To Coin A Term
I had a conversation with a good friend not long ago about my style of writing. It seems I was having a bit of an identity crisis. Irony at its best being as my first BDSM/ménage novella comes out tomorrow and it is adequately named that very thing—Identity Crisis. If you’ve read any of my work, you already realize that my typically vanilla style doesn’t exactly meet the criteria of the current market trends. At least not in the e-book world. I don’t typically write about vamps, werebeasts, shifters, or rage demons. Although I have dabbled with some of this for some anthology work with a few other writers by invitation, it’s not normally who I am. I also didn’t incorporate all the elements of the BDSM lifestyle, nor did I write m/m or m/m/f or f/m/m or any other combination other than f/m or m/f, whichever way you look at it, until recently. I do write novel length work for the most part, not a few thousand word short stories consistently, although I have written a couple and the Identity series will all consist of novella length works. In a nutshell, before this conversation occurred I believed myself a bit of a literary bastard.
However, my friend explained to me that although I didn’t fit those sub-genres and trends, I had a “hook” unique to my style. My determined use of realism. After careful self-analysis, I realized she was right. I never take the easy road when it comes to my writing. My characters are well developed and possess great depth. They are very complicated people and they are as real as any fleshies that walk about, and they are plagued with every day, extraordinary, ordinary problems that seem impossible to overcome. Somehow it all works. I don’t rely on the current market trend. I don’t allow it to dictate to me what to put on paper. Market trends come and go. Realism and true sensual romance are timeless. Never did I think that this conversation would lead to such heavy self-analysis that it would lead me down the path to not bending to the current trends, but instead bending the trends to my style. In other words, taking the trend—be it ménage, BDSM, or m/m—and incorporating my realistic twist to it.
Once I came to grips with my crisis, and figured out who I was and what I’m about, the question then came in to play as to how to remain true to my niche and how to market it, without compromising my voice, successfully. Remaining true. Here’s some advice I’m going to not only prescribe to myself, but dole at to my fellow writers. Find a suitable home for your work. Even if it means you don’t go to market for an extended period of time. Don’t leap head long into a relationship that isn’t nurturing to you and your work as it stands. It’s like shopping for a lover for one of my heroines. Compatibility is the key. Once you find that home, happiness is inevitable and misery will disperse. Then the question as to how to market a unique style begs answering. I’ve had problems putting my finger on exactly what sub-genre I belong to. Yes, I’m contemporary, but I’m growing into the erotic and brushing the edge of my comfort zone—toying with erotica. I pretty much run the spectrum now from one flame to ten, but I still demand that realism and still demand my characters be sensual beings. So where do I fall exactly?
I pondered this dilemma. I rolled it over and over in my mind, and finally determined I had to create my own market term. Something uniquely me. It had to involve romance, erotic, and realism. Realism is the cornerstone of my writing. I am a stickler for minute facts, details, and believability. Nothing less will do. I toyed with it until finally something occurred to me and I coined a new term—Realmantica. Think it’ll catch on? I hope so.