Friday, February 02, 2007

So, not cracked up to write erotic romance...



I’m doomed. Doomed, I tell you. Why? Well, because the market at the moment is for “erotic romance”, and I can’t do it. I just don't fit the bill. For starters, as Tilly pointed out the other day, my heroes aren’t heroes, they’re anti-heroes. Secondly, I don’t do HEA (Happily Ever After). I do ambiguous, bitter-sweet, maybes, which frequently prompt one crit partner to call me a nasty lady. But I can’t be the only person who thinks saccharine-coated HEA are over rated, can I?

All this is causing serious problems with regard to demon-novella, which is to be marketed as paranormal erotic romance, as currently it features an anti-hero, an ambiguous ending, and the hottest scene so far is … erm… grimace… bad me… a dubious non-consensual m/m scene… Dammit, how did that sneak in there? It’ll have to go, of course, but I’ve no idea how I’m going to deliver the plot twist without it. Assuming it is actually a plot twist and not just a load of cobblers. I am making this up as I go along, you know.

What do you all think? Do I have to toe the line, or can I get away with it?

8 comments:

Portia Da Costa said...

Agh, I feel your pain!

I don't have any problems with writing a romantic relationship in my stories, and I *am* a sucker for that sugar coated HEA... but I do find it difficult to adhere strictly to some of the romance 'rules'. And it's also going to be very tough to give up some of the more twisted kink and mindgames that're my best 'bit' but which don't quite fit the erotic romance bill...

Sigh...

Nikki Magennis said...

Ah Madelynne, I'm in the same boat. I so wish I hadn't said the novella was easy the other day! I knew it was asking for trouble, and now halfway through I've realised I have the wrong plot! Plus there's not much sex and barely any paranormal activity.

Sod it, though. I've decided I just have to write what I like writing, and if it doesn't sell...ah well. I vote you write a bitter-sweet ambiguous. I like them. I'll buy it.

Madelynne Ellis said...

Hi Wendy,

I'm can write romantic episodes, it's the sticking to the romance genre dictates that I can't do. Hope you don't tone down your twisted, kinky mind games too much.

Nikki - Bitter-sweet, ambigious - yeah! I'm going to write the bugger and see what happens. Maybe if it's not right for BL someone else will want it. Hope yours is shaping up again.

Mathilde Madden said...

Madelynne, you are fine. Shall I tell you why you are fine? Because you, Madelynne Ellis, wrote the best Black Lace historical erotic romance novel of all time.

And it is being reprinted.

And you are doing a sequel.

Kristina got 4 1/2 stars in the Romantic Times for AFT - which is a completely edgy anti-hero novel.

Just keep doing what you are doing. You are a very, very good, very, very popular romance writer. Whether you like it or not.

And your bad boys are perfect

Madelynne Ellis said...

Darn it, Tilly. Can't I pretend?

Zusi said...

From a readers point of view, you are not writing for mills and boon. Although romantic, some of their writers can be quite erotic. I always thought black lace was not meant to be romantic, or am I being naive?

Anyway, both my daughters are well. Amelia's teething, but smiling and laughing through. Rebecca seems happy enough to look around at her environment or sleep - not a bad life for a 7 week old.

kristina lloyd said...

I'm struggling with all this as well. Tilly makes me sound a lot more confident than I am. (She's fab, I'm thinking of hiring her.)

I think my stuff has more in common with suspense and psychological thrillers than with romance. And, like you, I do enjoy a fascinating bad boy or two. (Oh, OK ... or 3, 4, 5 etc) I know we're not alone, and I reckon the romance market is broad enough to take it. We can't all be doing HEAs, can we? There has to be room for more darkly romantic fiction. I know there's an appetite for it (and not just mine).

Do what you do best. Personally, I'd rather sell fewer copies and write what I love, rather than vice versa.

Stick with it. You know it makes sense. Maybe we can discuss this during the tea breaks of our Lord Wraxhall Fan Club meets.

Madelynne Ellis said...

Oh, when is it? Fans self. I can't wait...