Sunday, March 30, 2008

Black vs. Scarlet Sensuality Levels - A fine line...


Callie Lynn here, once again, peeking out of my comfortable shroud of darkness. I wanted to take a moment to discuss a subject that until recently has been clear as mud in my own befuddled mind, so I thought it might just be true of others, editors and authors alike.

As most of you know, I represent Black Rose and Diana Carlile represents Scarlet. Our two lines come dangerously close on the sensuality/eroticism scale, so we decided to get together and discuss the differences between our respective line’s heat levels.

Vampires and Werewolves, as we all can attest, are extremely sensual creatures by nature so naturally Black Rose stories will contain a good amount of sexual imagery. The problem is just where do we draw the line between Scarlet (Erotic) and Black (Sensual, Spicy, Hot).Here's what Diana and I have come up with. Black Rose runs between the levels of Sensual, Spicy, and Hot (Note: If you have a lighter Vampire/Werewolf story, of course, it would also fit and be most welcome under Black Rose, but for the sake of the issue at hand, these stories would not apply within this discussion). And, of course, Scarlet levels are Erotic. What I mean by these sensual levels within the Black line is that the sex can be descriptive in its imagery, hot in temperature, but the terminology is tamer and the story themes are never just about the sex. Are you confused yet? Let me say this in a little different way. If your story theme wraps exclusively around the sex, then your sub/story is most likely a Scarlet. If it follows the character's journey and/or growth into his or her own sexuality, then again it is a Scarlet. Make sense?

With this said and if there is still confusion as to where your story submission would fit-no worries. You can submit it to either Diana or myself for guidance. One thing I would strongly suggest for both editors and authors to do is sample stories from both Scarlet and Black Rose lines to access the difference.

Natasha also has tools and samples in the FE Department to guide and educate new/floating editors on how to determine the difference between the lines.

I have added the revised Black Rose Submission guidelines below for your convenience.

If anyone has any questions or concerns, feel free to email me directly anytime.
Note to editors: Sample stories are available that do give you a distinctive example of the differences between Black and Scarlet. If anyone is interested either Diana or I would be more than happy to send them your way. Just shoot us an email requesting them.

Black Rose Submission Guidelines:

These stories should include vampires, werewolves, shape shifters, and mystical creatures of all types. They are darker in theme but must have a strong romance as the central story thread. We are open to a wide range of stories, although, because these creatures tend to be sensual in nature, Black Rose accepts manuscripts that fit the Sensual, Spicy, and Hot ratings parameters, but sex should not be used as the main story thread.

One last thing:
Don’t forget that Black Rose’s Got Wolf? writer’s contest is in full swing and open for submissions. I am looking forward to reading yours:)


Susan Macatee said...

Thanks for clearing things up, Callie!
I'm still outlining my new vampire short and it will probably fall into the sensual rating as my other one, but could end up spicy. I'll see how it plays out.
Hopefully, you'll be hearing from me soon.

Callie Lynn said...

Looking forward to it, Susan:)