When the musical The New Yorkers opened on Broadway in 1930, Cole Porter’s song Love for Sale, caused an uproar. Sung from the perspective of a prostitute, Love for Sale was considered so scandalous by ‘30s standards that it was banned from radio play. In spite of – or perhaps because of – the song’s disrepute, it became a hit for a number of recording artists.
My favorite (very different) versions are by Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday. Fitzgerald’s take on the song was sassy and upbeat – as if she were saying, “Yeah, I know what the song is about. What of it?” Holiday took Love for Sale to a very different place. Her version was angst-ridden and more soulful. Billie seemed to say, “Yeah, I know what the song is about - I lived it.” Same lyrics – different interpretations.
What singers are to songs, readers are to fiction. How do you interpret erotic romance? Do you see it as a love story that pulls no punches when it comes to sexuality, or is erotic romance thinly-veiled softcore porn? That’s a rhetorical question, Darlings. There is a correct answer. Erotic romance is, first and foremost, romantic fiction. It is character- and plot-driven. The author wants you to get lost in the story and care about the people who populate it. The physical intimacy is there to support the work, not drive it.
As a writer, for me the litmus test is in how I feel about the story and characters. When all is said and done, do I care what happens to my heroes and heroines? I recently completed Book 3 in my paranormal erotic romance series Ghost Encounters and, oh boy, do I care! The main characters have been with me through three different adventures and telling their stories has been a truly emotional experience. I laughed, I cried, I got pissed off, I got turned on.
No matter how you interpret the complicated and quirky people in the Ghost Encounters series, my hope is that you will care about them too. Please stop by the website to learn more about each book and read Adults-Only excerpts of the first two.
To introduce you to sassy psychic medium Toni Bianchi, hot television ghost hunter Thomas Becker, and the rest of the gang, Book 1 in the series “Soldier of Love,” is being offered for a limited time at just 99¢ on Amazon!
Book 2 “A Triple Scoop of I Scream,” is available now at Total-e-Bound and at all major eBook retailers on March 4th.
Book 3 “Stage Fright,” will be out in May.
Happy Reading, Darlings… You Make My Heart Sing! Now for your listening pleasure, the musical stylings of Miss Ella Fitzgerald and Miss Billie Holiday: