If you spend as much time on Facebook as I do, you may have begun to notice something. Romance books are becoming less advertised as love stories and are being portrayed as “mommy porn”. Authors and blogs (I’m totally guilty of this) have resorted to using “sex” to sell their “sex” books. Sounds legit, right?
We as authors (erotica, contemporary romance, etc) have poured our hearts and souls into writing books that carry an equal amount of love story and steam. I know personally, I get highly offended when someone tells me I “write porn.”
Have you ever watched porn? I have and it’s cheesy as hell. The faces they make….ew.
A porn story might involve the pizza delivery guy showing up to deliver pizza to a desperate housewife while the husband is at work, only to end up screwing her six ways to Sunday. The husband shows up and they have a ridiculous threesome. So hot, right? NOT.
I don’t write porn. I write LOVE stories. My stories are tales of broken people that find redemption in each other. These stories detail out chemistry between two souls and their journey toward a happy ever after. And while there is sex, and in some of my books a lot of it, there’s also love. The connection between the characters is real and something everyone can relate to.
There’s no love in porn.
So when did our industry become about downgrading our art to just porn with no story line. We find half naked pictures of men to post all over our pages and covers of our books to sell our product. When you open Facebook, if you’re a book nerd like me, your feed is flooded with endless scrolling of a different set of chiseled abs with each post.
So what’s the big deal? I like abs….
That’s not the point. Everyone can appreciate beauty, no matter the form. The point is, it is becoming the face of our industry. It’s casting a light on our genre that says what we write isn’t as good as the rest…like it’s dirty and cheap.
I’m sorry, but I’m proud of each and every one of my sexy stories.
Again, what’s the point?
The point is, it’s time to breathe romance back into the romance genre.
Thus with a kiss I die. ~ Romeo~ (Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare)
Um, swoon much?! Your heart melted a little and I didn’t even post a picture of a tattooed badass Romeo with Ken doll abs in an expensive suit rolling up on a Harley. You still imagined a sexy, romantic, panty-melting lover.
And that, my friends, is another point. The books we write are not meant to be picture books. They’re romantic fantasies for you to get lost in. When the author describes the way the hero’s eyes caress every curve of the heroine’s body, your heart seizes in anticipation. You want to get caught up in their story. We as authors have a job to help create a visual in your head so that you don’t need accompanying pictures.
And how’s this for romance? Sheesh, it reminds me of some of the dialogue that goes on between some of my characters:
” ‘for I have seen you give him looks and smiles this very night, such as you never give to me.” (Pip speaking to Estella)
“Do you want me then,” said Estella, turning suddenly with a fixed and serious, if not angry, look, “to deceive and entrap you?”
“Do you deceive and entrap him Estella?” (Pip)
“Yes, and many others-all of them but you.” (Estella)
(Great Expectations by Charles Dickens)
Awwww, Estella loves Pip even if she has a funny way of showing it.
Can you imagine if Charles Dickens and William Shakespeare had Facebook back in the day? Would ole Charlie post a sexy picture of a hard-bodied Pip standing behind a fire wielding a hammer as he beat the metal into submission all the while while giving the camera a naughty smirk? I kind of think he’d be more inclined to post an excerpt like the one above to draw the reader into the story.
Would Bill Shakespeare post half naked pictures of Romeo hanging from the trellis in nothing but a pair of fitted tights showcasing all of his man-glory all over his page? While I’m sure Romeo was a looker back in the day and most of the dames wanted to throw their knickers at him, the story wasn’t just about him was it? No, it was also about Juliet. It was a romance story through and through. A tragic one—but most of them are anyhow.
So in a nutshell, I’m getting bored of the “well, sex sells” mantra. In my opinion, romance still sells…we just need to bring back the focus to the heart of the matter…
People were in love with these classic romantic stories long before Fabio came along with his golden tan and flowing Thor Wannabe hair. I think it’s time to give respect back to our genre and credit it for more than just “mommy porn”.
I write a love story about two people that usually have a little trouble finding their way at first but they always do eventually. The story is typically a passionate yet angst-filled one that weaves it’s way toward a happy ending.
Who’s ready to bring sexy back? Get your head back in the gutter where it belongs and off of Facebook. Let’s rely on our imaginations once again to paint a picture of the perfect book boyfriend instead of drooling all over images that have nothing to do with our books.
Surely I’m not the only one out there that sees how our industry has been overrun by abs. Again, abs are not a bad thing. But my books aren’t about abs. They’re about love.