But first I want to say, it’s so nice to be back here at Totebags! Lee, thank you for the invite to come back. J
So, the line I’m talking about is the sexual comfort level line. As a writer who uses her real name, my line has always been: if my children would be ashamed of me if they read it, then I won’t write it. At the time of my first sale, my youngest child, a son, was 15, his brother 18, my youngest daughter 21 and her sister who was 24.
When my first book hit the shelves back in January 2006, it was a sexy hot cop novella. I remember writing that story, and having to go back and delete and rewrite certain lines. I did it because even though my kids knew I wrote hot stuff, and were 100% on board with me using my real name, I knew, my boys especially, would be uncomfortable if I went where the characters wanted me to go. So I pulled back. In my subsequent stories, I pushed a little. When I felt I went too far, I pulled back, and sometimes it wasn’t enough for my editor and she pulled me back some more.
Then I sold the Blood Moon Rising, lycan trilogy to Berkley Heat. My editor had no boundaries, and neither, I was soon to discover, did my lycan. I did however find myself pulling back in book one, BLOOD LAW. Old habits die hard. But, I did have a breakthrough with BLOOD LAW, because to date it was the smokinest hottest book I had written. But when I started writing BLOODRIGHT, book two of the trilogy, the hero of this story, Lucien Mondragon, was having none of my vacillating about what was and what was not too far. He kicked sand into my staunchly defended line and laughed at me.
Oh, Lucien, you are all things wicked.
I knew this! I knew it in BLOOD LAW. I knew it when I began BLOODRIGHT, and I knew he was not going to let me look over my shoulder and second guess him.
Sigh, and Falon. As I, she was like, Ok, fine, but only because it’s you, Lucien, and because we all know how you are, will I go along with it. But don’t-“
That devil shushed her to silence. And with that wicked grin that melts icebergs, he extended his hand to us both and well- you’re going to have to read BLOODRIGHT to find out where he took us.
But I can tell you this, my girl Falon and I learned a thing or two. One, if you have two consenting adults and what they do behind closed doors isn’t going to hurt anyone, then it’s ok to go for it. And two: when you’re with someone who doesn’t share your own uptighness, but promises to take you to a place you’ve never been before, you’d be a fool not to go!
So, I let go. I allowed my characters to dictate where and how deep their line was drawn instead of making that decision for them. It was liberating as an author, and as I wrote those certain scenes in BLOODRIGHT, I vowed to never ever, ever allow my own personal line determine what anyone in real life or in my fictional work should and should not do. Because at the end of the day, it’s none of my business.
My children are older, wiser and far more accepting of the world as we know it. I didn’t give them enough credit. Or maybe I did then, but things are different now. While I won’t encourage them to read this trilogy, if they do, and raise an eyebrow or shake their heads, I’m just going to smile and say, “The characters made me do it.”
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!
How about you, where do you draw your personal line? I'm giving away a copy of BLOOD LAW to a lucky commenter!
***Karin's winner is Barbara! Congratulations! Please email your mailing info to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!***