Friday, July 15, 2005

NYC Author, Elizabeth Bevarly Disses Elloras Cave, And Calls It Erotica… AGAIN

Talk about putting the cat amongst the pigeons…

Before I start this entry, let me start by saying that, I have read quite a few Elizabeth Bevarly's books, and I can honestly say that every single one of her books that I read (especially the ones with those babies in them) was a complete snoozefest. Yes Lizzie darling, I was one of the plebs who read Roxy and The Rich Man, and The Virgin and The Vagabond.

Having read her column on Squawk Radio, it all begins to make sense.

I can’t bring myself to link, but if you want to visit the site, you can find it via this
PBW entry.

Her rant starts like this…

“This is the cover for my new Blaze, out this month. It was a totally new endeavor for me. A stretch, even. Because the hardest part of my books for me to write are the sex scenes.

I also think it’s best when the intensity and frequency of the sex scenes are dictated by the hero and heroine, and, to a lesser extent, the story. For INDECENT SUGGESTION, the story and characters had to be dictated by the sex. Lots of sex. Lots of hot sex. In fact, the sex became more important in identifying what the book is than the characters and story were. I’ve decided that’s just not my thang.”

Sex isn’t her thing, got it!

She continues:

“I’m blogging about my Blaze for two reasons. One, it’s out this month. Duh. And two, because there’s been a lot of brouhaha in RWA recently about their new graphical standards stuff.

I’ll get right to my point. Erotica doesn’t belong in RWA, and RWA never should have approved Ellora’s Cave as an RWA-recognized publisher. The reason? Ellora’s Cave doesn’t publish Romance any more than Playboy Books publishes Romance.”

At this moment in time, I’m absolutely pissing myself laughing because I can’t figure out whether she actually means what she says, or if this is a quest for free PR for her new Blaze book. I can’t be arsed thinking about it too much, I'd only give myself a headache, so I just read on:

“Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against Erotica. Like Romance, it’s a perfectly legitimate genre. Like Romance, it has its roots in a long literary tradition. Like Romance, it appeals to a basic human need and a basic human response. But the fact is, it’s NOT Romance. It’s Erotica.”

Erm… well for starters she insists on calling Erotic Romance, Erotica, and as any fool and her dog knows, the two are quite different. Has she not seen the fights that have gone on about this?

At least she has nothing against erotica. (g)

But never mind that, there was more:

“I’ve spent my entire career explaining to people that Romance isn’t about sex. It’s about emotion. Romance novels describe the emotional awakening and emotional growth of two people who ultimately make a monogamous commitment to each other.

The sex the hero and heroine have occurs because they’re falling in love. Erotica novels describe the sexual awakening and sexual growth of as many people as the writer wants to include in the story.

The sex the characters have occurs because they are hugely physically turned on. It can be good. It can be very good. It can make the reader want a cigarette after its over. But it’s still Erotica. It’s not Romance.”

Romance books aren’t about sex, they’re about emotion… Got it! The fact that she’s spent her entire career chanting this mantra doesn’t really surprise me.


“A writer acquaintance of mine who writes for Ellora’s Cave fully admits that what she writes is pornography. Yes, that’s the word she uses. She doesn’t consider the books Romance any more than I do. She is as troubled by the shelving of the EC books in the romance section at Waldenbooks as I am.

She has friends? Just kidding, of course she has friends…

She adds:

“I don’t take my eleven-year-old into the section where my books are shelved these days, because I’m afraid of what he’ll pick up to flip through. That used to not be a concern for me. It also bothers me that now someone from the media can pluck an EC novel from the Romance section and say, "See? I told you all these books are only about sex."

See, I told you there was lots of shame in romance, she’s one of them thar romance authors who wants to be taken seriously by them thar literary sorts, the only problem being that she’s not that good a writer (IMO of course).

She concludes her rant by writing:

“Blaze, I think, is as erotic as RWA needs to get. Although quite sexy, the books still feature a hero and heroine who are monogamous. As steamy as the sex gets, the characters still have an emotional awakening and emotional growth.

Blaze is still Romance, and still has a firm place in RWA. Erotica, not so. It is no more Romance than Letters to Penthouse is. If erotica writers want to form EWA--Erotica Writers of America--they by all means should. Although the RWA umbrella is broad, and the genre claims much crossover and blending of genres, we are still at heart a Romance organization. And I, for one, would like to keep it that way."

Oh, it’s ok for Blaze to write about cocks, clits and cunts, but not EC? Ok then...
There you have it, the gospel truth as spoken by an NY published romance author. Sigh.

Now I realise that many people probably feel this way, but sheesh, that was harsh. My response is limited due to the fact that this viewpoint is of no surprise to me. I’ve always suspected that NY romance authors think that they are a cut above everybody else, and some of them even have their head up their own arse.

It would be interesting to see how many EC books she has read. The funny thing is, Shelby Reed, who writes for EC has more talent in her little finger than Ms Bevarly does in her whole body. I challenge anyone to read a
Shelby Reed or a Sarah Mccarty book, then read any of Elizabeth Bevarly’s and tell me that she is the better author. I think not.

Oh well, back to work, it kept me amused for a while anyway….