Where did I set my wine? I rake my hands through my hair in frustration and spot my empty wine glass staring at me from the behind the computer screen. I could really use some wine to help me write this.
Love scenes, those tricky game changers that can add emotion and supply momentous turning points in a story line. How deep, no pun intended, do I want to go? How much detail is too much for this type of novel? Do the readers want to peek through the already open door? I may as well face it, the door has been pushed open and I even want more.
What is a struggling new writer to do? Go to the mattresses. Or in this case, go to a woman who writes about the action that happens on mattresses…and on fountains…and in kitchens. She is an award winning author who writes about passion in the most delicious of ways, Jeffe Kennedy.
JEFFE: Hi Alexia! This is such a fun interview.
I’m definitely a door wide open kind of gal. Not long ago I was writing the first novel of a new series that one of my critique partners thought would be a great YA. She said, “All you have to do is close the curtains at the right time.” I thought, I can do that. So, all was well until I got to the wedding night – and I found I *had* to go there. I sent her a text: dramatic failure to close the curtains.
I think that’s a long way of saying that, yes, I do instinctively know when to push the boundaries. I’m a very character-driven writer and, for me, sex is an enormously powerful and intimate – and emotional! - act. So with my hero and heroine coming together on their wedding night, it wasn’t just about wedding nooky. This was a pivotal moment of two people who were essentially strangers (this is the first book in my new Twelve Kingdoms trilogy, out next June), coming together and letting the other cross the most personal and profound of boundaries.
It had to be on the page.
ALEXIA: I mentioned emotionally invested, but your writing does more than that. A talented author creates characters then breathes life into them with flaws and ticks that make us fall in love. Your books leave readers disappointed at the end because there is an end. Your evil genius knows no bounds, how do you do it? Do you immerse yourself in the lives of your characters, more than simply imagining how and what they feel but actually feeling it?
JEFFE: I do immerse. There’s a reason why I almost always write from the heroine’s point-of-view (POV). I discover the story as a I write, by riding along in the heroine’s head and feeling along with her. This does NOT mean that my heroine’s are me – there are huge problems when that happens – but more that I slip into the heroine’s skin and play her role like an actress would. This is particularly fun because I get to try on other lives and personalities.
I think I’ll soon try writing from the male POV, too, but I wanted to make sure I have enough skill as a writer to get it right.
ALEXIA: The love scene in my book marks a huge turning point in the plot line, a game changer. Which is what I feel love scenes should do for a story, move it along. Do you feel the same way when writing your erotic novels even though you write in a different genre?
JEFFE: Absolutely. In fact, the example I used above of the Twelve Kingdoms story? That’s an Adult Fantasy trilogy. I think that when readers say they skim love scenes or find them gratuitous, that means that either the love scene failed to move the story along (which does happen, more than it should) or the reader wasn’t tracking the emotional plot, too. Which is okay – different readers read for different reasons. But my erotic romances rarely have much in the way of external conflict. The story spine is about the internal conflict and transformation.
ALEXIA: At times when I write I complete a scene, sit back grinning because I feel as if I nailed it, again no pun intended. Tell me you feel the same way once you have completed some of your most memorable scenes?
JEFFE: Oh yes! And when people ask me what I like best about writing or what I find most satisfying – I always pick those moments. That is the true joy and essence of being a writer. It’s also the one aspect that is always totally and completely within the writer’s control, rather than subject to the marketplace or the whims of others.
ALEXIA: Fist pump or not (and I love that you give it a fist pump!), it is a rush when writing in the zone. No wonder authors say that writing is something they need to do! Thanks for stopping by Jeffe, I know I will be looking for your next release with deep anticipation.
For those of you who haven’t tried out this author check out my reviews for Ruby at Reading Between the Wines, and on Goodreads. This book is a great example of well written sex scenes that move a story along, change characters’ lives, and simply put…are fun to read.
RUBY (Facets of Passion #3)
by Jeffe Kennedy
Kindle Edition 41,000 pages
Published May 13th by Carina Press
Danielle Sosna has no problem denying herself in order to achieve her goals—after all, that attitude landed her a dream job at Vogue Paris. But in New Orleans for one last assignment before heading overseas, she's faced with the most decadent of temptations. Seductive Cajun chef Bobby Prejean takes Dani's strength of will as a challenge, and offers her a night of wild indulgence—if she will agree to obey his every command…
Dani can't resist Prejean's invitation to join him in a world of carnal desire, complete with fetish costumes and masks. Determined to keep her emotional distance, she gives Prejean everything but her name. A night becomes a week, as she spends Mardi Gras suspended…in the delicious space where pleasure meets pain.
Too late, she realizes the cloak of anonymity has not protected her—and that chasing her dream might come at the expense of her heart.
Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Want the chance to win an e-copy of Ruby?
Jeffe is feeling generous and is offering up one to a lucky reader. To enter leave a comment for Jeffe: Ever read an erotic book before? Ever been to New Orleans? Dazzle her with words and you may be picked.
(please leave your email ninja style so I can contact you).
Ends on July 2nd, 2013.