With: Olivia Dade
It’s Too Early in the Morning for This:
Reading, Writing, and Editing Sex
When it comes to romance novels, I’m promiscuous. I have very few nonnegotiable demands, other than an entertaining story, clear consent before sex, and non-abusive behavior from the heroes and heroines. I don’t care whether the book is set in the past, present, or future. It makes no difference to me whether the protagonists are humans, vamps, or aliens. The story can be funny or angst-ridden, lyrically written or brutally efficient in its verbiage. And while I don’t mind novels where the climactic payoff is a simple kiss, I also get a kick out of erotica.
But I understand that many—most?—readers are not like me. They have favorite subgenres and definite opinions about heroes, heroines, preferred mood, and writing style. This is especially true, I think, when it comes to sexual content. I’m happy to read almost anything, but not everyone wants to encounter tumescent body parts every few pages.
If you’re someone who prefers either absent or closed-door lovemaking, be warned: I enjoy writing sex scenes. If I hit the steamy bits after I’ve been writing for a while, I’m deep in the characters’ heads—so when they get turned on…well, I’m not entirely unaffected. What comes next seems natural. Fun. Inevitable, even.
I don’t light candles to set the mood. Given how immersed I get on a good writing day, I’d probably burn the house down as my characters burned up the sheets. And I’m not pumping Barry White or Sade on the stereo, either. I don’t like distractions while I work. But through the power of the images in my head and the words I put on the screen, I can still write sex scenes that make even me squirm. In a good way.
Editing sex scenes, though… That’s an entirely different issue.
Reading sex scenes I wrote doesn’t bother me while I’m still in the moment. But when it’s seven in the morning and I’m staring bleary-eyed at my computer screen, I really don’t want to read about penises. All the thrusting and pulsing and moisture…ugh.
Here’s the difference: As I write my sex scenes, somewhere deep in my brain, I’m thinking, This is my job! This is MY JOB! I can’t believe it! But when I edit those scenes, I’m thinking, This is my job? THIS is my job? I can’t believe it. I honestly cringe and cover my eyes sometimes, even though I’m sitting all alone at my desk.
My debut novella, Broken Resolutions, is not the steamiest book I’ve written—that honor goes to Mayday, the third story in my Lovestruck Librarians series. But it’s still hot, no doubt about it.
So if you love reading sex scenes, enjoy mine—just like I do while reading and writing them.
If you don’t, turn those particular e-reader pages quickly—just like I do while editing them.
And either way, please know that I’ll understand completely. Happy reading!
LOVE BETWEEN THE LINES
Romance has never had a happy ending for librarian Penny Callahan, who could write the book on cheating, heartbreaking liars. So she’s made a resolution: no men for the next twelve months. If she can just get through the library’s New Year’s Eve singles night, she can return home to her pajamas and a good book. But when she finds herself checking out a hot hunk with an irresistible smile, an evening in the stacks becomes a lot more tempting…
Reclusive author Jack Williamson never should have trusted his mother. Even though he’s trying to avoid being recognized, she guilts him into attending a dating meet-and-greet—where an adorable librarian makes him question his lonely lifestyle. Is this just a fleeting, flirty scene? Or could love be the next chapter for them both?_________________________________________________
While I was growing up, my mother kept a stack of books hidden in her closet. She told me I couldn't read them. So, naturally, whenever she left me alone for any length of time, I took them out and flipped through them. Those books raised quite a few questions in my prepubescent brain. Namely: 1) Why were there so many pirates? 2) Where did all the throbbing come from? 3) What was a "manhood"? 4) And why did the hero and heroine seem overcome by images of waves and fireworks every few pages, especially after an episode of mysterious throbbing in the hero's manhood?
Thirty or so years later, I have a few answers. 1) Because my mom apparently fancied pirates at that time. Now she hoards romances involving cowboys and babies. If a book cover features a shirtless man in a Stetson cradling an infant, her ovaries basically explode and her credit card emerges. I have a similar reaction to romances involving spinsters, governesses, and librarians. 2) His manhood. Also, her womanhood. 3) It's his "hard length," sometimes compared in terms of rigidity to iron. I prefer to use other names for it in my own writing. However, I am not picky when it comes to descriptions of iron-hard lengths. At least in romances. 4) Because explaining how an orgasm feels can prove difficult. Or maybe the couples all had sex on New Year's Eve at Cancun.
During those thirty years, I accomplished a few things. I graduated from Wake Forest University and earned my M.A. in American History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I worked at a variety of jobs that required me to bury my bawdiness and potty mouth under a demure exterior: costumed interpreter at Colonial Williamsburg, high school teacher, and librarian. But I always, always read romances. Funny, filthy, sweet--it didn't matter. I loved them all.
Now I'm writing my own romances with the encouragement of my husband and daughter. I found a kick-ass agent: Jessica Alvarez from Bookends, LLC. I have my own stack of books in my closet that I'd rather my daughter not read, at least not for a few years. I can swear whenever I want, except around said daughter. And I get to spend all day writing about love and iron-hard lengths.
So thank you, Mom, for perving so hard on pirates during my childhood. I owe you.
Barnes & Noble
Social Media Links:
Twitter: @OliviaWrites; twitter.com/OliviaWrites
Facebook fan page: facebook.com/OliviaDade
a Rafflecopter giveaway