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  1. Could something appeal to those readers without being directly in the forcefem niche? That is, if we took out the forcefem, what is left? Strong woman? Male supplicant? She's in charge? He's strong enough to let her be in charge? She's strong enough to take charge? I really want Kria to be appealing and strong so that the story doesn't become one trick with Thor as alpha.
  2. Thank you. After you initially posted, I read a book of the same title by Barbara Deloto, which has a forced feminization plot. I have a secondary character named Kria who is a dominant female, which fits the Viking warrior ethos of Asgaard, and she encourages the heroine to be strong without apology. Kria is strong and direct with her boyfriend, who is strong and silent. However, it probably won't fill the same niche as strong women and forced feminization.
  3. Can you remember the author for The Virgin Bride? The two I found by that name are far from F/m. They were still enjoyable, and one of them gave me a good idea how to handle the god/human duality of Thor in my book (which, as you might guess, is about Thor). Thank you.
  4. Welcome to the party, Tina. Thank you for adding to the discussion. In the F/m romance genre, are there any pinnacle works that stand out as "they don't make 'em like that anymore"?
  5. Mira, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and reactions so eloquently. I've put Lasher in the top of my reading pile. (I may eventually get to the first book in the series.) In my book, I don't have a Beta like Michael to contrast with the Alpha (Thor/Lasher). You have me rethinking this. I made a chart of the contrasting descriptions of the Alpha and Beta from "What Women Want," which describes a similar Michael/Lasher duo, but when I looked back at the books I had read, I saw plenty of good ones that didn't have a significant Beta, so I figured I could go without. But the way you describe Lasher and Michael has a draw to it that has me thinking. My personal hit is being Thor, large and in charge, but what speaks to me most is the meta challenge of writing, accomplishing the impossible. (Blame my artistic temperament.) I saw an episode of Philly, in which the wife was on trial for pushing her husband off the balcony to his death. She claimed that he slipped while she was pleasuring him. The trial went back and forth with revelations about how he was having an affair (so she must have pushed him) and then revelations of how she already knew about the affair, and they were making up (the old fashioned way). It went back and forth until everything was in doubt. After she was found not guilty, she leaned over to her lawyer and described her husband's last words. That one sentence instantly told the viewer everything that had happened. In one sentence. Total writer-gasm. I wanted a moment like that, and Thor is written around it, with one revelation at the end that changes everything and settles everything. That is what drives me. For the sexual parts, I can't be left completely to my own devices, otherwise the ice nymphs go topless in a circle around Thor for what my critique partner laughingly calls the nipple dance. Dan
  6. Cameron, I appreciate you sharing your thoughts. Your ideas are helpful. Thor is a strong alpha, so that is covered. You make a really good point about people being more likely to read down in heat for a good story than up. I have a real romance plotted out, as well as some interesting sub-plots. There are plenty of places to have sex that is relevant to the character and relationship arcs, and I had gotten a hint that readers would be looking for something with heat. While the sex can't be pulled out, it could be toned down a bit, but that doesn't really feel like Thor. I'll go back and review the publisher's guidelines. That's another good point. After seeing Carina's call for Cracktastic, I focused on that.
  7. Regina, thank you for explaining. I never would have known the EC aspect. While I have already accepted that it takes more than strong craft to bring strong financial results, I am reassured to find that Kacey's low sales rank despite strong writing is due to special circumstances. I've decided not to be afraid of the BDSM category. This is my first book, so I didn't want to start out doing something that only the established writers can get away with. While it won't be, "Welcome to Asgaard. Here are your nipple clamps," I will give Asgaard some Beauty-like aspects. This will be an environment that is naturally infused with sex and BDSM. Warriors and shield maidens are natural dominants without clubs or contracts. I also have Thor, the ultimate alpha. I am aware that paranormals are on the outs right now (so I've been told), but I can't write Thor as a non-paranormal. I could leave out the BDSM, but I'll keep the BDSM and remember to choose a publisher carefully. Thanks again for helping me understand the publishing situation.
  8. Charity, thank you for the pointer toward Jennifer Kacey. I looked at "Together in Cyn". It's well written (thanks, Kindle instant delivery). It does involve a BDSM club, and it's ranked 666,653 overall in Amazon, whereas Sylvia Day's "Bared to You" is 3,183 overall (no BDSM club). Anne Rice's "The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty" is 13,556 overall. I'm not sure what conclusion to draw. Does a well-written romance set in a BDSM club draw fewer readers than a well-written romance that is hot without being in a BDSM club (Cross's nightclub doesn't count)? Is Kacey's book not as well written as books from Day or Rice? Is there something about the trope that Day follows that is more popular? Is there a certain je ne sais quoi that makes one book do much better than another? I apologize for being so coldly analytical. Somebody, please let me know if asking these questions so directly is impolitic. Obviously, being a good writer is important. I'm working hard on improving my craft, and I love writing. But what is it that puts Kacey at 666k rank while Day is at 3k? Dan
  9. I hope this isn't gauche to ask, but can you suggest a book or two that are strong exemplars of this?
  10. This is great information for a newbie. Thank you. Asgaard has enough magic --and Thor has enough alpha-- that I feel free to create and explore ideas outside the standard tropes. In the land of the Norse gods, there are no contracts or explanations of what it means to be a Dom or a Sub. This is an ice nymph, who serves a warrior or shield maiden. Watch what happens. If you go with the ice nymphs, they will prepare you for tonight's feast. Regina, I'm impressed with what you created without including any sex. Thank you for expanding my thinking. Dan
  11. I've been pondering where the erotic romance market is going. Anne Rice's Beauty is still popular, but I've not seen anything like it in erotica or erotic romance. Have others tried and failed, or is this kind of erotica not popular anymore among writers/publishers? Or are there good examples that I've missed? 50 Shades was followed (and preceded) by several books that were marketed as being in the same vein, but none of them (not even 50 Shades) have that much sex. Crossfire has about four sex scenes per book. Why aren't there more? Is that the way readers want it, or are writers hesitant to add more sex scenes for other reasons? Or does keeping the romance in erotic romance not leave room for too many sex scenes that are still meaningful? What happens to an erotic romance book that gets kinky without declaring itself a kinky book? That is, would readers be turned off by BD and SM and DS that occurred in books that didn't have a "BDSM club" scene? Other than Beauty and clearly-marked BDSM books, I haven't seen nipple clamps make an appearance. Have I missed them? Do only doms carry nipple clamps in erotic romance books? Is the lack of these books a lack of supply or a lack of demand? Are there two groups of readers: 1. readers who want BDSM full-bore with contracts and dungeons 2. readers who want a little light spanking or bondage, with nothing in the middle? The middle would be erotic romance that doesn't use the words BDSM, contract, club, or scene, but still has kink that goes beyond light necktie bondage. Dan
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