Interview with L.A. Zoe

Why do you write erotic romance?
Everybody's in love with love. Most books of every genre include two people falling in love. They just put more emphasis on other elements -- the murder, the future technologies, the adventure quest, the dragon, and so on. But love is usually present.

Not always, but usually. Even in the Lord of the Rings, there's a romance, though not a big one. And Samwise marries. Frodo doesn't, but that strikes me as one more symptom of how being Ring Bearer damaged him.

Romance just happens to be the genre where the romance is primary.

But the bottom line is, people want to read about people falling in love and finding true love.
That explains why romance. What about why erotic romance?
Erotic? That's just a way of saying "sexually explicit."

Lots of people want the characters to have sex.

I'm not sure if I understand why. E.L. James blew out all conventional expectations about how many women want to read sexually explicit depictions. Sure, Samhain and Ellora's Cave have published erotica for women for many years, but they seemed to appeal only to a fairly small market.

But many millions of people -- mostly women -- bought 50 Shades of Grey.

Without question, acceptance of sexual depictions in art is in a long-term up trend.

With Jurgen in 1922, James Branch Cabell was accused of writing pornography because he described sex through metaphor.

D.H Lawrence's Lady Chatterly's Lover couldn't be published in full until 1960, and then sparked an obscenity trial in Great Britain. And plenty of controversy in the United States and elsewhere..

Hugh Heffner brought some sexual openness to photography by printing naked breasts in PLAYBOY.

When I was a young teen, the Rolling Stones song "Let's Spend the Night Together" got banned from the radio. Ed Sullivan forced them to change the lyrics to "Let's Spend Some Time Together."

Yet, not long after, All in the Family challenged sexual openness in prime time TV.

Throughout this period, sexual explicitness was called -- or accused of being -- "pornography." And, it was assumed, the audience was primarily men.

Things did change quickly. By 1973 Deep Throat -- a XXX movie -- starring Linda Lovelace played in conventional movie theaters across the counry.

In the 1970s feminists labeled pornography as violence against women, and came out against it.

Although they celebrated such art as Georgia O'Keefe's florid vulvas, they kept the notion that only men could want to watch or read anything sexually explicit.

Women read Harlequin romances. Some heroes and heroines indulged in steamy kisses, but they closed the door to the reader before visiting the bedroom.

Sexual explicitness continued to grow in the common culture. Triple XXX movies didn't play in theaters, but most people with cable could watch them.

Now All in the Family is considered appropriate fare to show on the children's network Nickelodeon. I rarely watch network TV, so when I visited my mother a few years ago and caught a Viagra commercial shown at 6:00 P.M., I was shocked. But probably the only one.

Sex captures people's attention. Who's gay or lesbian? is a popular tabloid headline.

My immediate gut reaction: Who cares?

(No Hollywood stars are asking me out on dates!)

But obviously I'm in the minority.

And for every old fart who wishes to forget about sex (or who truly has forgotten about sex), there's a young person fascinated with it.

So it remains a perennial human obsession.

And the blockbuster success of 50 Shades of Grey demonstrates that women as well as men wish to read sexually explicit material.
How is your love life?
Largely happy. And it still contains some explicit sexual material. But, having said that, I'm shutting the bedroom door.

Why are you writing the League of Worldly Wise Virgins series?
First, I thought the idea fun.

Second, I'm old enough to remember virginity does have its benefits besides adherence to what many people see as religious zealotry, although that notion seems lost on the current generation of young women.

The ten just-graduated virgins in the series are not shy, ugly religious fanatics. They're all beautiful, smart, self-confident, hardworking, and ambitious. Also, they come from tough backgrounds. They see virginity as another asset to leverage to their advantage, like their college degrees and high GPAs.

They realize some men -- and often the highest quality men -- still prefer to marry a virgin. Or at least a woman who hasn't slept with a hundred other dudes.

That may seem cold and calculating, and to a degree, it is.

Did I say they're all going to wind up marrying billionaires, with or without playrooms?

Without learning some unexpected lessons about life and love along the way?
Published 2013-09-09.
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Books by This Author

Innocent 1: Simone
Series: League of Worldly Wise Virgins, Book 1. Price: Free! Words: 64,340. Language: English. Published: August 8, 2013 by Wendy. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Erotic, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
(3.00 from 1 review)
Simone plans to spend her postgraduation summer painting, taking care of her great-aunt, and working in an art gallery -- not mud wrestling and giving her virginity to the yard boy. In this new adult contemporary romance with sex, Simone discovers the real meaning of high class and how her feelings can sweep her away. The glamorous artist or the down to earth hunk who makes a living cutting grass?
The Time for Love: Now!
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 66,510. Language: English. Published: June 21, 2013 by Wendy. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Time travel, Fiction » Romance » Sci-fi
(5.00 from 1 review)
In 2187, Marile Historian-1 just wants her Ph.D. She plans to earn her degree by traveling back in time to study Milton Carver, an Afro-American and the greatest physicist of all time. The History Department's professors worry she inadvertantly changes the past. The department's head already knows she and Carver share a love that could instead change the future.