Labels and More Labels

2016 #ROW80 Round 1: Check-In 15

LabelsAs an MM Romance author, I’m uber aware of labels. See what I did there? Yes, I labeled myself, not only as an author but specifically, as an MM Romance author. Since I started writing MM, I kept this label as vague as possible. Many colleagues use a more accurate niche/label, for example, contemporary, fantasy, paranormal, etc. I didn’t because I was not sure what I wanted to write about other than romance.

I have five novellas available– one contemporary, two are fantasy/historical, and the last two BDSM. Also, I have a complete first draft of a BDSM novel, and I’m currently working on another contemporary novella. You can see, I like to write several genres and have several plot bunnies already lined up for other fantasy, BDSM, paranormal, and contemporary stories. It’s not that I can’t decide what to write, but that I like to let my imagination run wild.

Why I’m talking about all this? The answer is simple. Because I’m thinking about redefining my labels. Even when my stories are different genres, they have one thing in common. The sexual content is explicit. I’m not an erotica writer, not that there is anything wrong with it, but my characters sex life is intertwined with their feelings. No romance, no sex.

So, what I’m talking about? I’m talking about using the label MM Erotic Romance author. One of the best definitions I had seen comes from Red Moon Romance,  an imprint of the independently owned and operated publisher World Weaver Press, based in Alpena, Michigan.

Erotic Romance: Focuses on characters falling in love and their journey toward a relationship. The love scenes are frequent and sexually explicit, as well as a natural part of the romance, ending with a HEA or HFN.

Why erotic romance? Wow, I’m full of questions today. Another simple answer, really two. First, to let the readers know exactly what to expect. And second, to give me the freedom to narrow my own expectations. The risk? Many consider erotic romance porn, or trash and devalue the author’s work. At this point in my career, I’m still able to take chances and explore opportunities before I need to worry about fans.

My stories are character driven, and their sexuality is an integral part of it. But above all, finding their HFN or HEA is their primary goal. It could be a mystery, vampires, wolves, or just ordinary people, but love is the greatest of them all.

I’m not a hundred percent sure, yet, but I’ll let you all know. What about you? Do you label yourself?


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  1. Pretty much everything I write is romance. Sometimes romantic suspense, sometimes contemporary, even some western romances. I haven’t delved into paranormal or fantasy, but if I do, they’ll probably be strong on the romance too.

    I say take on whatever label you’re most comfortable with.

  2. have been struggling with genre labels ever since 2009 when I first published – still trying to fit my series into lists – is it dystopian – future history – climate change fiction who knows – tres difficult – go with what you are happy with I agree.

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