My Guest this week has a secret to confess; but I'll let her tell you more about that. Ladies and Gentlemen...
Yes, my name is Kim Carmichael and I write "those books".
Not only do I write "those books", but I am damn proud of them.
The books women used to hide behind decorative quilted paperback covers, but now can hide on their e-readers and no one is the wiser.
So, yes, I write those books. The ones with the hunky hero (or heroes if one is so inclined) and a heroine who is lucky enough to snag the man all wrapped up with a nice happily ever after at the end.
Outside of my writing friends, when I tell people that I write romance I get one of three reactions:
1. Men universally smile, and maybe give me an eyebrow raise as if we are speaking a secret language. Some will ask if I write "naughty" scenes. When I say yes, the smile gets bigger.
Here is what I would like to tell the rest of the women about “those books”.
a) Yes, we have plot - Writing romance is much more difficult than one would think. It is not simply a sex scene wrapped around some thin plot. (Well, maybe some are but I digress.) True romance writers agonize over their characters, their goals, motivations and conflicts. We make sure that every scene is there for a reason, that everything we write will pull the story forward and we even have a team of people who will test drive the story for us to make sure it’s working. We write for hours to make sure that when you turn the last page you can take a deep breath at having been taken on a satisfying ride.
b) The sex scenes are the hardest scenes to write – And as someone who writes two- flame to five-flame scenes, let me tell you that the more flames the harder it is to write. There is far more to a sex scene than inserting tab a into slot b. The sex scenes require that we use all five senses in our writing, deepen the point of view, and yes – make sure that the sex scene moves the plot forward. There is also the task of making sure the sex scene is actually something that one can accomplish in real life. If you are writing sci-fi or paranormal, this may not be such an issue, but in contemporary romance, we need two regular people to be able to perform the feats we see in our head, then we have to accurately describe it so it makes sense to our readers. If we are not aroused by our own sex scenes, something is definitely wrong and you won’t be turned on either. Sometimes the scenes are so hard to write, I skip them and save them for the end.
c) I actually studied writing – When I decided that I wanted to be a romance writer, I wasn't one of the fortunate ones who just decided to pick up a pen, wrote my novel and had it accepted (but kudos to anyone who did). I worked like a dog studying point of view, story structure, character journeys, showing and telling. I learned from anyone willing to teach me and I got rejected until I was good enough for an acceptance.
d) Romance sells – Be it a bodice ripper or a contemporary, romance fiction sells and is over a billion-dollar industry. "Those stories" make money, people! Someone must be reading them. (Source – RWA)
e) Our readers have better sex lives – Women are stimulated emotionally, and it is agreed that readers of the romance genre have better sex lives, so much so, that therapists often use "those stories" as part of their treatment. (Articles Factory, 4/3/2006)
When asked what I write, I hold my head up proudly and say romance novels. Men can continue to give me the knowing glance, and I may make a few new readers, but when faced with the few who look down at me and "those books," I will just nod and smile.
Kim Carmichael began writing nine years ago when her love of happy endings inspired her to create her own.
A Southern California native, Kim's contemporary romance combines Hollywood magic with pop culture to create quirky characters set against some of most unique and colorful settings in the world.
With a weakness for designer purses, bad boys and techno geeks, Kim married her own computer whiz after he proved he could keep her all her gadgets running and finally admitted handbags were an investment.
Kim is a PAN member of the Romance Writers of America, as well as some small specialty chapters. A multi-published author, Kim's books can be found on Amazon as well as Barnes & Noble.
When not writing, she can usually be found slathered in sunscreen trolling Los Angeles and helping top doctors build their practices.
Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/Kim-Carmichael
Thanks, Kim, for sharing your secret with us. Like an extract from 'On the Dotted Line'? Read on...
“I have a charter plane at my beck and call.” He lifted his head. “And I have you.”
Everyone had their certain moments in life they would always remember. Some of these moments were shared with the world such as man landing on the moon. Other moments like special birthdays or life changing events one was supposed to keep forever. Then there were the moments, little flashes that stuck with someone for the rest of their lives but would be meaningless to anyone else.
Randolph mentioning her, marriage, and a charter plane together qualified as one of those moments in her life.
She forced herself to take a breath, move, react in any sort of way to his idiocy. “I think the fever is getting to you. Maybe you need to go home.”
“Actually, I feel surprisingly better. I think what you gave me worked.” He tilted his head, his curls tumbling off to one side with the motion.
“So says the naysayer.” No one was ever surprised when a prescription worked, but everyone was amazed when what nature doled out did the job. Actually, she was amazed he gave her remedy a shot.
“Maybe you’re on to something.” He pointed at her. “At last my head isn’t pounding. You did that.”
“Then I need to go home. I think I’m going to be sick.” She needed to go anywhere deemed a Randolph-free zone. She walked down the alley toward her store, the gravel digging into the bottom of her sandals.
“Lest you forget you don’t have a home.” He called after her.
“Don’t let him get to you,” she mumbled and forced herself forward. He must have continued to eavesdrop on her and Jade.
“How much longer are you going to be able to put off not paying your landlord?”
His words hit her, and nearly knocked her over.
“You know you may have something I need, but the street goes both ways.” He followed her down the alley.
Not wanting to hear whatever argument he spewed, she continued her trek.
“What is it you want Willow? What if I told you I could make it happen?”
“I just want to be happy.” Her steps slowed.
“You know, if you married me I would get the rent current within three seconds of saying yes and you would never fall behind again.” The man continued. “I could also make sure you never had to buy anything but the best ingredients for your store. If your headache remedy is any indication, they work.”
Her mind yelled for her to keep walking. At the end of the alley she would be at her shop, go up the flight of stairs, make a cup of tea and get rid of his bad vibes.
“I can make you happy. I have the money and the connections. You would be set, all for only three hundred and sixty-five days of your life.”
Eric @ www.ericjgates.com
Eric @ www.ericjgates.com