Clicking Our Heels – Should Sex, Politics, and Scandals be dramatized or even factually incorporated into our writing?
Cathy Perkins – A craft book I’m studying discusses the importance of incorporating what you’re passionate about into your stories to bring them to life and serve as a driving force. If you’re excited by an issue or topic, that intensity will transfer to the page. Family, for example, is always central to my stories, although it may not always be a traditional family. Other issues which are important to me – and to my readers – bring depth and focus. The challenge is adding tose elements without preaching and instead making them a natural part of your character’s reality.
Kimberly Jayne – I think anything is game. We write about all aspects of life anyway, including imaginary aspects. So yes, sex, politics, and scandals can be part of my writing. There’s a market out there for readers of everything, so if I’m interested in a controversial topic or if that topic would enhance or elevate my story, then I’ll use it and put my spin on it. As long as readers enjoy the concepts within the stories, controversial or not, then it’s all good.
Sparkle Abbey – Our books are very much escape reading. We have no problem at all with books that incorporate real life politics or scandals but you probably will never find that in a Sparkle Abbey book. We get emails from readers who share that they’ve read our books while going through difficult times, (sitting at the bedside of a loved one, after a particularly tough day at work, or simply as a get-away when they couldn’t actually get away) and this trills us. There is nothing better than hearing that your work brightened someone’s day!
Bethany Maines – Yes. A book with no sex, politics, or scandals would be pretty dang boring. I write fiction, so I don’t think those elements have to be 100% factual, but I do think they need to be present in someway.
Linda Rodriguez – I believe quite firmly in dealing with the issues of the day in the society about which I’m writing, whether I’m writing poetry, mystery, literary fiction, or fantasy. Writing that doesn’t deal in some way with these issues seems to be to be unrooted and simply lying shallowly on the surface of things, but I’m aware that other viewpoints on that matter are equally valid.
Debra H. Goldstein – Even if a book is meant to be fun, social issues can be incorporated in a manner that don’t hit people over the head. Ignoring the truth of sex, politics and scandals potentially leaves a dimension out of one’s writing.
Jennae Phillippe – Sure. I personally think that all writing is political in some way because it is asking us to relate to the ideas and theme presented. Some writing is more political than others, either by design or because it captured something the public wanted to politicize. But these things are a part of real life. However fantastical the tale, it will have elements of all of them.
Paula Gail Benson – I love how Law and Order has taken a current news story and given it a different spin by considering other ramifications. I think it’s a matter that needs to be approached carefully and with dignity, both in dramas and parodies or comedy sketches.
Kay Kendall – I have seen successful books incorporate all three of those elements – sex, politics, scandals. If other writers can do it well and you think you can too, then why not? In my first two published mysteries, I use the politics of the late 1960s as the milieu against which my amateur sleuth operates. I used the anti-war movement and second stage feminism for, respectively, Desolation Row and Rainy Day Women. Those were dramatic ties and as such they lend themselves to heightened feelings---even murderous ones.