Confessions of a Debut Romance Author
My first book comes out today, and let me tell you, I am excited.
I am the sort of excited that is possibly a little bit unhealthy, at least over an extended period of time, which is the only period of time in which book publishing takes place. I was excited when I sold the book to Loveswept, excited when I signed the contract, excited when I did all three rounds of editing. I’ve been excited about getting promotional quotes, excited about going on my blog tour, excited about reading my first reviews.
You get the idea. Excited.
But I am other things, too. One of those other things is terrified, which I am told is normal, so I’m not too worried about it. And still another one of those things that I am is cringing.
Only a little, quietly, on the inside. But yes. There is just a tiny, wee smidgen of cringing going on, because . . . well . . . there is sex in my book. Rather a lot of sex. Sex in tents, sex in expensive hotel rooms, sex in seedy dives. Come to think of it, my characters have sex in, like, six separate states. They have transcontinental sex.
And my mother-in-law is almost certainly going to read it.
So . . . yeah.
The good news is that my parents have already read it—I bit that bullet long ago—and I guess maybe they didn’t notice the sex? I couldn’t say, because we didn’t speak of it, which is precisely how I prefer to handle this sort of thing. I’m the original confessional girl in writing—look at me, confessing on the Internet—but in person? Thanks, but no. If I could’ve figured out a way to tell my mother I was pregnant without actually telling her, I totally would have. But I had to say something. I couldn’t just present her with a baby out of the blue and say, Look! Grandchild! So I told her, and she cried at a restaurant, and people looked at us, and I thought, Okay, good thing you’re not planning to have any more babies, or you’d have to figure out another, much quieter way to do this.
I don’t like to make a scene, is my point. In fact, when I say I’m “excited” about my book coming out, you shouldn’t imagine me bouncing up and down with glee, since the way I do excited looks and sounds an awful lot like not excited at all. It’s just how I roll. My mom says it’s because I’m German, or perhaps because I’m repressed. But not too repressed.*
*See: book full of sex.
The thing is, I like reading sex scenes in romance, and I like writing them, too. I think they’re important. Sex is an essential aspect of any romantic relationship, and because I have a tendency to write about characters with trust issues and healthy libidos, they end up working out a lot of their issues, um, horizontally. The sex scenes aren’t just there to warm readerly loins—they serve a purpose. They bring the characters closer together, knock down walls between them, force them to acknowledge feelings they’re not ready to talk about.
I don’t write interchangeable sex scenes. Every one has a purpose, a place in the development of the relationship I’m writing about. I swear.
But of course, if I’m doing my job as an author well, the reader might not notice that. She might just be noticing the loin-warming. That’s okay, too. That’s how it’s supposed to work. You read, I’ll cringe. It’ll all work out for the best.
And at any rate, I’ll have to get used to it. My second book is due out in June, and it has, like, twice as much sex in it as this first one.
So what about you — do you like your romances super-steamy, or do you prefer the closed bedroom door? And if you do like the steamy ones, here’s the more important question: Do you or don’t you talk to your mother-in-law about them? Comment today & be eligible to win one of 5 paper copies of this book – winners announced by end of day in this post – or, buy your digital copy now for just $2.99 – click here
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Thanks everybody for commenting and making my debut so much fun!
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New York Times Best Selling Author of A HOME BY THE SEA
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