It is the final day of the 50 Shades of Sensuality event! We have author Opal Carew here today with another lovely insightful look into the erotic romance genre. The complete Riding Steele novel will be released on March 17, 2015 from St. Martin’s Griffin. Please enjoy this wonderful post below!
Dark Faerie Tales: Why do you think people flock to erotic? Do you think sexy stories sell?
Opal: Fans who write to me often tell me that my stories help them embrace their sexuality and bring a welcome element to their relationships. I’m have many couples tell me they read the stories together, which I think it a great idea.
DFT: What’s the difference between erotic fiction and porn? Do you think people get the genres mixed up?
Opal: Yes, I think people do get them mixed up. The purpose of porn is to arouse the reader. Character, romance, and even plot, are not important. In erotica, the stories are about the sexual journey of the character, so emotion and character growth are important. Romance, however, need not be an element. Finally, in erotic romance the development of a romantic relationship is a fundamental part of the story, and a true erotic romance will have a happily-ever-after.
DFT: How do you market your erotic titles? Do you find it difficult?
Opal: My erotic romance novels are published by St. Martin’s Press and they are marketed as romance. The back jacket description is clear that the material is erotic, but in the bookstore you find my work in the romance section. Book store staff have told me that is much better because many women still aren’t comfortable browsing through the erotica section, and it’s easier for the staff to recommend books in the romance section.
On-line is easier because you can browse in the comfort of your home. When I promote my self-published books, I use the same places to advertise and promote as for non-erotic romance.
My stories are very erotic, with explicit sex scenes and sexual themes, but they are also romances.
I do write some erotic short stories and I market them the same way. I have started an erotica only pseudonym where I write more risqué, taboo stories, and I am finding that more difficult to market. I’m still figuring that out.
DFT: Could you please tell us about the very first erotic story that you wrote?
Opal: Even since I first started writing romance, my stories went right into the bedroom. Back then I wrote too hot for the lines I was targeting. When I first sold to New Concept Publishing, they asked me to take those same stories and make them hotter, so you could say those were my first erotic stories, but I feel those were actually ramped up romance stories. The first real erotic romance I wrote, that had an erotic theme, was Twin Fantasies (a novel) and that’s the one that caught the eye of my St. Martin’s Press editor and launched my career.
As you can tell from the title, the story involved twins. Specifically, two hot male twins. My idea was that the heroine was dating one twin and would wind up accidentally sleeping with the other twin. (The two brothers were estranged so she didn’t even know her boyfriend had a twin.) Originally, I had thought of targeting it to Harlequin, but then when major publishers started to become interested in erotic romance, I realized that I could write a much more interesting version of it, thus my first ménage book was born!
Here’s the backjacket blurb for Twin Fantasies:
Mistaken identity has never been so sensuous….
Jenna Kerry has a secret. She’s always fantasized about sharing her bed with two men, but her fiancé Ryan would never approve. But one night at a posh reception at a luxury hotel, Ryan unexpectedly appears, leads her to his room and shows her the wildest night of her life. The trouble is, he isn’t Ryan. When she discovers the truth-that her fiancé has a twin-she reignites a long-standing rivalry. Both men are determined to have her, and they set out to prove their talents in the most erotic ways imaginable. But does she dare ask them to explore her most hidden fantasy… and can she handle all that these hot-blooded twins have to offer?
DFT: How do you use BDSM in your writing to develop story and/or character development?
Opal: As a writer, I am interested in exploring the exchange of power between the characters. I focus on one character being Dominant and the other giving up control. Usually for the character giving up control, this is a new thing, so I take my reader through the discovery process, and why this is exciting, because the character is experiencing these things for the first time. In the process, they discover something important about themselves.
In my stories, I use the DS relationship to push the characters’ issues and cause them to grow. It is fundamental to the story and the character growth.
I want to point out that in this exchange of power, it looks like the Dominant has all the power, but in fact, he is responsible for satisfying both their needs, so he must know his partner very well, and be able to read how she is reacting to what they’re playing out. He must be constantly alert and aware of her needs and desires. Also, the sub has the power to end what is going on at any time.
- His To Command – By giving up control to Matt, both physically and emotionally, Kate learns to give up control in her life so she can take risks (i.e. not play it too safe) and stop limiting herself in life.
- His to Possess – Dane loves to dominate a woman in the bedroom and to explore that aspect of a relationship and the emotional development that comes with it. In Jessica’s case, Dane’s role as a dominant man actually helps Jessica become more comfortable around authority figures, which translates to Jessica feeling more empowered in her own life.
- His To Claim – Rafe Ranier is the younger of two billionaire brothers, but Rafe was abused by his father because he didn’t feel Rafe was good enough. Rafe feels the desire to dominate Melanie in the bedroom, and she wants him to, but he resists, struggling with his fear that he will be abusive, just like his father was.
- Riding Steele – In this book, I explored the negative aspect of DS as well as the positive. At the beginning of the book, Laurie is in a relationship with a billionaire Dominant, but I turn it around from the usual sexy rich Dom by having this be an abusive relationship. She tries to break up with him and things turn violent, and she’s rescued by a tattooed biker. She then finds herself under the protection of Steele, the leader of the biker gang. She is now extremely distrustful of dominant men, and she believes this biker is a dangerous man. When she finds herself falling in love with him, and longing to be dominated by him, it becomes clear that in order to find her happily-ever-after, she needs to come to terms with her desire to give over control to someone, realize it’s not a weakness, and overcome her issues about trust.
DFT: What is your hottest, or most outrageous/crazy sex scene and where did you get your idea? (This can be from any book you have written.)
Opal: I’ve written a lot of group sex scenes that some people might consider pretty outrageous (in Swing, Six, The Office Slave series, Hot Ride, Wild Ride, Riding Steele), I have ménage in most of my books, and I have a scene in one book (Secret Weapon) that spans three chapters where the heroine is involved in a poker game with several men that gets pretty wild, but I’d say the most unique was a scene where the hero and heroine don’t even touch for most of it, but she had him so turned on he thought he would burst. That scene was in Wild Ride where I have a special gag with a dildo that Marissa can make light up and “come”, and when Killer gags her with it [to get some peace and quiet], she teases the hell out of him and drives him crazy.
Steele from Riding Steele
DFT: What does your lover do to instantly turn you on?
Steele: Be in the room!
DFT: Where is the most unique/crazy place you have had sex?
Steele: Nowhere really crazy. Just your typical places. In the lake, on the motorcycle, on the pool table in the bar…
DFT: If you could have your lover dress in anything you want, and we do mean ANYTHING, what would choose?
Steele: Black leather jacket over a leather harness with chains! And stilettos, of course.
DFT: Leather or lace?
Steele: Oh, baby, leather is the only way to go!
DFT: What is your idea of a romantic date?
Steele: Pack the Harley with sandwiches and beer, head out to the lake, and go skinny dipping. And if she’s in the mood, we’d invite a few of the gang along.
DFT: Yes or no to being tied up?
Steele: When I first met her, she was handcuffed to my bed, and was not really happy about it, but now it’s a definite yes.
Opal Carew is the author of over a dozen romance stories in which she makes offerings of hope, success, and love to her readers. Opal loves crystals, dragons, feathers, cats, pink hair, the occult, Manga artwork, and all that glitters. She earned a degree in Mathematics from the University of Waterloo, and spent 15 years as a software analyst before turning to her passions as a writer. Opal lives with her husband and two teen-aged sons in Ontario, Canada.
Want to read more from Opal Carew?
Available March 17, 2015 from St. Martin’s Press
About the Books:
Being kidnapped by bikers is a harrowing experience, but for some reason, Laurie doesn’t feel as terrified as she should. The leader’s steely eyes soften when he looks at her, and the others in his gang clearly know she’s hands off. But does that include Steele’s hands? Her brain resists him, but her body insists she wants those big hands all over her.
Steele doesn’t know how he wound up in this mess—with a kidnapped woman on his hands and the police hot on their trail. Now he and Laurie are in hiding at an isolated cabin, and Steele has to figure out how to extricate himself…and steer clear of his accidental captive whose tight, slinky clubbing attire is making him think all kinds of dangerous thoughts…