Friday, January 7, 2011

Not My Mother’s Romance

Gale Stanley has dropped by today to continue our discussion on erotic romance. Gale is the author of wonderful erotic romances like Call of the Wilds and Silent Knights and her latest, Point of Beginning releases tomorrow. To celebrate, Gale is offering a free copy of Silent Knights to one lucky commenter so be sure and say hey!

Hello Rachel. Thanks for the invite. I'm thrilled to be a guest blogger today. Let me introduce myself. I'm Gale Stanley and I write erotic romance – the emphasis is on romance for a reason. My stories may have explicit sexual scenes but at heart, they are love stories, with all the emotion and conflict readers want.

I've been asked why I write smut, porn, etc. Well first of all, I don't. The terms beg to be defined. Stay tuned.

My reading preferences, the ones that influenced what I love to read and write today, go way back. When I was a kid, some of my favorite reading materials were my mother's True Story and True Confession magazines. Mom thought they were pretty risqué with their dramas that ran the gamut of adultery, unwed pregnancy, disease and even rape. And they were – for the times. Once I found her stash, I read them when I was supposed to be sleeping; under the covers with a flashlight. But those tales of sex and sin pale in comparison to today's romance novels. The times they are a-changing and so are the books we're reading.

One thing remains the same, readers like their stories to focus on the relationship between the characters. They want to see the romance develop and the conflicts resolved so the characters have their emotionally satisfying happily ever after.

The biggest difference between then and now is that in today's erotic romance the walls come tumbling down and readers are allowed in the bedroom to share the physical connection as well as the emotional.

Erotic romance, an uninhibited blend of romance and erotica, takes the sexual heat to a whole new level. Some people tend to confuse erotic romance with porn. Nothing could be further from the truth. Where porn is written strictly for titillation, an erotic romance is first and foremost a love story. It has a good plot and well-developed characters that go through hell. Somehow, they overcome the conflict and obstacles and it all ends happily for them.

An erotic romance differs from a traditional romance because there's a greater emphasis on the sex scenes. Erotic romance differs from erotica because there's a greater emphasis on the love story. In an erotic romance, the reader gets the whole package.

Whether it's contemporary or paranormal, M/F or M/M, I love writing the sex scenes as much as I love reading them. The biggest challenge is to keep them unique so the story doesn't start to sound like a how-to book. I try to focus on the characters and their personalities. Their emotional response and sexual chemistry add a whole new dimension to each scene.

We've come a long way. I think it's great that the barriers have come down and writers can deal frankly with social and sexual mores and give readers what they want. Of course, some people still ask me "have you written anything that I can read?' And if my mother were still here, I'm sure I'd still be hiding my books under the mattress.

Point of Beginning is available at Silver Publishing:

My links:


  1. Hi Rachel, thanks for having me today. I'm glad to be here, rather than shoveling snow back in Philly. lol

  2. YAY Two of my new favorite authors in one place!!! Hi Gale and Rachel!!!!!!

    And I say 'favorite' about Gale while openly embracing the erotic romance genre. Would I have done this six months ago? Absolutely and unequivocally NOT!!! I wouldn't have known her other than a yahoo loop friend. But thanks to my other two favorite new authors/critique partners- I can say I've read 'smut' and love it!!! Will I read it again? Absolutely!!

    Will I read Gale's Silent Knights? If I don't win it here, I will buy it! But winning is so much FUN!!! If I could just win a Kindle too somewhere.

    Congratulations Gale!

  3. Hi Gale, computer glitches this morning but, yay,I got the post up!! (Seriously going to need a new pc :()
    LOL Calisa, let me know when you find that Win a Kindle contest!

  4. Hi Gale--great post! Some people just can't see beyond the love scenes to the story behind them. Your book sounds terrific!

  5. Hi Gale,

    I enjoyed reading your take on the difference between erotica and erotic romance. My first novel only contained one steamy scence, but somehow, my second, held three graphic scenes. But like you said, it was more of a love story than porn. My mother, another published author, always reads my stories first. I gave her no warning as to the content of my book. She told me I had a comma splice, and that I'd be excommunicated!

    I can't wait to read your stories. Erotic Romance Rocks!

    Terri Talley Venters
    Author of Carbon Copy

  6. Calisa, thanks and welcome to the dark side.
    Rachel, I need a new laptop too. I just had another blue screen of death this morning. And my keys stick - not good.
    Hi Suzanne, thank you. I think the romance and emotions make the sex scenes so much better.

  7. Hi Terri, lol on the comma splice. My first book had at least one on every page. I know my mother would be mortified, I've shocked a few people in my family, strangely enough not my kids. I'm going to look up your books...

  8. Hi Gale! Lovely interview. Thanks for defining the changes that have taken place over the years and hopefully the stigma that goes with porn and smut.

    You did a great job explaining it. Love your new cover, Gale, and wishing you loads of success with your release,

    Best, Keta

  9. Hi Gale!

    Isn't it funny how books we read from out parents/grand parents "stashes" shape our reading as adults? I remember my grandfather's library of Harlequin, it think they were called "super romances" I can't remember for sure, but they were the thick ones, lol. The majority were historicals. I still dig into my mom's stash of historicals when I am out of books. Now that I am reading m/m, I still find myself drawn to historicals.

    Good luck with your upcoming release!

    Brandi scssugar(at)yahoo(dot)com

  10. Congratulations on your new release!

    I, too, started out reading what my mother read. In her case, it was mysteries. Obviously, somewhere along the way our tastes diverged. I think I first started reading "bodice rippers" when I babysat since that's what one of the ladies had a CLOSET of. I can barely look at a historical of any type any more.

  11. Hi, Gale, nice interview. I'm so happy to hear romance is at the heart of your plot and not an after thought!

  12. Wonderful post. Please count me in for the contest. Thanks.

  13. Thanks everyone! I just ran outside to shovel snow - yet again. It's barely Jan. and I'm ready to move to Florida. I wish my mother had read Harlequin romances. She stuck with her magazines. But my uncle (her brother) gave me his sci-fi books and Mickey Spillane paperbacks. I'm sure my love of thrillers and the paranormal came from him.

  14. Good interview. I'm glad that authors are now able to quit using euphemisms in their writing. It makes the stories more realistic than what was available 25-30 years ago. I'm also glad to see that romance is no longer limited to m/f. I've read some excellent m/m, f/f, and menage. My reading is all over the place. No genre is off limits (well, maybe horror, since I don't like to be scared ;))

  15. Wow! I'm off teaching the kiddos creative writing and return to find I'm missing the conversation; man, not gonna leave the house again!
    Funny what several of ya'll said about genre influences originating from parents/older relatives. Ring of Lies is dedicated to my Grandmother and her two sisters. They were part of the Harlequin club where you get five books in a box every month and after they passed them around they ended up with me. I read a ton of those little books over a two year period when my first marriage was falling apart, (snort, like it was ever together!). Romances like that aren't my first choice, I prefer a suspense plot or something along side the romance but it definitely influenced my writing. Anyone remember Harlequin author Penny Jordan? OMG, read all of her books!

  16. GReat post!! There is a bit difference between smut and erotica. Ihave nevr read one of yoru stoires but I am going looking.
    debby236 at att dot net

  17. I hear ya. Books got me through a bad marriage and a personal family tragedy. Who needs therapy, just give me a book and I can escape reality.

  18. I really like your take on m/m romance. Yes it's sexy but it is first and foremost a romance. (Though the sexy bedroom scenes are good too.)

  19. I want to thank everyone for stopping by. And thanks for having me Rachel. It was fun. The giveaway will run until Sunday. Have a great weekend!