Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Summer's End...

Ahhh, these last lazy days of summer...my kids slept till 11:30 a.m. this morning! We recently returned from a week-long vacation in L.A. (the above shot is from our vacation--a hazy day on the beach in Malibu!), and I think they're still on California time. Only school starts next week, so it's time to get readjusted to NYC time, and to make the transition into fall mode. Summer has always been my favorite season--sleeping late, warm, lazy days...plus I'm a summer birthday girl. But as a writer, I've recently decided that I'm like Charlotte--I need more structure to be productive. A set schedule.

So, for once in my life, I'm actually looking forward to fall. To the hectic schedule. To the kids going back to school (we're actually going to buy school supplies today--fingers crossed that the Office Depot isn't crowded!).

And I'm really excited about my upcoming fall releases, because they're both new writing experiences for me. All my previous books have fallen under the realm of 'historical romance.' Mostly set in Regency England, except for my novella "Swept Away," which was Edwardian-set.

But "Lover's Dawn" in WINTER'S DESIRE marks my first erotic historical romance, and I'm looking forward to seeing how it's received. Truly, it wasn't such a departure from my previous writing style. There *is* a HEA, and the love scenes aren't all that different from ones I've written before--the language is just more frank. Also, the heroine's sexual journey is a more integral part of the story. Still, it's a 'romance.' Definitely. And honestly, I think writing "Lover's Dawn" is about the most fun I've had writing in a long, long time. I'm very proud of the story--and also proud of the entire WINTER'S DESIRE anthology and Celtic Spice series concept that me and my brilliant writing partners Charlotte and Amanda came up with. I hope that readers will be equally taken with the concept and the stories.

And then in December, another 'first' of mine hits the shelves--my first contemporary romance, my first series romance, and my first NASCAR-themed romance, all rolled into one! I love racing--I practically grew up at the track, watching my dad race sports cars (now vintage), and working timing and scoring from the tower. When Harlequin began its partnership with NASCAR, I immediately had my agent lobby the Harlequin editors on my behalf--after all, what could be better than combining two of my favorite things, racing and romance? The book is called FORCE OF NATURE, and while writing it was definitely a challenge (after all, I'd never written a category-length romance before, or a book that's part of a continuity series--something that comes with its own set of challenges), I'm definitely excited about it.

It's kind of funny, because my two fall releases represent the two far ends of the spectrum--erotic (Lover's Dawn) and sweet (Force of Nature), when normally I write more in the middle ground. But then, as a reader, I read the full spectrum, so it only seems natural that I should write such a range, too. Though I will say that when I read a sweet romance, I prefer it to have strong sexual tension. In other words, there doesn't have to be consummation "on-screen", but there better be some hot glances and steamy kisses--a promise that, when the two main characters *do* get together, it WILL be hot.

What about you? Do you only read HOT, or do you read the full spectrum in romance? Are you okay with no on-screen consummation, as long as the sexual tension is strong?


Charlotte Featherstone said...

OOOOH! GOOD question, Kristi!

Hmm, while I do read through the spectrum, I will confess with a growing frustration when reading those 'closed door' books.

It wasn't always that way for me. Now, I always had to have really good sexual tension, but lately, I need 'the' scene. It doesn't have to be hot, or erotic, or kinky, but I do want to read the scene. It's integral to romance and characterization--or at least that's the rational I use to support my hussy heart!

For me, though, sexual tension and emotional connection is key. I can be satisfied with behind closed doors, but I can't if there isn't some preceeding smoldering looks and good connection.

Looking forward to see what other's say!

Amanda McIntyre said...

Congrats Kristi on both your upcoming releases and I have to reiterate I have enjoyed thoroughly working with the two of you gals on these Celtic Spice anthologies! Your Nascar cover is great, btw!

Interstingly, with regard to your question-as a reader I can pretty much go across the spectrum in reading, though I prefer a much steamier read,certainly- it just seems more realistic to me. I can go with a moderate amount of language as long as its done appropriately in the era and content.

Fedora said...

Congrats, Kristi, on both your upcoming books!

As for hotness, I read the entire spectrum, and am happy with that as long as the emotional connection between the characters is strong. To me, that makes any sex believable and more intimate. Without that connection, the sex tends to fall flat (so to speak).

Lana said...


I will read the whole spectrum when it comes to steaminess, but I prefer 'on-screen' most of the time. If its going to be behind closed doors, I definitely need some smoldering tension, but I also need some cues in-text.

I get frustrated if the make-out scenes are described in a lot of detail, but then 'the scene' never appears on page!

Cecile Smutty Hussy said...

Okay I am just going to let the damn hussy talk... I have been trying to post my thoughts about this... but she won't stop deleting what I have written... SO here is the hussy....

Yes... Cecile reads a variety of romance, but I demand an awesome romance in the story.
Of course I would not be her hussy heart if I did not say that I love the all consumming, up against the wall, tell me the details, hot sex books... but she is looking at me... Okay, we love all kind. But the level of love and the detail of that love have to be told for me to just accept the "not going into detail about the sex" part. Am I making sense??
The more tension, the better. But the characters have to be well developed for me to take the story and allow it to not give me what I want!!!
Hussy girl out!! LOL!
She is something else!
I hope you guys have a great night!