Happy Release Day!
I'm so excited to announce that WHERE YOU ARE is available to the world today. I would like to thank J.H. Trumble for taking the time to stop by and share a few secrets.
Some friends of mine and I were chatting the other day about Fifty Shades of Grey. (Yes, we all read it. I won’t go into motives or reactions.) I found it fascinating when all three of us admitted to eventually skimming the sex scenes, and, later in the book, skipping over them altogether. We agreed that there’s just so much uh-huh that one can take before it all becomes a little clinical. But more importantly, we all wanted to get on with the story. Because we, to a man (or woman), got caught up in Christian Grey’s story. Who was this man? And how did he become the freak that he was?
So I’ve been thinking a lot about that lately, especially as I read reviews of my own books. You see, occasionally, a reader mentions (or laments) the fact that I tend to fade to black when it comes to sex scenes.
All I have to say is . . . guilty as charged.
I’ve been trying to understand what my objection is to writing fully realized sex scenes. It’s not that I’m a prude. Readers should know that by now.
I think I’ve narrowed it down to three reasons:
1. Less is more.
Stephen King wrote a little book awhile back called The Stand. There’s a line at the end of one chapter that reads, “And they never saw Stu Redmon again.” Stu had just broken his leg and the others had to leave him behind. I balled when I read that line because I knew what it meant. Stu was going to die in that ditch. Of course, the second time I read the book, I balled when I read that line because I knew then that Stu was the only one who would survive the coming days.
Stay with me, now. I am going to make a point.
There’s another passage I think about occasionally as well. It’s near the end of David Levithan’s Boy Meets Boy. Paul and Noah are in the gym before a dance and presumably making out and then one of the boys tucks his shirt in. No explanation of what they were doing. He just tucks his shirt in.
The point is, King and Levithan each said just enough and let me fill in the gaps, and I loved that. I strive now for the same kind of understatement. I want the reader to read a line and smile, not because of what’s happening on the page, but because of what the reader knows or imagines just happened.
2. Let’s face it—sex and intimacy are not the same thing.
And when I’m writing about two characters in love, I’m looking for intimacy. Sometimes I find it in a finger hooked through a belt loop or in a sexy joke whispered in someone’s ear. Sometimes I find it in a quiet, soul baring conversation. But once I start writing about throbbing body parts, I just feel like I lose the intimacy. If I could mention a movie here—there is a scene in Kate Hudson’s A Little Bit of Heaven. She’s just had sex with the handsome doctor when he gets out of bed and juggles naked for her. Now that’s sexy and intimate.
3. Stereotypes are so yesterday.
Can I just say it? Ignorant people think gay men are all about sex, and that’s it. So it’s important to me to make sure that the sex doesn't overshadow the emotional connection that my characters have for each other. Yes, they have sex. That’s part of an intimate relationship, and I don’t shy away from it. But I think we all know the mechanics, so I see no need to go there. What I want to write about is everything that leads up to that moment, and what comes after. If you really feel the need to know what happens in the trenches, I’d be happy to direct you to some websites.
So yes, I fade to black. I manipulate the human mind’s ability to imagine beyond what is said or done, and hope that this makes my fiction more fucking awesome. (Brent Taylor told me to write that J)
J.H. Trumble is a Texas native and graduate of Sam Houston State University. You can visit the author online at http://www.jhtrumble.com and on Facebook and Twitter.
Please join me again here tomorrow for my review of WHERE YOU ARE and another chance to win a copy as well as something super special.
Thank you very much for your time Janet and
thank you for visiting with us!
Open to US Residents 13+ * Winner must respond within 48 hours*a Rafflecopter giveaway