Monday, February 25, 2008

Romancing The Romance Reader

The most common question people ask me, particularly those of the male persuasion, is: “Tell me, (wink, wink), do you draw your love scenes from personal experience?” My response is generally, “I write what I know.” Faces, not mine, flush with crimson. Words from the inquirer are at a premium as the receiver of such information inevitably looks at my husband with admiration.

I’m tempted to advise that what I know is based on what I’ve seen on movie and TV screens, read in books, or indeed experienced. Why deflate the moment’s pleasure? Would that I was the hot ticket I might be perceived to be. Love scenes require a great deal of work to put them before the reader in a sensual way, so that emotions are not stuck in a quagmire mapping the route.

It is the author who determines the level of sensuality she is comfortable enough to write; and her description can run the gamut from ‘sweet’ to ‘torrid’. But the author can also, through the magic of words, jack up the heat without being overly graphic and risqué. For me, this is my greatest challenge. I have read love scenes that were vibrant and curled my toes without a single intimate word written. My admiration for these writers is limitless.
I would be interested in comments suggesting your preferences and how authors might use their descriptive talents to best accommodate your interest and enjoyment.
Carol McPhee

Latest release: Something About That Lady available in ebook format at
Other releases:
Undercover Trouble: and
Alaskan Magic from and
Strong, smart, sensuous heroines, heroes to die for.
Carol McPhee:


Linda Rettstatt said...


As a writer and as a reader, I prefer sex scenes that reflect a deeper level of intimacy between the hero and heroine, with just a little left to the imagination. I also think it's great to sustain a bit of mystery for your readers. (wink)

Chumplet said...

I agree. Too much detail can detract from the enjoyment of the scene. However, erotica has its place... just not mine.

When I told my male cousins about my first book, they immediately asked with a cheeky grin, "Is Fabio on the cover?"