Erotica Insulted in Writer's Digest

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I am used to defending what I read and write as being more than porn but to see it insulted in Writer's Digest is just too much.

I am so disappointed and upset by some content that appeared in the April 2008 issue of Writer's Digest Magazine. In the article The Popular Fiction Report by Michael J. Vaughn (page 36 and 37) erotica writers and their erotica stories and novels were thoroughly insulted. The whole genre was treated as though it is a dirty little side note all lumped into the same category as porn.

Mr. Vaughn interviewed a romance agent for information about the romance genre, a Steven Axelrod who supposedly has been a romance agent for over 30 years. (Obviously not a very good one if he knows nothing of the hot, hot, hot market of erotica). Axelrod is quoted as saying "You give a group of romance writers a couple of drinks and they'll admit it is pornography," he says. "It's hard to see it as true romance, and it has a very limited audience- they can't seem to grow it. Very few good storytellers seem to be staking their careers there."

I am used to defending erotica. I am used to the popular argument of erotica versus porn, but to see this blatant disregard of the whole genre in Writer's Digest (a magazine I pay for) really aggravated me. No talent, no good storytellers?

I think erotica authors were thoroughly dissed and we don't deserve that. There are so many talented writers in this genre. Just because we don't sugar coat everything and hide the sex behind closed doors does not make us less talented in fact I think being able to create believeable characters, fantastic plot and add hot sex scenes to it all takes a tremendous amount of talent.

First of all what is a romance and love story without sex, people in love have sex, basic fact of life why skip over it in a book. Second I don't think the erotic stories that I read or write should be lumped into the same category as a Web site full of black guys gang banging one white girl (pornography). Third if there is no market for erotic romances or no good storytellers in this sub genre than why have all the major romance publishers added erotica lines? Berkley, Avon, Harlequin, Kensington all have erotica imprints and more publishers are adding them everyday. Harlequin just added another erotica imprint, Nocturne Bites, for short e-book stories of erotic fiction. (my article The Growing Genre of Erotica on expands on this trend). Ellora's Cave started out as a small publisher and now is a mulitmillion dollar business. Fourth, if there are no good storytellers in this genre why have Laurell K Hamilton, J. R. Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Mary Janice Davidson and many more authors that could be put in this sub genre been best sellers?

Mr. Vaughn should know to double check his facts and find a reliable expert source that is really an expert in the field because Steven Axelrod is way behind on the times and I really feel bad for any of his clients who would love to branch out into broader ranges of fiction and I am appalled that the editor's of Writer's Digest let this slip through the cracks and get published. Erotica is alive and well as are all of the erotic and erotic romance authors that your magazine just insulted.

I wrote a letter to the editors at Writer's Digest I urge any erotica writers, readers, or publishers to do the same:


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Roxanne is a bewitching chameleon that can change her appearance, personality and attitude at any given moment. After 5 years together, her husband still suspects that at some point she was a spy or assassin for the C.I.A or some top secret government agency. She openly denies that allegation, but he still has his suspicions. The lady has many secrets and loves to remain mysterious. If she wants you to know or believe something about her, it will appear in her writing here, &/or at her blog.

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