The Public Life of an Erotica Writer
I was talking with some other writers the other day; one was complaining about a recent record-breaking sale for 50 Shades of Grey. Obviously, most of us have opinions about E.L. James. Some are good, some are bad...
Me, I don't have a particularly strong opinion. I read the books, but there are decidedly erotica writers that I prefer; stylistically, characterization-wise, and just plain hotter...
But I don't hate her. And I'm not jealous of her success.
What I am is grateful.
I'm grateful, because thanks to E.L. James and the rise of “mommy-porn” (which is something I do have strong feelings about – I HATE that phrase!) I can talk about what I do. People ask me what I do, and I don't have to prevaricate. “I'm a writer,” I say.
“Have I read anything you've written?” (Like seriously, how am I supposed to know that?)
“Maybe. I write erotic romance,” I usually respond. “You know, like 50 Shades, only more grammatically correct.”
This usually gets me a laugh, and from some people, I get a request for a business card, or a website where they can buy my stuff.
As early as a mere five years ago, I would have stumbled. “Well, I write... very adult romance.” (I still use this phrase when talking to older women – although I have a couple of very adorable fans who are in their 70s... ) I'd have felt the need to conceal, to apologize. Now, I get asked all sorts of great questions; “Oh, is there spanking? Boy-love? Handcuffs?” Sometimes, often, and sometimes.
I'm glad for James's success. It means that I'm popular at dinner parties, that I'm always at social occasions surrounded by giggling women and men who try to pretend they don't care, except that some of them do.
Thanks, E.L. James.
A farm boy from Tennessee, Beau Watkins spent high school living the dream: the cute girl, the popular, jock lifestyle, a loving family. As a freshman at an out-of-state college, he's determined to find out who he really is behind the Fake It 'Til You Make It attitude. He joins Rainbow Connection, the gay student alliance, hoping to find himself. Instead, he finds Vin Reyes. Raised by his grandparents and heir to a prosperous company, Vin has been out of the closet since he figured out what that meant. He has it all: fashionable clothing, fancy cars, huge houses, a real party lifestyle, and even a bodyguard. Most of all, he has a secret.
Uncomfortable with Vin's generosity, Beau fights his growing attraction for the president of Rainbow Connection, chasing instead a series of shallow affairs. Vin's never been denied anything that he wants, though, and now he wants Beau. But it's not until an old rival puts Beau in the hospital that Vin realizes that Beau means more to him than a simple love affair. Can the two of them bridge the gap between their worlds and roll with the all the punches life will throw at them?
Lynn Townsend is a geek, a dreamer and an inveterate punster. When not reading, writing, or editing, she can usually be found drinking coffee or killing video game villains. Lynn's interests include filk music, romance novels, octopuses, and movies with more FX than plot. She grew up half in central Virginia, half in way-upstate New York and went to college at William & Mary, where she met and later married a guy who grew up half in Kentucky and half in Utica. They have one child, one murder-death-cat, a turtle, and two chinchillas.
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