Just noticed today that author Sylvia Day is on the NYT bestseller list. And her book is getting a big plug at Chapters stores in Ottawa. The marketing line is that if you liked the Fifty Shades of Grey series, then you’ll like Day’s Bared To You. I had a chance to interview Day back in April. Here’s the interview.
They call it mommy porn. Erotic fiction for women. Romance novels with an extra heavy dose of spice.
And unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard or read about Fifty Shades of Grey, a trilogy of erotic novels that are selling a lot of “mainstream” novels.
It’s no surprise to Sylvia Day.
Day has written a lot more than just erotica. A total of 18 titles. Her latest novel is called Bared to You. Library Journal has described her as one “of the more noted authors of erotic romance.” Booklist has called her writing “wickedly entertaining”
She has been honoured with the RT Book Reviews Reviewers’ Choice Award, the National Readers’ Choice Award, the Readers’ Crown, and multiple finalist nominations for Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA Award of Excellence.
We recently hooked up by e-mail to talk about erotic fiction.
Q. What makes a good erotic novel?
A. Complex characterization and emotional conflict. Yes, the sex is an inherent part because often the characters feel as if they can communicate physically in ways they can’t verbally, but it’s the emotional arc that drives the story forward.
Q. How does a former Russian linguist get into writing? And the genres you’ve tackled are quite interesting. What were some of your motivations?
A. I was 12 when I wrote an essay in junior high about my dream of being a romance author. Everything I’ve done between then and now was a colourful detour that helps me write my books. As for the diversity in my backlist, I’ve been very fortunate to be published by so many publishers in so many genres. Some writers are cautioned to find one genre and stick with it, but for me the setting and time period are mutable depending on the story I want to tell.
Q. As a writer, do you have to battle the stereotypes that writers or erotica or romance are somehow not in the same category as “literary” writers? (I know that some mystery writers also battle the perception that you don’t need as much talent to write a mystery).
A. The stigma is there, certainly, and I find it amusing. Romance fiction sales were estimated at $1.358 billion in 2010, which is far and away above literary fiction which had sales of $455 million. (Source: Romance Writers of America) Whatever may be said about romance fiction, the revenue speaks louder than words.
Q. What has e-books done for those genres that were not considered mainstream fiction?
A. The digital format and inexpensive e-readers have opened a lot of doors-indie authors can release works that don’t fit traditional designations, readers can find unusual hybrids at prices that encourage buying, and the convenience of anonymous purchases with instantaneous delivery is very attractive. There are no covers to hide and no need to justify one’s reading choices. Erotic fiction has thrived in the digital marketplace. I’ve been publishing erotic fiction digitally (and lucratively) since 2005. My latest release, BARED TO YOU, is available in both trade paperback and digital format, but the digital version is outselling the print version by a massive margin. It’s currently one of the Top 100 bestselling e-books on Amazon.com.