In large group settings, usually I dodge the question, “And what do you do for a living?”
Saying you’re a writer — especially a novelist — brings forth all sorts of odd comments. Usually they’re inquisitive as to how the book publishing industry works (or doesn’t), but sometimes they are simply dismissive.
Like the time a woman shrugged and retorted, “I’d write, but I don’t want to kill so many trees.”
In a digital world, her response was laughable.
Besides, most unsold books are pulped, and therefore recycled.
(Yes, I’m casting aspersions as to whether I think she would have been a success at this very hard occupation. I don’t have to remind you that it ain’t an easy way to make a living.)
Which bring me to the topic of sex. (doesn’t every conversation end there?)
Not all novels have sex in them. But in my case, every novel I’ve written does have a love scene or two.
Or six or eight. Maybe even ten.
I’ve never written erotica, per se. However, I have written erotic love scenes. I know this because I’ve had readers and bloggers alike mention in reviews that they are “blushworthy” (Totlandia series), or that there are”bit more intimate moments then I had expected,” (Totlandia series). Some of these scenes have been called “gloriously scandalous” (Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives), or readers have commented that ” the sex was detailed enough to make me turn a few shades of red…just the way I like it in my chick lit novels…” (Again, Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives).
Of Donna Stone and Jack Craig in the Housewife Assassin series, it’s been written that “the chemistry between the two of them is enough to set water on fire…”
In all honesty, the first sex scene I ever wrote actually made me blush. I really didn’t know how to go about it. Whereas the book, True Hollywood Lies, was being positioned by the publisher as chick lit, I hadn’t viewed it as such while I was writing it. I just wrote the kind of book I knew I’d want to read. And since I like sex, and I like to read about true-to-life relationships, it was a given that my heroine was going to go to bed with the guy she thought she loved.
I waited with baited breath to hear from my editor that these scenes were too raunchy. Instead she told me how she laughed out loud at one. And that another was so poignant, it had made her cry….
And that, all in all, the scenes were hot.
Since then, I’ve made it a point to write about sex the way I see it, which is this:
1. Lust is key.
2. But so is vulnerability.
3. Dirty words aren’t necessary, but naughty intentions are a must.
4. Make your readers laugh.
5. Or make them cry.
6. In other words, make them feel for your heroine.
7. Show, don’t tell.
8. And above all, make it hot.
To be honest, some of these scenes have made me blush as well. And since my husband reads all my manuscripts even before they go to my editors, I’ve seen them raise his eyebrows, too.
Usually below the waist.
This is all to obvious when he pats the mattress and says, ” Hey, hon, why don’t you put your computer down and join me?”
Yeah, right. I’m thinking, What, are you crazy? I don’t have time for sex! I have to finish writing this book….
But I digress.
And yes, sometimes I give in. Hopefully I don’t disappoint…
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