This is from the On His Knees sales page editorial reviews section:
“Let’s get a few things out of the way first. This isn’t a romance. There’s desire aplenty between the protagonists, but no romantic love. … It’s not stroke fiction, designed to get the average reader off as quickly and dramatically as possible while they hold the book with one hand.
It is erotica. But not in the sense of the (bad) American Heritage Dictionary definition of “literature or art intended to arouse sexual desire” or the (worse) Webster’s New World Dictionary definition of “pornographic books.” No.
On His Knees is erotica in the most basic sense: “stories written about the sexual journey of the characters and how this impacts them as individuals.”(Thanks for that definition, Sylvia Day!)
And this particular journey is gritty and gut-wrenching.
Dale Cameron Lowry – author, blogger, philanthropist
But here is a more complete quote from Day:
Erotica: stories written about the sexual journey of the characters and how this impacts them as individuals. Emotion and character growth are important facets of a true erotic story. However, erotica is NOT designed to show the development of a romantic relationship, although it’s not prohibited if the author chooses to explore romance. Happily Ever Afters are NOT an intrinsic part of erotica, though they can be included. If they are included, they weren’t the focus. The focus remained on the individual characters’ journeys, not the progression of the romance.
This article is quoted constantly and her definitions have become a standard. This doesn’t mean they are “right,” but this specific paragraph does reflect my own thinking.
“The reader reads a book into existence.” I cannot recall who said that, but it’s true afaic. Some read Knees to get off and consider it smut. They don’t want mysteries or anything else getting in the way. I don’t consider anything I have ever written to be smut. Not Little Favor or A Thing for Feet or anything else no matter how much sex is in it.
Writers explore character through greed or sacrifice or violence or martyrdom. A lot of writers have done it through sex. It’s unfortunate that readers through time have so often brought their own rather unwholesome attitudes to these works and banned them.
I love my readers. I esp love those who see my and other works of erotica as what they are: stories about people.
Heat can still be fun, though.