Yesterday I horned in on a twitter chat @KeriStevens and @AuthorToniBlake were having about a fave, well-known fast-food joint.  A devotee of the eats, I was suddenly struck by a wave of epicurean nostalgia, and tweeted that I once enjoyed the perfect burger at the Framingham, MA, location of one of those joints, and that the memorable nosh was “So hot. So fresh.”

To which @KeriStevens replied, “Trust @Michelle_RBTB to make me break a sweat just talking about burgers.”  When @AuthorToniBlake coined from this convo a new, faux sub-genre of erotic romance about fast-food-related sensual encounters, a string of delightfully torrid-yet-purposely-ill-penned tweets evolved into a choppy slice of erotic twitterature, replete with oh, so many deliciously purple offerings like these two from @KeriStevens:

 

"Go home, Fryboy. It's gonna heat up in here," he growled. "Charbroil me," she begged, ripping the polyester cap from her hair.

 

"I've got your beef right here," he replied. "And special sauce, too." She shivered and picked up the ketchup gun. "Prove it."

 

You may not know this, but when already wildly popular erotic romance began stepping out of the digital shadows a few years back -- and into the limelight where it belongs -- it wasn’t necessarily met with a “Hey, welcome to the club!” from all romance authors, or even Romance Writers of America.  Some felt graphic depiction of sex w/in committed relationships didn’t belong in any romance, or the digital publishers of such didn’t belong in the professional organization’s list of approved houses.

 

Sure, there’s always a learning curve when introducing folks to new ideas, especially those which might seem iconoclastic.  Yet erom authors still work to define erotic romance not only for readers, non-genre-fiction fans and the “outside world,” but also for some within the industry.

Ever the examiner of eventualities, while giggling over the tweets, I wondered whether anyone might find our having fun in this way presents erotic romance fiction in a poor light. Sure, we think the tweets are silly and funny to read and write because we love erom and are comparing the riffs to the fantasy scenarios we know and love well. Plus, a lot of joking about sex goes on amongst folks who dig romance.


But what of other folks in the far-flung twitterverse?  Were we giving them a bad impression of erom and romance in general, seeming to happily eat our young, as it were? Did we perpetuate the idea that sex scenes in erom and romance are over-blown and laughable?

Dunno. What do you think?


Michelle Buonfiglio writes daily about romance fiction at BN's Heart to Heart and RomanceBuyTheBook.com. Catch her Tuesdays at Unabashedly Bookish.

 

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Comments
by Moderator becke_davis on ‎01-27-2010 11:55 AM

I blame Keri for corrupting me. Retroactively, too.

by keristevens on ‎01-27-2010 01:33 PM

Gee Michelle, I hope not. Our game (which a certain Miz Becke Davis has quite a knack for) was light-hearted brainstorming gone wild: Writers from across the twitterverse (and around the country) jumped in with their own purple prose and/or simply egged us on.

 

I think we must be able to recognize our conventions in the genre and play with our own . . . stereotypes (see? there? A well-place set of ellipses is such a useful, um, tool).

 

I assume that readers and lovers of erotic romance got and enjoyed the joke. I also assume that those who were NOT fans of the genre before at least got that we were joking with affection rather than malice.

 

I know what they say about assumptions, but I live in the Happily Ever After, myself-and even if our hero and heroine didn't get here via the twitter group-novella yesterday, I'm confident that someday they will join me, too.

by Moderator becke_davis on ‎01-27-2010 01:39 PM

When you sell your book, Keri, I will be the first in line to buy it.

by Moderator dhaupt on ‎01-27-2010 02:13 PM

You know I don't twitter yet so I have no idea what y'all are talking about. But in the immortal words of my grammy. If they matter they won't mind and if they mind they don't matter. Nuf said.

Deb

by Author PortiaDaCosta on ‎01-27-2010 02:22 PM

Oh dear, I'm sorry I missed this. It's a pain living in a different time zone. :smileysad:

by Author ToniBlake11 on ‎01-27-2010 06:17 PM

Eek, this never occurred to me, but good point, Michelle.  And well-stated reply, Keri.  As someone who writes a LOT of sex scenes (writing "very sexy but quaint romance" under one name and erotica under another) I actually take sex pretty seriously.  But that said, ya gotta be able to have fun with it, too, and who doesn't think McErotica is an amusing term all by itself? ; )

by PrincessBumblebee on ‎01-27-2010 06:34 PM

Toni, McErotica, hehe.

As one who doesn't really read erotica or erom, but who certainly digs a well-penned love scene, I must say that, since sex is one of life's joys, then there's certainly nothing wrong with playing around with McErotica scenes, as Toni put it,hehe. In fact, more power to you. And, hey, if someone has a prob with it, well, they can just take their uptight pants and read something a little less stimulating. Like the dictionary.

by Blogger Michelle_Buonfiglio ‎01-28-2010 08:36 AM - edited ‎01-28-2010 08:38 AM

Principessa, I think I've found a dictionary we might find stimulating! And you said it: sex is one of life's joys. 

This probably could have come in handy during the tasty erotic twitterature experiment. : ) 

 

Condiment gun, indeed.

by Blogger Michelle_Buonfiglio on ‎01-28-2010 08:45 AM

Becke, so many times, it seems, I hear writers tell baudy stories beginning with the phrase, "I blame Keri for corrupting me..."  : )

 

Keri writes: A well-place set of ellipses is such a useful, um, tool  A while back, BN's grammar expert, Ellen Scordato, busted a post re ellipses.  She included all 'em.  And I think but am not positive I added the unique-to-romance-i-think-use, the "this is really too naughty to 'write out loud,' but doesn't merit a literary fade-to-black, so use your imagination" device.  love. it. and, heck. let's giveit another smiley. As you say, we're HEA girls, after all.

by Blogger Michelle_Buonfiglio on ‎01-28-2010 08:57 AM

I like your grammy, deb. She would have been a great blogger.

 

Oh, Portia! and you're such a twitterer, too! We missed you also.

 

Ah, Toni, I don't recommend becoming obsessed mulling the eventualities; I'm happy to do it for everyone else. Plus, it gives me post fodder. But I do think always about how romance is being presented, at least when I'm involved. I never felt there was anything wrong w/what was happening because we know how much we a)adore romance and 2.wouldn't deliberately harm our vocation/avocation and that of other authors/readers.

 

But, really, once Keri picked up your gauntlet, we all were dead in the water and couldn't take part fast enough. :smileyhappy:  Everyone was so creative, even the tweeters who were simply praising those writing the twignettes (does that make sense for vignettes?).

by Author MonicaBurns on ‎01-28-2010 09:29 AM

There's always gonna be someone who just doesn't get eRom. I had a customer I hand-sold Kismet to a couple of weeks ago, and one of her comments was, "Oh, I so enjoy a good smut book. Perfect for vacations."  What's an author supposed to say to that. Give the reader a lecture and lose a sale?? I don't think so!!!!

 

I don't think we can change people's minds except over time. It took time to develop the mentality that eRom and romance in general is "smut," so it will take time to make people understand that good writing is good writing. Look at Jackie Suzanne. Valley of the Dolls was called all kinds of things and she didn't give a damn, she appealed to the hearts of readers who didn't care what others thought. Now her book is considered a classic of pop culture literature. And that's what eRom authors will do.We appeal to a silent majority of readers. I don't refer to my work as "smut," but I've stopped trying to change peoples minds. I don't have that kind of control.

 

Do I think the fun ya'll had yesterday contributed to the image of smut?? It probably did in the minds of those who just didn't get it. But for those readers who love eRom and understand it, I'm sure they loved the tweets. And since we're not going to change the minds of "set in their judgement of eRom" peeps anyway, why should we care. :smileyvery-happy:

by Moderator becke_davis on ‎01-28-2010 09:58 AM

"tweignettes" - love it!

by Moderator becke_davis on ‎01-28-2010 09:59 AM

One freaking word, and I managed to spell it wrong. Try again (since I can't edit the comment): "twignettes." I still love it, even if I can't spell it.

by Cheyenne_Catina on ‎01-28-2010 07:13 PM

i love it :smileyhappy:

 

by Author Eva_Gale on ‎01-29-2010 06:07 PM

LOLOL! Laughing so hard over those "twignettes"!

by SoozeSC on ‎02-04-2011 10:17 PM

McRotica! Twignettes! I love it!