Carmilla’s Ghost: That Time I Accidentally Wrote Erotica

In November, I released Carmilla’s Ghost, the second book in my main book series, The Adventures of Sam Hain. As I have repeatedly asserted in previous posts, I conceived of the novel as an urban fantasy murder mystery with a gothic romance subplot. The following image is how I marketed the novel.

So, imagine my surprise when I noticed my book climbing the “lesbian erotica” and “vampire erotica” charts. It peaked in the top 200 before declining, but that’s neither here nor there.

Now, I have nothing against erotica. I enjoy reading erotica. That said, as someone who did not conceive of the book as an erotic novel, I was shocked. And I ranted to friends and family about this, because “I did not write an erotic novel. I will accept that I wrote a cozy holiday romance novel, but it is not an erotic novel.”

What is Erotica?

Erotica is defined as a literary or artistic work that “t deals substantively with subject matter that is erotic, sexually stimulating or sexually arousing but (in a strict sense) is not generally considered to be pornographic” (Wikipedia).

And when I read and reread Carmilla’s Ghost, I saw a bit of flirting and teasing but nothing more. Did this flirting and teasing involve actions I find arousing? Yes, but I still argued against writing erotica.

Why? Even after reading the definition, I was convinced that sex was needed for it to be considered erotica. I blame all the lemon and lime fanfics I read in high school and college. And I just dated myself with those terms.

What Changed my Mind?

I spoke to a friend of mine who researches erotica. Her dissertation was on Victorian erotica, and I read her drafts. So, she read my novel, and in her feedback she said, and I quote, “Robin, you realize that each chapter has at least one scene focused on teasing and denial, right? And then, in the final chapter, when we think we’re about to see the consummation of a rekindled romance, the sex happens off the page. The entire thing is a tease and denial kink session structured in the guise of a gothic romance. You wrote erotica.”

And then I reread my novel. And she was correct. So, yes, I have written erotica. And I have written erotica accidentally and without conscious knowledge. But it’s steamy and sexy!


Promotional Hype

My debut novel, Liam’s Doom, is on sale at all major and minor retail outlets from Amazon to Barnes & Noble to Bookshop.org. I request that you support Bookshop.org, as their site supports local and independent bookstores. The eBook is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and through my webstore.

Carmilla’s Ghost is now on sale. The paperback version is available all major online retailers, including AmazonBookshop.org and at Barnes & Noble. Currently, eBook pre-orders are only available at Amazon and through my webstore.

It Hungers (formerly Stone Cold), the third book in the series is currently available for pre-order as an ebook on Amazon. Paperback preorders go through my website and will all be autographed! The book will officially release on 3 May 2022.