Saturday, January 21, 2012

Did She Just Say . . . Penis? Our Critique Group’s First Experience with Romance

If you’re a writer, you’ve probably heard the advice to join a critique group. Some believe strongly in it, while others clutch their babies and hold on to dear life, not ready or willing to share themselves. Then there are those who simply think they are above that and want to go it alone. (Good luck on that!)

I was reluctant at first; it’s a big deal. Someone not only is peeking into your “panty drawer” but he or she is digging in, moving stuff around, and putting it on their heads like an obnoxious teenager. You want to look over their shoulder, making sure they are taking care of your unmentionables. But, this is a moment of restraint—of trust—and one that I wouldn’t change for anything. I wouldn’t be where I am today without my group.

When Kacey Mark joined my partners and me in our critiquing mayhem, we couldn’t be happier. She was blunt and to the point and offered great suggestions to keep us going. But as my critiquing friends and I delved further into her paranormal romance, we realized we had a different sort of cookie on our hands. I was writing women’s fiction at the time, while the other two were tackling nonfiction and contemporary YA. Kacey was writing romance, but this wasn’t your average romance as we’ve read. It was heated and intense.

At one point, I was behind on chapters and received an email from the biggest pervert of the group, who just so happens to be an active Mormon.

“Did you read the part about . . . ? Call me as soon as you get to the part with
the . . . “

Then another email from my other partner, who is not Mormon, but a girl who is as naïve as they come—in a good way. I call her my sunshine and roses friend.

Did you read the part about . . . ?” Call me as soon as you get to the part with the . . . "

I grabbed my laptop and started plugging away on my critiquing of A Muse Gone Rogue, I read three chapters and never got to “the part about . . .”

WTH? I emailed her, feeling cheated.

“Here’s your chapters. They look great, but I seem to be missing something.”

Can you really say, “Hey, where are my sex scenes?” Nope. “Something” would have to do.

She sent me two more chapters, which I promptly went through and still, no “part about the . . .”

Where was my dot, dot, dot?

I didn’t realize I was that far behind. Meanwhile, I received another email.

“This is good stuff. Can you believe Kacey wrote this? She looks like the PTA president. I had to read the one part with Quenton and Marie twice. You know, that ONE PART.”

No, I actually don’t know THAT ONE PART or THE DOT DOT DOT! I was digging her story. I mean check out her product description from Amazon:

“When a demonic attack leaves one child without a mother, Marie Durrant throws out her predictable lifestyle to become the little girl’s nanny.

It’s a big enough step for the virtual shut in, but even more difficult when Marie becomes inexplicably attracted to the mysterious widowed father, who happens to be the most powerful muse west of Mt. Olympus.

Quenton Blake is an extra hunky, extra irritated immortal, cursed to seek out those desperate for inspiration and feed on their souls. There wasn’t anything wrong with saving Marie’s soul for dessert, but his sweet tooth has a way of overriding his good judgment.”

Quenton was sexy and the sexual tension with Marie was great, but I had yet to get to the good stuff. I was a housewife after all. We need some inspiration to get past the boogers and whining that fill our day.

Then I got it. Finally. *insert celestial music* But my chapters also came with a note:

Here it is!

That “here it is” was a little fishy and I could’ve sworn I heard giggling. I’m thinking one of my compadres had passed on my lack of dot, dot, dots.
I’m not going to give away the juicy details, let’s just say it was definitely a read-it-twice kind of scene (or two). Especially since I had forgot to edit the first time.

So what kind of romance does Kacey Mark write? Well, let’s just say it’s enough to make a girl blush and enough to keep you turning the pages. It’s not trashy by any means, but if you have a heart condition you may want to read it with only one eye opened, just to be safe.

Lucky for you, A Muse Gone Rogue is on sale for a limited time. Evernight Publishing is offering it at the promotional price of $.99. But, that price won’t last for long. Her second book A Muse Gone Commando was released recently and is just as steamy. 


Kittie Howard said...

Great lead to a great trailer. I'm hooked!

Raquel Byrnes said...

That is so funny! I am part of a conservative critique group and I am the only one who rights contemporary romance...

They were all very gracious with my car chases and explosions

Michael Offutt, Tebow Cult Initiate said...

That's interesting. I don't understand religious/conservative groups very well. What I mean by that is that sex to me is a very natural thing and so are naked people. That's how babies are made. I guess I don't "get" how people can be embarrassed or shocked over words like penis and stuff because it's not all that difficult to see one (especially if you're married). Weird.

Diana said...

Just because I'm married doesn't mean I shouldn't have the right to giggle or blush at the word. It's a hilarious word, first of all. Even the synonyms are hilarious: wee-wee, wanker, tallywacker, and my son's fav: pee-er.

And second, sex is a personal and private thing, albeit natural, I think the part that could make me feel embarrassed is the fact that I've become the voyeur, infringing on an experience between two people. That, at least for me is not the natural part of sex.

So maybe I'm weird and that's okay.

Angela Scott said...

Did you just call me a pervert?

Lani Wendt Young said...

This is funny. And a very clever lead in to hooking us with Kacey Mark's book..."THAT part..." defn has me intrigued! lol

Angela Scott said...

For the record, I loved reading Kasey's books. She does an extremely well job of not only telling an interesting and provocative story, but she does it will class and skill. Some delve right into the sex without a lead in and make you, the reader, feel uncomfortable and weird. Kasey's books don't do that. You connect with the characters and you want them to hook up.

What do romance/erotica type writers look like? I had some preconceived notions, I suppose--leather wearing dominatrix, maybe? But to see this totally-put together, red-headed, petite 100 pound woman writing some pretty steamy scenes threw me for a loop. I'm not a prude, far from it, I just wasn't expecting it.

I'll just say this, from a pervy mormon gal, it's good reading :)

Diana said..., of course not. This was someone else in a different critique group, that you weren't in. The pervert was named Schmangela.

Diana said...

I love how you outted yourself. I didn't even name names.

Diana said...

Thanks for stopping by. If you get a chance, check 'er out.

Diana said...

Thanks for commenting and popping by.

Diana said...

I bet it's fun to get them all rattled.

Rosemary Gemmell said...

A fun, interesting and provocative post, Diana! Must say I don't read erotica (or write it) - that's just my preference. But I'd have no problems with a steamy scene in a good book if it fits the story and characters. Bet this will intrigue a few readers!

Kacey Mark said...

Oh my goodness you guys are just too kind. If it helps,sometimes after letting my suff sit for a while and coming back to it, I catch MYSELF blushing!

Diana said...

Kacey doesn't write erotica either. But she does know her way around a steamy love scene. It is definitely not "sweet romance"

Anonymous said...

Look at you advertising queen! That the kind of stuff I was telling you to be blunt about in your book. lmao

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your comment lady! Love your face@

Elisabeth Hirsch said...

I'm so proud of Kacey! I still remember reading this for the first time--it was epic!

Julie Musil said...

OMG, that is so funny! It sounds like a delish book, and a heck of a lot of fun. And I know what you mean about getting to "those parts." *blushes*