Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Sex and the Story

"There are three possible parts to a date, of which at least two must be offered: entertainment, food, and affection. It is customary to begin a series of dates with a great deal of entertainment, a moderate amount of food, and the merest suggestion of affection. As the amount of affection increases, the entertainment can be reduced proportionately. When the affection is the entertainment, we no longer call it dating. Under no circumstances can the food be omitted. "
~Miss Manners' Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behaviour

There was a great discussion on Romancing the Blog yesterday about all the sex in today’s romance novels, and the fact that readers can’t seem to find a romance that isn’t either filled with sex or--opposite end of the spectrum--a “sweet” story with a sugary hero and heroine who wait until marriage to do anything more than hold hands.

But most of the posts seemed to agree that publishers (and agents) are wary to sign anyone who doesn’t fit into one or the other. There is, it seems, an absence of the good old-fashioned contemporary love story, which focuses on the emotional relationship and not the bedroom. And surprisingly, that’s what a lot of readers are looking for.

This was refreshing to me, especially, because in my mind, that’s exactly what I write: contemporary love stories. Novels about men and women who meet and fall for each other and then have to deal with the messes that life throws in their way. I don’t write sex. It just doesn’t interest me within the pages of my novels. But I’m wondering how to market myself, both in the publishing world and to my friends and family. (I have quickly discovered that “romance novelist” translates to “porn writer” in most of their minds).

So what do you think? Take a look at the posts from yesterday, then come on back here and let me know.

And on this subject, I discovered a new author at Samhain who, unlike most of their authors, doesn’t write steamy/sensual/erotica.

Her name is Kate Johnson, and she writes romantic comedy. I knew I had to take a closer look when I read the disclaimer on her newest novel: Warning, this title contains guns, swearing, dark thoughts about cheerful people, incomprehensible Britishisms, and painful sarcasm.

I downloaded her short story “The Twelve Lies of Christmas” and will give you the low-down when I’m through…

P.S. - Last day to sign my guestbook and qualify for the February giveaway! What are you waiting for???

1 comment:

Marianne Arkins said...

You'll have to let me know about that book you downloaded. If it's good, I'll get it in print!

And, I loved the post (and the comments) on RTB. It was refreshing to see that I'm not alone in my feelings about sex in romance books anymore... I was wobbling about it in Camilla, felt like I HAD to put it in, but maybe I don't, if I can keep the tension up... we'll see what she and Jed decide :-)