Thursday, October 20, 2011

Sex or Not to Sex, That is the Question

I canNOT tell you how honored I am to have my dear friend and fellow Wild Rose Press author Calisa Rhose with me at Tattered Pages today!

Thank you for having me into your cyber home, AJ. I’m all a titter to be here!

When I first began writing, back in the dark ages, I wrote about love. There’s always a HEA in my books. However- there wasn’t always sex. Did the characters have it? Who knows? I pretty much just left that to the netherworld of the imagination of the reader.

There’s something I began to understand about myself and writing much later on, though. I care what others think. Maybe I care too much. I cringe to write sex scenes, so what someone else thinks affects my writing. I read sex scenes, well, mild sex scenes. Erotic would never find a place in my vision. Yes, I’m a southern gal. Nana (my gramma) taught me that sex belongs behind a closed door. Therefore, I was ashamed to read about it. Desires were my bravest venture. So, write about sex? Me? When the universe spins backward!

Then some writers and I started a critique group, Chapter By Chapter. *wave hello Twinkies!* I’m sure some of you have heard of erotic author, Chloe Cole (Christine Bell). Maybe some of you have heard of LC Chase, M/M author (also writes a killer ‘straight’ vampire). Chloe’s short stories were my first adventure into erotics, and she and LC’s Three To Tango, a ménage, was another first for me.’ Okay—so my kindle blushes as much as I do with all the body parts stored within. I don’t necessarily ‘like’ to read erotic, but I know it takes as much talent and work to write as my romance does. I respect the authors as much as any.

But the point is—not every writer is the same. Not every book has sex. That doesn’t make them any less good, and visa versa.

In April I was offered my first contract. It’s been a relatively short journey, and a fairly smooth one for me from beginning to write to first sale—but in December HOME will be released with The Wild Rose Press. I’m an author! It feels strange still to say that and know it isn’t just that I write—which was in itself was my proudest moment to be able to admit to—but I sold a book. I’m published! Guess what? You won’t find sex in HOME. What you will find, I hope, is sizzling sexual tension and sensual love bordering on sex. I didn’t plan it that way, it’s how my heroine demanded it—who she is. And we all know to listen to our characters.

Does that mean I never learned to write sex? Well, I do what we’ve all been told to do. Write every day, practice moving outside my comfort zone. So, yes; I can write sex scenes now. I owe it in part to those steamy sex gurus who write erotic. Yes, I read it now. What writer worth their weight in paper won’t try new things? I’m not saying an inspirational writer should pick up a Chloe Cole book- not at all.

But even sweet writers should read something they wouldn’t normally write just for the experience in sensuality. Because let’s face it—erotic authors can write some kinda sensual!

I can now write, and let someone else read, sex scenes. Mine will doubtfully ever be part A goes into part B scenes, but the door is open a crack. Just a crack.

What about you? What is writing outside your comfort zone, and do you read it?

Thanks again AJ, for letting me come and ramble all over your Tattered Pages.
****
Small-town country girl Calisa Rhose has been writing since she was a teen in central Oklahoma. It wasn’t until 2005 that she realized if “they” can do it there’s no reason why she couldn’t write and get published, too. That realization began her journey into the world of publishing. After a cross-country move with her husband and their three grown daughters (plus families) back to her home state, Calisa dove into her writing. She joined RWA and the local chapter OKRWA. Since that day she has been more determined than ever to see her name in lights. She intends to nurture others and continue to grow as an author.

She’d love to hear from her readers at calisa.rhose@gmail.com and you can visit Calisa at
Find out about her first book HOME on the Bookshelf page.
Twitter and Facebook her.

29 comments:

Sarah Grimm said...

Oh, boy, Calisa...You KNOW I'm going to read HOME. If only to see how you have all of that sexual tension without the sex. Me, I can't get enough of it! Err...in my romances, I mean. Yeah, that's what I meant to say. *wicked grin*

Amie said...

A very prolific and talented inspirational author told me that it's just as much of a challenge to keep them *out* of bed as it is to detail everything once they fall into bed. I have to say I agree. Plus, once that sexual tension's been removed from the story, it's a definite challenge to keep it going. I say write what you like to read, 'cause someone out there is going to like it too. Can't wait to read HOME. :)

S.G. Rogers said...

I think the journey is always much more interesting than the destination, as it were. Two thumbs up for sexual tension...but keep your thumbs to yourself!

wlynnchantale said...

Wonderful post. My wish list grows. I can't wait to read HOME, because I'm curious. I love sexual tension and it's always interesting to see how each writer accomplishes it.

I'm glad you listen to your characters. I usually argue with mine even though I know I'm on the losing end.

Good luck with the new release.

*waves* hi AJ. I brought cookies.

Christine Warner said...

Hi Calisa...great post! I don't mind writing sex scenes (but admit that it took me awhile to get them to the point where I felt they were sensual and not robotic...lol), but I also tend to let my characters lead the way in how much the door is opened. My first book that comes out with TWRP in March 2012 (YAY)takes it to a certain point then the door is closed and I let the reader use their imagination to consummate the relationship. But a couple I've written since then go into more detail, but I feel with good taste. Though I enjoy reading a hot steamy sex scene, and I also enjoy writing them as well, I do have my limits. I like erotica, but there are a few that I've read that were just too much. Written well, but just not anything I was interested in hearing about. I like the romantic sex...does that makes sense...not hard core...lol (I think I'm blushing). And that's just my opinion and I know others like to read it with all the bells and whistles...hehehehe

Congrats on your release and much Success!!

AJ Nuest said...

Hi Calisa! So glad you're here with me today! Great job on the post, sweetie! And oh look! W. Lynne brought cookies from that fabulous chef of hers. Sigh, I miss him...

Julianne said...

Hi, Calisa! As a reader, I like *some* erotic romance author, but I don't know if I could write that hot--yet. Never say never. ;) At the moment, in my first book, I've tried to write somewhere between steamy and sensual when it comes to love scenes. Great post dear. I can't wait to read HOME, and I wish you much success with it!
Julianne

Vonnie Davis said...

I wrote my first sex scene at an All-U-Can-Eat Buffet. I didn't plan it that way, that's just where I happened to be when the characters led me there. When we go out to eat, Calvin reads a pile of papers and I tap on my laptop. The waitress was filling my iced tea glass and asked what I was writing. I was so engrossed, my reply flowed out before I thought it through, which is so often the case with me. "Oh?" She stepped behind me to read over my shoulder. "A...a sex scene?" Her breathing picked up. "Oh. My. Lawd have mercy! Oh. My. Gawd!" She bustled off and I kept writing. Later at the dessert bar, I heard her talking to a group of other waittresses. "I'm telling you she was writing hot-up-against-the-wall sex." My ego balloon blew up! "And she was OLD, too!!!" Ego hisses out of balloon...

Sarah Grimm said...

I don't know Vonnie, I think an all you can eat buffet is rather fitting place to write a sex scene. Bwahaha! OMG! I so have to meet you in person. I also blurt things out before I think about it.

Calisa Rhose said...

Oh Lawd I am so, so late getting here! And I must sadly decline the cookies today (more for AJ). I'll say I slept in...and leave it at that. Though that isn't exactly accurate (and no-I wasn't 'researching' today's topic either).

Sarah you are a sweetheart! I will add that this is the 1960's so I tried to stay true to the times in all aspects of my book. I hope you like it. Well, I know you like 'that', but I mean I hope you like HOME!

Calisa Rhose said...

I agree one hundred percent Amie. At the risk of sounding contradictory to my own post. You should write what you read. But, I think every author should also be able to reach outside the box even in your own genre. I know AJ can do this. :) I've read it from her. And being unable to keep the sexual tension out of a story and keep it moving it exactly why I haven't been able to write one yet. Yes, I try. HOME is as close as I've been able to get and I wasn't even trying with it. Thanks for the Okie visit!

Calisa Rhose said...

S.G.- thanks for stopping by. Keeping my thumbs to myself... Lol

Calisa Rhose said...

W. Lynn I love those cookies, but must pass. When you come to my ranch, bring chef pretty please? I like cheesecake- any kind.

I hope you like HOME. I'm so nervous having all you lovely people wanting to read it!

Calisa Rhose said...

My sweet Christine- I can't wait for your book either! I think the sex, or lack of it (for me) is completely determined by my characters. I have a couple of wolves who can't think of anything else... very embarrassing for me to write! My daughter calls the alpha male "Bunny".

Calisa Rhose said...

Thanks for having me over AJ. I really need to invite W. Lynn to bring chef to the ranch!

Calisa Rhose said...

Julianne I wish you much success, too. Just follow your instincts I think and let the characters direct the scenes.

Calisa Rhose said...

Oh my lovely, Vonnie! I would love to go out with you! I am always speaking before I think and location doesn't matter (well, maybe it does to hubby)! I think no matter how old you are you can take that waitress's words as a compliment! You just proved to the younger generation that old doesn't mean dead! HA!

Neecy said...

Great topic Calisa, as far as the sex scene goes, it depends on the book for me. But I like them.... :) Can I write one? Well, that remains to be seen.LOL
Great Blog, AJ.
Good luck with the sales on your book Calisa!
Neecy

Maeve said...

Write what's in your heart. If you "force" it, readers will know. Your characters usually set the stage. Just listen closely where they "tell" you to go. Of course, if you have a muse like mine, you'll sometimes want to tell your muse straight where to go! I'm looking forward to your release! Best of luck you. :-)

AJ Nuest said...

Vonnie, are you going to RT in Chicago next year? Please, please say you're going. We all need to get together and have drinks. I CAN'T wait to meet you!! Seriously, we've gotta party.

AJ Nuest said...

Thanks, Neecy! And thanks for stopping by! Glad to see you here!!

Calisa Rhose said...

I hope to 'see' sooner than later Neecy. lol Thanks for coming by.

Calisa Rhose said...

Aw thank you Maeve. Yeah, my muse isn't always the most reliable...

Katherine said...

Hi Calisa, I have a hard time writing the tab A into slot b descriptive sex scenes so I tend to have a lot more sexual tension rather sex scenes though IMPETUOUS does have a couple. My mom is from the South and I was brought up to be a "lady" and everyone knows a "lady" doesn't even think about those kind of things. Yup, that's my story and I'm sticking to it. :o)

Wishing you lots of sales and good reviews for HOME.

Lynne Marshall said...

I'm late! Sorry. Anyway, I'm happy to see you've had a lively conversation going today. Something about Es -EE -Ex brings that out of people. I remember in the first book I ever wrote, I came to a part and realized - OMG I'm going to have to write a sex scene. LOL. It has been a long and winding learning curve, and seventeen books later, I'm still not sure I've figured out how to do it. Looking forward to your WRP debut - Home, Calisa.

all the best,
Lynne

Calisa Rhose said...

Katherine- you notice I have in here that my gramma taught me... yup, from the south. lol I doubt I'll ever write descriptive because it doesn't feel natural to me...but who knows, right?

Thanks for the luck wishes!

Calisa Rhose said...

That's funny Lynne. When those instances hit I want to hide my head. Unfortunately, I'm realizing that doesn't get the book wrote.

Thanks for coming by!

Georgie Lee said...

Sometimes my books have sex and sometimes they don't. Like you, I think it is good to read all kinds of books to see how different authors handle the hot and heavy stuff. Congrats on the new relase!

Calisa Rhose said...

Right, Georgie Lee. For me it depends on the characters how much is there or not at all. Thanks for coming by!

Thank you all for coming and sharing your opinions on when to, or not to write sex into a book. It's an ongoing struggle for me but I'm learning and there was so much good suggestions and advice here!