Gratuitous Sex, Quantum Entanglement, and My Love Affair with Jack White

Warning - Gratuitous Sex

Warning! Gratuitous Sex!

Gratuitous Sex – Quantum Entanglement – Jack White. 

Think those are just random words I used to lure you in?  Wrong!  I’m going to discuss all of them.  And they will all be relevant (I hope).

Let’s start with the gratuitous sex bit.  My novel, Infamous, just hit the e-shelves, and the gratuitous sex issue has been on my mind recently.  Don’t get me wrong – I’m an avid romance reader as well as writer. I like hot sex as much as the next person.  There’s nothing I like better in a good read, especially a romance, than a steamy sexy scene.

But lately, the term ‘mommy porn’ has been bandied about quite a bit.  Erotica has been the hot word du jour (as though it never existed before 50 Shades), and. . . Infamous was published.

Infamous was, I thought, a rather sweet romance.  Very family oriented. With, you know, a few steamy sexy scenes.  In fact, just the right amount of sex (so I thought) to express the relationship that existed between my characters, Morgan and Jessica.

Imagine my surprise when I found out Infamous had been picked up for Crimson Romance’s “spicy” line.  Spicy!  Wow.  Now, I should tell you, I didn’t really have a problem with this.  I did write the steamy sex, after all.  I read widely – including that new-fangled erotica on occasion.  I don’t have a problem with sex scenes or erotica.  But there is one thing I do have a problem with.

I’ll give you the scenario:

I’ve downloaded Hot New Romance Novel by Bestselling Author to my kindle.  I’m enjoying it quite well when I get to this part (situation wildly altered to protect the guilty):

The protags, two physicists, are walking up a hill one afternoon discussing string theory as it relates to quantum entanglement and arguing over whether they should even take a second glance at loop quantum gravity.  This is a Big Deal in the plot because their research grant is at stake.  It’s an animated discussion.  Then — Suddenly — They are having sex!

Tab A goes into Slot B and. . . . .WHOA!

Okay, back up.  I was skimming a bit, because the math behind string theory is a bit over my head, so I obviously missed something.  Except I didn’t.  There’s no emotional lead-in to explain why these two people are suddenly having monkey sex.  None.  Then they get done and continue with the physics discussion.

Okay, that was the quantum entanglement bit.  I’ll admit I cheated a little.  It might not have been completely relevant.

Now here’s the thing.  This is not a love scene.  This is not even erotica. This is nothing.  This is sex-for-the-sake-of-a-sex scene.  I am not amused.  I lose a bit of respect for Bestselling Author.

Why did all this become relevant to my “sweet” romance (with the steamy sex scenes)?

Well, apparently “sweet-with-steamy” wasn’t quite “spicy”.  My editor asked me to add two sex scenes to maintain a heat level appropriate to the line.  I agree (hey, I want the sale) and I am (I tell myself) a professional.

I sit down to make revisions, and the first scene goes off without  a hitch.  It’s actually just an expansion of a scene that was already in the book.  I have the sneaking suspicion that I was just lazy not to have writen it in the first place.  Onward to Scene Two.

And here’s where Artistic Integrity rears it’s head (who knew I had such a thing).  I don’t want to write Scene Two.  You see, I’ve made a Big Deal in the place where Scene Two is supposed to go about Jessica and Morgan not having sex.  It is toward the end of the book and they are not in a good place.  They are barely speaking.  They are not having sex.

But I’m a professional.

Right.

I spend several days kicking around different ideas for Scene Two (which I now refer to in my head as “Gratuitous Sex Scene”).  I begin to have empathy for Bestselling Author and her physicists.  I complain to my husband (the non-romance writer)  who is spectacularly unsympathetic and says, “I don’t see the problem. We have fights.  Sometimes we have sex in the middle. It  happens.”  Except in writing romance.   In romance, sex means something.  Otherwise, it is the romance equivalent of Chekhov’s gun never being fired.

Enter my love affair with Jack White.

Jack’s White’s “Love Interruption” more specifically (although, yes, I was already crushing on Jack before that).  Here are the lyrics that did it for me:

I want love

To roll me over slowly

stick a knife inside me,

and twist it all around.

Holy cow! That’s devastating. That’s beautiful.  And. . . it hit me. . . that’s what Jessica and Morgan needed if Gratuitous Sex Scene was going to work.

So I wrote it.  Or I tried.  I honestly can’t judge my own work. But I did try.

In the end, I think (I hope) it made the story stronger.

Thank you Jennifer Lawler (Not-So-Evil Editor) and Jack White (rock god).

So here are my questions for you – when is the sex gratuitous?  Always? Never? Some gray area in between?  Have you experienced the Quantum Entanglement situation in a novel you’ve read?

If you’ve been kind enough to read Infamous, I’d love your feedback on how I handled the love scenes between Jessica and Morgan.

You can read the first chapter free on my website.  I warn you, there may be gratuitous sex.  You can come back here and flame me if I broke my own rules!

Irene Preston lives in the hill country outside Austin, Texas.  Her “spicy-sweet” novel Infamous is currently available at most ebook retailers.

Infamous by Irene Preston

Does Infamous by Irene Preston Contain Gratuitous Sex?

What happens when a Hollywood socialite falls for a conservative soccer dad?

Everyone knows Jessica Sinclair.  She’s that girl on the cover of all the tabloids. As a Hollywood insider, Jessica has spent her life partying with A-list celebrities, shopping on Rodeo Drive, and living through scandal after scandal. When her estranged husband offers her a second chance at the ‘All American’ lifestyle she can’t pass up a shot at real happiness.  Back in suburbia, Jessica spends her nights in sexy role-play hoping Morgan will overlook her deficiencies as a homemaker.  She spends her days attending  P.T.A. meetings, burning cookies, and asking herself “What would June Cleaver do?”  More to the point, what will Morgan do when she winds up back in the tabloids–with his teenage daughter right next to her?

Visit Irene at:

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Buy Infamous:

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | ITunes | Kobo | Sony | eBooks.com

Meet Lady In Red Irene Preston

Hello, World – I’m Irene Prestonand I’m ready to play!

Punkin Doodle

Meet Punkin Doodle, too!

For my initial posting, I’ll keep it simple and answer a few questions the LIR came up with so we can get to know each other.

1. Introduce yourself, please

I’m Irene Preston. I write spicy contemporary romance and my novel, Infamous, releases June 4.

2. Let’s get the details out of the way

Single, married, divorced, widowed?

So very happily married.

Parent?

I’ve managed to produce one beautiful daughter who continually surprises me. Yay, me!

Living where?

In the beautiful Texas hill country outside of Austin.

Doing what, other than writing?

Dream Man and I run a small business together – between that and the writing I’m pretty busy. When we get time, we like to play with our Golden Doodle, try out new recipes with fresh produce from the garden, and maybe take a little trip now and then.

One, just one, physical characteristic

Large feet – it prohibits me from shoe-shopping in Paris (le sigh).

3. What’s your secret passion?

If I told you, it wouldn’t be a secret!

4. Tell us one thing about yourself you’d never change.

It’s not really a nice quality, but I don’t think I’d change my obstinacy. I’d never be where I am today if I’d had the good sense to back down a few times.

5. If you didn’t live where you do, where would you live? Why?

I’d love to say Paris, because it is one of my favorite cities (oh, the food! oh, the art!). Realistically, I’d probably live somewhere in Louisiana as that is where most of our family is. New Orleans or Baton Rouge are the most likely candidates (with benefits of oh, the food!).

6. Do you write about where you live or where you’d like to live?

Neither, really. My stories are character driven and they are in whatever setting they need to be in for the story to work. Infamous is in California because that’s Jessica’s playground.

7. What’s the first creative writing you remember doing outside a class?

Gosh, I think I was always scribbling something when I was a kid. The only thing I vaguely remember details of was a fantasy scene, very mystical.

8. Why do you write romance novels?

It’s all about the passion. I love the emotional intensity of a good romance.

9. What else do you write?

Contemporary fantasy with a romantic element. I’d love to write some science fiction, but the writing and science sides of my brain don’t seem to want to play together.

10. What one thing from your book did you take from personal experience?

The way Jessica sits in her chair when she writes. Now isn’t that silly? Also, before my daughter was born I had some anxiety about whether I would be a good mother. I was worried the maternal instincts wouldn’t kick in, so there is a little of that.

11. What did you cut from your book that felt like severing a body part?

Nothing so drastic! I did trim some of Morgan’s backstory, but I got through relatively unscathed.

12. Do you identify closely with one particular character? How?

Interesting! This book is all about Jessica, but if I had to pick a character I identify more closely with it would be Morgan. When it comes down to it, I’m pretty conservative and boring.

13. The best part about my writing life is

I can show an interest in the most wide-spread and bizarre topics (research). Also, I am now paid to think about sex!

14. The worst part about my writing life is

Finding time to write. It’s why I’m always writing at midnight, determined to get some words on the page.

15. Give us a hint about what the next book’s like.

Well, Jessica was so dramatic and she and Morgan epitomized ‘opposites attract.’ I started wondering about Jessica’s friend, the so-perfect Susan. She’s falling for her doctor and they are both so sweet and good. They are both paragons of human virtue! All I could think was boring, boring, boring. So I started wondering how I could shake things up a little bit. What motivates people who are so giving? Are Susan and Grey really that staid behind closed doors?

Bio

Irene Preston has to write romances, after all she is living one.  As a starving college student, she met her dream man who whisked her away on a romantic honeymoon across Europe.  Today they live in the beautiful hill country outside of Austin, Texas where Dream Man is still working hard to make sure she never has to take off her rose-colored glasses.

Infamous Book Cover by Irene Preston

Infamous by Irene Preston

Infamousby Irene Preston What happens when a Hollywood socialite falls for a conservative soccer dad?

 

Everyone knows Jessica Sinclair.  She’s that girl on the cover of all the tabloids. As a Hollywood insider, Jessica has spent her life partying with A-list celebrities, shopping on Rodeo Drive, and living through scandal after scandal. When her estranged husband offers her a second chance at the ‘All American’ lifestyle she can’t pass up a shot at real happiness.  Back in suburbia, Jessica spends her nights in sexy role-play hoping Morgan will overlook her deficiencies as a homemaker.  She spends her days attending  P.T.A. meetings, burning cookies, and asking herself “What would June Cleaver do?”  More to the point, what will Morgan do when she winds up back in the tabloids–with his teenage daughter right next to her?

Infamous will be available June 4, 2012 at your favorite e-book outlets.

Pre-Order Infamous now on Amazon

Visit Irene at:

IrenePreston.com

http://www.facebook.com/AuthorIrenePreston 

@IrenePreston