Sigh. It gets old, having to defend what I do. I get attacked on one side from other romance authors who accuse me of being a pornographer, of dragging the genre down with my very presence, of writing women who, “want to be men” and “men who want to be women.” Somehow though, the worst thing is when friends accuse me of being less feminist because I write romance and smut.
And the bottom line is that I’m sick of it. Look, I’ve never claimed to write monumental pieces of literature. My books are fun and lighthearted and I hope they are entertaining and provide people with a few hours of escape. When I do so, I do not betray who I am as a person. My characters, good and bad, male and female, all carry a seed of me within them somewhere.
For the record, there is nothing demeaning to women in my books or in the books of authors in the genre that I read. Yes, there are books in the genre that are, IMO, demeaning to women, shallow, stupid and perpetuating negative sterotypes of men and women. Of course, these books exist across genre lines.
I do not create pornography. I write erotica that is romantic and romance that is erotic. Pornography has no real connection, no depth of emotion. I have no real issues with porn, but it’s not what I write.
The presence of erotic romance in the genre is not “dragging” romance down. It is simply another sub genre for readers to enjoy should they wish to. And they do wish to, by the way. In the tune of hundreds of thousands of purchases made yearly both in ebook and print. Readers want their romance spicy, they want it naughty and they like their sex spelled out. Great. They like what I write. For those who don’t there are books for them. Asserting that erotic romance is dirty and bad simply asserts that the readers who love it are dirty and bad – and it seems to me a mistake of gigantic proportions to insult romance readers who happen to be VERY loyal. They buy our books and talk about them online and in their daily lives, without them we’d be talking to an emtpy room.
So, to the people attacking on both flanks – knock it off. I’m happy with what I’m doing, my readers like it, I’m creating strong women heroines – these are plusses. How about you all turn and deal with your own stuff instead of being so consumed with what I do?