Smashwords Interview

I get the occasional question about myself, and thought I’d post here my recent interview for Smashwords. Comment and let me know what you think.

Corey Harper on Smashwords


So. You’re a guy?

And you write romance novels?
That’s right.

Umm… Aren’t most writers and readers of romance novels women?
I read a statistic once that it was in the neighborhood of 80% female readers.I know over a hundred romance writers; two of them are male.

What kind of romance novels do you write?
My debut trilogy is an erotic paranormal romance, with a strong D/s dynamic.

Really? How can you write for women? Are you… er… that is to say…
I’m heteroflexible.

Okay. So you like women most of the time, you write romantic porn—
I’ll stop you right there. While everyone has their own definition of what constitutes erotica, versus porn, I’ll give you my perspective. Just porn doesn’t do it for me. Never has. You toss a couple of naked bodies on a bed in a story, with no buildup or tension, no preamble, you’re going to leave me cold.

You sure you’re a guy?
My whole life.

Can you describe what you write?
Of course. I start with the mind—whether in my stories, or in real life. For me, there is no eroticism without engaging the brain first and foremost. And for quite awhile before anything else happens.

What do you mean?
It’s in my profile, but I’ll elaborate. I am a Dom—

A what?
A male dominant.

You mean like whips and ropes, “Fifty Shades” stuff?
Not at all. I certainly appreciate that part of BDSM, but that’s not my personal focus, nor the focus of my stories.

So no bondage?
I said it wasn’t the focus—there is indeed bondage, and spanking, and quite a few other kinky activities.

Then how are you different than whips and ropes? And why would any woman pick up your books, much less buy them?
Because my personal philosophy—again, both in my stories and in life—is that a submissive woman (which is what my heroines are) must feel cherished and protected above ANYTHING else. She is not an object to be used and discarded, or treated unfairly, or ignored. She is the most important thing in the hero’s life, and he will take a bullet for her before he lets anything happen to her. My goal in writing my characters is that they are not perfect, and they can argue and fight, but at their very cores they have a deep and abiding respect for each other, and as the story goes forward, love.

That sounds like intense romance.
I write it the way I feel it.

So the characters do have sex, though?
Of course. Quite a lot of it, as a matter of fact. And it gets pretty darn kinky. But I write the way I like to live—a slow build, lots of romantic and erotic tension, until my characters reach the point that they just can’t fight it any more.

Sounds like mental foreplay.
Correct. And that goes back to what we talked about earlier, which is that sex always starts in the brain for me. I don’t separate it from love. My characters don’t do casual hookups. For readers who like a slow build, an increasingly heating passion, a fiercely protective hero, a heroine who may start out a bit flaky but grows and matures as the story progresses, then my trilogy will be just the right story for that reader.

So your story is mainly romance and sex?
The main thrust of my story is the developing love between the hero and his lady. And yes, lots of sex that arises out of that love. But there is an adventure that they have together, moments of action and danger, and a big conclusion in Book Three of the trilogy. I promise in my profile that I always write with a Happily Ever After ending. But I don’t promise that it won’t be hell getting there. It is a paranormal romance, after all.

What would you say to women who might still be hesitant to pick up a romance novel written by a man?
I would say this: Ladies, read the book sample. Go to my blog and read the articles on BDSM and D/s that I’ve written; and not just the articles, but the comments after the articles. Come have a look at me on Facebook, both my author page and my personal one. Comment on my blog or send me a tweet; I can’t promise that I can answer everyone, but I read everything everyone sends me. If you’re feeling brave, you can even come hunt me up on Fetlife. If you still aren’t convinced, drop me a note and tell me why, because I’d love to hear from you.

Corey Harper on Smashwords