Today, I’m delighted to have Tabitha Rayne as a guest. Take it away, T!
Well I’m very excited to be here at Ms Magennis’ place. Nikki said I could come and chat about my new book – before that though, I’ve been thinking about genres and why we feel the need to pigeonhole our writing.
I assume it is to make things easier for readers who prefer a certain style or niche to their books. A delicate soft romance reader may not want to accidentally find themselves terrified in the pages of a horror/crime book. Equally, you might be bored to tears by sci-fi – but what if that sci-fi is crossed with a little spicy romance? Or what if the thought of reading a fantasy novel has you cowering in the corner with images of Dungeons and Dragons flashing before you? The reason I’m exploring the whole subject of genre, or labelling work is that I think as soon as we entitle our work ‘erotica’ we seem to cut our stories off from many a potential reader. Do we do it as a warning to stave off those who easily blush?
It is troubling me because I have read so many thoughtful and superbly written pieces of prose (our host’s work hugely included) that it bothers me that some people might not pick it up… warning: contains *sex*.
Many books without the label of erotica have incredible sex scenes – some violent and brutal, some incredibly arousing – I remember reading some Iain Banks scenes which had me squirming in delight. So – what’s the difference?
The only conclusion that I can draw is that if you label your work ‘erotic’ or ‘erotica’ you intend to arouse your reader by your words. The work is meant to titillate and excite. However, I have read very haunting stories labelled erotica too. In the non- erotica books, if there is sex and it excites you, that’s perhaps an unintentional by-product – a happy one indeed! But if the expectation is there that this will arouse you, it better bloody have some panty wetting moments, or else!
I have never been good at giving my work labels, I flit between styles, mediums, genres – even this book, Taking Flight is a mix of all sorts of genres. I think the most accurate would be dystopian erotic fantasy. Now will this be more likely to put certain readers off, or turn readers on? I hope for the latter, but I fear it’s the former. I’m not sure I would pick up an erotic dystopian fantasy. So why label it so? As a warning? Maybe we are doing ourselves a disservice with these labels. Maybe we need to let readers make up their own mind as to what the book entails. After all, I wrote a blurb for my own book and completely missed the point (tale for another time perhaps…).
Wow, I’m exhausted. What do you think Nikki? And indeed any one reading this, I’m genuinely interested in finding out opinions.
Well, I got a bit carried away there – if you got this far, I’m currently promoting the 2nd book in my trilogy (there, I resisted the temptation of a label!) Taking Flight – available now from Beachwalk Press. Here’s a little snippet where my leading lady has voiced her desire for a new kind of sexual experience and now finds herself tied amongst trees…
Anyone could find her here—bandits, guards… She tried to rationalize her fear but her physiology took over, flooding her senses with fight-or-flight cortisones. The sensation started in her chest and swelled, radiating to every cell, making her soar above herself and stare down at the sight of a naked, disheveled forest nymph, bound and hanging. The imagined sight made her part her legs and bear down, catching her arousal in her abdomen and forcing it into her pussy, where she tried to focus all the energy that was threatening to send her out of control. It took all her concentration to keep everything centered there—all her fear, desire, lust, euphoria—but she knew it was essential somehow.
A sharp crack snapped her back to the reality of her situation again; someone was close. She tensed every sinew. Alert and staring, Deborah scoured her surroundings. Something moved in the shrubbery. It darted like an animal, low and erratic, as if cornered, but it didn’t add up. She strained her senses in its direction and tried to catch the scent on the breeze. Human.
Shuddering, she could feel her body expand to a vast canvass of nakedness. The nasal breathing of someone staring hard at the object of their intent filled her ears. Deborah gripped the strapping on each wrist tight and tensed her muscles in a way that she hoped would alert the watcher to her strength in this situation, not her vulnerability. Her skin flushed with warmth under the scrutiny of the shadowy, hidden figure. They stared at each other; she completely exposed and he—she could smell it was a he—completely obscured. There was a strange control conundrum going on in Deborah’s head: as long as he kept himself hidden and meek, she felt like she was holding the power. She let this thought roll around in her psyche and was amazed to feel her body relax and melt into this newfound confidence. Letting the ropes take her weight, she hung a little, shifting her feet apart and opening her legs to share her wet treasure with the voyeur.
A rustle in the leaves signaled approval and Deborah ventured a twist of the shoulders that carried down through her chest, hips, and knees, and ended with a flourish on her pointed toes. Her body needed to move and sway now, and she carried on her slow, snake-like dance, throwing her head back as she dangled on her bindings. They took her weight easily as she lifted her outstretched legs and brought them up in a V shape to display her splayed, ripe pussy to the stranger. If Deborah could have found the will inside her to stop, she would have, but something had crept in while she was experiencing the beauty of the forest—something feral had awakened. Maybe the forest itself had her under a spell, mimicking its unashamed joy at being alive. She wanted to celebrate the day, the moment, the life, her sex. She wanted to fuck and be fucked, not just physically but spiritually. And she felt like she was on the brink of both.
Lovers on the run in search of a bond that transcends all else.
Dr. Deborah Regan is a scientist working on a cure to the poison that’s killing the male population and destroying the natural world. But when she makes a breakthrough in her research, it becomes clear that the authorities have no intention of finding a cure, and now that she’s getting closer to an answer, she’s a threat to them—a threat they need to deal with quickly.
Deborah and her partner, Marcus, flee to the forest where they meet another couple on the run. Birch and Hazel show them how to survive in the wild and teach them the theory of ultimate unity. They believe that by finding sexual nirvana at the point of intense orgasm, they will break through the barriers of physicality and become one.
It soon becomes apparent that Deborah has an aptitude for falling into this trance-like state, and she manages to bring Marcus on her journey. Their spirits can indeed join together at the meeting point, suspended in time and space while they climax.
When Birch and Hazel become jealous of the young couple’s ease at reaching ultimate unity—something they’ve unsuccessfully tried to do for years—they betray Deborah and Marcus to the authorities. As they are separated, Marcus begs Deborah to continue to search for the ultimate sexual unity, because he’s convinced that no matter where they are, this connection will allow them to meet again on a spiritual plane.
Will this metaphysical union be enough for a couple so deeply in love?
Content Warning: This book contains apocalyptic peril and graphic sexual content, including m/f and f/f sexual interaction, along with BSDM*
*I think I caught everything likely to offend 😉
Note: This book has been previously published.