Macy: Thanks so much for hosting me today, Sue. It’s a pleasure to be here!
Sue: Thanks Macy – we’re thrilled to have you on R@R & congrats on your new release, we’re all anxious to hear more about Sultry Springs! Have fun!!
Breaking the Rules
A few months ago, I received an email from a fellow romance writer who was putting together a workshop and wanted examples of books that’d sold, despite “breaking the rules.” Her request made me stop and think. It soon occurred to me that Sultry with a Twist fit that description.
In the world of contemporary romance, you typically don’t see spiritual elements and steamy sex within the same story—either it’s “hot” and devoid of religious references or “sweet” and inspirational, but not both. However, June Augustine, the main character in Sultry with a Twist, is coming to terms with a rigidly-religious upbringing, and I wanted to keep her thoughts and actions organic to the story WITHOUT sacrificing the steamy sex scenes I love. So I broke the rules and wrote the story I wanted to tell. My agent warned me some editors would reject due to the light spiritual tone, and she was right. Some did.
Spirituality is a huge part of our lives and impacts the way we view our surroundings, so why shouldn’t we flesh out that side of our characters? Whether we’re agnostic, atheist, Christian, or Buddhist, most of us are raised to believe—or not believe—in something larger than ourselves. While it’s important not to overdo it, I think characters are more well-rounded and realistic when we get glimpses of their belief systems. Sexuality is also a huge part of our lives—I think the success of the romance industry proves that—so why can’t we mix the two?
I don’t make the rules, so I don’t know.
Fortunately for me, Sultry with a Twist did sell…in a three-book deal. Each set of characters brings their own unique backgrounds and experiences with them to Sultry Springs, and I’m grateful for the freedom to tell their stories the way I want to…even if my method goes against the grain a little bit.
How about you? Are there any rules within the romance genre you’d like to see bent now and then? And in contrast, which rules are must-obeys for you?
(By the way, my ‘must-obey’ rule is no cheating. That’s a deal breaker—in life and in fiction!)
Macy Beckett writes hot and humorous romances set in Sultry Springs, Texas: where first loves find second chances. Her debut novel, SULTRY WITH A TWIST, http://www.amazon.com/Sultry-Twist-Springs-Macy-Beckett/dp/1402270364 is now available in stores, and two more Sultry Springs romances will follow in 2013. Macy loves to hear from readers, so feel free to say hello on Facebook or via her website.