1) What is erotic romance?
The definition of erotic romance varies according to who you ask and when you ask it, but Passionate Ink currently defines erotic romance as:
Romance in which erotic elements are integral to the plot and take the book beyond traditional romance boundaries. The erotic elements (in the context of any traditional or non-traditional romantic relationship) play a major part in plot and/or character development, and the end of the book is emotionally satisfying and optimistic. The story must end with a “happily for now” or “happily ever after” ending. A romance may contain or reflect multiple genres and themes (ie: historical, paranormal, LGBTQ, BDSM culture, polyamory, contemporary); however, for erotic romance, the erotic element is the *primary* defining genre of the work.
Passionate Ink’s co-founder Sylvia Day defines the varying “heat” levels in the following manner. We have updated this definition to reflect “Happily for Now” and offer additional insight from Passionate Ink’s Board, shown in italics. Passionate Ink’s charter for romance authors embraces the first two (marked by asterisks):
- **Erotic Romance: stories written about the development of a romantic relationship through sexual interaction. The sex is an inherent part of the story, character growth, and relationship development, and couldn’t be removed without damaging the storyline. Happily Ever After / Happily For Now is a REQUIREMENT to be an erotic romance.
- One could argue that Erotic Romance takes “erotica” as defined below and elevates it / expands the literary component to the level of romance genre.
- **Sexy (Steamy) Romance: stories written about the development of a romantic relationship that just happen to have more explicit sex. The sex is not an inherent part of the story, character growth, or relationship development, and it could easily be removed or “toned down” without damaging the storyline. Happily Ever After / Happily For Now is a REQUIREMENT as this is basically a standard romance with hotter sex.
- One could argue that Steamy Romance embraces the sexual evolution of a couple or key characters as important but not paramount/defining to the plot or its characters’ development. This genre may approach romance with very hot sex scenes but with less of a story/plot/character focus on the development and evolution of the sexual relationship of the characters than may be generally seen within erotic romance.
- 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.
- Porn: stories written for the express purpose of causing sexual titillation. Plot, character development, and romance are NOT primary to these stories. They are designed to sexually arouse the reader and nothing else.
2) Why can’t I just join? Why do I have to join RWA, too?
Passionate Ink, Inc. is a duly formed not-for-profit corporation that functions for a variety of purposes under the umbrella of Romance Writer’s of America. Because of this special association, members of Passionate Ink must be members of RWA.
3) What are the benefits of membership?
- Networking with published and unpublished authors of erotic romance and literary erotica from around the world.
- Two free Passionate Ink Online Workshops per year (October to September) and discounted fees for all of Passionate Ink’s Online Workshops you register for beyond that.
- Members only private pitch sessions with editors seeking erotic romance.
- Organized Chats with published authors and industry professionals accessible to members only.
- Discounted entry fees for Chapter Contests devoted to erotic romance and literary erotica for published and unpublished writers.
- Discounted fee for our Annual Event at the RWA National Convention, which is always a blast, in addition to being informative and another great networking opportunity.
- Passionate Ink Newsletter: The monthly newsletter provides opportunities for chapter members to publish articles, a great tool for publicity within RWA.
- Member Milestones, a section of the PI newsletter, is a place to celebrate all your achievements. Contest wins, awards, completed manuscripts, first sales, fabulous reviews and list placements are all milestones your fellow PI members will be happy to celebrate with you.
- Perseverance Fund that pays annual dues for members and prospective members who are unable to renew or join because of financial hardship.
4) Will you keep my personal information confidential?
Due to the delicate nature of writing erotic romance, we take the privacy of our members very seriously. Unlike many RWA Chapters, we do not offer a public membership roster to our members. Aside from select board members who must have access to member names for recordkeeping and RWA reporting purposes, no one else in Passionate Ink is aware of the private identifying information of our members.
5) Do you have a button or banner that I can display on my blog or website?
We’re working on it!