This is a blog series I am posting about writing my new book. The working title is Liquid Gold and the idea is to essentially walk everyone through writing the book from Inspiration to Publication. For informational purposes this will be the fourth book I’ve written and will also be published exclusively for the Amazon Kindle. It is a sequel to a previous work titled Freedom’s Treasure. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00EAY37B6 is the link for Freedom’s Treasure on Amazon.
In the 2000’s I had an online bookstore. It was a family kind of thing with three generations enjoying the same hobby/job. We ran a store on Ebay and also sold through a sister site. At one point we had over 7,000 paperback books lining our shelves. It was very cool and I almost never ran out of things I wanted to read.
I paid attention to what sold and what didn’t sell. Of course I did, that was my job. Mysteries always did well, as did the romance novels. We went to library sales, garage sales, estate sales, anywhere they sold books. We’d sort through them and buy what looked, sounded, or felt like it would sell along with restocking the authors we already knew about. It often felt like a treasure hunt.
One of the better selling romance authors was Betty Neels. I never read one of hers, I’m sorry to say. When I read the back the ideas just didn’t intrigue me but that doesn’t mean the books weren’t good. In fact they were better sellers, especially in groups.
We were sorting through a library sale one day. It was one of those catch-all sales with paperbacks on one side and hard covers on the other. They were somewhat sorted but there was no alphabetization and there were a ton of books in boxes underneath the tables. People would sort through whatever was in eyesight. I’m thin and bendy and I have no problem crouching on the ground and sorting through titles. The only downside would be how often I was stepped on but that’s something I’m used to being all low and everything.
One of the boxes discovered had a whole stack of Neels’ books held together with a rubber band. There was a sticky note on the top book that said, “No Sex, They Drink a Lot of Tea”. Every now and again we’ll turn to one another and give that quote. It makes me laugh to this day.
On the flip side there was another author that sold well in which there was a LOT of sex. Suzanne Brockmann. I recommend her for the ladies who like a little Navy Seal action in their fantasies. But I digress.
I constantly thought about writing my own books back then. I desperately wanted to see one of my own books on those shelves but I didn’t exactly have the confidence and I wasn’t sure I had a voice. It’s amazing the difference a decade can make. Three books later and I’m talking about sex on the Intertubes. Awesome.
Two of the three books I currently have on sale on the Amazon site are contemporary adventure novels with romance. The third is more of a chiller mystery and the romance definitely takes a backseat.
The romance novels were a lot of fun to write but in each book I became stuck on one question. How much sex is too much? Or not enough? What kind of language do I feel comfortable using in general? Now what kind of language am I comfortable using knowing my extremely young minded and looking grandmother reads my books? (Shout out to Gramma! I love you!)
The answers bring us back to an earlier post. Know your demographic. Personally I’m not trying to capture the entire 50 Shades of Gray group of readers though that audience is shared with Nora Roberts whose demographic I would kill to control. Not like puppets, I mean to say I would love to have the following she does. For my romance novels, at least.
I veer away from language that would be considered pornographic by a certain crowd. They aren’t words I’m comfortable standing on a street corner and shouting so I suppose that’s understandable. I try not to mince words at the same time. If constant euphemisms are used it becomes more of a caricature.
Don’t get me wrong, euphemisms are your friend.
Generally I scan my vast knowledge of words and euphemisms and see what flows more smoothly. I guess I’m doing okay with it as I’ve been told my sex scenes are hot. “And I mean hot!”
Once I’ve completed the scene I read it back over and have to decide oh so many things. Did I give the scene more words than it needed? Or enough? Will the details make me blush? How about my mom or sister? Or *gulp* grandmother?
Sometimes, though, I just have to go raunchy. It’s in my nature to go a little overboard here and there. Live life in moderation but, man, excess can be fun at times.
This all leads back to a point I hammer home often in this blog. KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE!
If you stick with that, and write what YOU like to read and not what you think others do, you should be fine. Best of luck!
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