Friday, July 1, 2011

Writing Romance: Tina Folsom (Post & Giveaway)

Wow, this week has flown by, I hope you all have enjoyed our Writing Romance event! Our last post comes from the wonderful author, Tina Folsom, who is back at RBtW with a fantastic guest post and giveaway! I love Tina's work and if you haven't read anything from her yet then you should check out my reviews of a few of her novels & novellas! 
Make sure to visit author Loribelle Hunt at Secrets of a Book Lover as well!

Erotica or Erotic Romance?
By Tina Folsom

I often read reviews for my books where a reviewer refers to my books as Erotica. I’ve never written Erotica in my life, so maybe it’s time that I explain what I consider Erotica and what I believe is Erotic Romance. Because there is a difference.
When I first joined the Romance Writers of America, I quickly found out about the many rules of writing romance. There were several vital ones that no romance writer can break and still call her novel a romance.

In a romance, erotic or not:
·         The hero and the heroine have to end up together; ie. Happily Ever After, also called HEA.
·         The hero and the heroine may only have sex with each other. That is not to say that they have to be virgins, but that from the moment they meet, they can’t be intimate with anybody else.

In Erotica, everything goes. The hero and the heroine may sleep with anybody they want to. There can be ménages, orgies, or anything that the writer finds titillating. There is no necessity for a Happy End, however oftentimes Erotica does have a Happy End, but it can be a Happy End between more than two people. A novel like “Patton’s Way” comes to mind where the heroine ends up with three brothers.

Now let’s examine some of my writing that has been called Erotica.
Venice Vampyr is a novella series I’m writing. In the first of the series, the vampire Raphael is rescued from drowning by the human Isabella. Subsequently, he seduces her. Their sexual encounters are scorching and include bondage and even voyeurism. But does the intensity and explicitness of the sexual encounters between the hero and the heroine make it Erotica?
Let’s look at it more closely: In Venice Vampyr, Raphael only has sex with Isabella and vice versa. How about the voyeurism though? There is a scene in which Raphael and Isabella have sex in a dark archway and are observed by a passerby. Does this scene make it Erotica? It would if the stranger joined in, but he never touches Isabella or Raphael.
The sex remains monogamous, even though it might be a little risqué. However, Venice Vampyr closes with a Happy End, thus fulfilling the promise of a romance. It is clearly a romance, yet a very sexy, very erotic one. But it isn’t Erotica.
I could certainly have turned it into Erotica if I had wanted to go that way. What would I have had to change to make it Erotica?
In Venice Vampyr, I would have changed the archway scene to make it so that the stranger joined in and touched Isabella and changed places with Raphael by having sex with her. I could also have had Raphael feed from other women and in the process have sex with them. In either case, their relationship would not have been monogamous anymore, and while they could still have had a Happy End, I wouldn’t have classified the novella as romance anymore. I would have broken one of the cardinal rules of romance.

Not all novels are always clear-cut, but I think you probably get the idea. Monogamous and a Happy End = Romance; multiple partners and/or ménages = Erotica.
Happy reading whatever you’re into, Erotica or Erotic Romance. Enjoy!

Find more of Tina and all her amazing novels & novellas on her website or blog!

Tina is giving away one paperback copy of the first three Venice Vampyr novellas to one lucky reader. 
To enter, just fill out the form below AND leave a meaningful question or comment for Tina!
Giveaway is open Internationally and will end at 11:59pm on July 8th. One winner will then be selected at random and contacted via email. 


  1. I never thought about the difference between Erotic and Erotic Romance. What was pointed out makes so much sense. Thanks for sharing today & thanks for the giveaway.

  2. Wow these look so good, im adding them to my to read list..
    I have love reading about all of you this past week..Thanks to Reading between the Wines for doing this..
    Thank you so much

  3. That was really interesting - the amazing difference the addition of an 'a' makes on the end of a word.

    I have just discovered your work after recently getting a Kindle and I wanted to say how much I enjoyed Samson & Delilah's book and then the rest of the set that has been published so far.

    Am in backlist heaven ☺

    May I ask what is the biggest plus/thrill for you as an Indie writer?

  4. These novellas sound fantastic. Thank you for such clear-cut definitions on romance, erotica and erotic romance. It makes things so much clearer.

  5. Thanks so much for clearing it up! I now realize I prefer erotic romance.
    Tina's books looks great! They are definitely going on my TBR list. Thanks for the giveaway.

  6. Great post! Thanks for distinguishing the difference between erotic romance and erotic...sometimes readers think it's all the same!!! Very insightful.

    P.S. Love those covers!

  7. I totally appreciate the difference between "erotic" and "erotica," and your brand of "erotic" sounds like my cup of tea. I enjoyed your post, and look forward to reading your work!

  8. Weather it's erotic or erotic , romance or whicever, it,s fine by me, I,m not at all blushed, besides you book seemes like a great book and it's been on my TBR list ofr quite a while.
    Thanks for your clarifications and the giveaway

  9. A really interesting post. I just hadn't realised what the definitions actually were untill now thank you!

  10. A really interesting post.Thanks for explainin the difference between erotic romance and erotic
    and tnx the give away

  11. Tina, I love your work! Thank you for the giveaway & informative interview! I was wondering, what are a few of your favorite book series?

  12. I never even considered what the differences were between erotica and erotic romance. Thank you for the interesting perspective and information! The novellas sounds great! Thanks for the giveaway.

  13. I love the first book in this series and A Touch of Greek. I would love to read the other books in this series.

    Stephanie M

    smccar1 at hotmail dot com

  14. There really is a fine line between erotic & erotica. I understand the difference much better now thank you.


  15. Tina I love reading about vampires. I can't wait to read your vampire books. Please enter me in contest.

  16. I just had to comment, I am a huge fan of Tina's since I read A Touch of Greek!!.

  17. Thank you for sharing today. I sometimes have difficulty sorting the two, because there is a definite difference in the writing styles at least from what I have seen. I want a story that had a lot of meat to it with steamy scenes that make it more cohesive rather than just steamy to be steamy - I think that means I enjoy erotic romance :) I am confused LOL, but its okay, I'll just keep checking them out until I get it right:)

  18. Great post. I never really thought about the clear lines between erotica and erotic romance. To me erotica can be anything, but erotic romance has a romantic relationship (and yeah a happily ever after). Your novellas sound really good!


  19. I have actually never heard of "Erotic Romance" as a genre. Whatever the label, the book sounds wonderful! I'd love to be entered in the giveaway!

    My email address is darlenesbooknook at gmail dot com.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  20. I have been wondering for a while why some books were labeled erotica when I wouldn't consider them so, thanks for giving the guidelines! Your series sounds deliciously hot! Thanks for a chance to win, I love love the story lines!


  21. I didn't know the difference either. I like the idea or erotic romance. I've never really read any of it but these look good.

  22. I've noticed a lot of authors who write erotic romance seemed to be offended by their work being called erotica. Does it offend you and would you ever consider writing erotica?

  23. Great post. I read both :) Thanks for the giveaway.

  24. I am not a great fan of what you call erotica but your description of erotic sounds like a better read to me.

    Carol T

    buddytho {at} gmail DOT com

  25. Nice to see someone break it down so well and thoughtfully. When I tag reviews of Erotic Romances I tend to use Erotica because I've always thought of it as more of an umbrella term for explicit sexual content beyond H/H only relations but you're right... sometimes it's very gray when the Erotica ends with a HEA if there's more than the H/H involved. I'm not sure Polyamory quite works IRL but it's an interesting concept to explore. :)

    Great post Tina!

  26. I didn't ever think about there being a difference between them but it does make a lot of sense.

    sstrode at scrtc dot com

  27. Hi!
    Thanks so much for the explanation.. Now I know that I like erotic romance and not so much erotica (the idea of multiple partners? not that interesting to me)


  28. Hello Tina, what is the first reason for you to love vampire? :)

  29. This series sound great, I'd like to read them.

  30. If you could be bitten anywhere on your body by a vampire where would it be.

  31. If you could be bitten anywhere on your body by a vampire where would it be?

  32. I'm glad your books have a HEA. That is a must for me.

  33. First, my apologies for not replying to all your great comments any earlier: was in New York City attending the annual RWA conference and just returned at midnight last night.

    As to your specific questions:

    Willa, the greatest thrill for me as an indie author is to know that I have complete creative control and a book will fly or die by the choices I make.

    Redzsm, a series I really love: Kerrelyn Sparks's Love at Stakes, Lara Adrian's Midnight Breed, pretty much anything by Kresley Cole, and Larissa Ione is also a favorite.

    Penny, am I offended if my writing is called Erotica? Not offended as such, but I don't want to create the wrong impression and disappoint readers, that's why I make sure to classify my writing as romance, not erotica. I don't think I'd ever write real Erotica, because I'm really looking for the happy end and the relationship between two people. I'm a romantic at heart.

    Lady, why I love vampires? Immortality, baby! Read more on a recent blog post I did:

    Jodie, where I would like to be bitten by a vampire? Is it going to shock you if I say my boobs?

    Thanks to all of you for stopping by, and for your comments and encouragement. And good luck on the draw of the paperback!

  34. Thanks for explaining the difference on erotica and erotica romance :o I just honestly considered anything sexwise to be erotica myself LOL XD so this clears it up a bit for me.. I guess I actually like both though ;)

    Hope you had a great time at the RWA! I love Kerrely, Lara, Kresley, Larissa myself :o we should swap authors list LOL :) I'm creating a paranormal book check list site and will eventually have all those lovely ladies on there and you too if you want :D

    swtlilangel4jc at yahoo dot com

    P.S. the sites content is not up yet but the site is if you wanted to take a peek paranormaladdicts dot com lol :D I figured it was fitting for us paranormal book lovers? :D

  35. wow.thanks for telling me the difference between erotic and erotica.i did not know that!
    thanks for the giveaway and for making it international!

    GFC-Janhvi Jagtap
    justjanhvi at gmail dot com

  36. This sounds like an awesome series! I love the covers!

  37. I have been wanting to read these books. They all sound so good and who does not love some really hot vampires?

    GFC: June M.
    manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

  38. Thanks Tina, I've never even thought about there being a difference. But I too know now I enjoy Erotic Romance.And seeing Jimmy Thomas on your covers puts a huge smile on my face. :) Love that man. Please count me in as I'd love to read your books.
    GFC follower under Lucky47.
    Carol L.
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

  39. Tina, thanks so much. I love, love, love The Scanguards Vampires.<3

  40. Thanks for explaining all that too us! It is so much clearer now.

  41. Thanks for the post, Tina! It's interesting to see how you define the difference between Erotic Romance and Erotica. I also prefer Erotic Romance over Erotica and just wanted to mention that I love your Scanguard Vampires series!


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