No Checklists Here!

Each book has its own challenges, its own flavor and each character has his or her own journey. By this I mean, I do not write say, Triad, over and over. Not every book is kinky, not every book will make you cry, not every book has car chases or stalkers or what have you.

I do this on purpose for a whole host of reasons. First of all, it’d be boring if I didn’t switch it up. I mean, for me as the writer, if I just wrote menages all the time, or BDSM books all the time, or dirty talkers, etc, I’d get burned out. And for readers too. Who wants to read the same thing but with different names?

Laid Bare is an emotional book. It’s that way on purpose and as a mom, for me, the very worst thing I can imagine is to lose a child. So Erin’s journey as a character is very personal to me as I wrote her. It’s also a very physical book – Part of the way Erin and Todd communicate on a very deep level is via sex. A key to how Ben fits in is different. The door is open because of sex, but he settles in for emotional reasons. He’s connected to them and comes to them in a different way than Erin and Todd.

All this is a long, roundabout way of saying, if you’re looking for Laid Bare over and over, that’s not going to happen. Yes, I have written more than one menage book and yes, there are things I have done before (I love me some damaged heroines), but every Lauren Dane book is not going to be a menage with heavy kink. Because every person, every couple or group is different and every story is unique to that group of people.

I love to write kinky, if that’s what the story calls for. But not every story does. Not every book can start with hot sex on page three and not every book with sex on page three is actually erotic.

What I love so much about reviews is that I can take any book and see a totally honest “This book was not hot enough” on the same page with “This book was the hottest thing I’ve read all year” Readers are like books – there are as many views and perspectives as there are shelves and pages. This is awesome to me.

I started out with a small press. I’ve written erotic romance for many years now and I like to think I do it well. I think women shouldn’t be ashamed of their sexuality and I try to reflect that on the page. But each woman is going to be different, so every character and storyline is too. I think we’ve gone pretty far over the edge in erotics if a fully described sex scene, multiple sex scenes over a book isn’t considered “hot” enough or not “true” erotic romance. Because to me, erotic isn’t in how many toys in the scene or how many people, or if there’s kink, but the level of connection between the people involved. I think we miss the point if all we do as authors and all we expect as readers is lots of sex that may or may not be right for the story and the characters. Erotic is not a flogger, or rope, or against a wall – erotic is that moment when the people in the scene are stripped down with that other person (not physically, but emotionally).

Sort of babbling on a Friday – but I suppose all boiled down – though I write sexy books, they’re all sexy in different ways. Sometimes a couple is combustible, they have sex a lot and so the book will have more sex on the page. Other books, it’s about tension and slow heat. How erotic each is, which a person prefers is going to differ depending on the person reading and the story itself. Shrug.

I don’t have a muse and I don’t believe in magic beans. But I do believe each book is organic – it needs to take its own direction and I don’t have a checklist when I write. Writing sex is complicated enough (I know people don’t always believe this, but writing sex is difficult!) so I can’t imagine doing it with a list of necessaries – oral by chapter one, doggie style, two girl on top, etc. I just don’t do that.

Sometimes you’re going to get a book along the lines of Laid Bare or Undercover (two of what I tend to think are my most explicit books) and others you might get a book like Making Chase, which is less graphic on the page, but IMO, no less erotic or sexy. I totally expect people to have favorites and buttons so they might seek out one over the other – I do too!

2 comments to “No Checklists Here!”

  1. anny cook
    February 26th, 2010 at 4:57 pm · Link

    Ahhhh. Thank you for explaining what I’ve been fumbling with for a while. I agree wholeheartedly!

  2. MichelleKCanada
    February 27th, 2010 at 8:29 am · Link

    Excellent comments Lauren. I am so happy that you switch it up in your books. It makes it most interesting and you never know what is going to happen.

    I love Laid Bare and I was not expecting Ben to become apart of the story in which he did so it was an awesome surprise. Then when I read Coming Undone, it was a perfect story and a “Ben” character wasn’t needed and maybe would have ruined the storyline if you just placed a “Ben” in there.