Thursday, 6 April 2017

A New Genre - By Lily Harlem


Writing in a new sub-genre is always both fun and a challenge. I started out, back in 2010, writing MF contemporary erotic romance (Madam President) and believing, naively, that's where I'd stay. That, however, couldn't be further from the truth and over the last seven years I've strayed out of my comfort zone only to find  myself very comfortable and having an enormous amount of fun.

My first foray with another subgenre was menage a trois. I plucked up the courage to try this one because I'd read a couple of brilliant ones. They'd been quite an eye opener and also inspirational. Shared was born and snapped up by a publisher very quickly. It was hugely successful selling thousands of copies in the first few weeks, and continues to be a good seller and a genre I stick with. The dynamics of writing about three people in a relationship is just such a feast for an author. Not just the physical aspects of their relationship but also the emotional. There's so much that can go right, but also so much that can go wrong making for delicious conflict, then delicious make up sex.


From there I stepped into the gay erotic romance pond. If I hadn't spent a late night, with plenty of wine, chatting to some MM authors in the beautiful city of Lincoln, that never would have happened. They were all so enthused by their genre, inspired by reader reactions and caught up in the moment that I had to give it a go. I banged out my Caught on Camera seriel (part one is FREE) in a matter of months and was whisked up in my new love of GBLT writing. I've since written many more MM stories and MMF, all because of that one night.


Fifty Shades came along at a time when I was already writing about BDSM in my novels, it was a niche genre back then, no doubt about it, but suddenly it became mainstream and everyone was having a go at their version (what that book did to the industy is a whole other blog post), but for me personally I decided to write my version of a billionaire BDSM novel, this was out of my comfort zone, billionaires are few and far between and I wouldn't normally have cast one as a hero, but I gave it a go and was happy with the outcome, as were readers. Kane Ward, in Her Dominant Billionaire, proved to be just the right amount of sweetness mixed with sterness, and damn the guy is good with his hands.



A story that had been germinating for a long time and was hard to put down on paper for me emotionally was Breathe You In. This is because I was inspired to write this novel when I was working as a coronary care nurse, the characters emotions were very vivid to me. But even though it was, at times, stretching my emotions to write, I had to do it. I was thrilled with the end result, Breathe You In is one of my most favorite of all the novels I've written. It's sexy, raw and real.


Vampires and shifters. What? Did adults read these books? Were they sexy? That was my first thoughts when I came across this genre several years ago. I thought blood suckers and shifting creatures were confined to teen novels and movies. How wrong I was. After reading several I soon found my mojo and wrote Bite Mark and Claw Mark and discovered just how sexy these otherworldly men could be.


For years I've groaned when Mr H put sci-fi on the TV. I just didn't 'get' it. The fantasy was too unrealistic, the plot lines didn't hold my attention. But the minute I decided to write my own sci-fi that all changed. Making up the rules of my own 'world' was so much fun. I adored creating alien landscapes in my mind and describing them,  and twisting the environment to suit, or not suit, my characters needs. I was in charge, it was fun. I got it and Reckless and Master of her World were born!


Finally my latest journey into a new genre has been historical. I threw in a bit of time travel too, just to keep myself on my toes! I've always loved reading and learning about Victorian England so sent my character back in time to find her very own upper class hero (who is of course kinky too, as those Victorian's were!). I loved writing Head of Household, and will definitely be writing more historicals in the future. What about you? Favourite sub-genre to read or write?


Thanks for reading

Lily x

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