Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Let's kick off the new year with talk about SMUT!

Earlier last month, Pam wrote about Pornotopia and the realm of fantasy that is erotic romance. In our early blogging days, we talked about smut too, and what it meant to use that term.

We interrupt this blog because I forgot to announce that ONE MORE TIME is a Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award nominee for Erotic Romance. Yippee Skippee! We now return to our regular broadcast blog.

Last month, I had a booksigning at a local independent bookstore along with three other authors, none of whom wrote erotic romance (mystery, mystery with vampires, and epic fantasy). The chat session actually went well, because we could all riff off our subgenres in answering questions about research and so on.

So with four very different authors, it was a mixed crowd, with a fair share of "wink, wink, nudge, nudge" going on when it came to my books. You know, the stuff we bitch about -- how nobody takes us erotic romance writers seriously and how we get comments about us “researching our novels” *wink wink nudge nudge* from our relatives and they all really don’t have a clue there, do they? (Although it was confirmed that fantasy authors do get similar grief.)

There were some characters up the front sniggering and elbowing each other. Well, instead of getting a stick up my bum about it (can I really say that, safely, on this blog?), I actually played with the audience, playing along and then drawing back to say, "Well, my book's really more about X" and plunging in again.

It was fun!

No shit, there I was, dodging the “research” question and talking about Regency gowns and how it affects movement, when before I knew it I was talking about taking said clothes off.

Dodged the whole research on sex toys issue though.

Ladies and gents, that night I owned the word “smut”. That night, despite that I had a hardcover author to left of me and a hardcover author to the right of me, I sold all but two of my new release.

So, no more being snobby about my art. It’s smut, pure and simple, and sure there’s a message and a theme in it if you want to talk about it, and there’s no doubt in my mind that what makes an erotic romance readable are that the characters are three-dimensional and the plot is somewhat realistic, but let’s be honest here. Isn’t it the dirty bits we’re all really interested in?

By the way, those two sniggering fellows up front? Didn’t buy my book. Although I had my photo taken with one of them and signed their autograph books. One had a good excuse for not buying, so I can hardly blame him.

So, dear readers -- can you own the word smut? Why? And if not, why not?

Oh, and I'm having another booksigning next Wednesday -- at the Barnes & Noble on 10775 Westview Parkway, San Diego, CA 92126 -- that the's 9th January at 7pm. Come and talk smut. Hopefully, I'll still be in this playful mood...


Kate Pearce said...

Good for you!
I think you're absolutely right-all you can do is keep your chin up and give it right back. It's taken me a while to stop apologizing for what I write and 'own' it, but I'm glad I did!
Congrats on that RT nomination as well

Gillian Layne said...

Wow, big congrats on that nomination!!

Jane Lockwood said...

Great big congrats on the RT nomination--how very exciting!

I prefer the term filth, as in filthmonger.

Sharon Page said...

Good for you, Celia! You're right--you do have to own it, be positive, and give it back.

And major congratulations on the RT nomination! I'll be at RT, so will be cheering loudly!

Pam Rosenthal said...

huge congrats for the RT nomination -- and thanks for the nudge, finally to take the Brewer book down from my shelf. "Owning" the word smut is so, so right. You go, Celia.

Celia May Hart said...

Thanks gals!