I'll admit I had nothing when I started this post. The goal was to find a way to promote my work while saying something of importance to the community here. It dawned on me after some thought that one of the questions I ask my authors is this:
What do you want readers to take away from reading YOUR books?
The answer to this question helps decide your author platform, how it ties into your marketing efforts and public appearances. It helps with your one page, your interviews and all that snazzy publicity designed to sell copious copies of your book.
For me, right now the big thing is trust. It sort of has to be, as I'm primarily known for being a BDSM erotica/erotic romance author. In fact, my last three Decadent Publishing stories were softcore DIY BDSM (Meaning the kink was light and you could feasibly do all the acts with things probably found around our household.) I did that on purpose because in BDSM you don't start out with a partner and say "Okay, you've never done this before, but let's break out my bullwhip."
That would send anyone running in the opposite direction no matter how aroused you've made them.
So we start with The Playground - my first 1Night Stand from Decadent. In it, jet setter and playboy Devon has a BDSM dark side he wants to make
reality, only catch is the girl who would serve him perfectly left him
years ago and is afraid of what living with him means. He'd given up all
hope until he'd spotted Shelly waiting tables in the casino he happened
to be sitting in. Using the 1NightStand service to find her, he sets
her up in a park, and has her bound to some playground equipment with
only a blindfold on. Can his Dominance teach her the meaning of true
The excerpt (found here) exemplifies the trust established between the two characters, even though Shelly's trust in Devon is spotty at best. If I did my job right (and reviews say I have) then you the reader will buy the book, and buy subsequent books afterward.
Surrender to Love. In that book, Livia must trust her therapist, then her "date" while exploring the softer side of kink and Dominance. Oddly enough, the handsome, yet submissive man who shows up courtesy of her pre arranged 1Night Stand is the one to show her true power lies not in freedom, but when said freedom is taken from you.
THAT sexy excerpt can be found here by the way :)
Incidentally, Surrender to Love was a favorite to write because I wrote it for a friend who needs the lesson. There is freedom in slavery, even if that Mistress is her.
Next time I'll talk about how far back in my career I established this pattern of making my stories about trust as an overall theme.
What are some of your favorite themes in romance and erotica?