Laura Haley-McNeil

9/17/17, Genre

Hello, Everyone!

I hope your fall is off to a great start even though it’s technically still summer. We’ve enjoyed lovely weather, though I spend my spare time in the yard trying to pull those last few weeds and planting a few bulbs so we can enjoy tulips and daffodils in the spring. Our other big project was replacing the driveway. Though it’s a concrete driveway, it looks like a gravel driveway because the concrete has crumbled. In the winter, it’s hard to shovel because it’s uneven and because the surface has disintegrated. It’s a mess. I’m sure no one can understand my excitement of having a new driveway, but I look forward to seeing new, smooth concrete, like the other driveways in the neighborhood. I’m sure my neighbors are tired of seeing this eyesore.

When I’m not working in the yard or at the office, I’m trying to finish the story I’ll contribute to a boxed set with other authors. Stay tuned! I’ll be announcing the preorder links soon. It’s all very exciting and a little scary. I’ve never participated in a boxed set but was happy to have the opportunity. I wanted to start a new series and this story will be Book 1 in that series.

The heat level for the stories in this boxed set is a little more intense than what I write. I have often thought of writing sexier books, but when I read those books I find myself skipping past the sex scenes. I want to read the story. To me, the sex scenes seem the same (how’s that for alliteration?). There’s only so much that can be written until it starts to get weird, and even those books start to sound the same. I’m sure erotica was written long before Fifty Shades of Gray, but those books aren’t for everyone. I had several friends tell me they couldn’t finish that book because they didn’t enjoy the writing, or they finished reading the book because they paid for the book and wanted their money’s worth. And I have friends who devoured all three books in the series. I did read the book sample that Amazon offers. I didn’t think the writing was bad at all, but knowing where the book was going and preferring to spend my money on something I find enjoyable, I didn’t buy the book. The author has earned almost $20,000,000 last I checked, so I’m sure she’s doing fine without my $10.

If I did write sex scenes, my books would be longer. The books I like to read are the ones where the sexual tension is high. Characters should be like real people. They have strong attractions and imaginations and often wonder… what if… And of course there has to be a reason why they’re not having sex. In the age we live in now, anything goes. Because I write contemporary, anything goes in my books, too. Though I don’t write details, the minor characters have contemporary relationships. But for the main characters, they desire an intimate relationship, but having that relationship conflicts with what they really want. I like writing about characters that have their lives all planned out. In that planning they didn’t include a personal relationship. They struggle between their desire to be loved someone and what they want professionally. That’s all part of the fun of writing and reading romance. The conflict isn’t just some aspect of their lives, it’s the fact that an inconvenient relationship is interfering with what they think they want and even though they’re committed to rejecting this relationship, the realization that living without this person would make life very unpleasant is dawning on them. That’s the romance I want to read, and so that’s the romance I write.

Do I need to write sex scenes? Right now, it isn’t the direction I want to take. I’d like to be a 21st century writer who can keep the sexual tension high and still write a satisfying ending. After all, I want my characters to live happily ever after. Life doesn’t make that promise, but knowing I can step into a make believe world and make that happen is the perfect way to spend my free time. Who knows how I’ll view this aspect in a year from now?

I wish all of you happily ever after, but I know every life has rough patches. If you’re going through something unpleasant, I send you my thoughts and prayers. I hope life for you will soon be the balance you need to bring you joy and peace.

Have a wonderful week, Everyone!