With Fifty Shades of Grey lighting the silver screen on fire, we thought it would be a good time to take a look at what happens after all that baby-making eroticism has run it’s course. You know, when the baby’s been made and now must be dealt with. So we asked Beautiful Bastard authors Christina and Lauren (aka Voltron author Christina Lauren) about just that, given that their (only $0.99) Beautiful Beloved eBook hit the interwebs just this past week (and introduces the hot-hot Brit Niall Stella to the Beautiful crew).
Like true romance writing professionals, however, their mind was still on the job… er, the sexytimes part … and all the different ways it can go down. Literally. (Literarily?)
When people first hear we write romance, they give us this look. Their brows practically disappear beneath their hair and their eyes widen. It’s a knowing look. The “Oh, you’re like that” look that all romance writers get.
Please, imagine the face I give in response.
The second question is always, “Ohhhh. You mean like Fifty Shades?” To which our answer is, “Sort of? But not really?”
People ask this question for the same reason I grew up thinking all romance novelists had adventures like Joan Wilder or wore ball gowns and pink tiaras like Barbara Cartland. (We don’t, and frankly I’m a little mad about that). They ask this because it’s all they know. Back then it was damsels in distress and covers emblazoned with rippling muscles; today it’s a silver tie and a red room of pain.
But there’s SO much more.
Just like not every Young Adult novel is Twilight, not every romance novel is Fifty Shades of Grey. Within the walls of romance are about a zillion different classifications. Some familiar categories would be Contemporary, Paranormal, Romantic Suspense, Erotica/Erotic Romance, Young Adult and New Adult. Pretty much any romance could be tucked quite neatly into any one of those, but could also be broken down even further. There’s BDSM, M/M, F/M, F/M/F (or several permeations of this), Multi-cultural, Poly, Historical, Comedy, Erotic Romance, Western . . . we could be here for a while.
All those subgenres basically mean there’s a book for every taste. Want a good romantic comedy? I could name six authors off the top of my head. Maybe I’m looking for a M/M historical with a sci-fi twist? Well, I wouldn’t have long to wait because I found ten results while browsing Amazon alone.
And maybe that’s what Fifty has really done. It hasn’t necessarily made readers suddenly realize they like romance—romance was here long before, and it’ll be here long after—but it did change the game and made other forms of romance beyond the category more visible. You can buy most of these genres everywhere from supermarkets to big box retailers, and that’s something we didn’t have before. It’s opened the door and shown people they can find their brand of romance, that there’s a growing genre that represents all of us.
So happy hunting—and happier reading!