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I’ve been mulling over this topic for some time now and quite frankly having a hard time deciding what to write. Not because I couldn’t think of anything to write but because there was so much I could possibly write about. For instance, I vividly remember being in a college class that was discussing stereotypes and realizing as a Caucasian disabled female, I was the only one in the room to fit into but a majority “class” (racially) and a minority “class” as both a woman and a person with a disability. It was an eye-opening experience.

HandicappedOf course, as a person with a disability, there were any number of disability related stereotypes I could talk about, but I have written some about that before, and specifically honest I don’t want that to become my soapbox and the thing that I am known for. I’m not in the least ashamed of my disability and am more than willing to talk about it with anyone who wants to know, but I don’t want to be defined by it as a person or as a writer. That’s as bad as the stereotype that followed me when I was working in education that because I have a disability I should be working in special ed with students who have disabilities. Now, there’s nothing wrong with that and that’s what you choose to do, and there is something to be said for giving children with disabilities adult role models who also have disabilities. However, in my opinion, there’s something to be said for giving all children a diversity of adult role models, not just ones who look, talk, or walk like they do. So yes, I could’ve talked about that, but I wasn’t entirely sure I wanted to.

And then I watched Outlander today and inspiration hit like a bolt of lightning.

The Outlander book series breaks just about every genre stereotype there is. First of all, what genre are the books in Outlander spanking scenethe first place. They are sci-fi/historical/romance and have occasionally been called action-adventure. The sci-fi part comes in because time travel is a major plot element. It’s historical because most of takes place in the 18th century. It’s also romance because it involves a couple falling in love. Unlike most traditional romances, the heroine is older than the hero. They fall in love after they are married not before, and the hero is a virgin not the heroine, effectively smashing many romance stereotypes.

Oh yes, make no mistake, there are stereotypes in the publishing industry, particularly with regard to genre fiction. As a writer, I rather enjoy turning some of the expected DD/spanking/romance stereotypes on their head. For instance, my first romance novel, Playing with Fire, included no sex scenes whatsoever, but wasn’t a Christian/inspirational romance. My second one, Learning to Live Again, was about a couple that was already married with children. Rather than a couple discovering love for the first time, they were rediscovering their relationship and each other. In the third one, it was the woman introducing lifestyle to the man, and it was the man who had been the victim of abuse, not the woman. It’s fun to play with those lines and blur them, but I’ve also had the misfortune to run into them in ways that are far more frustrating than fun.

For instance, this seems to be an assumption that if a book contains spanking then that automatically means that it should be marketed as BDSM erotica. However, marketing a book as erotica sets up certain expectations the reader’s mind, namely that the book will contain quite a bit of explicit sex. There’s nothing wrong with that, per se, but that’s not what I write. What I write, to my mind, is spanking romance. Yes, it does contain spanking, but it may or may not contain sex. Frankly, I don’t set out with the notion of writing sex, or as some people prefer to term it, smut, at all. I want to write romance, the characters finding each other and love. Whether or not it contains sex at all is entirely up to the characters.Character Quotes-Meetville-Quotes-5561

However, when my books are marketed as erotica simply because they contain spanking then inevitably they are going to disappoint some readers who expect them to contain far more sex than they do. That’s puts both me as the writer and the reader at a disadvantage. They are disappointed, and I can’t possibly fulfill expectations for a genre that I never intended to write. The stereotype is unfair to both of us.

 

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