The first time I read Jane Austen's 'Northanger Abbey', I was a naive, imaginative 15 year old attending an English convent school. (rather like Catherine Morland really) Having five sisters who all had an unquenchable thirst for literature, I mentioned the book when I got home. My three older sisters started sniggering. Sister number two quoted this line:
"Such was Catherine Morland at ten. At fifteen, appearances were mending;she began to curl her hair and long for balls."
They kept sniggering and I still didn't understand. It took me quite a few years to work out why something the great Jane wrote might be misconstrued. It took me even longer to write anything that was deliberately erotic myself.
What makes a writer turn to the erotic to push the boundaries of what is considered romantic or acceptable? I know I never meant to find myself on the sharp pointy end of romance. I just slid into it by accident by challenging myself to write the best sex scenes that I could even if they were dark, a little uncomfortable and definitely outside my personal knowledge.
I have a theory that you can't force yourself to write good erotic romance. Just because the market is wanting it, doesn't mean you should write it. My sexy historicals were always a little too dark, too unconventional and not quite right for any publishers (so far, that might change) But I think those qualities made me write better erotica.
What drew you to erotic romance? What did it offer you that steamy romance didn't?
I'm also wondering how the other Crumpets arrived here? Do tell.