Which is to say, Adam Nevill, erotica editor of London's Virgin Books' Black Lace (BL) and Nexus imprints became "redundant."
Such a polite and utterly British way of noting that as Virgin owners Random House UK concentrates on "prioritising [their] rapidly expanding non-fiction list" and shuts down BL/Nexus, Nevill -- whose seemingly innate ability to procure then nurture ridiculously talented authors and facilitate their creating top-shelf works of wickedly erotic novels -- "doesn't work here anymore."
But why should you care whether Nevill edits Black Lace/Nexus any more than you do whether the imprints exist at all? First, Black Lace and Nexus titles'll be published through February 2010, and backlist remains available for these lovely naughty bits of sexy fun that took America by storm back in '06 and since 1993 influenced significantly the way fine stateside erom's created.
And next: Because under Nevill's and his team's direction, BL/Nexus authors provided readers some of the most exceptional erom and erotica published. Vanguard, and occasionally even deliciously uncomfortable to read because of the nature of their intimacy, the books allow women not only to embrace their sexual fantasies, but also to explore those they perhaps didn't realize they'd had.
Yet Nevill doesn't see himself as driving force behind Black Lace/Nexus' success among readers and critics, rather points to the authors and imprint itself. "I cherry picked the best writers, the best submissions, and what seemed to be the most honest and authentic writing," he says.
And what seems such a simple philosophy worked. From early on, Black Lace, says Nevill, "was a phenomenon, selling over 5 million books and going into 21 languages. It had a huge impact on liberating the female imagination and exploring what had been predominantly taboo imaginative expressions."
Part of what makes Black Lace popular with fans of erotic genre fiction is the availability of themes that appeal to contemporary readers, ones often they can't find even in traditional erotic- and sensual romance. In a 2006 post at Romance: B(u)y the Book blog, Nevill writes:
Sometimes these [Black Lace] stories explore a female character's fantasy life, her inner life and quest for experience, and her goal isn't to find Mr Right and she may not end up ‘happy ever after' with dream man, but will nonetheless be wiser, stronger, confirmed, liberated by the end.
While Nevill moves on from his post at Virgin Books to a 2-book deal with Pan Macmillan - his "Banquet for the Damned" is considered something of a supernatural horror classic - it's clear his tenure at Virgin Books was about the colleagues and the creative. States Nevill, "Commissioning the work of so many talented authors and artists, innovating the direction of the lists and their design, and managing a huge critical path for so many titles has been immensely satisfying."
Obviously, Nevill's not the only one becoming redundant as Black Lace/Nexus close shop. Authors have lost contracts; some
Yet if American houses are wise, they'll keep an eye out for the bright, brash "young" talent - and the established wordsmiths who've caught Nevill's keen notice.
For as I like to say, one editor's lovely naughty bits are another editor's treasure.
How do you feel about erotic romance and erotica? What are some of your fave titles/authors? How are you feeling about the demise of Black Lace/Nexus? What do you feel, if anything, is the difference in flavor between British and American erom/erotica?
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