Hello everyone, and welcome back for the newest edition of Pillow Talk Secrets! Today, Tamsin, Malin, and I—Jade, your host for the day—have merged our thoughts together to talk about…merging writing genres together! 🙂 We had a lot to say in regards to genre crossovers and stories that blend vastly contrasting elements together, both in our own writing experiences, and in our reading, too. As usual, I’ve posted a portion of the conversation here with a link to continue on our Pillow Talk site. Or, click right here to read the conversation in its entirety.
We hope you enjoy it!
Pillow Talk Secrets
Jade: Hello ladies! So nice to be back again. How are you both doing today?
Malin: Doing well! How about you, Jade? Tamsin?
Tamsin: Very well, thanks—and better for being here with you two! 🙂
J: Aw! I agree. And I’m well too, thank you. So…today we have a very interesting topic on hand—erotica crossovers and genre blending. Shall we get right to it?
M: Sounds great. I suspect we’ll have a lot to say.
J: I agree. Initially, I’d thrown this topic out as an option during our first year recap. Then, by random happenstance, we all ended up getting asked to join in on a special anthology that I know we’re all excited about! We’ll get to that in a bit, but for now—let’s start with the idea of erotica crossovers. What styles have you both blended so far? And how did you find it went for you?
T: I think by now, nearly everyone knows that I’ve written zombie erotica—and it’s probably one the most fun projects I’ve worked on. The obvious challenge being how to make something so totally squicky even remotely sexy!
M: The fact that you did make a zombie apocalypse a believably sexy scenario is a testament to your talent. It’s a high bar and you hit it!
J: I agree—and I think what was most interesting is that you really humanized a really inhuman being. Even though we wanted to squirm over the grotesqueness of the zombies, we ended up rooting for them in a few of those stories.
T: Wow! Thank you both. I think the challenge with any crossover is staying faithful to the essence of the two original genres but somehow making the sum even more than the two parts.
M: I agree. Most genres have a set of recognizable conventions. They’re sort of like markers for the reader. When you blend genres or write crossovers, you almost have to choose which conventions from each best serve the story you want to tell.
J: Right. And you also have to decide which convention needs to rule the tale. Is it more horror than erotica, or more erotica than horror, etc. For example, when we did the Coming Together: Among the Stars anthology, Malin, we did a merging of sci-fi and erotica in our stories. Did you feel you were writing more of a sci-fi story with erotic elements, or an erotic story with sci-fi elements? Or was the blend pretty equally split in your mind as you wrote it?
M: That’s an interesting question! To be honest, I’m not sure. I don’t tend to think in that way—I tend to have a story in mind and then I write it and see what it is. That story came out a pretty even mix of sci-fi and erotica. Weirdly, the elements that I consciously played with more than anything were the comedic ones. The sci-fi / erotic elements took care of themselves.
J: I would agree with that—there was some comedy that somehow needed to be added. I wonder if that’s sci-fi or just a coincidence that we both had the experience?
T: I’ve definitely found comedy to be useful in all the genre blending I’ve done. Maybe it acts like lube (snigger) in getting the two genres into bed with one another!
M: I like that idea of comedy acting as a kind of lube! For me, it depends on the genres being blended. When I blend literary and erotic, comedy doesn’t come out as much (unless it’s very black humor), but with sci-fi it was very natural. It may just depend on the story. Jeez. What an abstract answer!