I made the mistake of, during a very brief snack break, following a link from PBW’s blog to a post on Squawk Radio by Elizabeth Bevarly. While there’s no steam coming from my ears, as there were some valid and rational arguments being made, a couple of things in the post and the comments have me more than mildly annoyed.
Erotica doesnâ€™t belong in RWA, and RWA never should have approved Elloraâ€™s Cave as an RWA-recognized publisher. The reason? Elloraâ€™s Cave doesnâ€™t publish Romance any more than Playboy Books publishes Romance.
Okay, I evidently haven’t read enough Ellora’s Cave to have come across any that fit my definition of romance.
A writer acquaintance of mine who writes for Elloraâ€™s Cave fully admits that what she writes is pornography. Yes, thatâ€™s the word she uses.
Well, if she does, then all the EC authors must, because sweeping generalizations are clearly the name of today’s game.
But I do think there’s a distinction between erotic romance and erotica. And I think Brava publishes the former. (Though I haven’t read many Bravas, either.)
I’m seeing a theme here. I know nothing about them, but I want them to go away.
And I fully cop here to being not as well informed about EC as I should have been before posting the blog. According to many here, they do indeed publish the occasional romance. But, as also pointed out here, they also seem to want to identify themselves as publishers of Romantica, which is clearly not the same as Romance.
Occasional romance? Still not well-informed here. Romantica is erotic romance. It IS the same as romance. Erotic is an adjective. Like medical romance, or historical romance. Are they not the same as Romance, either?
(I’m not going to lie and say that EC’s never put out what I’d consider erotica. I read one that was not only not a romance, but so squicky to me I felt a need to bleach my eyeballs. There are exceptions to every rule. But getting an apple with a bad spot and not only never eating another apple, but trying to have apples taken out of all the grocery stores is ridiculous.)
That said, I do genuinely fear that the presence of Erotica (NOT erotic romance) in RWA and the Romance section of the bookstores is going to make for a step backward in that regard.
This is the part that annoys me the most. When somebody who hasn’t read the books villifies EC, then backpeddles. I’m so sick of seeing these debates sink to “Oh no, I meant erotica.”
If I were to make some sweeping statement, such as “All historical romances are a disgrace to our past as they’re poorly written costume dramas with no more accuracy than a third-grade history report, which is why I’ve only ever read ONE of them,” I’d be flamed off the face of the planet. With just cause.
But when it’s erotic romance, it’s okay to pass judgement based on what you’ve heard, or what somebody on a list said, or that ONE book you read. And then other people, with no more knowledge of the subgenre chime in with “Oh, you’re so right.” And, of course, the “bigger” the name doing the condemning, the more people agreeing.