Yesterday I did a video chat on writing erotica.
Yes, I know this is the Here Be Magic blog, but even my fantasy novel, Rogue's Pawn, which comes out from Carina in July, has a great deal of sensuality in it. Hot sensuality in places. Verging on erotic, though I don't know how one draws the line.
That was the question that came up during the chat - someone asked if I write erotica or erotic romance.
I really had to think about that question.
Carina is calling Rogue's Pawn a fantasy with romantic elements. It's not really a romance because the main story isn't about a romance. It's about the adventure my heroine embarks on in Faerie. Now, her sexual waltz with Rogue is a big part of that story, but it's not the only story. And they don't tumble into hearts and flowers love, with trembling sighs and dewy gazes. (Though there's nothing wrong with that. I love me a trembling sigh/dewy gaze romance - this just isn't one.) In many ways, Rogue and Gwynn's relationship is more combative, with each trying to gain the upper hand.
But there is a hugely strong emotional tie between them. They can't escape each other. They're intertwined on so many levels that they have no choice but to find a way through it.
Is this love?
"Love" is a word that gets thrown around so easily. It's really an umbrella term for a huge range of human emotion. We love our pets, our kids, our sports cars, our grandparents, our lovers, a good book and the perfect dessert. It's a way of saying that we connect with something or someone, that it pleases us, supports us, invigorates and delights us.
My answer to the question of whether I write erotica or erotic romance was, it depends on how you define them. If erotica is sex without love, then I don't think I write that. My stories don't usually end with declarations of love, engagements or weddings. But, for me, sex is always about the emotional connection. That magical, mystical, beyond physical interplay of people. Skin to skin leads to soul to soul for me every time.
Is that love? I don't know.
But it is magic.