I write contemporary and historical romance as myself, "Mary Anne Graham" and I write erotic romance as "Olivia Outlaw." I don't write erotica, although some people make a bundle of cash writing that genre. Why don't I write it? Isn't it essentially the same as erotic romance? I don't write erotica because it is not romance and if it's not romance, then I don't write it.
Both erotic romance and erotica include explicit sex. Neither genre will attract the shy and retiring. The difference lies in what role sex plays in the story. In erotic romance, sex moves the story. Sex between the lead characters changes them and changes the course of their lives in some fundamental fashion. Erotica, however, is all about the sex. Erotica requires no relationship and no happy ending. It requires only hot sex.
Don't get me wrong, writing hot sex is fun, and I write it in romance and erotic romance, but I write it to tell the character's stories. I can only read and write romance where character is king. Whenever my bank account motivates me to consider writing sex for the sake of sex (erotica), something - thankfully - stops me. This time it was a story about making money writing erotica for Kindle.
Perhaps the Broadly story was intended to have the opposite result, and for some folks, it might. Read it for yourself and decide. This is the paragraph that stopped me cold:
So much volume requires variety. Johnson is a gay man, but like Sethline, he writes stories with all kinds of gender configurations. "It's not really that different," he said. "The niche matters more than the gender. I find it hard to write ABDL [adult baby diaper love] erotica, whether gay or straight, because it seems so silly and pointless—I can't even pretend to think diapers are sexy. But most other hetero erotica is easy as pie, even if I have to pretend I have a vagina."
The stop sign for me: "Adult baby diaper love?" That is a thing? For a crazy duck lady who pens erotic love scenes in all of her writing, I am, perhaps, a bit TOO sheltered. I blame that on my writing. It's kept me from all of the meandering around the internet that would inform me of such fetishes. I consider that a good thing. There are fetishes I'm happy to never discover. "Adult baby diaper love" would have been one of them, but sadly, I've now seen those words. Writing in a genre that people will read because of "diaper love" is not ever going to be something I can do.
I find it sad that men and women feel financially obligated to write under a pen name that disguises their genre. Unfortunately, I know that sometimes occurs in romance, where men say they can't sell unless they write under female pen names. To all quacking readers, I say - buy a book because of the story, not because of the author's gender. In time, I hope, that readers won't spend a second considering whether they want to read a romance or erotic romance written by a man instead of a woman. It should be a non-issue.
So, we've established that my writing road map will not include a stop at erotica. Where does my map take me next? I'm presently writing the last in my Olivia Outlaw "duty" series. I hope to have it finished and published within the next couple of months, and hopefully sooner. Once it's done, I'm definitely going back to do a "Mary Anne Graham" romance. It'll either be Vlad's story from my Forever Series, or a "the rest of the story" contemporary romance. I started Vlad's tale and am debating my direction.
As many of you know, "A Fairy Fated Forever"- the first in that series, is a "the rest of the story" book which tells my version of what happens after the events in the famous Fairy Flag of the Clan MacLeod legend. I have another one of those things doing a duck dance around my brain. Duck Dancing is damned tough to ignore.
Still, Vlad may be able to overcome the dancing duck. We'll see where that goes after I finish the last Olivia Outlaw "duty" book. I'd welcome any of your thoughts, of course. The one thing I can say with absolute confidence is that I will NOT be writing in any genre where diapered adults inspire readers to say anything other than_ "ICK!!"