I was walking my dog this afternoon, which on the weekend means I have company. A friend who has a sweet, funny dog the same size as my papillon walks with my pooch and me. She is a wonderful person, intelligent and kind. Strolling together while our dogs sniff their way along the sidewalk is a nice way to pass the time, and our dogs adore each other. She knows about my writing and is always quick to ask for status reports. I told her I’m slowly making headway on the new book, but that I had a second book all queued up and ready to send to its editor. Or I thought I did until I reread it again.
“It’s in decent shape,” I told her, utterly sincere. “But I think it needs more sex.”
The things you say out loud in this business.
This is something I’m trying to wrap my arms around–the expectations of the M/M audience. Now I realize the idea of an “M/M audience” is a fallacy. These readers aren’t some homogenous group sharing a single viewpoint, anymore than general romance readers, sci-fi readers or any other genre’s readers are. But recently someone left a really lovely review for Redemption on Amazon and made an observation, that while true, hadn’t occurred to me as a writer:
First and foremost this is not an erotic book IMO, this is a romantic book, the emphasis is on the building relationship between the guys, and there are few sex scenes throughout a very long novel. I personally was not complaining, but note that the readers who want a lot of sex in their books may be dissappointed [sic].
This reviewer is absolutely right. While there are, what I would consider, graphic sex scenes in the book, the focus is far more on the emotional relationship between Jason and Dev than it is on their physical relationship.
This new book is even stingier (at least as it currently reads). A lot of time is spent on characterization. There are only two sex scenes and one doesn’t even occur between the two heroes. Without giving too much away, I would argue this is appropriate given the way the primary relationship comes together (Duh, right? After all, I wrote it, so I must think it’s at least a little bit appropriate.). But I can understand how those interested in M/M romance want some bang for their buck (bad pun, I know…).
So with this next book, I think I need to write an epilogue, giving the readers the payoff they’ll (hopefully!) be expecting.
I can’t imagine the character will have too much of an issue with that.