Happy Holidays/Solstice/Yule, blessed be, and Happy New Year! You all should be in a nice vacation-induced stupor by today. Perfect time to get some Insecure Writer’s group in. I hope 2019 has started off nice and gently for you and you’re enjoying your time, wherever you are!
And the question for January 2 – What are your favorite and least favorite questions people ask you about your writing?
My favorite question, and I’m not joking, is when people ask me about the sex in my books.
How much is too much? How do you know the correct amount for any given book? Depends on your genre, what year you’re writing/wrote in, and even your sub-genre. Have you ever noticed how Historical Western romance has less sexy time, while Regency romance is hot enough to steam up a whole engine? But not always, there’s a huge difference between Mary Balogh, Georgette Heyer, and Lisa Kleypas, although they’re all technically within the same sub-genre! Fascinating.
Do you do any *wink wink* research for your sex scenes? If by *wink wink* you mean reading lots of other erotic authors, yes, totally. If by *wink wink* you mean watching porn, no. It’s pretty much useless to a writer since it contains zero plot, improbable kinks, uninspiring positions, and crappy dialogue. If you mean do I tie up my poor husband and tell him “it’s just research, honey, nothing to worry about!” as I get out the feathered strap-on, then also no. My personal life and my character’s lives stay separate in this case.
Does every book you write have to contain sex? Which part of “erotic author” is the difficult bit? Those books definitely do need to contain some steamy scenes. Other kinds of books, no, they don’t have to. It depends a lot on reader expectations for that genre, publisher guidelines, and the needs of the story. No matter what, even in erotic writing, the sex needs to be there for the plot and not the other way round.
The whole topic interests me and there’s a lot to say. It’s always changing, ever evolving, which genres include sex openly, which don’t, how it’s viewed, how, as an author who uses it in books, I’m viewed. There are incredible amounts of words to be spent on it!
A few of the articles I’ve already penned on this exact topic:
Yet Another Defense of Romance (This one contains links to multiple other perspectives defending romance, and one of them is the Yale Herald. If the freaking Yale Herald says it, then the romance genre damn well deserves some respect. I’m just sayin’.)
Throw your own thoughts on this topic in the comments for me. I love engaging in discussion about it!