Coming Over to the Dark Side

I've written over twenty manuscripts. Most have had a contemporary setting. It's what I'm most comfortable with, what I love to read and write. However, I love to read paranormal romances too, and I've decided to try writing one. (And for those of you who would argue that Quinn's Curse is a paranormal romance, you would be correct. But I don't consider that story dark.)

One of the things I took away from the recent Romance Writer's of America conference in New York City was that I need to venture out of my comfort zone. Writing what's easy for me is all well and good, but I should challenge myself. To be better. To try new things. To branch out. To reach out.

I love the term "darkly erotic". To me it conjures up steamy, sensual images and twisted, dangerous needs. A hero in doubt, perhaps. A heroine who's strong but may not realize it. A different tone, a different language even, than what I'm used to writing.

So here's my question. Okay, two questions.

Have you ever written in different sub-genres with different tones? Do you ever have a problem with your original tone slipping into your current manuscript? Can you tell I'm concerned with that happening?

And readers, do you mind if an author you like writes something different from what you're used to reading? Like light and dark? Like contemporary and paranormal? Would you rather the author used different pen names so you'd be more aware of the difference or wouldn't that matter?

I'm excited about trying something new. I'm going to start with a novella-length story to start with. And don't worry that I'm giving up my hot contemporary romances. I love them too much.

So any words of wisdom from writers or readers would be greatly appreciated as I delve into this darkly erotic tale.



Mima said...

Natasha, good for you! no i don't mind at all when an author has different genres or heat levels. i've written very dark and much lighter. the characters direct the tone, so it's okay. their goals and conflicts are going to be wildly different. writing through a donut girl's eyes will give a different tone than an imprisoned shapeshifter, yes? best of luck. what kind of powers or magical beings are you thinking of trying out?

Harlie Williams said...

It wasn't until I starting reviewing that I started reading BDSM and darker erotica. At first it was challenge for me to read but after a few bad books, I found some authors that I really like and stick with them.

Harlie Williams said...

Congratulations on trying something new and keep us informed.

Cameo Brown said...

Natasha--It's a great experience to go beyond your comfort zone. I've done it and there are challenges, but I think it helped my writing over all. I've written in tones that were completely on opposite ends of the spectrum, but I didn't feel like they overlapped. I was wary of it, though.
As a reader, I know I pick certain authors because I'm looking for a certain kind of reading experience; however, I read the description of the book and if it doesn't seem like what I'm looking for, then I try another favorite in that area.
Good luck and enjoy!

Esme said...

My publisher was the one that mentioned me getting a new pen name when I was offered a contract for Defying Convention. It was ultimately my decision and I did decide to use a second pen name. For me, I like having the two separated. Esmerelda writes erotic paranormal while Abby writes straight contemporary. I feel like my voice comes out in both genres, but its different at the same time because the genres are so different.

Good Luck with trying something new! I love writing paranormal and contemporary.

Amber Green said...

This was a timely post to read. I have something very different on the front burner now, and was wondering if it would require a new pen name.

Natasha Moore said...

Hey Mima! Thanks for stopping by. I've been brainstorming ideas, but one I really like is a hero who has telepathic powers and can give erotic commands to the heroine. Oh and of course a villain who can do the same :)

Natasha Moore said...

Thanks, Harlie!

Natasha Moore said...

Cameo & Esme, thanks for sharing. I'm looking forward to diving into the new project.

Natasha Moore said...

Hi Amber. Good luck on your new project. Can't wait to hear about it .

Scarlett Sanderson said...

I've always written erotica but within different genres - contemporary, paranormal, historical. My readers/editors don't seem to mind.

However, this year I've just started submitting a full length novel to agents which is my darkest work. It kicked my butt for four years, it's so dark. I decided to use a different pen name for that one.

Good luck with branching out! :)

Natasha Moore said...

Thanks for chiming in, Scarlett. Good luck with your agent search.