Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Genre Swinging - By Lily Harlem

Wow, that makes me sound like Tarzan flying through the trees! What I actually mean is that I’m a complete floozy when it comes to sticking to one genre in the world of writing erotic romance. I swing and slide and fling myself around them all! I’m completely unfaithful. I should have pampas grass growing in a tub by my laptop.

You see, beneath this wonderfully erotic and romantic fiction umbrella there is just so much diversity to enjoy when you have a wild and dirty imagination like me. There’s the obvious sub-genres which are male and female plot lines, male, male and of course female, female. Then there is ménage a trois, or ménage a quatre (which I thoroughly enjoyed writing about in Candy Canes and Coal Dust) and beyond that there is so much more. BDSM, paranormal, biker stories, fantasy, sci-fi, stories set in foreign lands. I just can’t resist, I’m like a kid in a sweet shop, they all appeal. I want to taste and chew and rejoice in each and every one  in an authorly sense of course!

But I didn’t always feel like that. I remember going to a wonderfully glamorous occasion up in Lincoln with my publisher Totally Bound several years ago and sharing a glass of wine with a bunch of their M/M authors. At this point I hadn’t strayed from writing M/F sex scenes and plot lines and to be honest I couldn’t understand the draw of M/M, reading or writing it. Oh, how little I knew back then!

These authors were so animated, so passionate about their sub-genre that I was intrigued and as soon as I arrived home I downloaded some of their MM work. Oh, yeah, I was hooked. Hooked on reading it to start with and then I had a go at writing it. I absolutely LOVED writing it! Which might sound odd unless you’ve given it a go. Basically the dynamics of a love story are the same no matter what the gender but I really enjoyed all that testosterone and getting into the minds of men. I had to write dialogue how a bloke would speak, and think like one too. That was my biggest challenge. I’m a girly girl. I like pretty things and pink and I guess I wax lyrical a lot too in my everyday life. Men just don’t do that, so writing M/M requires a different author voice. Oh, and the other thing they do, they don’t bother with wining and dining, to be honest flirting is a minimum too. In M/M books it seems to me that the find each other, establish gayness, get down and dirty and then decide if they want a relationship. I’m not sure if that's true in real life, but this is fiction and that seems to be what the reading masses of M/M erotic romance want. And here is an interesting fact, the demographic for M/M readers is straight women in their forties and fifties. Why? I guess that’s another discussion!

I tried the opposite too F/F writing and enjoyed that as well. I then got to playing with ménage a trois and having the men into each other as well as fancying the female – wow that was fun! Then ménage a quatre with two men and two women all having a most excellent time.

And after all that, what’s left? Well, to be honest, there’s lots left. If I then take those pairings and triplings etc and throw them into BDSM novels, paranormal etc then the sky is the limit. There is just so much genre swinging to be had.

I love the fact that my ‘closed off’ feeling about trying M/M was fleeting as I now have a serial Caught on Camera. Part One is FREE from Totally Bound so don’t miss it if you fancy dipping your toe into the man love pond. Then if you enjoy it, check out the others. Yes, it’s rude, incredibly so, it’s also fun, but at the end of the day it’s a love story like all the others I write.

I’m going to make a confession now though, and that’s to say my favourite genre is good old Male/Female. Maybe it’s because I’m straight and have been with my man for two decades. The majority of my real life friends (I differentiate between friends in the village to my author and reader friends on line!) are in a similar situation. I think it’s for this reason I tend to have lots of M/F plots swirling around my head at any given time. Some are BDSM (That Filthy Book), some are bikers – like my new story Burning Rubber in the Wild Angels Anthology – and some just wild, unwholesome fun! (Harita and Escape to the Country).

I guess I’ll continue to be a genre butterfly because I just can’t resist a new call for submissions or a story that tugs my brain and demands attention. If you’d like to know more about me and my writing then please check out my website, follow my Blog and feel free to Friend me on Facebook where I’m usually hanging out talking all things sexy books and sharing some pretty hot pictures too!

Thanks for reading.

Lily x


  1. Oh me ....yep. woman in her 40's .... I was never interested in m/m storylines until about a year ago and now it is one of my favourites. Loving the Caught on Camera serial so much!

  2. I'm glad you're a genre butterfly - I love 'em all cos at the end of the day it's about the characters, not gender. If they're hot and doing sexy, naughty things - I want to read about it!! Rebecca x

  3. I'm pleased you are writing this because you write it so well. I'm also almost 50 and in an M/F relationship of 15 years but I do have a different background that bought me here. I Have had many gay male friends and hung out with them a lot when I was younger.
    In fiction You are dead right the appeal for me is reading about people who get together for sex first and relationship second, I don't mind the pairing for such a scenario but it mostly doesn't seem realistic for pairs that involve F.
    I also think there is the Romeo and Juliet element. For women my age we were teenagers when to be male gay was (almost) forbidden and we love a good forbidden romance.
    Interesting how times can change and boys at my son's school come ot at 12 or 13, no issue!
    Of course, two sexy men together would be hot, but that so obvious!

  4. I'm a recent convert to m/m and f/f genres, I can't get enough now!!

  5. At least you stay under the umbrella of erotic romance! I'm a full-on genre slut! I have pnr series books, horror novels, urban fantasy, contemporary romance, erotic romances of all kinds - paranormal, sci-fi, menage, m/m, f/f, bdsm- plus a sweet contemporary romance. Oh, and I've just released a romantic suspense novel! Lol.


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