I’m pleased to welcome Seleste DeLaney back to my blog. She has guested here for her young adult release as Julie Particka. Her husband, Mr. DeLaney, stopped by to tell us what it was like living with her. Now she’s back talking about choosing between YA and Erotica.
Erotic or YA? Decisions, Decisions…
One of the hardest things for me to do as an author is pigeonhole myself. I don’t like the idea of being “stuck” in a genre. I read a variety of things, so why can’t I write a variety of things? Now to be fair, there are genres that I won’t tackle, not because I don’t want to but because I know I can’t (at this stage) come close to doing them justice. The one that comes to mind first is thrillers of the sort that James Rollins writes. I love them, but they definitely fall into the category of things I’m not ready to write yet.
I’m okay with that because there are plenty of genres I am comfortable penning. The problem is, they don’t always allow for readership overlap.
The very first novel I completed was an erotic fantasy romance. It didn’t do well, but hey, it was the first novel I ever wrote. But I convinced myself that romance (or anything like it) wasn’t right for me, so the next novel I wrote was a young adult urban fantasy called Pretty Souls. I drafted it in under forty days and roughed out ideas for a five-book series. I loved this world. At first, it didn’t do so hot either. I ended up re-writing it, and it was better but still not there. Two years (and several revisions later), I sold it to Decadent Publishing (it’ out now in both print and e-book).
I wrote a few other young adult projects in that time too. But I also wrote what would be the first projects I sold: Badlands, Of Course I Try, The Ghost of Vampire Present, and Yes, Alana, There Is a Santa Claus. The funny thing about all those projects is not a single one is YA. The other funny thing? They all have a decent amount of sex (some more than others).
So how does an author balance writing both YA and adult stories with (sometimes a lot of) erotic content? For starters by publishing under two names. I keep my YA under Julie and my adult stuff under Seleste. For a while, I tried to keep the identities “secret” from each other, but that didn’t work for me. I look at it as a single layer of protection. The reality is, in this age of online everything, it wouldn’t be too hard to figure out both my personas, but having them does mean a teen reader won’t accidentally pick up a Seleste book thinking it’s YA.
The other trick is trying to focus my energy on one project at a time. Jumping back-and-forth between YA and erotica is the road to madness. But as long as I have a day or two of downtime in between to reset my brain, I’m good to go.
But the real question seems to be “why do both?” The simplest answer is “because I can,” but it isn’t the complete answer. I write both because each type of story feeds a different part of my muse. I write YA to embrace the emotions involved in “firsts”: first love, first kiss, first broken heart, first failure. I write erotica to embrace the passion and fire that comes with experience.
I write both for the same reasons I read both: because at the end of the day, I’m simply not satisfied having only one choice.
Seleste and Julie write very different kinds of fiction but they both love to take a break from reality and dive into the world of the fantastic. When she’s earthbound, she can usually be found playing with her kids or at her computer, blocked in to her desk by her two dogs. If you’re looking for her on the internet, both her personas have blogs, Facebook, and Twitter.
And Tea. Today I’m featuring Celestial Seasonings Bengal Spice. From their website “Brimming with cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and cloves, a cup of our aromatic Bengal Spice tea is like a trip to an exotic spice market in a faraway land. This adventurous blend is our caffeine-free interpretation of Chai, a piquant Indian brew traditionally made with black tea.” This tea is really tasty and kind of reminds me of Seleste… a cross over between different genres… (I know, I’m a dork)