An Unexpected Response
I had a rather unique experience happen to me over the weekend. Or maybe not so unique but definitely a first time thing for me. I guess I've been incredibly lucky when it comes to my writing. Pretty much everyone I've spoken to about my writing has been supportive. Giving me such platitudes as, that's wonderful; where can I find your work? I bet your husband loves the idea you write erotica...etc.
But this weekend I had the unpleasant experience of having another published author, one of the mainstream variety, abandon a chat we were having once she found out what I wrote. At first I thought everything was running smoothly. I was upfront with her about the fact I wrote erotica. Perhaps it was her perception of what erotica is that I came up against. When she inquired what type I answered honestly. I write everything from contemporary, to shape shifter (paranormal/sci-fi) to BDSM. I've always been the type to not limit my horizons when it comes to my writing.
Within seconds of my typing the BDSM, she went poof! At first I assumed that Facebook was acting up again and booted her. So I went to her profile, which had the little icon showing she was online, to leave a message that I was sorry that the connection had acted up but I was still on if she wanted to continue our conversation. I went about my way for several minutes and received no answer. So before leaving Facebook, I sent an email through it, thanking her for befriending me and chatting with me. I also included my yahoo IM.
Then I got an email back stating that she found me pleasant to talk to but did not consider me an author but just someone who had an 'overactive' libido and was using writing as an outlet for deprived fantasies and while she would be happy to chat with me again, she'd prefer the subject matter of my writing to not be mentioned.
Okkkkkay, this is not what I had expected in the least bit. Happy to chat with me as long as I didn't talk about my writing? One of the reasons I use Facebook is because of the fact that it's a great way to network and get my work out there. Not to mention I've made several great friends on there.
But the reason I mention all of this is not to sling mud at the person who made the comment. After all she has a right to her opinion even if I don't agree with it. Instead I wanted to talk about how other authors view those who pen erotic stories. Do erotic authors really have that bad of a rap in the literary world? Let’s face the facts here, erotica, if written well, has a background, plot, well developed characters and flow which is present in all types of fiction. Whether it's a J.D. Robb book, Danielle Steele romance, or J.K. Rowling fantasy book all these elements are there. With creativity of these authors they bring to life a story to entertain and ultimately sell books.
So why is it different when an author such as myself chooses to focus on the erotic fantasy of a woman finding her own sexuality after being abused instead of a lawyer who figures out who did it and saves an innocent? Or if I prefer to write about a sexy alien warrior who finds trust again in an arms of a sassy earth woman instead of a tale teen aged wizards who fight evil?
Perhaps someone else can shed some light on this subject for me because frankly I'm at a loss.