Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Welcome My Two Guest Authors Alisha Paige and Skhye Moncrief

What Pushes a Regular Steamy-Sexy-Hot-Romance Novel Into The Realm Of Erotica?

Today I’d like to welcome two authors Alisha Paige and Skhye Moncrief who will be helping me and hopefully a few of you understand what it takes to push a regular romance novel and turn it into The Realm Of Erotica.

Let’s start with my first guest on this quest, Alisha Paige, author of Paranormal Fantasy, Time Travel, and Vintage Romance…

Alisha, thank you so much for joining us on our quest and welcome!

Pushing Sexiness into Erotica from a Paranormal Point of View...

 I'm a paranormal romance author so when asked
the question, what pushes a regular steamy,hot,sexy romance novel into the realm of answer is always WOLVES! Can you say wolf pack? A wolf pack is the perfect excuse to have steamy, sweaty, hot, passionate sex with multiple partners. In Circle City, the Lord of the Wolfen has a haremlik, taken from the word harem adding the word in in yum...if you get tired of one lover, try another or if your lover is exhausted, take your pick from the haremlik. And lick away!

 Something kinda hot about a man who loves his woman so much that he understands she needs her beauty rest and can't tolerate the extreme sex drive of her mate. Oh sure..they have plenty of hot sex themselves but there are times when he must visit the haremlik and the women are totally devoted to their master, proud to serve him, living like queens in their quarters, in close proximity to the king.

 Hell, Lord of the Wolfen's coming out party is called The Unleashing, an all out orgy with his entire harem. Oh…and all the male Wolfen come to the Pit to watch. Just like a boxing match, everyone seated around in a circle, waiting and watching to see who lasts the most rounds. A nakked boxing match. Only the wolves aren't fighting and they look as human as you and I.

Within a paranormal, you can push the boundaries and I try to do just that not only with paranormal elements but in the bedroom as well or wherever my shifters make love.

 Explicit sex defines erotica and when described graphically, giving attention to every tiny detail, sexual literature can and does arouse. In a big way. Many women read erotica in bed as their partner snores. It has been said that women who write and who read erotica have much healthier sex lives. With good reason too. Many a lover has been nudged awake after reading a hot scene…Or fondled awake…Kissed awake…Dare I say sucked awake?

Some couples read erotica together. Just as visual porn arouses, so does erotica, but it arouses more than the loins. Literature describes feeling, both emotional and physical and nothing is sexier than appealing to the heart while engaging in mind blowing sex!

 This is what I strive to do as a writer of erotica. To dive deep into my characters' emotions and thoughts while describing the oldest sport of all: the language of love through speech, body language, verbal flirtation and hard core fornication; two people communicating with lips, hands, giving their bodies to one another or to multiple partners as in some modern day cultures. As in the Wolfen. This is perfectly acceptable to some and in a paranormal world, it is easy to do, easy to justify and a fantasy for many, though they won't admit it.

 So I can write about it, you can read about it and then you can jump your lover's bones and the world is all the sexier for it. ;)
Alisha Paige/Ruby Vines

Now Available ~ Deadly R&R

Circle City: Lord of the Wolfen~Book NOW AVAILABLE for Kindle and Nook!

Ok now that Alisha has started our engines running let's make sure we keep them rolling  to the second part our journey with my next Guest Author Skhye Moncrief for her titillating spin into the Realm of Erotica...

Welcome Skhye and thank you for joining us today and helping us on our quest...

I've always wondered where to draw the line between romance and erotica. Since I started writing hotter stories, I couldn't determine if five sex scenes in a Gena Showalter Lords of the Underworld novel pushed the story over the romance line to erotica when the novel seemed clearly labeled paranormal romance. ??? But the sex scenes were detailed and very explicit and some of the darkness involved was clearly not for the faint of heart. And, lord, talk about sexual tension. Oh boy! I read that series in one week. I'm a sexual-tension junkie aside from my fascination with world building! Showalter produces on both. 

Now, if I differentiate between romantica and erotica, I see a clearer definition. An erotica is just one sex scene after another where romantica has the standard romance layout and its supporting romantic growth with a happily ever, but the sex is more frequent and smoking hot. Erotica has no plot though. However, romantica does. That's two different erotic animals. At least that's the way it was defined for me at a Romance Writers of America National conference. Sex is physical. Love is mental (internal with supportive goals, motivation, and conflict). As for defining plot... 

I've always heard characters make a story whereas plot is a series of scenes, i.e. plot points. These points are only significant when a character reaches a point of character growth where the character's perspective (views) changes, i.e. growing for the greater good of the individual. My favorite reference here is Joseph Campbell's metaphysical moment in The Hero With a 1000 Faces (I actually couldn't read the thought-draining dry book and watched THE POWER OF MYTH) when the individual realizes the needs of the many (or other) outweigh the selfish-to-narcissistic needs of the one. {Thank you, Mr. Spock!} That right there is enough to draw a line between carnal romance and erotica. 

One might ask why is it important for a character to grow though? Well, story has purpose. If romance is a true story, it's about character(s) in a setting that has something for the audience to gain. Story inspires the reader or gives the reader aspirations. Okay, you're thinking whoopie I'm reading a romance. But it's true about the aspirations, because romance has two plots. That's double the pleasure and fun!!! Let me explain...

Every romance has a romance plot and a second embedded plot--the external issue driving the internal (romance) plot forward. For instance, a sci-fi romance has a sci-fi plot driving the romance plot. My Feral stories have a werewolf space opera driving the romance between the were-assassins who must blood bond as mates to become were-assassins and save the universe! That's werewolf space opera fused with romance, 2 plots! How the characters interact with the romance aspect of the story is the character-driven, internal, aspect of a romance--a separate plot with character growth where the hero and heroine overcome their issues with their intimate relationship to find happiness together while saving the universe. Think end-of-the-world kinda ambiance while the hero and heroine face the external obstacle that's forcing the hero and heroine together. The external plot requires the characters deal with said external obstacles as much as their romantic interpersonal issues though.

Well, the external plot gets enough page time to make it significant. *clears throat* We all know romance readers want the hero and heroine together as much as possible! But in the end, both plots show us something by example--how it's good to fight to save the farm or universe while showing us that love conquers all. Yes, I ended with that old romance theme. Well, if it works, don't fix it. So, the countless ways a character can approach resolving the dilemma and get the prize (love) keep romance readers returning for another story. The combinations are endless. Hence, the number of romances circulating for  our reading pleasure. Ultimately, the word plot simply refers to genre or subgenre classification... a stamp of what to expect with your story selection. So, why in the world bother with one plot if a romance has two?


Why is Skhye rambling about aspirations when discussing romantica and erotica? Story is a dydactic or teaching tool. Story teaches by example. This is the easiest form of sharing ideas among the most social creature that's ever existed on the planet... Homo sapiens sapiens. {Don't worry. I know what I'm talking about. I'm an anthropologist.} Back before writing and television, humans sat around the fire telling stories to teach their little ones all about the world--life. So story is all about how to live. Remember, story is supposed to give us something to aspire to in life. But forget that moment of pontification until later, and let's move onward with delineating between romantica vs. erotica with my publishing story here at NCP.


When I contracted FERAL FASCINATIONS with NCP, I had no idea my work would be classified as carnal. My editor just asked for more explicit sex because it correlates with sales, and I produced. Then fearing I'd shock readers who bought my work based on my backlist, I asked if the increase in the explicit sex made the story carnal... So, maybe the explicit sex is the selling factor? Maybe it doesn't matter if erotic romance (romantica) and erotica are apples and oranges. Maybe it only matters if readers get their explicit sex?

I think the sexy steamy hot romance novel becomes erotica when the inclusion of explicit sex has no purpose (refer back to my points about plot and character growth). I wrote an epic-length novel, FERAL FEVER, with the heroine landing 5 Tiger Lord mates by the end and each Lord has his romance and happily ever after. The novel includes 15-20 sex scenes. I really lost count. *snort* But that's a lot of sex. Readers found me to tell me how incredible Feral Fever was. But if I hadn't had the romantic growth for each male, would they have cared as much about the story? I don't know. I don't. Really. I can name two out of hundreds of romantica novels I've read in the past year that failed to keep me in the story. These were clearly erotica with gratuitous sex--sex that functioned as nothing more than the act of titillation. I can remember the titles, sadly enough for the wrong reason. I don't want people to remember my stories for that reason. So, don't expect straight erotica from moi

Now, for the clincher... My latest novel, Werescape: COUGAR, is much shorter, and the same readers hunted me down to tell me it was the best yet. But the heroine only gets one mate. These are ménage readers preferring my "traditional" romance. Albeit, it's definitely carnal because the heroine has sex with the hero in his wolfskin, but the kiss doesn't come until the characters have gotten to know each other about a fourth of the way through the story. That's not sex, sex, sex. It's romantica with the heat cranked up in a romance when it's time to get the show on the road--or rolling in the hay. But in the end, I shake my head. I don't think anyone can draw a line between erotica and romance. Doesn't it vary from publisher to publisher? I know this after buying 15 top bestsellers from the Fictionwise erotic futuristic romance list on more than one occasion. I can't forget waiting 200 pages to get to the boring first sex scene in that book... ~Skhye Moncrief


The subject of romance vs. erotica came with these choices to choose from when thinking about the options for my answers: 

1. Love scenes are frequent, extremely detailed and very explicit

2. The storyline pushes the envelope, as do the sex scenes and may involve multiple partners, partner swapping, extreme BDSM, and fisting. The story may also contain controversial subject matter not for the faint of heart.

3. These stories are more explicit and may involve exclusive couples or multiple partners. The love scenes are described in graphic language and may involve light bondage, BDSM, toys, and/or anal play.

4. An erotica story would have no plot without the sex

5. The sex needs to be described clearly and at length to the point where it’s clearly meant to arouse.

6. All of the above

Well there you have it folks two very interesting takes from two very talented authors on one very provoking subject. Now I don't know if this has helped answer the question or raised more. All I know is I can't wait to get back to reading, because I am ready for some experencing of my own....

I want to thank both Alisha and Skhye today for taking the some of their time and spending it with us today...

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