Friday, March 11, 2011
Why Don't I Write about Sex?
by Ellery Adams.
Why don’t I?
Because I’m no good at it.
Wait, that came out wrong.
When I began writing mysteries, I focused on the puzzle first. I’ve always been a bit of a jigsaw puzzle geek and now I even do cryptograms when I’m waiting a long time (at the doctor’s office, for example. Why do we make appointments just to sit for thirty-forty minutes anyway? They should just hand out numbers like they do at the deli counter).
Next up, I turned my attention to the characters. From that point, the setting came into play. I steered away from romantic entanglements because I could never write them as well as the other stuff.
Now, with my Books By the Bay mysteries, I start with the characters and they drag me by the hair, this way and that, in true caveman style until the book unfolds like a rose. Thus far, none of them have shown an interest in getting naked. Great. I get down to the other elements and don’t have any R-rated sex scenes to worry about.
My heroine, Olivia Limoges, is a haunted, cynical, independent heiress who refuses to be swept off her feet by anyone. What a relief! Still, I can’t leave her on the shelf forever. I mean, the woman’s got needs. I can do a closed-door fling with the charismatic bookstore owner for now, but eventually, the man the readers sense Olivia belongs with is going to do something so heroic that she’ll have to defrost long enough to well, disrobe.
But not yet. I can hold off for another book. Because when that scene happens, it has to be right. It’s Olivia’s first time, after all. At least, it’s her first time being put on display by me.
This moment has to be as deftly executed as the clues woven into the plot. She has to be ready. I have to be ready. How much do you want to see in your mystery? Tell the truth now. Do you want your couples to go inside and shut the door? Or do you want to peek through the keyhole?
*Feel free to stop by my website. I am giving away a 3G Kindle on March 8th to celebrate the release of A Deadly Cliché and it’s not too late to enter the contest! Thanks for having me, ladies!