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ssssorcha.pngOne of the topics that is often discussed by authors, readers, and even publishers is how to define Romance and its sub-genres. Here is how RWA defines them:


  • Contemporary Romance: Romance novels that are set from 1950 to the present that focus primarily on the romantic relationship.
  • Erotic Romance: Novels in which strong, often explicit, sexual interaction is an inherent part of the love story, character growth and relationship development and could not be removed without damaging the storyline. These novels may contain elements of other romance subgenres (such as paranormal, historical, etc.).
  • Historical Romance: Romance novels that are set prior to 1950.
  • Inspirational Romance: Romance novels in which religious or spiritual beliefs (in the context of any religious or spiritual belief system) are an integral part of the plot.
  • Paranormal Romance: Romance novels in which fantasy worlds or paranormal or science fiction elements are an integral part of the plot.
  • Romantic Suspense: Romance novels in which suspense, mystery, or thriller elements constitute an integral part of the plot.
  • Young Adult Romance: Romance novels in which young adult life is an integral part of the plot.


For me they are spot on when it comes to erotic romance, which is why I always say the reader shouldn’t be able to skip the sex scenes, but especially in erotic romance.


Now the difference between erotic romance and erotica is not always as clear for some readers. Below is my definition.


  • Erotica: A story were explicit sexual interaction is an inherent part of one or more character’s journey, but where romance may, or may not, be present.


So, do you agree? Do these definitions help clear things up for you? Maybe they raise more questions?

Want to learn more about writing hot? Well, you’re in luck! I’m teaching my Pumping Up The Sexual Volume class again this summer July 10th-23rd. If you are interested, be sure to check it out: http://sorchamowbray.com/events/pumping-up-the-sexual-volume-2/

And of course, you can follow me on Social Media to hear when class sign-ups open. I hope you’ll join me!

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