Announcing the last V. J. Devereaux book - Cherry's Jubilee.
V. J. Devereaux was created as something of a lark, but more in the hope that it would give me a foot in the traditionally published door. This was, of course, before independent/self-publishing not only took off but became an entirely new option in being published.
At the time, though, all I wanted to do was get published. I never intended to be an erotica writer... and I don't see myself as one. I still consider myself primarily as a fantasy/thriller writer. It was through trying to find a publisher that would publish one of my mysteries, though, that started me off. I went to a convention, met an editor who said she liked what she saw and asked me to submit. She said they were looking to expand beyond their current offerings. Nothing happened, but I took a look at their site, saw what they offered and thought, I can do that.
Writing erotica was fun, at first. At the time, I saw it as positive, freeing, a way for women to express their sexuality in ways we hadn't been allowed in the past - we could express our wildest fantasies.
So I wrote two and submitted them, but under the pseudonym V. J. Devereaux, while I continued to write my fantasy novels, political thrillers and mysteries.
As time went by, though, I watched as erotic romance and erotica became a sort of formulaic Harlequin/Mills and Boon with sex, bad BDSM, or what can only be considered porn. When rape 'fantasies' were considered okay, as a rape and domestic violence survivor, I was pretty much done. (My first book through that publisher should have warned me, when my editor added a scene that - if it could have happened in real life - would have been considered at the very least sexual assault.) I could deal with shifters, but 'monster' porn was another thing entirely. It saddens me that some women still portray themselves not as strong and capable, as equals, but as someone who needs to be rescued. Or even worse, as victims or potential victims. The woman who has to be saved by the alpha male.
Cherry's Jubilee is a menage, but she consents at every level, and the men involved aren't coercive, they're playful. It's a fun, sexy story. And the best ending to what has been an interesting exploration of a different style of writing.