Since Friday is Valentine's Day, romance author Milly Taiden and I are discussing how romantic relationships are handled in today's novels.
Welcome, Milly! I'll have your decaf, sweet with light cream, ready in a minute. Before we start talking about sex :) - why don't you remind my readers who you are?
Hi! I'm Milly (AKA April Angel) I love to write sexy stories. They're usually either paranormal or contemporary with a large dose of heat. My paranormal stories can be anything from wolf-shifters (my favorites) to witches, demons and anything in between. My contemporaries are usually anything from soldiers to corporate romances.
I was born in the prettiest part of the Caribbean known as the Dominican Republic. Currently, I live in New York City with my hubby, the bossy kiddo and our little dog "Needy Speedy". Don't ask.
When I'm not working some really long hours at the day job, or hanging out in the awful life-sucking invention known as Facebook, messaging my bestie in the UK or shopping with my sis Julie, then I can be found watching scary movies. Buuut when I'm not doing that, I'm usually writing because the voices won't shut up.
I am addicted to shoe shopping, chocolate (but who isn't, right?) and Dunkin' Donuts coffee.
Come on over and visit me! I love to meet new readers!
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Find out more about Milly Taiden here:
Facebook Friend Page: http://www.facebook.com/milly.taiden
Ally: Last time you were here, I asked you to reveal something personal about yourself that wasn't in your bio, and you talked about wiggling your ears. What do you have for us today?
MILLY: I am afraid of the ocean. Like major big time sissy. But I'm going on my second cruise February 21st. I can't watch movies about the ocean because I start to hyperventilate. LOL
Ally: OMG. Good luck with the cruise!Ally: Now that people know a little about you, let's move on to today's topic. If our characters are going to be real, they're going to think about and have sex. How that element is handled defines the heat level of the book, often labeled as 1--5 or sweet to erotica. As a frame of reference for today's discussion, the following is a fairly common rating system:
1 - no consummated love scenes, or cutaways with no details
2 - some love scenes; more sensual then graphic and mild language.
3 - sensual, but more explicit love scenes, and the language may be more graphic and direct.
4 - frequent love scenes, explicit and described using graphic and direct or raw language.
5 - many love scenes, explicit, described using graphic and direct language, and/or contain controversial or potentially objectionable subject matter.
My books would be level 1-2, but I would call Milly's a 4+, erotic but not quite erotica.
Ally: We talked a little about the difference between erotic and erotica in a prior chat, but I think it's appropriate to take another look at the subject. Where do you consider your books fall on this spectrum and why?
MILLY: I think because I am always looking into the romance side and the happily ever after of my couples, that I could always consider them erotic. Though I've written erotica, I find erotic ROMANCE is much more fulfilling for the romantic in me. I need that emotional connection. I need to know these two people aren't going through all this to then say "see ya!" at the end. It would break my reader heart.
Ally: How did you get started writing erotic romance?
MILLY: That's interesting. To be honest I don't know. I mean the very first romance I wrote had sex in it. I've been reading Erom for so long that it came naturally for me to make mine that way.
Ally: What's most important to you - and to your readers - the romantic chase or the sex scenes?
MILLY: I think there's got to be a good balance. I mean while we can have a few hot scenes of sex, we need them to enhance the romance, not take over. So romance is most important to me. I need readers to finish the book feeling good about the couple and how they got together. Feel that their connection was there, and it wasn't all about sex.
Ally: Your books contain what some have described as "raw" language. First, do you agree with that assessment, and if so, what led to that choice? Is language character based, event based or genre based?
MILLY: Yes, I agree and have a warning on my sales pages. There are words that some people wince when they see either spoken or written. I think the language is more of a character thing. They come with their own personalities and attitudes and what they will and won't say. But I don't tamp them down or cut things out.
Ally: What would you like your readers to take away from reading one of your books?
MILLY: Probably that no matter how many differences a couple could have between them, they can still be just right for each other.
Ally: Let's try some quick answer questions.
a. Do you believe in happily ever after? Absolutely!
b. How about love at first sight? Yes!
c. What is your favorite kind of chocolate? Milk
d. Number of shoes in your closet:: hehehe A LOT
e. Sexiest male actor or other public figure: Vin Diesel
Ally: Do you have romantic plans for Valentine's Day?
MILLY: Yes. Hubs and I go on a date every year. Hoping to have another one this year too.
Ally: As always, it has been great having you, Milly. Before you go, we'll show our readers a couple of your covers that are "family friendly" with a reminder that the contents are only for those 18+. Thanks so much for visiting. Have a great Valentine's Day date! And make sure you come back safely to us from that cruise! :)