To say I'm thrilled would be a ridiculous understatement. Though I normally give myself 24 hours to marinate on feedback, I was so eager to implement my editor's suggestions that I wrote half a scene on the palm of my hand with a ballpoint pen.
One of my favorite parts of the letter was the request that I amp up the romance. It's something I'd been fretting about. Though MAKING WAVES has several blush-worthy love scenes and a lot of bawdy humor, I knew it wasn't as "hot" as the two books scheduled to follow. I wasn't certain which my editor preferred, but I got her message loud and clear on Friday. "Turn up the heat, please!"
Fortunately, "heat" is one of my favorite things to write. I feel like a kid in a candy shop, though sweaty flesh is much more fun to play with than gumdrops and peppermint sticks.
I know I have to temper my enthusiasm. I don't write erotica (though I've been tempted on occasion) so a little bit goes a long way when it comes to love scenes. It's a fine line between titillating a reader and making her want to scrub herself with a Brillo pad, and the line isn't in the same place for everyone.
Take tortoises, for example. When we were in Barbados a few years ago, we paid a visit to the Barbados Wildlife Refuge. It was impossible to walk without tripping over a pair of them in the throes of tortoise passion. Averting your eyes was useless, as the grunts of tortoise lovin' echoed in every corner of the park.
After my post about the monkeys a couple months ago, you're probably thinking I plan my vacations around the best places to see animals getting frisky.
Tell me what you think. Behold, I give you the tortoise version of "heat." Make sure your sound is turned up so you don't miss the best part of this one minute and three seconds of pure tortoise ecstasy:
I'm not sure that's what my editor has in mind for MAKING WAVES, but it's something to consider in the grand scheme of romance writing. What works for tortoises may not work for monkeys, and what works for you may not work for me.
And now that I've conjured up all sorts of bestiality images, where'd I put that Brillo pad?