This is how I explained the success of my short story, The Perfect Secretary, to my creative writing professor. She is a well-respected, published author of women’s fiction. When I first started taking writing classes, and no one knew the goals of each student, she stated she didn’t like genre fiction, especially romance.
The imp in me couldn’t wait to tell the class who I was and what I wrote. My turn came right after a pleasant woman informed the class she was an Anglican minister wanting to jazz up her sermons. God does have a sense of humour. With a grin, I told the class I was a romance writer. And not just a romance writer, but an erotic romance writer. My professor has since become one of my biggest cheerleaders.
The reactions received when I tell people what I write are varied, and sometimes downright hilarious. It amuses me when they arch their back to create space between us, and formulate their next comment. Many ask, do you write from your own experiences?
Short answer is: Yes, and No. As an author, when I write how the woman feels, what thoughts go through her head, I have to write from my own experience, because that’s all I have. Do I embellish? Absolutely. When I write how the man thinks and feels I draw on the fact I live in a testosterone filled house. Only men in my home, except for the cats, and they’re traitors.
I’m also asked, how do I come up with my ideas? My husband will tell you I have a vivid imagination and a naughty mind. Good for him, and me.
In my novel, According to Plan, there are steamy sex scenes. I’ll talk about my favorite one, Tank and Shelby playing pool. When the idea began to formulate, I wanted to create tension. The first sex scenario had been pretty much wham, bam, thank-you ma’amand that was kind of expected as they’d been apart for over four monthsso this one had to have some build up.
The premise of strip poker, or strip chess ricocheted around my mind, but I needed a venue where Shelby would have a perceived sense of superiority. She challenges Tank to a game of strip pool. Best two out of three. As they move about the table, analyzing their shots, the conversation is full of double entendres, sly touches, and a whole lot of ‘uh oh, what have I done’ on Shelby’s part.
Then Tank and Shelby with the barstool. Oh my. Soooo much fun to write. It was vital that I place her in an extremely vulnerable position, physically and mentally, and by having Tank drape her legs over the barstool, exposing all, meant she couldn’t hide her needs or desire.
This whole scene, and the ones following, showed a couple who could get angry, have remorse, and work it out as adults. And that’s what I love about Shelby and Tank. Two everyday people, with everyday problems, finding love. Why, they could be your next door neighbours. You wouldn’t mind a few explosions on the front porch now. Would you?