In the comments to the new Curran POV Bogwurst linked to a thread on Goodreads, which is asking us to write a version of Red Shoe Diaries. They even have a title, Adventures in the Bimbo Room.
Gordon gave me permission to respond due to his response being very short.
First of all, it’s so awesome that people made a thread and discuss Curran POV’s. We’re all flattered.
Second, the thread makes some points, and before I discuss them, I have to ask: please do not bash the thread, the posters, or other authors in connection with this post. Not that anyone would, as we have a very tolerant crowd here, but it has to be said just in case. So please no hating.
Why isn’t there more about how Curran feels?
Curran, as a character, isn’t given to long ruminations. He is in position of authority that forces him to make quick decisions and he does. Also, Curran is a guy and POV’s are written by a man. We’ve had some complaints before, because some female fans react negatively to authentic male thoughts. He is a guy, he thinks like a guy, and he doesn’t always think things that would endear him to women. But he isn’t a girl with a penis, which is what makes the books good.
Jeaniene Frost and Jill Myles browbeat us into putting sex in the books.
I am going to get a phone call about this, I just know it.
That line in acknowledgments was put in as a joke. Sex in the books occurred when not including it would’ve felt artificial and contrived. There are only so many hurdles one can throw in the way of two ready and willing adults before it becomes silly. Jeaniene Frost and Jill Myles were mentioned a) because they are friends and we plug their books when we can and b) because when told about Magic Bleeds, they both asked, “Are they going to do it in this one?”
Sex in the books is boring.
When you write a series, each successive books has to be in line with the previous book. As such, the level of heat in the series overall has to be consistent. Our covers do not broadcast Hot Sex Paranormal and neither do our blurbs in the back of the book. You have to remember that the majority of our audience are cross-over fans: some from urban fantasy and some from romance. Not everyone enjoys having a lot of explicit and creative sex scenes. People come to us for neat worldbuilding, action, and light romance. Emphasis on light.
There are rare cases when an author can ratchet up the level of heat and get away with it. We can’t get away with it. For example, the tone of each Edge novel is driven by their protagonists. It would be natural for Declan to take his time and be more tender and careful, because Rose has trust issues. It would also be natural for William and Cerise to have a lot of hot sex, because they both want it and Cerise is relatively experienced even if William isn’t, and for Kaldar and Audrey to pretty much go for it, because they’re both been there, done that, and got lots of T-shirts. But we were repeatedly asked to tone down the sex to a consistent level through the series. There are certain words we’re advised not to use and so on.
At this point, some people are probably getting indignant, but please keep in mind that our editor is trying to improve our brand. Fans react badly when the level of heat spikes unpredictably within the series. We all know to what I’m referring. The deluge of hate toward an author that did that was stunning. We don’t want a deluge of hate. We get enough as is.
We’ve done some twisted sex in the first version of the Alphas, but it was edited down for publication, because it was too sick. Like it or not, we have a brand. Trying to deviate from it will cost us a chunk of audience. We still might, but it will likely be in a completely new series or in self-published arena.
We actually get a lot of pressure from the SF side of our fanbase. Even though the Edge books are clearly presented as tilted more toward romance, some people reacted to them with hostility and accused us selling out and writing sex for the money. It comes with the territory and we’re kind of used to it.
Write us Adventures in the Bimbo Room.
Your sex is so bad, but write us a whole book of it please. Hehehe.
Gordon said, “No.” I tend to agree. You’re asking us to write sex scenes for titillation. Nothing wrong with that, but that’s not what we do. Let me explain why: Kid 1 is fifteen. Six of the girls in her circle of friends are pregnant. It’s a big school, but still. As authors, we have a certain responsibility. Young people read our books, and a lot of them pic us up because our books are billed as a UF rather than Erotic PNR, and whatever you may want to think, a lot of us get our moral values from the literature we read, even if that literature is pulp. We’ve gone to great lengths to makes sure that sex in our books is grounded in relationships. Sex is presented as a decision to which characters give a lot of thought, as we should in real life.
Not that there aren’t plenty of excellent hotter PNR out there with the same message, but there are also a lot of books where the hero meets heroine and they’re in bed by page 20. Romance audience is a little bit more forgiving with this sort of thing, but we want to be more careful with the message we send.
And really think about it. Who would Curran be having sex with in the bimbo room? It wouldn’t be Kate. I know there are probably some people who don’t care, they just want to see him bang somebody for their personal gratification, but honestly, neither of us is interested in writing that.
If we begin a new series, we may end up starting off with hotter sex but then again, we may not. It’s a decision driven by the content and tone of the books and it kind of happens organically. So we’re sorry to disappoint. We hope that you’ll stick with us anyway and enjoy the books for what they are: urban fantasy with an edge of romance and twisted emotional relationships.
However, if you want hot nookie, there are a number of people who do it very well. Joey Hill, for example, writes awesome sex. Nalini’s sex scenes are very hot. Of course, Jeaniene, Meljean, Jill. And of course, Lora Leigh, who can make even incest between brothers hot.
Okay we’re sliding a little bit toward fussing here, so I’m going to lock this bad boy. Sorry guys, something else is happening right now and I can’t concentrate on monitoring the thread. We may have to reopen it later.
Please remember, the original suggestion for the bimbo room adventures was probably made tongue firmly in cheek.