My guest this week is Colette Gale, the author of some of my very favorite erotic romantic stories. Her Jane series (based on Tarzan and Jane) is…. AMAZING!!! So welcome her and let’s talk about turning classics on their heads. Colette has a prize too, so COMMENT!!!
Seducing the Classics
by Colette Gale
I grew up devouring Bertrice Small’s Skye O’Malley series, and had no idea I was reading the precursor to today’s erotic romance, or romantica. I mean, those books…they were way beyond steamy. They were also my first foray into erotica and I loved them. The story was good, of course—true love always conquers—but there was a lot of good, sexy, erotic scenes that awakened a lot of fantasies and sexual awareness in my mind.
After cutting my teeth on Small, I graduated to Anne Rice’s Sleeping Beauty series, and then The Story of O. A lot more hardcore, but they floated my boat when it came to erotica. So, when I’m writing my stories, I am understandably influenced by those erotic novels that first caught my attention. The only difference in mine is that there is always an underlying romance.
I’m not saying that in my books, all the sexy, erotic scenes are between two people who love each other—no, that’s not the case at all. I push the boundaries of what is defined as erotic romance because of that. But the core of the story is a romantic love that gives my characters the strength and determination to get to each other…to be with each other…and to realize that even though there might be physically satisfying, even reluctant, sexual encounters, those events are superficial in comparison to sexual relationships with someone you love. Period. End of story.
My first erotic romance was written after I’d seen The Phantom of the Opera in Toronto, and then numerous times elsewhere onstage. I knew the score and book of that musical inside and out. And then the movie with Gerard Butler and Emmy Rossum just clinched for me how damnably sexy—and terribly broken—the Phantom was portrayed. And then I started wondering…no, fantasizing…about what really happened on that massive bed during The Music of the Night scene. (I didn’t have to work too hard to figure that one out!) And from there, the story bloomed and I wrote it down.
It’s very Bertrice Small-esque, my Unmasqued: An Erotic Novel of the Phantom of the Opera, with its core story being the love between Christine and Erik, and the sacrifices they make for each other. And as I went on to write two other full-length “seduced classics”, I followed the same sort of path: an underlying strong-for-all-time love story told via sexual encounters, as well as villainy, temptation, and dark eroticism also told through intimate acts.
One of my most popular novels is Bound by Honor: An Erotic Novel of the Robin Hood Legend, wherein I write a revisionist story set in the Robin Hood world. No spoilers here, but let’s just say that if you enjoyed the BBC America’s version of Robin Hood, and thought Guy of Gisborne was the most sexy, tortured hero ever…you’ll like Bound by Honor.
Finally, the third book in my Seduced Classics series is based on the brilliant The Count of Monte Cristo. I hadn’t read the book before my editor at Penguin suggested I do a seduced classic based on this book…and I loved the book. To this day, Monte Cristo is one of my favorite classics. Because of this, I wanted to do it justic…and I hope I did.
Master: An Erotic Novel of the Count of Monte Cristo is a story of revenge, redemption, and passionate love. Talk about a tortured hero! But this book is also three different love stories—each told mostly through sexual encounters—with three utterly different themes. I really enjoyed writing this book, and I believe it’s the best erotic novel I’ve ever written. It’s dark, it’s emotional, it’s sexy, and it’s filled with angst and pain. And yet, love conquers all!
I’m currently having a lot of fun writing a serial about Jane’s Erotic Adventures in the Jungle, inspired by the Tarzan stories. So far there are five episodes (one is a double-length one), with a 6th one coming before the end of the year. The first story, Entwined, is free for your ebook reader at most retailers.
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