Wow! Great question. I often try to answer this when the listener has already tuned me out. Many's the time I've told someone I'm a published writer, and when asked with great interest, what I write, I reply, "Romance novels." Immediately it's as if a very bad odor just drifted into the room, and the other person's eyes glaze over. Or I hear a mumbled, "Oh, really? I don't know anyone who reads that kind of stuff."
Obviously a lot of readers read that kind of stuff, as shown in sales figures for categories. Some are not called romances, especially if written by a man, but they still deal with the search for love. I mean, who doesn't like a story with two strong, independent characters, who are busy living their own lives? They depend on support from a family...sometimes it's an actual genetically-related family; sometimes it's simply a group of people who love and support you. They meet someone, and we root for them to overcome any obstacles and get together. And there's a happy ending. How can we really get tired of happy endings when they are so rare in real life? I want to believe that love, once found and reciprocated, will last for the long-term. Isn't that what we all want?
I also have my characters experience the full panoply of emotions possible. I've had readers tell me they cried while reading certain scenes. Good, because I can remember crying as I wrote that scene. I've had readers tell me they laughed, and I can remember grinning like a fool, as I wrote, and I could barely type fast enough to get it all down.
And yes, I use words like panoply, when I write. I'm not writing for children. I write for adults, over the age of 18. While some of the words I use mighty be unfamiliar to the reader, with the over 600,000 words in the English language (yes, the most words of any language, with German being second, with about 300,000 words), I would hope that my readers would have long since learned how to make inferences with unfamiliar words. Or they can merely skip it and keep reading. I remember once teasing a college roommate, who was an inveterate reader of Harlequin Romances. She defended herself, pointing out that when she wanted to relax, they were fun. But one time she used a word I hadn't heard from her before. She laughed triumphantly, because she'd read it in a romance! The word? Magnanimous! She said she'd be magnanimous and let me read her books, if I, an English major, wanted to expand my vocabulary. I loved it...I think I took her up on that offer, also.
So while my books do contain some graphic erotic scenes, that's not the point of the story. The books are telling a story involving a romance, and good sex is a strong glue to bind two people together. But I try to create characters that are whole people in the minds of my readers, as they are multi-dimensional people in my mind.
One of my sons has read all of my books. He tells me I write in a literary style, with tasteful sex scenes. I hope my other readers agree.
Find out what some other authors want you to know:
Diane Bator http://dbator.blogspot.ca/
Skye Taylor http://www.skye-writer.com/blogging_by_the_sea
Victoria Chatham http://www.victoriachatham.com
Beverley Bateman http://beverleybateman.blogspot.ca/
A.J. Maguire http://ajmaguire.wordpress.com/
Dr. Bob Rich https://wp.me/p3Xihq-1BC
Connie Vines http://mizging.blogspot.com/
Rhobin Courtright http://www.rhobincourtright.com