Before I get down to the part that actually made you stop and read this, let me update you all on the agent quest.
The first agent I sent a sampling of my manuscript to has declined. Her exact words were, "I didn't connect enough with the material to feel the passion I would need to go out and sell this book in this difficult market."
Am I disappointed? Yes, but this is what I've dealt with for the last eight years, and it's nothing new.
So now I await the second agent who seemed to say all the right things to me on the phone. Keeping a sense of humor, this should be a fun career, and ah, yes, "I don't know if I contain myself waiting for your book to arrive." Music to my ears!
With that said, on to the nitty gritty...
All one has to to is place that three-letter word in any media and people will flock to it. A bit like the traffic accident you can't help but look at as you drive past.
But does it make for better reading?
All right, I'll admit to enjoying the romance genre very much. And there are some writers whose sex scenes make you want a cigarette afterwards. Even if you don't smoke!
It's the inappropriate, gratuitous sex that goes into graphic detail that I don't care for.
It's porn, plain and simple. And women do it better than men because we prefer our imagination to actually seeing it, the way men need to do. When a man writes a sex scene, it's not as intense emotionally. It's more about the act. Women writers go for the heart, the feelings, details. The whole package.
When Eyes of Garnet came out, I would tell people there was no sex in it. That was welcomed by many, but I noticed older women were disappointed. "But you said it was similar to Diana Gabaldon's books," they'd whine. I was amused. When I began writing Sightless and Catrìona was actually old enough to have sex, I still couldn't write about it.
During an interview with the newspaper I work for, the gentleman who was conducting the interview was himself a writer. When I told him there was no blatant sex, just lots of innuendo, he said, "Yeah, I can't write about it either. I'd feel like everyone would be saying, 'Oh, he likes that kind of stuff, huh?'" It's just too personal.
Aside from that, I also have to ask myself if it actually adds to the story. In some instances, just a hint will convey my message. There are other times when I've actually written a sweaty scene, giggled, then pressed the delete button. I just can't do it. The imagination should have all the details it needs, and probably be better than what I could write anyway.
As for the steamy covers of some of the books of that nature, well, who doesn't want to look at the broad bare chest of a fine physique, (I talking man's, here). It certainly catches your eyes while you're in line at the grocery store. Impulse buy! Book marketers know it'll fly off the shelf. But then, when you actually read the story, most of the time there's nothing in it to warrant the picture on the cover. It's just to sell books. And it works, sadly.
Does this mean I'm going to start putting hunky, bare-chested kilted men on my covers so I, too, can sell more books? Hmmmm. Doubt it. Although....
Just teasing. But what if I wasn't...