Paranormal Romance – Defining the difference between “Erotica” and “Romance”

Photo by L.A. Story, used with permission

Photo by L.A. Story, used with permission

 

I was recently discussing my work with someone who had not read me before. He said, “Oh, so you write those ‘adult’ novels?” I found myself hesitating because – yes, my work is definitely for a mature audience, but it also came to my lips to explain that my work was not “adult” the way “adult” is defined these days.

I also had to examine why I felt the need to explain further. After a good deal of thought, I came to the conclusion that “adult” today can mean a lot of things.

I think I mostly just want people to understand clearly what my work is like – I grew up reading authors like Kathleen Woodiwiss and I loved those fantastic high-quality historical romances, which featured emotionally intense and explicit sex scenes. My favorite was a highly creative story entitled, “A Rose in Winter.” The premise of that story was a young woman is “sold” into marriage to a rich “monster” by her own father. The “monster” is a man who wears a leather mask to hide his incredible deformities after surviving a fire. The story was imaginative, sexy, adventurous and fun!

Please notice that this was a rather unconventional story and I am a rather unconventional girl.

So … why don’t I write straight up romance novels? Um … basically because I’m weird, I guess. Along with enjoying those romance novels, I also devoured the work of Stephen King, Clive Barker, Edgar Allen Poe, Dean Koontz, and Anne Rice. The world in between was magical realism by one of my favorite authors- Alice Hoffman.

It would appear that my imagination goes to scary, dark, but sexy places.

Some of my work is dark but you will see the romance novel influence in the sex scenes. They are … emotionally intense. They are descriptive and explicit, but I don’t completely fall into the “full Monty” Erotica, either I don’t think. There are terms I don’t use (at least not so far …) and certain sexual practices I don’t typically explore.

Now, my question to YOU dear audience – for those who have read my work – do I fall in the “erotica” category? For those who haven’t read my work — What do YOU think defines the difference between erotica and just really steamy romance (which is where I THINK my work falls).

It is my understanding that it can be difficult to leave comments here on the website. It is possible if you register under the “about me” section, I think. I am working on this issue. However, if you prefer, I will have links to this discussion also posted on my Facebook page and my twitter page and you can easily state your answers there. I am interested in your input and/or definitions.

Here is a link to my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/The-World-of-Leigh-McQueen-481602515332826/

Here is the link to my Twitter page: https://twitter.com/leigh_mcqueen

I look forward to hearing from you!

Hugs to you all,

Leigh