Oh, No You Didn’t!

March 26, 2012 | Karin's Blog | 12 comments


Oh, yeah, I did.  And I liked it.

If someone had told me ten years ago that I’d be writing lycan erotic romance and loving it, I would have looked over my shoulder and said, “Who are you talking to?”

At the time, I was a straight romantic suspense girl.  It’s what I loved to read and write (aside from medieval historicals!).  I not only was not interested in shifters or vampires (altho, hello, shifters and vamps are sexy!), at the time, paranormal was so outside the box it was a word you didn’t say, much less write.  Steamy romances were just beginning to ‘come out’ so to speak and that was good for me.

I naturally write steamy, so ripping the bedroom door off by the hinges was no big stretch for me.  However, there are some scenes in BLOODRIGHT (book two of my Blood Moon Rising trilogy) that made me blush!  And I don’t blush easily.

But the truth of the matter is, I liked writing those scenes.  A lot. Once I crossed not only my own self-imposed boundaries, but those society has erected, I felt emancipated as a writer.  And as a woman.

Here’s the facts:  writing sexy books is fun.  Reading them is fun.  Talking about them is fun.  Reading and writing sexy books hurts no one.  It’s a private affair that we enter into by choice, not because we are forced to do so but simply because we want/need/must! escape for a little while before we have to return to the reality of life.  It’s one of the things I love most about writing romance.  It carries me away into a world where I have complete control.  I know that no matter what I throw in front of and behind my protagonists, they are going to make it.  Together, because they fell in love and fought to stay in love.  Happily Ever Afters are great therapy.  When I read the end of a story with an HEA or walk out of a movie theater with a big smile on my face because all’s well that ends well, my endorphins are riding high.  I feel good.  I’m happy, and inspired.

But man, do the critics like to crucify romance.  Erotic romance especially. Everyone’s a critic! I never let it get to me because frankly, if they want to call what I write smut, mommy porn or straight out trash, that’s their opinion, and while I don’t agree with it, I accept it as their opinion.  It’s one reason I don’t get hurt over nasty reviews.  It’s one person’s opinion.  I do however get irritated when I come across a review of one of my books with inaccuracies in the review.  I guess they really didn’t pay that close attention, and if that’s the case, how can one honestly review a book?  But I digress.

With all of the hype about the 50 Shades series, nasty, belittling comments about the author, the books and the genre, abound.  Most I would hazard a guess are coming from frustrated writers who haven’t hit it big.  Or men and women who aren’t in touch with their sensuality.  Poor pitiful them.

Here’s the thing about 50 Shades: One, I wish I had written it, and believe me, if I had, I would be holding my chin up so high you all could look right up my nose into my brain.  I would obviously be laughing at all of those stone throwers as I drove my money laden semi to the bank, but I would also feel a twinge or maybe two of sadness for those who just don’t get it:  Romance novels, sexy, erotic or chaste are about falling in love.  And last time I checked, sex was part of that.  Open door, closed door, no door, whatever, it’s a readers choice to pick up a book and read it for their own reasons, and no one has the right to say how a person should feel for reading something they may find objectionable.

As far as 50 Shade goes, it isn’t a perfectly written book.  But for me and many many MANY  readers, we connected with it on a visceral level. That it is an imperfectly written book with imperfect characters, makes it, to me anyway, more real.  As a writer, I love to read imperfect books, because mine are imperfect too.  It’s validation that the craft journey is an ever evolving one.  I like to think the books I’m writing today are better than the ones I wrote five years ago, and the ones I write five years from now are better than what I’m writing now.

It’s all part of the process.  Luckily for me and so many other romance writers, we’re thick skinned and stubborn enough not to allow a little or a lot of public criticism keep us from doing what we love doing:  writing romance.

So, tell me, what is the last romance you read that had you smiling happily as you read the least page?



  1. Christina

    I read regularly and when I say that I mean 4-5 books a week. I love to read romance and always will. I to feel that “high” from a good book with a HEA. I always tell the haters to stick it. I don’t ask them to read what I read. I love your books and the books of so many other romance writers. I just recently finished a book that was ok. I say this because it was… well… different. I don’t like to say there are bad books just books that I don’t always get into. My last book was a Beatrice Small book…The Captive Heart. My sister purchased it for me. It wasn’t my normal choice of book. I would have to say that it had a lot of history and that the storyline got a little lost in the history lesson you receive along with the story. When the author did write about the story it was good but I had a hard time “feeling” the book. I can’t say that I will run out and get another of her books but I may decide to read one again sometime.

  2. Basia Rose

    Ooh, I’m quite partial to the romances that DON’T leave me smiling happily at the end – I have a sadistic streak. Make them work hard for that HEA, and then leave me emotionally drained at the end!

    I can’t say 50 Shades was a book I liked (but then, I hated Twilight, and the characters are near-identical!), but if it draws more attention to erotic romance, then good for it.

    People are scared of what they’ve never experienced. Once upon a time I remember being upset by a romance with oral sex in it – holy moly have I ever changed! Maybe the naysayers will be like me and do a complete turnaround. Once we cross that line we’ve set ourselves where we decide what is “good” and what is “filthy”, the world becomes a much more interesting place to read in!

  3. Gail Nichols

    I finished 2 books one right after the other. The first one I finished was “Blood Law” by this wonderful author Karin Tabke. The only bad thing about it was having to wait for “Blood Right” wfich I am currently doing but know I will be in line first thing 4/3/12 to get the next book.btw,I’m tean Raffa-but I will be fair and listen to Lucca’s side too:)
    The 2nd book I just finished was “Gabriel’s Inferno” By Sylvian Reynard that was a wonderful book too.

  4. DeAnna Postell

    I really liked the Master of the Shadowlands series by Cherise Sinclair which I read right after the Fifty trilogy and Gabriel’s Inferno (great) by Sylvain Reynard. I was on a short Paranormal vacation and I loved the Alpha men in her books 🙂

  5. Karin Tabke

    Christina, I envy you. I maybe read 4-5 books every six months. I need to be better about reading, but I’m always on deadline! That said, I write better when I’m reading!

  6. Karin Tabke

    Basia, I like to make them work for the HEA too!

    I had heard that 50 Shades was Twilight fan fic, I’m confused by that as I don’t see any similarities.

    I read Lady Chatterley’s Lover in junior high and I was blushing for weeks! but boy did that send me on the hunt for more sexy books!

  7. Karin Tabke

    Gail, you’re so sweet! After you recommended GI the other day, I put it on my to buy list. I’m going to purchase it as soon as I’m finished reading all 50 Shades. 😉

  8. Karin Tabke

    Oh a second recommendation for Gabriel’s Inferno!

    I’ll check out Master of Shadowlands too. Thnx DEAnna!

  9. Basia Rose

    From the moment Ana fell flat on her face a couple of pages in (after whining about all the beautiful blondes) I thought, oh gee, Bella’s back!

  10. Karin* Tabke aka Harlow!

    Really? I think Ana is much more verbose then angsty Bella. That said, I have not read the Twilight books, just watched the movies, so I could be missing something.

  11. B.E Sanderson

    I don’t really read a bunch of romance anymore, but I dipped into Maureen Child’s Paper Hearts the other day, and it was a nice, light, fun read that made me smile. Oh, and Confessions of a Slightly Neurotic Hitwoman (romantic suspense) by JB Lynn was an awesome, quirky story that made me happy. =o)

  12. Karin* Tabke aka Harlow!

    Oh, and Confessions of a Slightly Neurotic Hitwoman (romantic suspense) by JB Lynn was an awesome, quirky story that made me happy. =o)


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