I got asked today at the day job why I write romantic/erotic stories. I asked if he thought I was a romance writer, and he replied I was but not. And I realized that being published strictly by romance publishers that it's kind of the impression I give, though if you ever read my work-- you see it's not strictly romance in nature.
Which got me thinking on why I write so there is romance and at least happy resolutions if not the traditional happy ever after in my books. Real life doesn't always have happy endings or happily ever afters--though sometimes they do--though we don't realize it until much later. For me, I like happy endings. I like having something resolved and for the most part--if you're not having a trilogy or series, readers expect resolution in a positive way even if there are one or two things that are not happy in nature.
So--what is the easiest and the most elemental happiness or resolution? Romance, sex, relationship. Now, I'm not saying it's a breeze to write romance or even write a sex scene. However, it's one of the easiest things to introduce into the story. Girl comes to a PI office looking for help, guy rescues a girl, girl accidentally seduces the wrong guy in the bar. All instances where you can not only move the plot forward, but showcase inner emotions, challenges, and goals. The bringing in another character who provides motivation, confrontation, and exposes the fears is a way to bring instant depth to any story.
Which is why you'll see a lot of movement, action, and hot sex in my stories. You'll also see a lot of emotions flung by both male and female characters. The emotional depth of books are what hook me as a woman into reading them. I reread the Dragonlance Chronicles every year because of the depth of emotions within the stories. I reread some of my favourite romance books for the same reason-- plus the fact the plot is as important as the romance in many stories.
When we think of falling in love or even meeting Mr/Ms Right (or Right Now) how do we imagine it? Passive or within a situation that forces ourselves to step up? Thus why for me--actions always bring reactions. Put me in a situation with danger and intrigue, you'll see me being active doing my share, but in those rare down moments--I'm touching, massaging people releasing their tension and in turn, giving me the comfort of touching another human on my side. Occasionally it happens that you get adrenaline sex. (Blessed be the adrenaline sex gosd--they are so good to me.) This is why you will always see my characters either meeting in a moment of action or immediately after. Instant sparks, thrown together and often times, showing aspects that others rarely know about.
Sex happens. Yup, the other reason that my books are erotic in nature. I'm a very open person and I've experienced and seen many relationships come about from a one-night stand or even a party that ended in orgytime. Thus, it's not wrong to have characters be intimate as long as there is a justified reason for it. Give reason-- have sex. Works for me.
Relationships form under many circumstances--good and bad. One of my friends I met because I was dealing with an asshole ex-bf. She came to my side and bam! friends for over 10 years. One of my dearest friends was introduced to me by a mutual friend. When that friend moved, he and I still got together and played D&D. Now, over too many years later--we're still great friends. So, relationships form all the time in my books. Some with the hero and heroine, sometimes with secondary characters who end up with their own stories in time.
Why do I write explicit sex scenes? Hmm...because sex is explicit. It's not only done in the dark, it's not always in the missionary position, and gods forbid that a purple prose word is ever used by the two people having intimate relations. "I wanna touch your thingie." "Oh yeah, baby, and I'm going to nookie your feminine mound." Please!! I've never ever been with anyone who ever purple prosed but always called a cock a cock and breasts breasts or tits. Yes, I guess I could fade the love scenes to black and let people imagine them--but then you miss the emotional reactions to such intimacy and pleasure. Why would I deprive my readers of seeing such growth? Doesn't make sense to me.
Happily ever afters (HEA) are wonderful because we have so little in this world. But most people will notice in my stories you never have the traditional "and they got married". To me, my HEA are implied "and they dated until they realized they'd be better off financially tying the knot and telling those others 'Hands off!'" But my stories are resolution heavy. I like tidying up the ends of stories that don't continue onwards. If you've read my Marauder stories, you know that not only do they have unconventional HEA, I also write "episodes" of what happens between books for them. Thus you always see there is more than the implied marriage--if that's ever mentioned in the first place.
So, why do I write mainstream with romantic/erotic elements? Because I can and because it's a way of touching both the mind and the body. There are so little positive sex and relationship fiction books out there that I like being able to provide not only some escapism, but also encouraging women to have more sex and enjoy it with their lovers. In fact, Psychology Today mentioned that women who read romance enjoy more sex. I think it's in part--they get the balls to seduce their man/woman, whereas they might not otherwise.
I write with HEA/HR because it's something that gives a sense of accomplishment to both the reader and for the characters. It's nice when you can close a book at the end and smile while thinking, "Yeah, and they lived happily ever after...even with the same old same old." And then you notice that three hours have gone by and you feel refreshed, invigorate and for a little while--you didn't worry about the bad things happening. That's why I write what I do-- to give balance, enjoyment, and a break to those who deserve it.
Even when I got mainstream fiction--I will always have some kind of romance or relationship in the story. It's part of who I am, it's what I love and it'll always make you blush, curious, or titilate your senses. That's my job--and I like it.