Tag Archive: Romance

Nov 22

Why Erotic Romance Is Pornography (& That’s Something to be Thankful For)

First off, Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends. In Canada, we celebrated our Thanksgiving more than a month ago, with all of the turkey and none of the great sales. I’m thankful that you and I live in countries where we are free to express our thoughts and opinions, and where it is totally okay for women to write books with hot sex. So while you’re waiting for that bird to cook, here’s some food for thought.

I was visiting another blog last week when I came across a post about romance novels being ‘porn for women’. I’ve heard the term ‘Mommy porn’ as well, especially in relation to a certain colorful trilogy, and I’ve heard the term used to describe romance novels in general. Usually women are quick to deny it. After all, women don’t like porn. Do we?

First, let’s look at the definition of pornography. According to Merriam-Webster (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pornography), pornography can be defined as:

1: the depiction of erotic behavior (as in pictures or writing) intended to cause sexual excitement; 2: material (as books or a photograph) that depicts erotic behavior and is intended to cause sexual excitement; 3: the depiction of acts in a sensational manner so as to arouse a quick intense emotional reaction <the pornography of violence>

Many erotic romance novels would certainly be considered pornography under this definition. I see you waving your hands and I know you’re going to say that erotic romance novels are about telling a story, not just about sexual arousal. But I dare you to read a story-driven erotic romance and NOT be aroused during the sex scenes. The reason we write these scenes is to cause sexual excitement. They are certainly not often necessary from a plot perspective, although there are some exceptions. Let’s be honest. Readers (and I certainly include myself here) pick up the erotic romance novels because they enjoy being sexually aroused by them. If we didn’t want to get all hot and bothered, we’d pick up the sweet romances instead. A mainstream romance does not fit the definition of porn. It may have occasional scenes of a more sensual nature but not of the sort most people would be completely turned on by.

So here is another way of looking at it. My husband has a huge collection of porn. And he’s got the whole range of stuff from VHS to DVD to books to magazines (sorry honey, you know I love you!). I know what porn is. My standard of judging whether something is pornographic is to ask myself, “Would I want my children finding this?” If the answer is no, it’s porn. We make sure to keep hubby’s stuff well hidden. Would I care if my kids picked up your average Harlequin? No. Not that my eleven year old son would. When I told him I was having books published, the conversation went something like this:

Me: I have a book for grown-ups being published.

Him: Cool! Since you’re an author, can you introduce me to J.K. Rowling?

Me:  Writing a book doesn’t automatically put you on speaking terms with every other author.

Him: Well can I read your book?

Me: Absolutely not.

Him: Can I read it when I’m 40?

Me: I guess I can’t stop you then.

Him: What kind of book is it?

Me: A romance.

Him: Oh. (noise of disgust) Well never mind then.

But I digress. Or do I? If my standard for pornography is its suitability for my kids, then my book most certainly is pornographic. I don’t even want them to see the cover! Nor do I want them to find my collection of ebooks, because they aren’t appropriate. Period.

So now that I’ve established that erotic romance (at least the sort I read and write) is pornographic, let’s discuss its suitability for women. Well, duh! Of course it’s for women! And for you hand wavers from before, this is where the story aspect comes into play. I love a good romance story. Many women I talk to love romance.  I first read romance when I picked up my mom’s books at home. (Corollary standard for porn: Would I want my mother finding it? Answer: NO!) But as I said before, if it was only about the romance story, erotic romance as a genre, would not exist.

So if you are looking for something sexually arousing, why not try watching porn, too? There really is something for everyone out there. Just as the romance novels have a heat rating, porn has different ratings, too. It doesn’t have to be all hard core gang banging. There is an increasing amount of “couples” porn out there – all the hot sex (which will appeal to the guys) but with the important story included for the girls. Admittedly, some films do this better than others, but so do some books. And while you’re busy watching the porn, give your hubby a book or two. Mine enjoys them because there’s lots of hot sex, but enough of a story to keep it interesting. We’re both finding that my writing ‘dirty fuck books’ has side benefits 😉 and me watching porn certainly helps with the book ‘research’.

But the most important reason for sharing your interests is the connections you can make as a couple. It is a starting point for those discussions about sex that are sometimes very awkward. How do you tell him you’re ready to try some BDSM? Hand him 50 Shades, with your favourite parts highlighted. Or watch a movie and tell him which parts you like best. It certainly won’t make things dull! And it may just give you 50 things to be thankful for.

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Windswept, by Diana MacArthur, is available from http://www.bookstrand.com/windswept

Click here to read Melodee Aaron’s review of Windswept!


Permanent link to this article: http://melodeeaaron.com/blog/2012/11/22/why-erotic-romance-is-pornography-thats-something-to-be-thankful-for/

Sep 13

The Fine Line

 

Hello and welcome.  First of all, thank you to Melodee (and Nikki and the rest of the staff) for letting me blog here today.

My name is L.M. Brown and I am a writer of male/male romances.

This year, as I am sure you all know there has been one book released that everyone is talking about.  It is the fastest selling paperback of all time (at least it was at the time of writing this blog post and we all know how fast things can change in that regard).  It is the book that has brought erotic BDSM fiction into the spotlight.  Love it or hate it, there’s no way to ignore the phenomenon that is 50 Shades of Grey.  I have not read the book personally and probably won’t.  I’m certainly not going to be criticising it or anything like that.  What I would like to do is talk a little about the fan fiction aspect of 50 Shades, and how it changes things for writers like myself.

For those who don’t know (I suspect maybe there is still the odd individual out there who doesn’t) 50 Shades started out as a Twilight fan fiction story, for which it has been criticised. Accusations of copyright infringement have surrounded 50 Shades, although they appear to be unfounded.  I would imagine if there was a copyright issue Stephanie Meyer would have taken action long before now.

However, in the wake of 50 Shades, some publishers have now changed their policies with regard to fan fiction stories and will no longer accept any stories that have previously been written as fan fiction or published online.  Although I don’t know the reasoning behind individual publisher’s decisions, in the light of the controversy around 50 Shades, it may be the best choice – better safe than sorry.

The issue does raise an interesting question though: where is the line between fan fiction and original fiction?

I make no secret of the fact that I have written fan fiction in the past.  It is still online at various archives for those who know where to look.  I have never considered re-writing any of them so that they are about original characters and have no intention of trying to get any of them published.  They are fan fiction and will remain so.

Many of my male/male fan fiction stories have at their centre a certain famous werewolf.  I have to wonder what would happen if I were to write an original fiction story about a werewolf or a wolf shifter.  As it happens I do have a little plot bunny on the back burner about a shape-shifter who is a white wolf.  I blame several people on Facebook for sending that plot bunny in my direction with some gorgeous pictures of white wolves.

The story I have in mind has nothing to do with the fan fiction world and the characters are completely different. But how much of my story would be influenced by my fan fiction origins?  Maybe a lot, maybe none at all; only when the story is done will I be able to judge for myself. In light of the controversy surrounding the origins of 50 Shades I’ll certainly be very careful about what goes into my stories when I touch on subjects that I have already written fan fiction about.

This is certainly the case for my newest story, Let Down Your Hair.  Robert, the cross-dressing hero of this male/male fairy tale romance, is not the first man I have written into female clothing.  I have done the same twice in fan fiction and one of them was in a “sort of” fairy tale setting.  The stories however are completely different, the fan fiction one being about a rather reluctant Red Riding Hood who had been hypnotised, and Let Down Your Hair being a whole different kettle of fish.

Was I influenced by the fan fiction I wrote?  Probably yes, in a very small way.  Just as I might also have been influenced by Shakespeare’s comedy As You Like It, and every other cross-dressing story I have ever read.

I think every writer draws inspiration from a hundred or more different sources, and sometimes this will include both other writer’s works and fan fiction.

Do I consider Let Down Your Hair to be anything other than original?  Absolutely not.   If you get the opportunity to read it, I hope that you agree.

 

Blurb

In a world where fairy stories are historical fact, Prince Aiden is on a quest to find a princess to rescue and bring home as his bride. Deep in the Enchanted Forest he finds Robert, a cross-dressing painter who lives alone in his tower. Mistaking him for a woman, Prince Aiden is determined to have Robert as his bride.

When the prince of his dreams shows up at Robert’s tower he is far from happy, especially when the handsome prince refuses to believe he is a man. Can he convince Prince Aiden to love him as the man he is, or is their happily ever after doomed from the start?

 

Excerpt

Robert sat up so they were on eye level once more. “I never said my true love was a woman,” he whispered before leaning forward and brushing his lips across Aiden’s. Aiden sat there as still as a statue, while Robert contemplated when exactly he had lost his bloody mind.

When it was clear Aiden was not responding to his kiss at all, Robert pulled away and threw himself backward onto the mattress.

“What was that?” Aiden asked.

“I believe it’s called a kiss.”

“There’s no need for sarcasm. Why did you kiss me?”

“A wife has the right to kiss her husband if she wants,” Robert snapped. “Since you insist I play the part, I figured I can kiss you if I want to.”

“But why would you want to?”

Robert snorted humourlessly. “Damned if I know.”

Aiden settled back down beside him. “Have you ever done that before? Kissed another man, I mean.”

“No.”

“Do you like me?”

“Would I have kissed you if I didn’t?”

“So you do like me?”

“I suppose so.”

“It’s only natural, I guess. Everyone is waiting for the handsome prince to come rescue them from their dreary lives.”

“My life wasn’t dreary.”

Aiden turned his head to wink at Robert. “I notice you didn’t question my handsomeness.”

Robert threw a pillow at Aiden and turned his back on him. It was going to be a very long night. His cock, wide awake and raring to go, reminded him it was going to be another uncomfortable night as well.

 

Available from Silver Publishing

 

Where to find L.M. Brown

Website – http://lmbrownauthor.wordpress.com/

Blog – http://lmbrownauthor.blogspot.com/

Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001471647696

 

Permanent link to this article: http://melodeeaaron.com/blog/2012/09/13/the-fine-line/

Jan 17

The Immortal Love Universe™

I get a lot of questions about the Immortal Love Universe™. Things like “when does the timeline start?”, “who lives there?”, and “how big is it?” are all common questions I get from readers. And there are a lot more.

The goal of this blog is to try to tell you a little more about the Immortal Love Universe™. This isn’t meant to be all-inclusive…it’s a big place. It’s a really big place.

One word of warning…if you haven’t read any of my works, much of this will lack context and not make any sense to you at all. For the sake of brevity, I have assumed that you are at least a little familiar with the stories now available.

The Immortal Love Universe™ is the setting for many of my books. The list includes: For the Love of Payne, Desert Heat, The Polyamorous Princess, Knights of Desire, Burning Love, and more than a dozen other works-in-progress. The difference is just when in the life of the Universe that the stories take place. In general, the Ike Payne Adventures take place about 2,000 years before the Flights of Fancy stories. The Polyamorous Princess falls just before the Ike Payne Adventures. I first used the name Immortal Love Universe™ way back in 2003.

But all of these stories take place many thousands of years after the timeline begins…and many billions of years before its end.

The Immortal Love Universe™ has two calendar systems, but they aren’t complicated to grasp. There are references in the above stories to a period called The Doom Time. This was a global nuclear war that very nearly destroyed humanity. The Doom Time ended in 2551 AD. At this point, a new calendar was started as year 0 (zero) GE (for Galactic Empire). In other words, 2551 AD and 0 GE are the same year in the Universe.

With that explained, I can tell you that the Immortal Love Universe™ in its present state starts in 1950 AD with the birth of Stuart Dayton. As detailed above, in 2551 AD/0 GE the Doom Time came to an end. The Ike Payne Adventures happen about 4,300 years after the Doom Time. The Flights of Fancy stories are another 2,000 years along in around 6,300 GE.

Right now, there are no publically available works in that 4,900 year span from 1950 AD through about 4,300 GE. They are in the works, though. There are some 3.5 million words of story waiting for me to edit and get ready for submission. In my mind, I see this huge story spanning at least twenty full novels. Some of the people you will meet and get to know better in those books you already know a little about. Jim and his four wives Janette, Marilyn, Tanya, and Paige are all there. Admirals Claire and Zach Reeves are in those stories. Some of Ike’s ancestors are there, too. Stuart and Ann Dayton are prominent as well. You’ll even learn how the simulated humans Q and Rebecca came into being and how they grew into the remarkable “people” they are in the later books. And there are literally thousands of other characters who play major parts in the Immortal Love Universe™.

Then there is the future of the Immortal Love Universe™, the timeline beyond the Flights of Fancy series. In a nutshell, the future history goes forward more than 15-billion years. Yes, I said billion. There isn’t much more than ideas in my head for that future right now.

If the Immortal Love Universe™ is big in terms of time, it is even bigger in the domain of space. As the name implies, the Immortal Love Universe™ spans the entire universe. But this concept gets a little complicated.

Really, I don’t want to get into a lesson in theoretical physics here. I don’t, but I need to tell you a little bit about the physical underpinnings of the Immortal Love Universe so you can grasp the immensity of what we’re dealing with.

Most of you are at least casually familiar with Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. Some of you may have an inkling of the theory of Quantum Mechanics. These two theories define the universe as we currently understand it. In loose terms, Relativity deals with things on a very large scale and Quantum Mechanics deals with the very small. When we try to combine the two theories into a single, unified view, we find they are mutually exclusive in many areas.

It is this unified theory that physics is obsessed with finding. We have a name for it: The Grand Unification Theory (or simply GUT). We know some of the things the GUT must predict and explain. So far, however, we haven’t been smart enough to find it.

Maybe…

A few years ago, a new idea came along called String Theory. After some growing pains and being discarded and resurrected several times, a new view came into being. This new theory was so different from the original String Theory—and from Relativity and Quantum Mechanics for that matter—that it was given a new name: M-Theory.

M-Theory is still evolving, and not all physicists accept it at all, but the fact is that it has so many of the attributes of the GUT that we know will be needed to be a true theory of everything that we can’t afford to totally dismiss the idea.

Depending on how you solve the equations, M-Theory has either ten or eleven dimensions. For our purposes, it doesn’t matter because either way allows for the concept of more than one universe.

No, not parallel universes ala so many science fiction stories from over the years. I mean real, totally isolated and unrelated universes. But the multi-dimensional nature of M-Theory also allows for us to move energy from one universe to another if we are very careful. We have to be careful because what we see as the Big Bang was the touching of two such universes. The result of such touching would be a total conversion of mass to energy. And when you convert all the mass in two entire universes into energy, the release is staggering.

OK, I’m done with the physics lesson now.

All of this leads to the fact that the Immortal Love Universe™ is actually made up of many different universes. Not only does it cover our universe, but several others at the same time.

I told you the Immortal Love Universe™ is really big.

Almost all of the technology in the Immortal Love Universe™ is based on M-Theory. That’s why Boone and the other ships can travel faster than light, the cosmic speed limit imposed by Relativity and implied by Quantum Mechanics. This is also how the transporters work. I could go on, but I’ll end up in another physics lesson, and neither you nor I want that to happen.

Some aspects of the Immortal Love Universe™ have been borrowed from stories by authors I consider to be my betters in the realm of hard science fiction. Some of these borrowed facets are in the form of various aliens. In several stories, I mention “Bandersnatch”, a creature created by Larry Niven. There are others that avid readers of hard SF will recognize.

One big thing I borrowed for the Immortal Love Universe™ is a creation of—in my opinion—the Master…in his stories of the Foundation Trilogy, Isaac Asimov created a science he called “Psychohistory”. Using psychohistory, Hari Sheldon was able to predict the fall of the galactic empire and saw a way to save humanity from many thousands of years of chaos. Many characters in the Immortal Love Universe™—mostly Stuart and Ann Dayton, Marilyn, and Tanya—use psychohistory to understand, guide, and to a large degree control the Immortal Love Universe™.

Other things are borrowed from various aspects of more mundane life. Throughout the history of the Immortal Love Universe™ the Masons and Eastern Star play a role. Several of today’s major religions including Catholicism, Islam, Later Day Saints (once again calling themselves Mormons), and others all play a role. And then there is the music…

The one question I get asked most often by readers, editors, and publishers alike is why the nightclubs on the ships in the Immortal Love Universe™ all play music from the mid-twentieth century. The answer is actually pretty simple: Stuart Dayton designed and built many of the ships, and he was born in 1950 AD. He grew up with the early days of rock and roll, and he still likes the music, despite being more than 4,000 years old.

Once we get past all of the time, space, technology, science, secret societies, religions, and music, we are left with the main underlying current of the Immortal Love Universe™…

Love

While hinted at in the stories now available, the personification of the love in the universe can be found between Jim and Marilyn. It’s often mentioned that of his four wives, Marilyn is Jim’s favorite. Janette, Tanya, and Paige all know this, as does almost everyone else around them. There is a special link between these two, and it shows. I wish I could tell you that this was something I, as the author, planned from the beginning, but I can’t. It just sort of happened that way.

My characters often become so real that they do what they want to do, not what I tell them to do.

The relationship between Jim, Marilyn, Janette, Paige, and Tanya is the foundation of the polyamory that runs through the Immortal Love Universe™. I have always hated the term “ménage” when applied to romance. In my own mind, ménage is simple three (or more) way sex. I much prefer polyamory because this—again in my mind—means a loving, devoted, and caring relationship between more than two people. And note that gender has no value in this equation. Jim has four wives. In The Polyamorous Princess, Allison has two husbands. So what? The key is that Jim and his wives all love each other. Allie and her husbands all love each other. And as always, sex is a part of that love. The gender doesn’t matter.

Every so often, someone will pester me to document all of the details of the Immortal Love Universe™. I have actually started that project several times only to give up after a while. The idea these well-meaning people have is that I could make this document available to other authors as a framework for them to write their own stories within. This is not a new idea, however. Larry Niven has done this with his Known Space Universe in the form of the Man-Kzin Wars series. I don’t know how much money he makes off the licensing fees, but I suspect it’s not bad.

The problem for me with the Immortal Love Universe™ is that it’s so bloody big. I have more than 200,000 pages of notes on the place and people and society. No one else can even begin to understand my random thoughts there and make any sense of them at all. I seriously doubt I will live long enough to get all of that into something that another could read and understand.

In other words, there will probably never be such a document.

So there you have it…a brief outline of the Immortal Love Universe™.

In the current Ike Payne Adventures and Flights of Fancy series, there are three books now in the pipe at various stages of completion. I have rough notes on five more right now. I’m sure more will come to me.

As I mentioned above, the early history will probably be another twenty or more novels, and what I have now ends about 1,000 years before Ike Payne is born. That means there is plenty more to tell about that period. And I haven’t really thought about what happens in the billions of years after Flights of Fancy other than the very end of the Immortal Love Universe™.

Now all I have to do is actually get the time to write them.

Keep Loving!

 

Permanent link to this article: http://melodeeaaron.com/blog/2012/01/17/the-immortal-love-universe/