Erotic Romance vs. Erotic. What’s the Difference?

Recently at my local Romance Writers of America’s meeting I explained the difference between erotica and erotic romance. Several members informed me that they’d never known there was a difference. That brings me to today’s post. Months back I expressed an interest in writing an inspirational novel about a woman losing her first love to drugs and him coming back clean as a preacher. At the time I got a lot of negative feedback because I was told there was no way I could write something so tame.  The thing most people don’t understand is that erotic romance and inspirational novels have one huge thing in common, emotions.

Both inspirational and erotic romance stories are based off of the emotions and feelings that drive the characters forward in the book. Inspirational writers must stop at a kiss, while erotic romance writers can let their characters do just about anything. While inspirational and erotic romance have that one base in common that’s how erotica differs. Erotica does not have to have any emotional involvement from the characters. In erotica the story is pushed forward by the physical and mental desire for sexual experience. I’m not saying that in order to write erotica that you can’t have a story line with a great plot but it’s not about the emotions in erotica. In this genre your characters are open to explore themselves, their sexuality, and others without having to have an emotional journey along with the sexual journey. Most times at the end of an erotic romance you get a happily ever after. At the end of an erotica you don’t. The heroine or hero does not need to be in a relationship, only the promise that the main character has found him or herself sexually and grown from the experience is required in erotica.

Before you classify your books please make sure you read the “rules” for each genre. If you are querying an erotic romance as an erotica you are hurting your chances of getting a yes from an agent or editor who is interested in erotic romance. That goes the other way too.

This week I’m on vacation and don’t have cell or internet service so I’ve posted this early and won’t be able to respond to comments until the weekend. If you ever have questions please don’t hesitate to ask. Asking is just one way we learn and in the competitive writing business we need all the knowledge we can get.

Also, my erotic romance UNTAMABLE has been scheduled for an early release. This story wasn’t supposed to be out until mid April but I’m very pleased to say that on February 23, 2011 you’ll be able to purchase UNTAMABLE at http://www.sirenpublishing.com/saydegrace/

Here’s my new cover as well as a bit of a teaser, in this one I hope you can feel the emotion behind these characters:

Jasper nodded. “All right, tell me she’s going to wake up any second and be perfectly fine.”

Doc grimaced. “I can’t tell you that, but be prepared for her to be back in heat when she does. She needs to complete the cycle.”

Damn it, that was not what Jasper wanted to hear, although her still being in heat would definitely be a good thing. He couldn’t wait to mount her.

Sidda wanted to roll her eyes. All he thought about was “mounting” her. For fuck’s sake, she’d almost been killed by Brockton’s dumb ass, and all Jasper wanted to do was mount her. “Is that all you think of?” Her croaking voice flowed through the room.

An instant later, a rush of footsteps had Jasper on one side of her bed and Doc on the other. She shook her head, biting back a groan of pain. Dammit, her head still hurt.

She opened her mouth to complain but stopped short when another figure appeared at the foot of the bed. Tears began to pour from her eyes. She slowly sat up, holding her hands out to Zeke, sobbing as he eased his way to her. “Oh my god.” She grasped Zeke’s hands, tugging him to her. Sidda’s breath caught in her chest. She’d been so sure she’d never see him again, yet here he was alive with her.

“What happened? I saw what Brockton…” She shook her aching head, holding onto him for dear life. He’d saved her from Brockton. “I thought…I…”

“Yeah, he beat me up pretty bad, but Stephan got there.” Zeke smiled. “He’s a good guy after all.”

Sidda forced a smile for her brother. Her hand trembled, burning from the mark on her palm. It looked like a small scratch, but the hum of energy from the spot told her it was more.

She cleared the thoughts of Stephan from her mind. “I can’t believe you’re all right.”

“Yeah, I’m gonna be fine. Your mate said if I didn’t get better, he’d be forced to beat me back to health.” Zeke laughed.

Sidda smiled at Jasper, releasing her brother’s hands to pull Jasper’s head toward her. She kissed his cheek, and he winked.

“Gross.” Zeke’s lips curled. “I should not know what you are feeling, or him. It’s disturbing. Come on, Doc, I want to take these rags off my forehead.”

Zeke and Doc slipped from the room. Sidda grinned at Jasper and pulled the covers back so he could slide into bed with her.

He tugged his pants and shoes off, followed by his shirt. “I should be mad at you for running off, not trusting me to handle the situation, and going into heat while I wasn’t there. I really should be pissed, but all I want to do is hold you. To make sure you’re safe and all right.” Jasper wrapped his arms around Sidda, dragging her close to him.

Sidda sighed with contentment. She’d been so scared when Brockton had come after her, but here in her mate’s arms, she was safe again. “Just hold me. Later we can fight. Right now I just want to hold you.” She yawned against his warm chest.

“Whatever you want, babe.” His hands stroked her back, sending her into a blissful sleep.

 Thank you everyone! Remember that Jillian’s new book SURFER BRIDE is also being released early on February 22, my wonderful critque partner Rebecca Zanetti’s debut novel FATED is also being released that same day. Then the next day, February 23 is the release of UNTAMABLE.

Now go forth and be productive!

Sayde

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4 Responses

  1. I remember being shocked when I realized Ruby’s book (and the others after it) were tagged as erotic paranormal romance. When I wrote those books, I knew they were hot, but didn’t consider them hot enough for erotic romance. Um, that changed when I started the editing process. Yeah…they’re hotter than I remembered them as being.

  2. Great post Sayde- it is important to remember the differences and the emotions that are in erotic romance.

    Looking forward to reading more of your new book, Untamable. Thanks for the shout ou for Surfer Bride!

  3. Great post! I’ve been reading a lot of erotic books lately, and now I’m running them all through my mind thinking, erotic romance or erotica? I didn’t really think about the difference, but the way you put it seems spot on.

  4. I just bumped into this site while I was killing some time: erotic-confessions.net It has some hilarious erotic stories, if you are into erotica then check it out!

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