I don’t read much Erotica. Not for some specific reason, it’s just not a subgenre that attracts me. Still, I think the treatment it gets is probably the most unfair (and misunderstood) of the Romance genre, which is already misunderstood by itself. This to say that Erotica really has a bad name, and it’s a shame. No book should be laughed at, let alone its Author, for belonging to a subgenre. So, I’m very happy to have Dee S. Knight, an erotica Author, here with me today. She’s presenting her latest story, and we get to talk a bit about her, the stories, and the Erotica Genre.
Following is her intro to our chat. “Hi. My name is Dee and I write erotic romance.”
“Hi. My name is Dee and I write erotic romance.”
I had written several books and years had gone by before I willingly admitted that to people. I felt like an AA member who could only feel free to admit what I did to those who did the same. Hiding my real work was not totally crazy. I wasn’t ashamed (exactly), but I had seen opinions online that said erotic romance was “nothing but sex dressed up to look like romance,” or simply porn. I’d heard said that erotic romance wasn’t really romance and would destroy the genre. There were all kinds of discussions in the RWA about whether erotic romance “fit,” and this was when some pretty big authors wrote it and made good money at it. No wonder some of us were a little shy about saying out loud what we wrote.
But here’s the dirty little secret about erotic romance: it’s all about the romance. The story is still king, and the story is about people falling in love. The sex—as prominent as it might seem within the love affair—is really only like a good set on stage or a great supporting actor. If you take sex out of the story and still have a story that holds together with love being the focus, then you have erotic romance.
To my mind, erotica is different. I think erotica focuses on the physical between people, but love is not the primary element. And porn? Well, if you’ve ever watched an XXX-rated movie, you know that love ain’t anywhere in sight.
So, years ago, Georgette Heyer wrote romances where the women were all virgins and the men were all alphas waiting for their ladylove to be ready for marriage. Later in the genre, the alpha males took the heroine before marriage, convincing her that their “coupling” was for the best. They still fell in love and eventually married. Now, society has changed to the point that many people expect to have sex before marriage, and that’s where erotic romance reigns supreme. There’s physical attraction so potent that both parties feel secure in giving in to sex, but within the thread of the plot. In keeping pace with cultural changes, erotic romance answers the desires of many readers. In that regard, erotic romance helps support the success of the romance genre, not destroy it.
The good news is, there are enough variations of great romance novels that if one form doesn’t strike your fancy, try another.
Here’s a little bit about my latest book, Naval Maneuvers, available for pre-release and on sale until March 9 for $2.99. So…questions!
Thank you for coming by, Dee, and for your presentation of the Erotica Genre! Now, let’s get more specific about your latest. How did you come up with the idea for your book?
Actually, Naval Maneuvers is in three parts and my husband developed the idea for one of them, two lost lovers coming back together. The other two were developed with military themes to begin with, with the idea of showing how the military affects family life. My husband and I were both service brats (Marine Corps and Navy respectively), and between low pay and long periods away from home, it’s not always an easy life for the family. Even with all of the difficulties, I love the military and respect and appreciate the sacrifices they make for the rest of us. And I grew up during Vietnam, so I was kind of forced into deciding to support my dad or rebel. I’m not much into rebellion, lol.
What sort of research did you do to write this book?
Gosh, Vivi, I was forced to search the web and investigate men in uniform—how the uniforms look, and how men wear those uniforms (sigh). I also had to find out about the various ranks and pay and ships, etc. A lot of it I knew, but I like research so it was fun to go out and explore the Navy.
If your novel were being made into a movie, whom would you pick to play the lead roles?
This is hard to answer because I don’t know that many actors. The book has three heroes and heroines. So for Dr. Mel Crandall maybe Julianne Hough, for Commander Carissa Walker I’d say Callie Mulligan and Patricia Walker could be played by Megan Fox.
For the men, Channing Tatum could play Commander David Stimson, Chris Pratt could play Senior Chief Todd Baxter, and Stephen Amell looks like he’d make a good Lieutenant Sam Turner. I’m basing all of this on pictures, of course, not on knowledge of acting ability. I’d keep my fingers crossed!
What is the main thing you want readers to take away from your book?
That for most of our men and women in uniform, duty and honor are important. And that they put their passion into serving our country and loving their significant others.
Did you always have the reins of the story or the people in it tried to take over?
Nah. My characters always know who’s boss.
What are you working on now?
I’m working on two books at the moment, one erotic and one non-erotic. They’re keeping me busy!
Let’s talk about you a bit. Do you have a day job?
Not any more. I retired a little over a year ago. Before that I was a technical writer and an editor for technical material. Fiction writing posed a great break from that world.
What started you on the path to writing?
My husband was a consultant and we moved all over the country. Once, we were going to be in South Carolina for just a couple of months so I didn’t want to look for a job. He said, “Why don’t you write a book?” I thought, yeah, that sounds like fun. So I did it. I knew nothing!! But I’ve tried to learn more with each work.
Do you have quirky writing habits?
Yes. I trim my nails before I start on a book so my finger hits the keys and not my nails.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Reading!!! Watching HGTV and Investigate Discovery channels.
Best song ever written, and what turns you on?
Moon River and kindness and humor.
Thank you so much, Dee!
Here’s more about the book.
Naval Maneuvers By Dee S. Knight.
Men and women of the armed forces experience desire and love pretty much like everyone else. Except, well, there is that uniform. And the hard-to-resist attraction of “duty, honor, service” as a man might apply them to a woman’s pleasure. All things considered, romance among the military is a pretty sexy, compelling force for which you’d better be armed, whether weighing anchor and moving forward into desire, dropping anchor and staying put for passion, or setting a course for renewed love with anchor home.
Barnes & Noble: http://tiny.cc/tmdlry
Excerpt (PG rated)
“And what is your name, pretty?” Mel Crandall addressed the dinosaur bones in an undertone, bending nearly to face level. The skeleton displayed an open mouth and rows of fierce, sharp teeth.
“Roger,” a man standing next to her said in a low voice. Startled, she looked up. Up being the operative word. She stood a decent five feet ten inches, and he beat her by a good half foot. She studied him. He ignored her.
The guy had a solid profile, strong chin, chiseled cheekbones, and a straight back with muscular shoulders. Short brown hair. He wore glasses and stared straight ahead, but glasses couldn’t disguise the laugh lines that radiated from the corners of his eyes. His posture was near perfect and he was not overweight, as evidenced by the trim fit of his jeans and red polo shirt that clung enough to give evidence of a low body/mass index number.
As a doctor, she immediately noticed body characteristics before actual looks. But with this guy, examination in lieu of admiration was hard. Men were often put off by the fact that she paid attention to whether they looked sallow or flushed, or if their hands were cold or warm before she “saw” them. She noticed if a man’s eyes were dilated or glittered with fever before she registered eye color. Dates started with mini examinations before she relaxed enough to enjoy personalities, but that’s just the way she was. Men had to take it or leave it. Sadly, most left it. Which was why she talked to dinosaurs at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History all on her own.
Mel moved on to the next exhibit, a shorter built specimen but still tall and with a nasty spiked tail. “I wonder what you looked like,” she murmured. “What color were you, what did you eat, and what’s your name?” She bent to read the exhibit information.
“Gray. Grass.” That same guy had followed her. Rather than having a strong profile, she was beginning to think he was a weirdo. “Annnd, roger.”
Quickly, Mel moved to the next exhibit. “And you are–”
He stood beside her again! Mel started to look for a museum guard but saw none. Great. Planting her hands on her hips, she turned to him. “Stop following me,” she said loudly enough that people in the general area turned to see what was happening.
The guy said, “Hold it.”
Hold it? Hold it, as in “Wait a minute, little lady?” She opened her mouth to lay into him when he turned and removed his glasses, showing her the richest, most chocolatey brown eyes she’d ever seen. The words stuck in her mouth.
“I’m sorry, what?”
In a lower voice she said, “You’re following me from exhibit to exhibit and talking to me. I want you to stop.”
“I didn’t realize…” He wiggled the glasses at her. “I’m working here and I’m afraid I didn’t notice you.”
Well. What was worse, that he was a pervert following her place to place, or that he wasn’t a perv and hadn’t even noticed her?
His brow furrowed while he studied her. “Yes. Yes.” Then he shook his head. “Roger.”
Again with that Roger.
“Gotta go. Later.” Then he smiled at her. “Just a minute, okay?” He folded the glasses and put them first in a protective case. Squatting, he placed a briefcase on the floor and opened it. He stored the glass case inside a pocket. Then he removed something from his right ear—an earbud?—protected it and also put it in the case.
Mel watched all of this with curiosity. He expected her to wait for him? What arrogance. And yet, wait she did. When he stood, holding the case in his left hand and smiled once more, her heart stuttered. The guy was drop dead gorgeous—at least to her understanding of the word. Normally, she appreciated the male form, mostly from a medical viewpoint. This man she enjoyed with pure pleasure.
And Good God. He hadn’t been talking to her, he’d been talking to whoever was on the other end of that earbud. Embarrassment flooded her.
“I’m sorry,” she said. “I thought you were…” She slid her hand between the two of them and then to the exhibits.
“No,” he said. “I apologize. I shouldn’t be testing this stuff around people. The last time I did it a kid thought I was calling him Roger.” His voice had a soft drawl to it. Western Virginia or North Carolina, maybe? Somewhere in the mountains. It felt like a cool stream as it ran over a body hot and tired from hiking: refreshing and invigorating, at the same time soothing and relaxing. She wanted him to talk more.
Stop that! She laughed. “I thought you were naming each dinosaur.” He smiled and dimples indented his cheeks. His eyes crinkled and Mel’s breath caught. This guy should come with a warning label. Approach with caution. Could bring on lustful intentions and ultimately, broken hearts. Take only in small doses and in public places.
He held out his hand. “David Stimson.”
She took it gingerly, half expecting lightning to bolt between them. Nope. Nothing. So much for romance novels. He had a nice hand, large and warm with healthy pink nails, and she grasped it firmly. “Melissa Crandall.”
“Nice to meet you. Do you mind if I wander along with you?” Grasping the briefcase with his left hand, he deftly, he moved to the left of her.
“No, please. It’s a free country.” She walked to the next dinosaur re-creation. “And this one is…” She half waited for his pronouncement.
“Not Roger,” he said, stopping her heart with that killer smile again. He leaned over to read the information. “Torosaurus latus. It says here that these bones were dug up in North Dakota, but that the Torosaurus roamed from Canada to Texas, and that he had the biggest head of any land mammal.”
“Well, I guess that’s something to be proud of,” Mel responded. David laughed and she found herself smiling back. When she moved to the next exhibit, he strolled along with her, hands behind his back.
He pointed to the next specimen. “Poor guy. Starved to death.”
“Oh, yeah? How do you know?”
“Can’t you tell? He’s all bones.”
Find Dee here:
Twitter: Twitter.com/#DeeSKnight (@DeeSKnight)
Amazon author: https://www.amazon.com/Dee-S.-Knight/e/B079BGZNDN