Wednesday, May 9

How Cool Is It . . .

. . . to know a real author?

So in the little community where we have our lake cottage a lot of the folks are, um, shall we say seasoned? In the group of people we hang out with, I’m the baby, so yeah, definitely seasoned. They are all pretty voracious readers and to have a “real writer” in the midst is a large charge for them. In fact, when I mention that I’m a writer to nearly anyone there, most folks are immediately taken aback, thrilled to meet a real author, and they are always full of questions. Of course the first one is “what do you write?” When I tell them I write romance, the next reaction is always Groucho eyebrows and “are they full of sex?” I usually reply, “They’re full of love, but you know, when people fall in love, they often have sex, so you do the math.” However, I write sensuality, not graphic sex, so my books are pretty tame seasoned romance.

All this to say the novel I’m currently working on doesn’t have any sex in it. It’s the first in a four-book series for Tule Publishing, and I’m so very excited about these characters and about writing a romance novel that keeps the bedroom door closed. Actually, Conor and Sam just met, so hopping into bed doesn’t even come into the picture. Oh, don’t get me wrong, the sexual tension is real and pretty much, the two of them are so attracted they can hardly stand it, but there’s a lot of other stuff going on in the story, and besides, for all sorts of good reasons, neither of them are people who would jump into bed at a first meeting.

It’s different and refreshing not have to worry about writing sex, but on the other hand, it’s hard not to. When they’re on the sofa kissing and aching for one another, I so want to just let him swoop her up in his arms and carry her to his bed. So the intimate scenes, such as they are, have to carry a lot of weight in this story and that’s new for me. Fun and different and challenging. I hope I can pull it off and that my editor agrees the story works just as it is. We’ll find out soon enough—my deadline is next month and I’m writing furiously to meet it.

I’m trying hard to figure out what the trend is—sexy books or not-so-sexy books? In the indie pub world, I see so much erotic romance and actually just plain erotica, and it seems to me that romance publishers are looking for hotter books than I want to write . . . or read for that matter. I’m not at all sure I know anymore what readers are looking for. Me? I just want to be entertained and romanced and if I’m a little titillated in the process, that’s okay too. But I don't need raw graphic sex to enjoy a romance story or even hot sex particularly . . . is it my age? Am I aging out of sexy romance? Nah! I'm always delighted to see sexy seasoned women and men--I guess I just don't need to read graphic details about what they're doing when they're in bed together . . .

So talk to me, fellow seasoned romance authors, are you writing hot sex? How’s that working for you? Are you reading it? Nan


  1. "Is it my age?" We ask that a lot. Although I loved the old days of lots of sexual tension and things like the forbidden mention of nipples, I lost interest when sex became a bigger player in the book than the story did. In my mind that happens a lot and has for a long time. It is nice that there's lots of room in the field of romantic fiction for all preferences.

  2. I don't know what the trend is, either. Like you, the romance part is my favorite part - the high tension, the will they or won't they (take a chance, not just have sex)...

  3. I love a book with great romance and sexual tension. That is harder to write that a scene where two people fall in bed with each other. I still think people love the build up to a relationship. Probably my age.

  4. I don't care what the trend is. I read books I enjoy. And for me, that includes romance novels without sex scenes. I would never ask my friends if I could watch them have sex, so why would I want to read about someone having sex? This is why I pretty much only buy romance novels from Harlequin Heartwarming any more. At least I know what I'll be getting.

  5. Two books under my belt, and I’m beginning to also lean toward ramping up the sexual tension and sensuality rather than loading up on the graphic details.

  6. I think that the nice thing about the romance genre is that there's a heat level for every reader's taste. There's also a place for every writer and we can choose what level of sex/sensuality we want to write.

    Nan, I love your response to the question "Are your books full of sex?" “They’re full of love, but you know, when people fall in love, they often have sex, so you do the math.” I definitely have to remember that one!