Showing posts with label erotica. Show all posts
Showing posts with label erotica. Show all posts

Sunday 19 October 2014

What Has Happened to Historical Romance Novels?

In the 30+ years I've been reading historical romance novels, there has been a lot of change.

But...I don't believe the change has been as wide-ranging in the UK as it has been in the US over that time.

If you're in the UK and not familiar with the US romance market, then you might find this Huff Post Books article 'What Happened to the Historical Romance Novel?' by author Maya Rodale an interesting read - although it is long- but it will help to read it all.

I do buy and read contemporary romances, but if you looked in my bookcases you'd notice that at least 75% of the contents are historical.

Once I'd moved beyond Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer I wanted more, but the choice was limited. They never seemed to have enough time to develop the sub-plots, and even the main story line seemed to be limited to a certain level of intensity- because anything more wouldn't have fitted the pre-set length the publisher required; and of course everything stopped at the bedroom door...

For some years I was able to get my historical romance fix by getting imported US editions from Waterstones or second hand copies from a book stall, whenever I came across them.

Then for a while it picked up. Some of my favourite authors began to have their latest books in a UK edition- usually with a completely different cover, much more artistic and restrained.

With the emergence of Kindle and e-books, readers now have instant access to any type of romance novel they might want, and the wider author base means even more books to choose from.

I've got no problem if an historical romance author writes a traditional no-sex romance, as their characters might be the 'wait until we're married' type; I've read a number like that, and it would have been quite out of place for those characters to have done anything different.

These traditional style stories haven't been any less enjoyable, or lacked depth and intensity.

I certainly noticed more sex scenes in novels (by a few of my favourite authors) a couple of years ago, but that trend seems to have reversed and they've returned to how they were before with one or two such scenes being the norm. Perhaps that was more to do with the 50 Shades of Grey effect...

Personally I think historical romances published in the UK have adapted slightly, but they're a long way from their American cousins. Whether that's good or bad is for each author/reader to decide...

There are now a lot of smaller publishers printing romance novels too...

Contemporary romance heroines certainly don't have the issues that their historical sisters have to deal with...

Whatever your preference, the good news is that romance is thriving, so that's good for every writer, and for their readers.

Monday 24 September 2012

Short Story Competition List and Erotica Opportunities...

Over the weekend I started the search for a new potential home for my short story, and I made some interesting discoveries along the way which I intend to share with you today.

Starting out with Sally Quilford's Writing Calendar I clicked onto the heading Other Writing Comp Listings and from there another link reached the website for the Booktrust ( they have a lot of interesting pages that are worth spending some time with). They have a list of organisations running short story competitions, and include a clickable link to find out more.

So with 3 clicks of my mouse I found a couple of potential competitions that might suit my story. And others to inspire the creation of more stories. :-)

Hope you find something to interest you too...

*   *   *
Erotica is now mainstream. The big name publishers have embraced the genre with relish. (This does relate to short stories too.)

If you've never attempted erotica, or you're developing your style within the genre, an article from yesterday's  Mail on Sunday, You Magazine may be of interest. (Thanks to Viv on the Writers News/Writing Magazine, Talkback Forum, for sharing the information).

(The article also contains the booking information for the workshop, and the competition details mentioned. See link to article below.)

"Gillian Green, Eden Bradley and Rachel Blowes. Gillian is editorial director for commercial fiction at Ebury Publishing, which this month is relaunching its erotic imprint Black Lace, with five sexy titles, including The Dark Garden written by Eden. Rachel is a member of a book group at one of Ebury’s sister companies, which is asked to read and comment on books pre-publication, including erotic novels." (John Koski, You Magazine)

They share their 10 basic rules.

There's details of a workshop being held on the 6th November, from 6 to 8.45pm - at Ebury Publishing in London- there's only 35 places and you need to book tickets asap; They cost £10 per person, but you do get "drinks and canap├ęs and a goody bag to take home."

Phone number and times for booking by phone are given in the article.

Finally, there is also a a short story competition.

The winning entry will be published by Black Lace Books as part of an e-book collection.

The judges are: Gillian Green, Editorial Director, and authors Portia Da Costa and Kristina Lloyd.

Closing date for receipt of entries (of approximately 4,000 words) is 31st October. Include your name, address and full contact details with your entry, whether you send by e-mail, or by post.

(Details of where to send your competition entry is included in the article- see the link above.)

IMPORTANT: Do read the terms and condition at the bottom of the article as there are specific word counts boundaries for the story, and for the synopsis.

 A shortlist of 10 entrants will be contacted by the Publisher by the 1st December, and the winner announced by the 14th January.

Even if you don't win and only get into the shortlist, the T&C's state "shortlisted entrants may also be offered publishing deals with the Publisher."

If you enter, fingers crossed for your story to be successful.

Updated to add some information: The current edition of Writers' Forum magazine (October) has an article 'How To Break Into Erotica', and talks to three writers, Fran Tracey, Elizabeth Coldwell and Eden Bradley who share their insights.

Saturday 21 July 2012

Austen and Bronte Classics Turned into Erotica...

No, I couldn't believe it either when I heard it, but sadly it is happening.

The 50 Shades trend has now reached the literary classics: Pride and Prejudice, Northanger Abbey and Jane Eyre. :(

Now I've always thought there was an underlying sexual tension between the hero and heroine of these well-known novels; but that could just have been my imagination of course. :-)

And this isn't the first time that Jane Austen's characters have been given new lives in other genres.

There's been Mr Darcy, Vampyre by Amanda Grange, and Vampire Darcy's Desire: A Pride and Prejudice Adaptation by Regina Jeffers.

Admittedly there's always been new stories or alternative versions of the original story- too numerous to mention.

Even P. D. James (Baroness and a best-selling crime novelist) had a novel featuring Darcy and Elizabeth, Death Comes to Pemberley (published in 2011) which takes place six years after Pride and Prejudice, and features Lydia Wickham arriving on the eve of the annual ball declaring her husband-the scoundrel George Wickham- has been murdered.

That I can accept. It's a new story-even though the characters were Jane Austen's invention.

But honestly, an erotic makeover for Pride and Prejudice is so wrong.

If you want to read an example- though the excerpts are quite tame- you should look at this piece from The Independent by Sherna Noah; and if you want to see the book covers, there's a gallery here.

I have to say the covers wouldn't be too out of place among many of the historical romances from US publishers.

Will I read any of them? I honestly don't know.
If I could read a longer excerpt first I might consider reading the rest.

It's sad that literary classics get mucked about with like this just to make money because erotica is the latest big selling trend.

At heart I believe books should be published because they are good and readers will buy and enjoy them. But as a writer who lives in the real world I accept that this no longer seems to be the priority.