Showing posts with label Darker Side Of Fiction. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Darker Side Of Fiction. Show all posts

Thursday, 10 August 2017

The Darker Side Of Fiction




Darker romance novels are very controversial amongst us readers. We either love it, hate it, or are on the fence. There's no way around it. 
Some issues are so much easier to pretend aren't real. Because books are FICTION. They may be made up of true events, but they are stories.
But reading a darker novel doesn't make you a bad person, the same as writing one doesn't make you one either. 

I do understand a line must be drawn when it comes to certain matters. I do. I may not like reading certain topics, and I don't see how certain sinister topics can be entertaining... but that's MY opinion. I wouldn't judge a person for reading it and I wouldn't judge an author for writing it. 

That said, with all the controversial debates going on, I thought I could shed some light on certain questions. So, I posted a few questions on my FB page, and had some pretty interesting replies from some Darker Romance authors. 

And for those who love the darker read, I'll be posting a few favourites from some readers. 

1) What makes you think of something so dark and twisted?
2) What goes through your mind when writing a dark scene? (Another question, simular) Do you picture the scene your writing?
3) Do you put warnings on your books or blurbs?
4) Do you advertise support groups for other victims of the crimes your write?
5) Do you prefer writing dark reads because it's so out there, so imaginative and a challenge or because of something else? (simular question) why did you choose to write dark romance?

Here are some replies, I had...

Charlotte Hart writes dark, erotica romance novels. She answered...
I don't know. The voices come and then the story follows. It's really as simple as that.
2 - Nothing other than the story going through my mind. I don't question the actions or language, nor do I censor it. I might change it up in editing, depending on the finished story, but more than often not it stays the same. Yes, I picture the story, in graphic detail. It's the way it comes to me.
3 - Nothing detailed. None other than Dark Bdsm, contains violence, or something simular.
4 - No.
5 - I've been led darker by the characters that have come to me, or by the way the story pans out. I never plot or know my story before it gets written, so what comes just comes. I'm not sure that they feel like a challenge, they're simply the tales that resonate in my mind reasonably easily. Writing without 'darker' would probably be more challenging to me.

Kirsty-Anne Still, she writes romantic suspense with dark themes. She answered...

1) I don't have a real reason. It tends to just be the story in my head. Can't stop it and don't try to dilute it.
2) I actually wonder if it's too dark or not enough. Sometimes I get so lost in the characters that I blind myself to whether or not it's a real dark read or has dark themes 🙈😂
3) I put broad warnings and sometimes list what sort of subject matter it involves but sometimes I hate myself for it!!
4) no. To be honest, it's not something I've thought of before.
5) I find it quite exciting to write dark. It's quite a thrilling experience. Almost because you can push yourself more to see just how dark you can go. I've always had books with dark themes but not all are as dark as the one before or after. I probably shouldn't say I find it fun to write but I love a good challenge!

Next up, is LP Lovell. She's writes dark, twisted, novels. She answered, in Lauren typical fashion (LOL)...

I just like dark characters. I like to play with the human mind and work without emotional limitations such as a conscience. When I read I don't want a normal/ conceivable situation to me. I want the extreme escapism, I like to read and feel my heart beating in my chest because the situations are so dangerous and exciting that I wish I could experience it just for the thrill. I want to read that, so I write it. On a serious note, I think to write dark, truly dark, you have to have been through some shit. You have to have seen the ugly side of life and use it. I don't do support groups and shit, because my books are often a situation where any hardships have turned the character into a serial killer etc. I put a warning on Absolution because it was Satans book, but other than that...I say they're dark. Enter at your own risk. I won't hold your hand.

Stephanie Farrant isn't yet a published author, but she is writing her first novel. She had this to say when I posted the questions...

So, I'm not an author yet, I'm hopefully publishing something in October. But as I do write some dark scenes, I wanted to answer. I hope that's ok.

1) Different things. Sometimes it's from a dream. Sometimes it's from my own experiences.
2) When I'm writing a dark scene, my mind is conpletely there. My heart is pounding and I'm emotionally feeling what my characters are going through. And yes I do picture it.
3) As I don't have a published book yet I can't answer. And my first release will be an anthology, so that will be up to the publisher.
4) Again, that will be something decided by my publisher.
5) I write dark things (I really am mean to my characters) for a couple of reasons. One is that as a reader, I love reading angst. I love to feel my stomach in knots, my heart pound, and in the truly great books, feel nauseated. So I want to write what I would like to read. The second reason is because it helps me deal with things that have happened in my past. It's kind of like therapy. I put my characters through hell because I've made them strong enough to endure.


Lavina Urban, an author I haven't read from, but is on my TBR had this touching comment to make. It actually brought tears to my eyes, because sometimes, the darker side of fiction isn't just about brutality. It can be about LIFE. As a victim of domestic abuse, my story was dark, it was real and writing it killed me. Here's what she had to say.

I was currently working on a book, before my diagnosis, and I got near the end. Now let's initially forget my diagnosis (we'll get to that) as it is not related to the story, but I pictured everything and honestly it destroyed me. I felt physically sick. I would cry. It hurt to write but I felt compelled to write it as the story had plagued me for a year, which in turn gets to my diagnosis. Now, I will eventually finish the book but for right now - for me and my readers - I can't write it because the title is 'Today I Died.' Can you imagine if I published that with everything I am going through? Now before my diagnosis I purposely got phone numbers for every single single suicide helpline from across the world and I put them in the back of the book. Suicide can be a taboo subject but this book wanted to be written and even though I am 10K words away from the end I will not go back to it until I am in remission for awhile. Currently I do not wake up with the same line 'Today I Died' playing over and over and over again. Part of me thinks that even though this story needed to be written it was also an underlying message to me xx

Stevie J. Cole, another dark romance writer who also co writes with LP Lovell answered. These two, when writing together, are so funny. If you follow either on FB, you'll know they're quiet the pair and come up with some amazing stories together. I'm still unsure who's the side kick in the duo because to be honest, they're as crazy as each other. In a good kind of way. 

1) Since I was 14, I've written dark stuff. It's just where my plots go. They can start out nice and sweet, but then the next thing you know, someone's a murderer or a psychopath. Also, I have always been drawn to darker storylines. Stephen King was my favorite growing up. 2)Yes, anytime I write, it's like watching a movie. 3) I have only put a warning on one, Absolution, and that is because it had religious themes and abuse and crazy stuff, like Satan just barfed it up on paper. 4) No 5) I grew up in organized crime family. My normal was not rainbows and kittens. Please let me clarify, my parents were amazing parents and I was sheltered from a lot of things, but I was nearly kidnapped three times growing up and saw stuff people usually only see in movies. I also feel like there is a lot of beautiful prose in showing love within such depravity. It's a contradiction of the greatest kind, but shows how strong love truly is. Plus, I like the thrill. You never know what a character will do because there are no limitations, and the psychology of it all is fascinating. I don't agree with some of the things my characters do, but they are characters, and getting all that stuff out of my head keeps my nightmares away.

JC Emery (Christina Emery) who I've read and loved, said...

1)Dark is therapeutic for me. I get my damage out by creating situations I can control. I decide exactly how much and how far it needs to go. We don't get that kind of control as real-life victims.
2) Every. Single. Detail. I place myself in the character's shoes and mentally play through every single moment.
3)Both. It's a general content warning and it's marketed as a dark book. I don't do specific trigger warnings, but am always available to tell a reader if I think the book isn't for them.
4)Not support groups, but organizations for sure. When I released Rev (which has a violent and detailed rape scene in it), I supported RAINN by donating a portion of the proceeds from the release. I'm also a vocal advocate for mental health, domestic violence, and sexual assault awareness. These are real crimes with real victims and I never want my readers to forget that.

5) Do you prefer writing dark reads because it's so out there, so imaginative and a challenge or because of something else? (simular question) why did you choose to write dark romance?
I think it chose me, not the other way around. My first few books weren't dark and while I always enjoyed darker stories, I didn't realize how therapeutic writing them would be. Now, I just tell the stories I needed to read, but hadn't been written and I do my best to do so in a way that 'vulnerable me' would be able to benefit from.


Chelsea Cameron  Also commented...

1. My darkest book was therapy for a place I was at in my mood and I wanted to push myself. 2. Yes, I picture it like a vivid movie. 3. Yes, I have a warning. I also have a 'dark' book that was banned permanently on Google Play and Amazon required me to put it in Psychological Thriller to pass the content review as it violates terms of service in romance/erotica. 4. I advertise different support groups for different reasons in different books. I don't have a set way to promote such things but I believe in support. 5. I chose to write my darkest to push myself to a limit I wasn't sure I could do. It was a challenge to myself to go beyond a regular romance and break my own formula.

I also asked fellow readers, authors and bloggers who they're favourite Dark Romance Novels were. 


  • Going Under By S. Walden  This was my choice of novel, even though I have many favourites. But for some reason, when some asks me to recommend a dark read, this always pops in my head. And I don't mean blood and guts but because of the content. It's about a girl who's friend commits suicide because she was raped. The friend, then goes 'undercover' as such at a new school, to get her friend some justice. But it doesn't turn out that way for her. But the detail, the pain, the intensity of the book and how sick I felt reading a certain scene, always stuck with me. I've now highlighted that particular passage so I know never to read it. But my thoughts on her writing and how hard that must be, and then the author note at the end, it always stayed with me. And for a book to do that, you know that author has talent. Here's my Review Lisa Guzman also loves this author.
  • Tears of Tess (Monsters of the Dark #1) By Pepper Winters Jessica chose this one, she said it's dark and very compelling. I've not read it, but a few other people on my blog also mentioned this series.
  • Pennies (Dollar #1) By Pepper Winters Another Book by Pepper. Charlotte recommends this series. 
  • All The Bright Places By Jennifer Niven ER recommends this one. It's another I haven't read, but I'm sure I'll add it to my TBR.
  • Screaming In Silence By Lydia Kelly Dianna recommends this, stating it was one of her first dark reads. 
  • Pretty Stolen Dolls By Ker Dukey and K. Webster This one was recommended by Stephanie and Charlotte. Vicki also loves this series. I've been told this one is really good.
  • Facade (Deception #1) By Ker Dukey and DH Sidebottom Charlotte has been trying to get me to read this one for ages, but I have to be in the mood for Dark reads. She HIGHLY recommends this one. 
  • Madeline Abducted (Estate Series #1) By M.S.Willis Suzie recommends this one. The blurb.... Holy crap. She's kidnapped by the father. But she's then gifted to the son, who wanted NOTHING to do with his fathers estate or the slaves in it. But then she comes... UH OH. Sounds interesting. Might have to check this one out.
  • Raze By Tillie Cole Kaz recommended this one and it's one I would recommend too. I loved it. Another favourite series from Tillie Cole is The Hades Hangmen. It Ain't me, Babe #1 It's MC with a cult background, and a lot of dark thrown in. 
  • Tiger Shark By LP Lovell This is a taboo erotica novel and I can remember this being released. People were going NUTS for it and loving it. 
  • Wrong By LP Lovell and Stevie J. Cole
  • The Watcher By Bella Jewel  This one is new to me, and I've just written a review on it. I loved it. The suspense was killing me. 
  • Comfort Food By Kitty Thomas  Louise's top read. I've never read this one.
  • Mafia Captive By Kitty Thomas  
  • Tied By Carian Cole Another recently read one, that really shook me up. She was kidnapped as a young girl, kept in a basement where she was kept and abused. Until...
  • The Silver Swan I love this series. And although it's dark, its a manageable dark for those who can only take so much. It's lighter than most. Mostly, the first one is about a douche bag who knows how to turn her on.
  • Corrupt by Penelope Douglas  Again, this isn't dark as in gory or disturbing. It's just dark men who get what they want. They're jerks to her. It's a tame dark shall we say, but the men in it are as dark as they come. Can't wait for more from these characters. 
  • Slammer By Tabatha Vargo Now THIS book is dark and twisted. He's in jail and well, the nurse thinks his innocent... But IS he. And well, you did see I wrote jail right? Only bad shit can happen in there. 
  • Wanderlust By Skye Warren  I've not read this one yet. It's been on my TBR for a while. The female spends a night in a motel and a trucker, who sees her, wants her and kidnaps her to keep her. Other dark reads by this author are...
  • Prisoner By Skye Warren
  • Don't let Go By Skye Warren
  • Little Doll By Melissa Jane This one was just recommended and I have to agree. This story was gritty, raw and so disturbing. But for some reason, it lulled me into it and I couldn't put it down. I even picked up book two... It's a mafia, cartel novel and I wouldn't call it romance, but it's as close as these characters are going to get. It was soooo good. Rated 5* by me.
  • The Nines By Dakota Madison. I don't know what happened with the author, but it's not under her name. I don't want to put link that did come up, just in case it's been stolen by someone else. 
  • Gypsy Brothers By Lilli St Germain  The link is for the entire series on kindle. I remember when I first read this and thought WTF am I reading. And although each books was only a novella, it felt like they went on forever. It was so gritty, so raw and sinister. But I kept reading, because I NEEDED her to get her revenge. I remember talking to Lilli. She told me which scenes to not read in the end books. When she sleeps with HIM in the beginning, I could deal, it was her choice. But the minute that choice got taken away, I couldn't read and that's where the lovely Lilli came in and let me know which scene would be the hardest. She was so lovely about it. 
  • The Tied Man By Tabitha McGowan Oh lord, I remember this book. It made me physically sick. But for some reason, I went in blind, and remember wishing I never started it. But I had to know what happened to the Tied Man. He's basically a sex slave and the things he's made to do, is unspeakable. Really sick worthy. This one is REALLY DARK. 
  • Only Pretend By Nora Flite OHHH, If you like dark and twisted, you'll love this one. She's out on the two in vegas and wake up in another country.
  • Twist Me By Anna Zaires Complete series and another good dark read
  • Hero By Leighton Del Mia A love hate relationship will happen with the heroin. Strong content. 
  • Raw By Bella Aurora I SO need to read book two.
  • Fear Of Falling By S. Jennings
  • After The Storm By M. Stratton Loved the mystery of this series. He's a serial rapist/killer and she's the only victim to survive and now he wants to the finish the job. The plot was so good. He was evil, pure evil. 
  • Captive In The Dark By CJ Roberts 
  • Whispers and Roars By K. Webster
  • Consequences By Aleatha Romig suspense thriller
  • Insidious By Aleatha Romig
  • Betrayed By Wodek Hawkinson
  • Flawed By Kate Avelynn This one is VERY controversal. She makes a pact with her brother to save her from her father. But when, in return, he asks for her affection, she gives it, freely. But when Sam, her brothers best friend comes into the picture, they realise just how unstable her brother is. 
  • Abduction By Varian Krylov This one sounds really dark. Jenn recommended this one, saying she read it back in 2009 and still remembers it. Ohhhh.
  • Sold By Leslie Sansom
  • Seeing White By Charlotte E Hart
  • The Life of Anna By Marissa Honeycutt This one is recommended by Liz
  • The Dark Light Of Day By TM Frazier
  • Dark Lover By J R Ward
Please comment if you have any recommendations