“It’s very difficult to relate to perfect people,” said Sylvia Day, author of the originally self-pubbed best seller, Bared to You. “In fiction, we need to see the characters struggling so we can find them sympathetic.”
Often compared to Fifty Shades of Grey (which itself was originally self-pubbed FanFic), Bared to You is no Cinderella story. The characters that Day creates are equals, and in a way are mirror images of each other.
Day talked to IndieReader about what she’s reading now, why she writes erotica and her take on being compared to Fifty Shades of Grey.
Loren Kleinman: Talk about your book being compared to Fifty Shades of Grey.
Sylvia Day: Although both stories have young, tormented millionaire heroes, they’re fundamentally different in many ways. Fifty Shades is a Cinderella story, which by nature follows a very uneven dynamic between the hero and heroine. That unevenness creates a recognizable and unique framework—someone is being taken out of the world they know and introduced into a world they didn’t know, and there are anticipated struggles with that. The Crossfire series is no Cinderella story. Eva and Gideon live in the same world. They are equally beautiful, rich, composed, elegant… They’re equals. Even their childhoods are remarkably similar. They are, in many ways, mirror images of each other. And yet they’ve adapted to those similar circumstances is such divergent ways that they can’t seem to find a common ground.
LK: Why do you think people read erotica? What do you think erotic fiction does for them?
SD: I believe readers gravitate toward erotic fiction because of the emotional intensity. It engages them in a way that allows them to fully immerse themselves in the story; then it stimulates them. It can be a great, quick escape.
LK: What I like about Bared to You is that both characters are real: they’ve made mistakes, but try to learn from them. How is learning best part about a relationship?
SD: It’s very difficult to relate to perfect people. In fiction, we need to see the characters struggling so we can find them sympathetic. We need them to fail, so we can admire them for getting back on their feet. We need them to learn, so we can watch them grow. We need to see them sacrifice, so we can believe in their commitment. It’s fantasy, yes, but it has to mimic real life. We need emotional engagement to be invested in the outcome of the story.
LK: Why did you start writing erotic fiction?
SD: Like most writers, I write what I want to read and I enjoy reading erotic fiction.
LK: Can you name some of your favorite erotic fiction writers and tell me why you love them so much?
SD: Lauren Dane – “Her characters are mature, intelligent, and imminently likeable.”
Shelby Reed – “She writes angst like no one else can. Brutal, raw, painful emotional stakes. I find her stories wrenching, yet she always delivers believable happy endings.”
Lora Leigh – “No one writes sex like she does. Raunchy and raw, yet always emotional.”
Emma Holly – “She writes polyamorous sex in a way that’s relate-able and sympathetic.”
Sasha White – “She’s brilliant at subtle nuances. She can convey powerful emotion with just a word or two.”