by Kathleen Bradean
This is my final post for Oh Get a Grip. it's been fun, but it's time to move on. The subjects have been interesting to explore and I love seeing what the others had to say. I'd like to thank my fellow Grippers for interesting insights and discussions, and thank readers who commented on my posts.
Novels are the main reason I'm leaving. I'm writing two a year and that's all I have time to do anymore. It looks as if the new crew (and the remaining folks) will be an interesting group. I plan to check in to see what they have to say in the future.
I've written erotic for ten years. It's been a decade of wild change. This sounds like gramps on the porch, but I remember when agents wouldn't represent erotica writers and no one took our work seriously. It was trash. It was what you wrote only if you were desperate to be published. It was morally wrong. And that's only what writers in other genres openly said about it! They probably still do. And yet, the reading public has spoken, and they want to read it. The walls of shame are crumbling. The phenomenon of 50 Shades of Gray (FSOG) wouldn't have happened without the
internet, fanfic, and all those brave writers who dared to write erotica
long before it was popular.
I haven't read FSOG (I realize the topic is 'What are You Reading' not 'What Won't You Read, Ever') so I have not discussed it much, but since this is my farewell on a blog by erotica writers, I thought I'd say this about the biggest event within our genre since Anne Rice's Beauty series shook up the literary world: Books don't have worth. They have stories. Not every story is for every reader. I promise to try to be more understanding toward readers who like stories I don't. (and expect to fail spectacularly, but I'll keep trying)
As for what I am reading, I'm discovering Elisabeth Sanxoy Holding. She's amazing. But I'm also taking a detour through the classics of literary erotica. Perfume by Patrick Suskind. The Lover by Marguerite Duras, Delta of Venus by Anais Nin, Under the Rooftops of Paris by Henry Miller. I'll probably tackle Georges Bataille next or if I'm in a milder mood, Milan Kundera, or Paulo Coelho. It's a hard to define space, literary erotica, and it's dismally small. If you think of titles (Not The Story of O) please send them to me.
While I'm glad for readers and writers that erotic romance is gaining in popularity, as a literary erotica writer, I sometimes feel as if my niche has been pushed aside. That isn't exactly true. It's been overshadowed. But literary erotica has always existed perilously in the margins and will probably remain there. Literary eroticists have a small readership. I'll never enjoy huge sales, and there will never be a literary erotic con where readers line up to get my autograph. I've made my peace with that. If I wrote for money or a following I wouldn't write what I want to and frankly, FSOG aside, there's never enough money in writing to waste my time telling stories I don't like. So if you pick up something I've written, know that I wrote it for the pure joy of it. I hope it shows.
Somewhere between the clinical and the vulgar, there's a language of sensuality waiting for us. I addressed that (tried to) in my blog post Ephemeral Blaznous a few weeks ago, then found Anais Nin made a similar (and more cogent) comment in her forward in Delta of Venus. All these years later and it still doesn't exist. We may have to invent this language. Create it in your stories. Weave it into your tales. Write something wonderful. And write for the love of it.
You can still find me on my personal blog, or on ERWA blog for my monthly article Writing this Novel.
My erotic horror novel Night Creatures will be released soon (one way or another). Look for news on my blog.