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Thursday, July 9, 2009
Thursday Spotlight: Leah Braemel
A couple weekends ago, I went to a book conference in Toronto where I was surrounded by authors and publishers and promoters. There were discussions about ebooks and the Kindle, how to promote your book, all sorts of industry chat. It wasn’t until I got home that I realized that I’d been discussing subjects such as polyamorous relationships and ménages as casually as other people discuss what’s for dinner. I had to chuckle, especially when the week before I’d met a friend at a local Starbucks and we were discussing BDSM and various other aspects of erotic romance. This friend, who I’d only met the week before, leaned forward and whispered, “so, how do you know about BDSM? Do you … you know …” It’s not the first time I’ve been asked.
Yes, I did take an on-line course taught by a sub and his dominatrix. And, yes, there are authors who are Dommes, and there are a few who may be into ménages – I’m not about to ask. But writing an erotic romance involving BDSM doesn’t mean you have to be a practitioner. So when someone asks me “do you, you know …” I have to wonder if they’d ask Allison Brennan (who writes kick-ass stories about serial killers) how many people she murdered doing her research.
Of course, research into erotic romance is pretty interesting. As I said, I’ve done the BDSM course, but I get to research all sorts of interesting toys and techniques as well. But the main challenge of writing erotic romance is making sure the reader understands what’s going on in the characters’ heads and their hearts. That it’s not about the sex, but the emotion in the scene. For me that’s what separates erotic romance from erotica.