Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Sleazy World of a Romance Writer—Or Not

Why is it when you’re a romance writer, especially an erotic romance writer, many people think you’re a sexual deviant? Barry Eisler writes about spies and assassins, I don’t hear anyone asking him, “So, Barry how many spies have you murdered lately?” Stephen King writes about serial killers and ax-wielding, murdering writers. No one has asked him, “So, Mr. King, how many people have you chopped up during your career?” And if Tom Clancy was teaching high school students English, I doubt the parents or students would be concerned that Mr. Clancy might also consider teaching his students how to build a pipe bomb.
I’ve had people ask me if I personally research all my sex scenes to make sure they’re accurate. Hmmm. Of course, every sleazy scene. The most exciting research I ever did was for scenes on planet Somerled in my book DRAGONWITCH. I really enjoyed the interstellar travel to another planet, and oh my, a threesome with a shapeshifting dragon. Well, don’t knock it until you try it.

Next time you meet Stephen King, I dare you to ask him what’s it like to be a serial killer?

Anaїs Nin (1903-1977)

In reality, I read a ton of books, both fiction and non-fiction, spend hours searching the Internet and sometimes talking to people. I have quite a collection of books to help me with research.
By one of the first women to celebrate sexuality with complete and open abandonment—Delta of Venus, Erotica by Anaїs Nin; Tropic of Cancer, by Henry Miller which was banned as obscene in this country for twenty-seven years after its first publication in Paris in 1934; the Mammoth Books of Best New Erotica, Edited by Maxim Jakubowski; and various erotica anthologies, edited by Cecilia Tan, Marilyn Jaye Lewis, Maria Isabelle Pita, and others. These books contain stories by many talented erotica and erotic romance authors. Of course, my own publisher, Ellora’s Cave has many talented authors and produces full length novels, novellas, short stories and anthologies (The Cavemen Series, Forbidden Fantasies, are just a few of the anthologies); The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty by Anne Rice writing as A.N. Roquelaure and the series. There are so many wonderful erotic romance and erotica books out there. This is just a small sampling I pulled from my book shelf.

In non-fiction, I couldn’t list all the books I have but a few that have helped me with writing the stories: How to Write a Dirty Story by Susie Bright; Screw the Roses, Send Me the Thorns by Philip Miller & Molly Devon; The Loving Dominant by John & Libby Warren; The Mistress Manual by Mistress Lorelei; The Joy of Writing Sex by Elizabeth Benedict, and many others.

Besides sexy romance and erotica stories, I enjoy reading science fiction, thrillers, comedy, ghost stories, and more. Writing erotic stories and researching them takes work, just like researching a techno-thriller novel or historical novel.

If you’re an erotic romance or erotica writer, what are your favorite research books? Please share.


My latest novella, EMERALD DUNGEON is up for Sizzling Read of the Month at Sizzling Hot Books but I need a generous votes. If you have a chance the pole ends on May 1st at 8 pm. Thanks so much!
EMERALD DUNGEON by Kathy Kulig is up for Sizzling Read of the Month w/ a generous vote.


EMERALD DUNGEON available now on Amazon Kindle. New release from EC, erotic romance Irish themed.


Amber Skyze said...

I enjoy reading about History and Ghosts for non-fiction. I have more than a few of the books you've mentioned above also!
I'm tired of being labeled because I write sex. BTW, where can I find that dragon for a threesome? LOL

Ann Jacobs said...

My research library includes a couple of shelves full of books on the writing craft, only a few of which concentrate on writing erotica or even romance. There are a few that deal with various pieces of software that I occasionally have to reference. While I'm writing, I deliberately stay away from my library of favorite erotic romance and take breaks by immersing myself in thrillers, historical romance and the occasional nonerotic category romance.

I hope that when people comment about me writing steamy sex, they'll also mention that I put together damn good stories! I also hope they'll have brain enough to realize that like Stephen King and Tom Clancy, I haven't actually done everything I've written about in my books!

Kathy Kulig said...

Hi Amber, History and Ghosts are interesting topics. History is very time-consuming research for novels. LOL on the dragon threesome. I'll let you know.

Kathy Kulig said...

Hi Anne, I've used your books for writing erotica and erotic You've written so many and so well. :) I like reading a variety of books. Never enough time to read all I would like to though.

Delicious Romance From Cerise DeLand said...

Chuckling here. I always say, in my mystery author mode, that killing people seems to get more approval than having them fall in love. But aside from that, when I write Regency and medieval, I depend on my extensive library of research books. Far more numerous even than my fiction!

Kathy Kulig said...

Hi Cerise, Very true. Just watch prime time TV. Europeans are much more progressive than we are about TV and sex. When I was in Ireland last Sept. I was surprised about how open they were about sex on regular TV. History is very hard to research.