September 12, 2008

Sex & Writing: Lauren Dane, author of FATED

The Author

The story goes like this - A few years ago, Lauren Dane decided to quit her job and stay home with her brand new second child. As a result, she had lots of conversations in a sing-song voice but no real outlet for adult thoughts and words. While on bed-rest with her pregnancy with the tiny monster, Lauren had plenty of down time so her husband brought home a second hand laptop and she decided to “give that writing thing a serious go.”

Lauren had no idea how fabulously wonderful it would feel to actually make a go of her writing and she’s thankful every day people actually want to read what she writes! She’s well aware of her good fortune and loves every moment of it, even when she has to edit and put Barbie’s dresses back on over and over again. She still hasn’t managed to figure out how to shut out the sound of the Backyardigans so she can write a love scene, though.

To say Lauren is online would be an understatement! You can visit Lauren on the web at her website, her blog, Dane & Hart, Maverick Authors, and her MySpace page.

The Book

Just because Fate brings you your perfect mate doesn’t mean it’ll be easy.

Cascadia Wolves series

Could there be any worse fate than a road trip from Seattle to L.A.—with one’s mother—to attend a wedding? Why yes, when one isn’t married yet, like Megan Warden. Toss in a grandmother and a carload of already married sisters and it’s a recipe for sneaking sips of “special” coffee while someone else drives.

Shane Rosario has better things to do than attend a wedding where his father’s relatives will be at him nonstop about getting married and having children.

If it weren’t for seeing his anchor bond, Layla, he’d have taken a pass on the entire weekend. It would be easy, since he’s become adept at hiding who and what he is.

When the two weren’t even looking, Fate steps in and before they know it, their bond is sealed. Bonded pair, married in the eyes of their people. Two people tied together in every way. Trouble is, Shane’s not sure he wants all that comes with Megan. And Megan’s certain she’s not willing to live outside her pack, pretending to be human.

The distance between them is more than geographical. It’s a widening gulf rapidly filling with resentment…an emotional divide only acceptance could bridge.

Can Shane can accept himself to cross it? Only if they let love take control.

Click cover above to purchase FATED today!

The Question: Is sex an important component to develop in your writing? How are you able to weave it into a work AND also have a strong plot development?

In my case, yes. I write erotic romance and romance with strong sensual elements so I want to be sure the sex I write is relevant to the plot, moves the story in some way and is more than just, “oh page 12, time for a three way!” which is one of my pet peeves in books. Sex writing is a skill to be honed like anything else.

The construct of an erotic romance is different than that of another romance because the sex is framed differently, it’s more central to the story, but that doesn’t mean an author has to sacrifice story for sex. An erotic romance is like any other book in that the author needs to tell the story of the people within it until her characters breathe and make sense to her readers. Sex shouldn’t come at the expense of anything, like any scene in a book, it should add to the book. No scenes should be tossed in or wasted because the author has an invisible checklist of sexual positions she thinks she has to fill in order for the book to be deemed “hot.”

In truth, sex is wonderful material for a story. It’s rife with possibilities. Not just love and joy but anger, loss, connection, guilt, grief – it’s not only a great vehicle for emotion but physical action as well. An author can really show you things about her characters through a really well done, well placed sex scene.

And I’m not just speaking about the physical act, but also in setting up longing, desire, chemistry between your characters. Readers should feel it and understand, in some sense, why the characters are drawn to each other:

In my novella, Sensual Magic (May 09 in second Vegas anthology from Spice) – the hero and heroine meet and have very intense chemistry from the start but it didn’t make sense for them to jump straight to sex. It had to build between them before they’d give in to their desire:
Nell Hunter had been living in his head since the moment he’d met her. In every woman’s walk, he looked for her, compared, found them all wanting. In every woman’s eyes he searched for green, intelligent depths and got brown or blue.

She’d imprinted him in some way. Laid her existence on his skin until it fit him. The feeling was stifling and exhilarating all at once. To feel such an intense draw to another person with a sort of longing was an entirely unfamiliar thing to William. He’d felt lust, desire, even love, but not whatever it was plaguing him right then.

She returned to his thoughts like a song he couldn’t get enough of. And like that experience he kept waiting for the annoyance to set in, for his subconscious to move on to another, new shiny thing. But it had not happened. Instead, the longing spread, deepened.

He toyed with it, with thinking about it even though it made him wary. He approached thoughts of Nell Hunter and the way she made him feel, knowing aversion was better. He thought on it anyway.

It’s about having your characters do things that make sense for who they are. I want to believe it. Don’t just throw a spanking in because it’s page 45.

I like to use elements of BDSM in a story to push it forward in some sense. In Thrice United, Nate, a sexually dominant man pushes Holly, the heroine, to understand how much he loves her and sees her as beautiful. But she can’t understand it because they’re GQ magazine hot and she feels dumpy and not in their league.

There’s a scene where he binds her and stands her in front of a mirror and makes her tell him what part of her she likes, how she’s beautiful. It’s a hard edged scene with some paddling and him pushing her past her resistance to understand how beautiful she is. He’s using that intimacy between them to push her walls down and break through to a new level of connection.

To my view, that’s what any good author of any sort does. She takes all the elements of a story and presents them in a way that works for those characters and that story. She builds and uses everything between the beginning and the end to the best of her ability. No fat, not waste. I’m sure I fail at times!

Goodness knows I’m not perfect and I learn more every day. But it’s my goal to use sex as a tool to make any story I write mean something rather than just take up space on the page.


Author Patricia Pickett said...

This book sounds really good! Thanks for bringin the great interviews...

Lauren Dane said...

Thanks so much for having me!


Shonell Bacon said...

Hey Patricia, :-)

Thanks for stopping by!