Jan Springer

I’d like to thank Jan Springer for being my guest author for March. Another author will be sharing their writing life with us in May. Hope you will join us. For now, you can review Jan’s questions and answers. Also, soon to be in the archives will be my January and February guest authors, Beth Anderson and Dyanne Davis. Beth answered questions about point of view and Dyanne about interracial romance.

Thanks for stopping by.

Writing Erotic Romance

Jan Springer & Lauren Agony is the pseudonym for an award winning published author who writes at a secluded cabin nestled in the Haliburton Highlands, Ontario, Canada. She has enjoyed careers in the fields of hairstyling, accounting, but her one true love has always been writing. She enjoys kayaking, vegetable gardening, nature walks in the rain, reading and writing all kinds of romance and she is a member of The Romance Writer’s of America. Read more about Jan Springer at her website: www.janspringer.com

Jan Springer Awards:

A Hero’s Welcome – Nominated for a 2004 Sizzler Award for Best Overall Sensual/Erotic Romance (Sizzling Romances)
A Hero Escapes -Nominated for a 2004 Sizzler Award – Best Overall Sensual/Erotic Romance (Sizzling Romances)
A Hitman for Hannah – Nominated for a 2004 Sizzler Award for Best Sensual/Erotic Romance Novella (Sizzling Romances)
Afternoon Delights – Nominated for a 2004 Sizzler Award for Best Anthology (Sizzling Romances)
A Hero’s Welcome – Nominated at the Preditor & Editor Reader’s Poll 2004
A Hero Escapes – Nominated at the Preditor & Editor Reader’s Poll 2004
Nominated for Best Author – Fallen Angel Reviews 2004

Questions from Beth Anderson for Jan Springer: (Updated March 22)

Q: All the erotica publishers are very open about the fact that the whole idea of erotica is to sexually titillate the reader, which is fine. I’m just wondering why so many women seem to need erotica to get them sexually stimulated, and what does it say about the Males of today’s ability to titillate or stimulate their women. Many, many women I know who devour erotica are happily married or otherwise blissfully sexually entangled with somebody, and you wouldn’t think there would be this ever-consuming need for erotica. But it seems there is, or the market wouldn’t be so huge and fast-growing.

I’m just wondering why she thinks that is. Are the guys getting lazy, or are they too selfish, or are they just uneducated, or what?

A: Great question, Beth!

Well I’d say you might be right on all counts. It could be because guys are lazy, selfish or uneducated. Depends on the guy, right? LOL Guys feel free to defend yourselves and chime in anytime

I’m no expert on why but my thoughts on your question Beth is I think there may be a whole spectrum of why women and men are going after the erotic romance and erotica books with such interest.

It can simply be because she/he wants a good hot read and to just feel sexually and emotionally good. Or maybe she wants to experience her own sexual and romantic fantasies safely through the books she chooses to read. (That’s a big one for me). I enjoy reading about take charge, in control women who aren’t shy to go after the man they want.
I love it when a woman in a book isn’t afraid to show that she wants to be sexually satisfied and that she wants to satisfy her man also.

In erotic romances and erotica’s women (and men) are introduced to oral sex and sex toys and ménages and thrilling relationships and intimate body parts that people just don’t experience or talk too much about in real life. Reading these hot stories can give readers all kinds of naughty ideas which they may or may not take into the bedroom.

Personally I also love to read and write about shy women who want to come out of their sexual “shell”. I myself am very shy about what I want so I live it through the books. I want to experience everything the heroine experiences, not just the romance but the intimate sexual relationship as well.

I think some women may be dealing with an emotional issue and want to identify with a certain heroine and a certain plot. For instance many women who have experienced rape wish to read this type of plot to help herself deal with the sexual and emotional implications of the abuse.

Also a woman can use an erotica or erotic romance to get herself into a more intimate frame of mind (maybe she just needs more stimulation than her man can give?) Or maybe she just wants to get horny and masturbate without her man around?

There are so many reasons. But whatever these reasons are it seems that women and men have found it in erotica and erotic romances. The proof being in the magnificent sales.

Q: Also, the opposite is also a question. What about men? What, if anything do you think a male reader of erotic romance gets out of the stories?

A: I think a male reader wants to read erotica or erotic romance to get aroused, live out his sexual fantasies through the stories, or to find out how to pleasure a woman. Guys are smart. They know if they please their women, she’s going to want more more more!

Q: Do you know any male writers of erotic romance?

A: Not personally but I do believe Ellora’s Cave has several male writers…C.J. Burton, SL Carpenter, Elliot Mabeuse, J.W. McKenna, Reese Gabriel, James Miller…I’m sure I’ve missed a bunch of them, but those are the ones I know off hand.

Q: When did you start writing?

A: I was a hobby writer since my teens, writing off and on. I seriously started writing romantic suspense in the late 1990’s following a car accident.

Q: You wrote Peppermint Creek and its sequel, As Big As The Sky, which were romantic suspense, how did you switch to erotic romance?

A: Being an avid reader of romance and many of it’s subgenres I found myself loving the romantic suspense genre and decided writing it. I thought I would write it forever but a trip to the Romance Writer’s of America’s New Jersey chapter changed my whole writing path when on a whim I took an erotica workshop. The teacher read hot sexy excerpts from erotica books and I was blown away! I had no idea these types of books were out there. (Boy was I ever innocent back then!) At that point though I was convinced I couldn’t write such graphic stuff…it looked too hard.

When I went home I started to read erotica. Soon after that I discovered Ellora’s Cave and erotic romances. Yummy to say the least! I picked up several of their ebooks and became immediately hooked to the genre. It wasn’t long before a little voice in the back of my head was saying “hmmm maybe I can write this hot stuff too?”

Q: Why do you write erotic romance?

A: For me it is the rush! Literally. Writing sex scenes allows me to incorporate my own fantasies in my writing which is lots of fun. Writing the romance part allows me to explore how I’d like my own real-life hero to be (when he comes along). I hope my enjoyment shines through in my writing allowing readers to enjoy the stories as well.

Q: Could you provide your definitions of romance, erotic romance, erotica, and pornography?

A: For me I think romance is the development of a caring relationship between a hero and heroine that blossoms into love. The sex is a byproduct. Not a big important part of the picture.

Erotic Romance is equal parts or a big part of the plot being a solid romance as well as an equal part being sex. And let’s not forget the purpose of an erotic romance is to arouse the reader as well as using those naughty words that your mom told you not use. 🙂

Erotica is mostly sex driven with the plot being secondary and less emphasis on a romance. Or the romance doesn’t exist.

Pornography – it’s just sex with some or no plot. LOL.

Anyways that how I see them.

Q: If someone said to you, and they probably have, erotic romance is porn, how do you respond?

A: Yes, I’ve definitely encountered this problem. I suggest for them to read several erotic romances so they can become better informed.

Q: What do you think is behind the surge in erotic romance being the hot new ‘subgenre’ of romance?

A: My personal feeling is readers are embracing their sexual side when they read erotic romances. An erotic romance turns them on, gives them a great plot and a romance all wrapped up nicely. Can’t beat that!

Q: What does it take to be a good erotic romance writer?

A: First of all a good erotic romance writer shouldn’t be afraid to write about sex. You should be able to push the envelope. Editors and publishers are always looking for new and unique storylines and for authors who aren’t shy to take the reader into the fascinating areas where few have dared to go.

Secondly the writer should be able to use variety in her sex scenes. Go for those delicious ménages, throw in some anal and oral sex, give us a good look at sex toys and m/m and f/f scenes. But don’t forget that a good solid romance between the hero and heroine or heroes and heroine or whatever the case may be is a MUST. There has to be a romance or it’s just erotica.

Third – avoid using flowery language when describing intimate body parts. Use the erotic language. Your readers will love you for it.

Q: What are the qualities of a good erotic romance book?

A: I think there are three main ingredients for an erotic romance story to have. A solid romance, the ability for the book to arouse the reader (as well as yourself – cause if you aren’t aroused, don’t expect your reader to be) and there must be a good solid plot that the reader can sink her/his teeth into.

Q: When you read an erotic romance, what might turn you off in the book?

A: The biggest turn off is encountering one sex scene after another with no solid plot in between or no natural evolving romance. Boring! I find I flip through those books and I don’t get any satisfaction from them. Another big no no is the lack of variety in the sex scenes in a book. If it’s all missionary style then please don’t bore me with it. In my TBR pile I want sex scenes that give me ideas of how to add spice to my own sex life! I want a writer to grab me and hold my attention. I want strong heroes and heroines who aren’t afraid of getting in between the sheets, or doing it in the shower or in a meadow. I want juicy storylines that make me want to read that book in one sitting. I want to be taken away from reality. Whew! I want to read that book again! 🙂

Q: What’s on your reference bookshelf?

A: Ohhh lots of stuff. Stuff I don’t want my nephews to find until they are a little bit older.
I have Lora Leigh, Cheyenne McCray, Kama Sutra research books, Sex toy books, Sexual position books, Shiloh Walker, Jaid Black, Jade Lee and much much more.

Q: The movie, Brokeback Mountain, some women are said to find the gay cowboy love theme a turn on, can you give an idea as to why?

A: OMG! Do I ever want to see that one! I just haven’t had the time. But the minute it comes out in DVD I am on it! I think it turns a woman on because she can see two of her favorite heroes getting it on together. It’s something different. Something new.

For me it’s the curiosity and research factor. Especially since one of my current works in progress (my next Outlaw Lovers) is going to have a m/m relationship so I am eager to get all kinds of info on this exciting type of relationship. I’ve also done research on the subject of guy/guy attraction and apparently many men fantasize about doing it with another guy. Just to see how it would be like. Interesting eh? 😉

Q: You wrote Christmas Lovers in one week? How’d you write a sexy menage in one week?

A: I must admit it was a challenge. At the time when word came down that EC wanted Christmas Quickies I had just started in on my next Outlaw Lovers story which has a m/m and m/m/f relationship. So I was in the m/m and ménage mood. Since I had never written a m/m story before I decided on trying a scene out in a Quickie. Since pretty much anything goes in my Kidnap Fantasies series and my first KF had also been a Christmas based story I decided to write Christmas Lovers.

At first the Quickie was supposed to have a two – three week deadline but then my editor was going out of town for Thanksgiving long weekend and she needed the ms in one week to give us the time for edits!

Needless to say I had no idea I would work so well under pressure. I literally sat day and night at the computer and to my surprise the story unraveled very easily. I had a blast with it. I hope it shows. 🙂

Q: You seem to like writing series, why?

A: LOL. Yes a series seems to have a way of finding me. I don’t usually go into a book thinking it’ll be a series. It just kind of happens when I bring in a secondary character as a friend to the hero or heroine and suddenly I feel the need to tell their story in another book.

Just like Christmas Lovers – I wanted it to be a stand alone but lately I’ve had this urge to write the secondary character, Santana, in the m/m scene I had in that story. I’ve also gotten several requests for his own story…as well as requests for Tony and Meemee’s story from A Hero Needed. I’m thinking perhaps a couple of nice Quickies for them all but my Quickies also have a habit of turning into novels so it might be awhile.

Q: Your books are futuristic erotic romances, and the women in your books, seem to be in short supply in the future? Are you trying to tell us something?

A: I’m trying to give readers scary peeks into the future. There are lots of possibilities. For instance…what if a virus killed most of the women on Earth. How would men react? From my experience most men have a natural dominance streak in them…would they not want to dominate the few remaining women? What if they couldn’t dominate but had to share their women with other men. Oolalala! The Claiming Law is born where men must share…not just two men to a woman but a minimum of four men to a woman.


And in my Heroes at Heart series I did the opposite. I had the women in the ruling role with men coming from Earth to their planet. Why are the woman in charge? What happened to bring about this change? What would happen if a man (men) came to a woman dominated world and try to dominate the women? How would a woman react? Could she be dominated?
Ah so many opportunities exist in writing futuristic erotic romance.

Q: Although the women/heroines in your books are initially slaves, are they the ones that ultimately have control?

A: Definitely. A man may think he can control a woman but through the journey of the story he discovers he is the one the woman has captured by her enslaving his heart.

Q: What positive and negative changes have you seen in erotic romance writing?

A: The biggest positive change I’ve noticed are the big NY publishers are jumping on the erotic romance bandwagon. Everyone seems to be looking for authors of this genre. Having so many publishers producing the genre will allow it to grow and reach an audience that ebooks haven’t reached.

I can’t seem to think of anything negative off hand.

Q: Do you have an idea of the age and sex range of your readers?

A: From the letters and emails I get I’d have to say it is across the board – from women in their early twenties up to and probably past the seventies. I’ve even got a couple of guys who have emailed that they liked a certain story. I have also gotten a couple of “hey I’m old but I’m not dead” comments when I tell older women and men what I write.

Q: What do you think women get out of reading erotic romances?

A: I think women are getting a great deal of exciting things when they read an erotic romance. They get ideas of how to improve their own sex lives, they get a luscious romance. They are also getting turned onto their own sexual awareness as well as realizing that sex doesn’t have to be only in men’s books but it can be in women’s books too.

For men – they’re going to get ideas on how to intimately please their own woman as well as find out what displeases them.

Q: Your class last February on erotic romance writing was awesome. Will you be teaching that class again or any other classes this year?

A: I’m thrilled you enjoyed the workshop! I’d planned on having several more this year unfortunately due to a recent move, time constraints, looming deadlines, judging commitments, article commitments etc…I may have to skip workshops this year. But I never say never so we’ll have to wait and see.

Q: What’s it like working with Ellora’s Cave and New Concepts Publishing?

A: To tell you the truth I still have to pinch myself that I am so lucky to be working with these fine publishers. It’s great! The work is challenging and so satisfying. The editors are wonderful and I love getting paid for doing something I absolutely adore doing. Unfortunately again due to time problems I’ve had to put some NCP stories on the back burner while I pursue and complete the several EC series I have on the go.

Q: Are you ever worried that some readers may interpret your books, or other erotic romance books, as degrading to women? That the idea of submission, and dominance by males, implies women are only sexual beings?

A: Definitely I worry. There’s always that little voice at the back of my head that warns me to reign it in before I offend someone. But due to the nature of erotic romance and “pushing the envelope” I have to subdue that little voice and stick to the idea that I can please everyone. So I stick to the rule to write what I enjoy and let the editors and publishers if there should be a warning to readers about graphic nature, coarse language etc…all in all the reader has to remember it is fiction and fantasy we authors are writing. We don’t intend to offend anyone but wish to give our readers an enjoyable titillating read that has them asking us for more.

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