working on anything we don’t love. We can only hope that somebody out there will love it, too.
Well, ménage seems to be quite popular. Samhain announced their top ten 2008 best sellers and I think 3 or maybe 4 were ménage stories. That said, I’m not interested in trends. Like Pepper and Vivien, if I get struck by the plot bunny, I write the story and hope that folks dig it. So I’m sticking to what I’m compelled to write: character driven stories about normal guys who find themselves in abnormal circumstances.
LOL I’m sensing a pattern here *g*
Like my cohorts before me, I’m seeing some trends in publishing, but they aren’t really affecting me. I notice a lot of shifters, a lot of ménage, and a lot of gay romance. Yay for that! LOL. I also see a lot of BDSM out there, though I do have to wonder if that’s just my perception. I am so NOT into that. In porn? Sure, bring it on. But for some reason I just can’t get into it in romance. I know, I’m in the minority *g* That’s okay. How boring would life — and fiction — be if we all liked the same things?
This is where I wave my flags of disclaimers. I don’t intend to follow trends, honest! I write the stories as they occur to me (with one exception) and then I submit them and if I’m lucky, a few months later they come out. It just kind of… LOOKS like I’m following trends! *grin* Cowboys, BDSM, firemen…. The one exception is Pyke’s Peak, my M/M/F new release. I wrote it ages ago because I had “The Idea”, but I probably only got the idea because I was told the genre was becoming popular. Still, it was born the same way the rest of them are: I write what I want to read.
I think, as more and more writers are driven out of traditional publishing, this genre is –and will continue to become — increasingly competitive, and the trend I see is toward better written stories. Fully-developed characters, intelligent, coherent plots, a sense of pacing, rhythm, character arcs, and more sophisticated and literate story-telling. All of which is good news for readers.
Is “what they said,” an expectable answer? Honestly, I don’t pay too much attention to the trends. I haven’t really noticed any myself, but I’m hearing more and more people mention menages as a trend. I personally never noticed menages going out of style. They have been popular forever. And as you can probably guess, no I don’t really care about the trends. I have to write what I feel.
To be honest, I don’t really know. It’s not that I don’t care but it doesn’t really have that much bearing on what I write. Besides, I’d rather start a trend than follow it. After all, by the time you notice a trend, it’s already established and might be over so it’d be too late. Besides, with the stuff I write, it just kind of grows. I can just hope that readers will like it.
Well, gay romance seems to keep growing so that’s a big YAY. I’ve always liked it, so I’m thrilled with all the opportunities I have as a reader and a writer. I’ve definitely noticed the trend of the shifters, but that’s across all romance subgenres, erotica and paranormal and urban fantasy. Cowboys also seem to remain very popular in all aspects of erotic romance. Whether I love one a popular trend and read it or I can’t seem to get into it, as far as my writing is concerned, I can only write what the characters give me. I’m not saying I don’t write with an awareness of reader expectation because I love making readers happy, but if I can’t fall in love with the story, how can I expect my readers to?
Marisa: I want to thank all of you for spending the time with us! It was an amazing and illuminating discussion.
Since this is our last question – this afternoon post for your chance to win either LB Gregg’s GOBSMACKED OR Jamie Craig’s HIDDEN BEAUTY in print, or an e-copy of MASTER OF OBSIDAIN. That’s right three books, three lucky posters!