Monday, November 19, 2012

Pushing the Envelope

I have to admit, I don’t 100% understand that saying. Yes, I have a vague understanding of what it means (I’ve watched The Right Stuff). I’m just not that mathematically inclined so, to me, the saying is completely abstract. I get that it’s about pushing boundaries. And boy oh boy am I doing that lately. Only, in my world, they’re usually social or moral boundaries.

When I first stared writing for submission, I decided I’d write romance. One of my writer friends told me one of my strengths was tension and I should capitalize on that. It sounded like a good idea to me. And, with the romance industry of today, there was so much freedom to write really any subgenre you liked. I could write the story I wanted and not have to worry about formulas or trying to make my story fit into a subgenre I didn’t want to write. I did, however, that I wasn’t going to write erotic romance…yet. I think there’s a blog about it somewhere in the archives. I didn’t want to write erotic romance not because I thought it was cheap or tawdry, though, quite the opposite. If I was going to write something, it was going do the best possible job I could. I was only starting to write seriously and writing erotic romance was tricky. I wasn’t sure I had the ability to write it and write it well.

So for my first couple of books I wrote seductive romance. And I loved the books. I loved the characters. I loved the stories the characters told. While writing though, I read tons and tons of erotic romance. I read fantastic stories that got my heart racing and my kept me on edge as I turned each page. I read some that introduced me to ideas and positions that I was not aware of. And, of course, I read some that had me rolling my eyes at the characters all the way through. Each book I read critically, cataloging what I liked and what I didn’t. I made mental notes of how I thought the story could be stronger or the characters more consistent and believable. And then, when I felt I’d grown enough to do it well, I started writing my own erotic romance.

This month, my first ever erotic romance-Bond Betrayed-was released by Ellora’s Cave and I must admit, I love the book. I love the story. And yes, I love the characters. But it wasn’t easy for me to write. Chapter seven of that book was me really pushing the envelope—then. It wouldn’t be considered pushing the envelope if you stopped, though. The story I’m working on now, Molly and Thomas’ story, continues pushing. In Nikki and Isaac we have some sex toys, handcuffs, and spanking. But in Molly and Thomas we have so much more. Molly and Thomas’ story will be my first real attempt at a permanent ménage. 

I’m not writing it for shock value or to try to sensationalize the book, though. It’s written as an ménage because I honestly think that’s what Molly’s character needs. It’s also, because of his magic, what Thomas needs. We’ll see if I can continue to push the envelope and finish this story. I hope I do justice to Molly and Thomas. And I hope to continue to grow and embrace new challenges as a writer.

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