Let me preface this by saying, I love emails from readers. For serious. I read everything you guys send, and I respond to every single one, even if you’re just emailing to say I suck or I should burn in hell for being such a dirty, dirty slut demon.
In the wee hours of this morning, after I swiped my hot, piping cup of cider and a bagel and sat down at my desk to start my day, I found that I had something truly special sitting in my inbox.
I’m not sheisty, so I won’t share the sender’s email address or anything, but here’s the actual email:
I’m just writing because Im just appaled. Completely appaled by your book-Forbidden Tryste. I bought it from Amazon thinking it would be a love story, but it was nasty! He was her stepdad and he slept with his daughter? That’s not erotica…that’s illegall. Youre pretty much approving molestation.
I’m gonna pray 4 u becuz you’re probably going to hell. Your book just turned my stomache!
I could comment on the need for a simple spell check, but that’s kind of missing the greater point.
I am upfront about the content of my taboo tales in the description. I’m not going for some sort of “gotcha!” moment where a potential buyer thinks they’re getting Fabio riding on a unicorn and I rip the veil from their eyes at the last minute with my ‘illegall’ stories.
-Sidebar: My stories aren’t illegal. All characters are 18+ and over the age of consent.-
Other than being pretty freaking entertaining, her email brought up some good points about what ‘erotica’ is.
Erotica (as defined by Merriam-Webster) is:
What arouses sexual desire kind of depends on the person. Some people like flowery prose where the act is hinted via metaphors with more ‘mainstream’ themes and situations. Others like more taboo topics, like pseudo-incest.
Different strokes, dear readers…different strokes.
With the exception of First Taste (and religious conservatives/zealots would probably lope it in with the whole lot since it’s a paranormal romance between women), a lot of my offerings are taboo. They’re things that some people may find morally objectionable. While it’s not right out sex between a father and daughter related by blood, some people still think it’s sketchy.
And that’s totally fine! If it’s not your cup of tea, there are oodles of other awesome e-books out there that may tickle your fancy. I’m not entrapping anyone.
But turning me into the Big Bad because vanilla isn’t my favorite flavor of ice cream? That makes me get all rant-y. Don’t impose your personal preferences on me and shit upon my work because you either: 1. didn’t read the description, 2. read it and didn’t understand, 3. read it, understood it, and bought it anyway.
More than anything, I think my feathers also got a little ruffle-y because the Taboo Tale saga digs a little deeper. I have plenty of erotic shorts where the characters just get down and dirty, but A Forbidden Tryst and A Family Affair delve a little deeper into the conscience and fighting taboo desires and some pretty harsh consequences. I’m writing the third book now…and shit is really getting real. At this stage, there is no happy ending and I love that about this series. It’s taboo, yes…but it’s so much more than the sex.
So if skirting on the edges of morality buys me a one way ticket to hell, so be it.
In fact, that gives me an idea for a new erotic short…