Writers discuss their favorite erotic novels.
Hello, all – this week, I am starting a new monthly (or so) series in which I invite writers of erotica to discuss their own favorite erotic novels, preferably of a kinky nature, since that is the primary focus of this site. I’m inviting authors to tell us why they love the books they do, or why it has influenced their own work, or how a book became a catalyst for a fun or sexy episode in their lives. They can analyze a book to pieces, like I tend to do, if they wish; whatever they’d like to say about a beloved book – be it a novel, a collection of stories, or their thesaurus, for that matter.
For this inaugural month’s contribution, I invited F. Leonora Solomon to write about her favorites. Leonora is a writer of erotica, as well as an editor of fine anthologies. She is also a moderator of memes, a promoter of prompts on her own blog, all social and supportive writing projects to get the creative juices of her fellow writers flowing. She has more projects going on at once than I can keep track of, let alone attempt. She’s amazing. Leonora’s website can be found at F DOT LEONORA, and her Amazon Author Page is here.
Here is Leonora’s response when I asked her to discuss her favorite books:
When LN asked me to write about my influences, at first I was really intimidated. I was not sure what they were. So I’m going to ease my way into this post… I am going to write about the things that inspire me, that are not romantic or erotic in genre.
I have been a bibliophile since I was a child. My mom encouraged me to read—and I READ! I read what she gave me, and when I was able to acquire titles on my own, I did. That was where my literary adventure really flourished. I read a lot of romance and erotica—I will not read books that do not include some element of one or the other. But I also love psychological thrillers and horror. V.C. Andrews was included in the horror section—I am still not sure why she was included there—and I loved the darkness of her series. There was mystery and forbidden romance in all of them. My favorite novel in her Dollanganger series is Garden of Shadows. All of the mystery behind the four novels that follow are unraveled in that book—and there is an exceedingly dark romance in there that blew my mind!
Two of my favorite novels ever are The Collector by John Fowles, and Asylum by Patrick McGrath. Both of these novels are terribly dark in their premises. The Collector is about a recluse who decides to kidnap the object of his affection, and Asylum is about a woman who falls in love with one of her husband’s patients at the psychiatric hospital where he works. Both are older books, so there is a definite retro feeling to them which makes me love them even more.
The thing that makes me love both books is that for better or worse—really worse—these characters follow their impulses wherever they lead them. For love or sex, or some confused idea of both, the main character in each novel takes the path less travelled and all hell breaks loose. I also love A Long Fatal Love Chase by Louisa May Alcott, for this same reason. I think about this book all the time because it is so heartbreaking—it lives up to its title, spoiler alert!
While reading these books, I am pretty sure that if you had put a mirror under my nose that you would not have seen my breath. I was reading like my life depended on it, I was so invested in the characters and more so their relationships.
I love it when love gets dark, I love it when everything is laid on the line for it…even sanity. I am a violent romantic; I really believe that love is everything. When I write about it, it is everything, and I think that in no small way this is influenced by things that I enjoy reading. I think that the darkness is like the dark in dark chocolate. It adds depth and earthiness to the pieces that I write, and is essential for the things that I like to read.
I keep wanting to write a horror or something really dark, but I have not yet. But with the influence I have had from my favorite novels, I am pretty sure that I will. And even if I do not, the romance and erotica I write is heavily influenced by that side of me.
I am a dark romantic…