Romance Guest talks about BDSM, her book & Fifty Shades of Grey – and Giveaway!

Romance Guest talks about BDSM, her book & Fifty Shades of Grey – and Giveaway!

BDSMAs someone who’s been writing BDSM-themed erotic fiction for years—my first BDSM novel, The Dark Garden, was released by Bantam in 2007 and I had several e-books out before then—I must admit I’m a bit surprised at all the buzz around E.L. James’ 50 Shades of Grey books. That’s not a statement on the quality of these books, but rather a question about what it was, exactly, that made these books palatable to the mainstream reader?

Is it a sign of a natural cultural evolution in which women are becoming more comfortable with admitting to their desires, even the darker ones? Or is it simply chance that caused the 50 Shades books to go viral, bringing them to a mainstream audience in such grand fashion? I believe the public was, to some extent, simply ready for good erotic fiction, that there are a number of cultural factors involved. But I’m also dissecting 50 Shades to see what about it might be working for mainstream readers.

I think there’s something about E.L. James’ approachable heroine that appeals, and perhaps even more about her glamorous hero, a wealthy man. Perhaps mainstream readers aren’t as used to thinking so much in terms of ‘hero and heroine’, but romance authors and readers understand how these archetypes work in romantic fiction, and even those who don’t consciously get it still feel it. The innocent ingénue and the powerful man always make for an incendiary couple, one few can resist. These almost iconic figures tap into our most archaic ideas about male and female roles.

There’s been a lot of discussion about this topic among my fellow writers, and many believe the subtle, clean-looking book covers have helped to make the 50 Shades books more generally appealing to those who might otherwise shy away from buying a book with a ‘romance’ cover. I tend to agree with this speculation, even though in digital formats no one else ever has to see the cover—the reader will when browsing for a new read, and marketing research has already proved how affected people are by a book cover. Visual images tap into both the conscious mind and the sub-conscious, which makes a book’s cover important.

Either way, this phenomenon can only be good for those of us who write erotic fiction, and especially BDSM—a time for our books to make their way out of the shadows and into the hands of new readers. That’s already happening with my novel The Dark Garden; a digital version with a new black and white cover a la 50 Shades of Grey has just been re-released, and I’m thrilled this novel, a true book of my heart, will have a new chance at life.

Question: Have you read any BDSM erotic fiction? If you haven’t, will the mainstream popularity of 50 Shades of Grey change your mind? Remember, every week 5 winners are randomly chosen to win a random FREE book – winners announced on Sunday – good luck!
Fifty Shades of Grey

Eden Bradley can be found on her Website|and most other social media – thank you!

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