|Heart Photo © Dana Rothstein|
by Annette Gisby
I've written in lots of genres, from sweet romances to erotica, from murder mysteries to horror, from fantasy to historical, about witches, wizards and aliens and everything in between. But there is one genre that I get asked about time and time again and that is erotica. People who you barely know might ask you things like, "So, you like to be tied up?" Or "You like to be spanked then?"
Not necessarily. When I write a story, whatever genre it is, the story is about the characters of that story, not about me. I have to ask myself, "Does this character like to be spanked or tied up or whipped?" Whatever it happens to be. The characters define what they like, I just write about them. Just because I write about something doesn't mean I do that in real life, and even if I did, whose business is it but mine and my significant other? I wonder sometimes if people understand the word 'fiction' any more.
When I've written murder mysteries, no one has ever asked me, "Oh, so you like to kill people, do you?" No one has ever asked if I am a witch or a wizard or if I believe in aliens or ghosts. No one has asked if I'm a time traveller because I've written something historical or can I travel to alternate dimensions because I write fantasy. But write anything with a sex scene in it and somehow people want to know if you really do that.
It's as if by writing about any sort of sex in your books, people somehow think that you are open to talking about your own sexuality. That's different, that's a personal private thing. I'm quite shy in real life, so people asking me questions about it can get very uncomfortable. I can write about it no problem, but talking about it to strangers? That's a different thing altogether.
I write fiction, I make up stories, including the sexual practices of my characters. I don't think writers necessarily write what they know any longer, you can also write what you research. And researching erotica, like I did for my latest short story, The Prince's Guard, can be lots of fun ;)