Romance and sex: writer’s responsibilities?

I read S.K. Nichollsexcellent post on this subject and it got me thinking. What do I think about sex in romance? Should the author have a responsibility towards the reader and guide their moral compass?

Personally, for me, the task of guiding someone else’s moral compass is way out of my field of expertise. I have enough trouble keeping my own morals and finding the right choices in my own life, let alone guide others. So, I’d like to keep writing clear of morality–again, just for me.

I do write romance and that means a love story. My books are meant for adults, not children. I hope that’s the audience they find their way to (ahem…right now the ‘audience’ is very limited in number…and I only have one book out, but you get the point).

But I do think that, for me, if there’s sex in romance, it should add something to the story. It shouldn’t be there just because nothing else was going on in the last 100 pages. It shouldn’t be there gratuitously.

I’ll add that most books I love fall under that category. Romance isn’t just about sex. It’s a love story, hopefully, a beautiful love story.

Audrey_Hepburn_and_Gregory_Peck_on_Vespa_in_Roman_Holiday_trailer-2

Blogging: Quality or quantity?

When I started blogging, I researched on line to find out what to do and I read that the trick to finding ‘traffic’ was to blog every day. The subject didn’t really matter. I just had to post something on a daily basis. It was all about quantity, not quality.

I’ve been blogging for a bit now but I’m still not certain about that piece of advice. Is it really about frequency of posts? If a blogger posts twice a day do they really get twice the traffic? What about three times a day? What about four? Ten? Wouldn’t there be a point when their followers would get annoyed?

And what about the topic? Does that matter at all? What if I wrote a post about elephant foot-fungus? Would my readers devour the post with glee? Or would they wonder what was wrong with my medication today and scamper off?

Joe Bunting argues for quantity in this post. He not only claims that it’s easier to blog everyday, he adds that your blog will get more ‘love from Google’ if you do.

Jeff Goins goes even further with his post “What you write about doesn’t matter as much as you think”. His position is you have to find your ‘voice’, the rest is inconsequential. Hard to argue with a guy who has as much success as he does.

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On a completely different note, does anyone know if elephants even get foot fungus?

Another five star review for Olivia’s Choice!

I’m over the moon! The Romance Reviews just gave Olivia’s Choice a five star review! They even made the book their ‘Top Pick’!

Wanna read it? It’s right here.

I’ll be honest, I’m so happy I’m shaking. I had no idea how my book would do. None. The Romance Reviews is a very professional, respectable site and they review some heavy weights. I was pretty sure my book might not do so well.

Five stars. Oh my goodness. I’m shaking.

I have to add a huge thank you to Christine Blackthorn from The Romance Reviews for the amazing review and for choosing my book!

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River, the writer’s aid

While we adopted both our doggies, River is the latest addition. He had separation anxiety and didn’t like to be away from people so leaving him alone in a different room while I wrote was out. Instead, I encouraged him to lay with me while I worked on my laptop so he’d have a safe, quiet place to be.

Now, months later, River seems to have developed a bit of an attachment. This dog will follow me everywhere. And I mean everywhere. If I’m sitting and get up to add coffee to my mug, he follows. If I go to bed, he’s next to me, if I sit to write, he’s at my side. When I go to bed, he has to be there with me.

The result is that I have a rather large, hairy dog over my foot as I type this. River is under my desk, lying on my feet, sleeping away. If I get up for any reason, he’ll be right next to me.

When I first noticed this trend, I worried about how it would all work out. With cables, plugs and delicate parts, computers aren’t exactly dog-friendly and my Mac is precious to me. The last thing I want is a dog to break it, or harm it in any way.

But River doesn’t want to touch the computer any more than I want him to. He just wants to be near me…and if a human hand should happen to stray away from the keyboard and pet him, all the better.

At the same time, having him near me is incredibly soothing. When I’m upset or something isn’t working right, I grab on to that massive, hairy neck and bury my face in his fur. Then I breathe in and let it all out.

River can take it. He’s a great writer’s aid.

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Please note: That’s not River. He’s much hairier. And doesn’t need glasses.

Editing help

I got Olivia’s Choice done all on my own. I combed through the book over and over and over again. I did this for an entire year. Until I got to the point that if I saw it one more time, I was going to throw it across the room.

Then I got a review back that commented on the superfluous words in the book. Nuts. I knew almost immediately I couldn’t do it alone. That’s when I heard of D. Emery Bunn.

I’ve said before he’s like a grammar ninja. I’ll add that he has suggestions that strengthen the message and deliver the punchline without taking away the flavour of my writing. I told him I only wanted line edits…and of course he did much more. To say I was impressed vastly underrates my reaction. I was blown away.

I wanted to mention him on my blog because he honestly did such an amazing job. I know my book will be so much better because of him. Not only will it be grammar perfect, it will be tighter and deliver the message with less words. For example, Emery suggested a change in the Glossary at the beginning that compacts it and helps make it easier to read.

If you’re looking for someone to do some editing, I can’t recommend him highly enough. On a personal level, he’s approachable and very reasonable. On a professional one, he did an incredible job and finished early!

Here are his links:

http://www.demerybunn.com/blog/

 http://www.demerybunn.com/blog/contact-me/

Cute posts on writing

Cute, interesting and, hopefully, uplifting. Here are some posts about writing that will hopefully get some smiles.

1. The tools used by some of the greats to write their masterpieces. They’re surprisingly low-tech!

http://blog.bookbaby.com/2014/05/what-tools-did-famous-authors-use-to-write-their-popular-books/

2. A curious group of funny facts about books in general.

http://ideasofindian.blogspot.ca/2008/05/some-interesting-facts-about-books-and.html

3. How writing affects your brain!

http://www.bestinfographics.co/amazing-facts-about-writing-and-the-brain-infographic/

4. A cute list.

(credit: allfunnyimages.com)

(credit: allfunnyimages.com)

5. Finally, a comic on writing!

(credit:comicrelated.com)

(credit:comicrelated.com)

Sunday Silence

No one is up but me and the birds. My hubby is bed, the dogs are asleep on the floor and the house is so quiet. We live in the country, so the only thing I hear outside are birds. I’m typing and drinking coffee and just at peace with the world.

I love moments like this. It’s early morning and the sun is only starting to get up. The day is full of possibilities.

Better still, my cup of coffee is almost full.

 

The perfect man

Is there such a thing as a realistic romance hero?

I have to admit I’ve read a book or two where the hero drove me crazy. He was just…sooo nice. Maybe I’m a sceptic but I think real men have issues and can be nice but can also have days where they’re not so nice–just like us gals. These guys were so nice they’d put Santa Claus out of business.

What’s up with romance and the perfect hero? I read somewhere that the recipe for a good romance was an imperfect heroine and a blemish-free hero. She could have any issues, imperfections or range of personalities but he had to fall madly in love with her at first sight and had to be perfect–with a capital P.

Really? Do women really buy that?

I’m not asking for a wife abuser or a grump. I just wonder if a less-than perfect hero wouldn’t make a wonderful lead in a romance. I wonder, would women not like him because he had his faults? I think we would.

Take Beauty and the Beast. He’s a wonderful catch…if you don’t mind a little hair and we won’t mention the growling or his anger-issues with furniture. Or what about Star Wars? Han Solo made more than one woman’s heart beat a little faster but he didn’t exactly have a clean record.

I say imperfection is what makes our heroes interesting and charming. I’m not suggesting we take Hannibal Lecter as our role model, but we don’t have to have a perfect angel as it either. Perfection is incredibly boring.

(credit:The Silence Of The Lambs Wiki - Wikia)

(credit:The Silence Of The Lambs Wiki – Wikia)

Reviewing fears

I’m not a reviewer. I like to give my two cents about books I read but those are books from stablished authors who probably couldn’t care one iota what I think to begin with and who certainly don’t need my review. I hesitate about giving a friend a public review–I would definitely do it privately.

Why? Well, I’m terrified of messing it up. I’m not a professional reviewer. It takes talent and good writing to write a good review. You can’t just say: good book. Worse, I could misinterpret something or disclose something and wreck the book for someone. Worse still, I could offend the writer and, if they are a friend, that’s just not worth it.

I’m not alone. The Inky Tavern posted this on reviewing for friends. Michelle D. Argyle posted her thoughts here. One more by Damyanti.

I know, I know. I just did a review for Infinitefreetime. The fear of messing that up is still with me.

What do you think? Should reviewing come hand in hand with writing? Is it a conflict of interest?

Why I love having a blog

Here are my top reasons for having a blog:

7. It helps keep me aware of what’s going on in publishing and writing. Nothing like reading other blogs to know what’s going on.

6. It helps me write better. Posts, by definition are all written–especially for me who can’t take a picture to save my life. That means practice. And that means I become a better writer. Yeey!

5. I get to shout out my two cents about anything. There’s something incredibly satisfying about shouting out my input to the world. I read about it on a blog or a post or a newspaper, chew it over and shout out my opinion on my blog.

4. I can connect with other writers or bloggers or readers. They know what this is like. They understand like few can. Their input and support is like a soothing balm that eases many pains.

3. I can help someone out. I’m just starting out as a blogger and a writer so I can’t pass on years of experience but I can warn others away from the mistakes I’ve already made and I can share what has worked for me.

2. I get followers who’ll leave a comment and/or a ‘like’. That positive feedback is amazing. It not only shuts up that nasty inner critic; it gives me an immediate way to judge how well written or how popular a post was.

1. It’s fun. Designing a header, making posts, putting pictures on line, reading other posts, it’s really, really fun.

Now, if you have a blog and are wondering about how to make it better…I can recommend this particular post. Not only is blog is highly recommended, the author runs a course on blogging that’s free. Free is my favourite price. 🙂

If, on the other hand, you don’t have a blog but are considering getting one, here‘s a great article on why writers benefit from one by Carole Jelen that might help you make up your mind.