I've been asked recently (and repeatedly) why I write 'closed-door-bedroom-scenes' in my books, and why I have yet to read the ever-popular 50 Shades of Grey series, and the like, and am I opposed to fan fiction that would take my characters back into the bedroom for the great sex the apparently deserve :) ...and I've been avoiding those questions because I'm not in the habit of diving too deep into my personal beliefs.
However, because I received my fifth (yes, my 5th) email last night chastising me for making KEEPING SECRETS IN SEATTLE "rated PG13", and informing me of 'how much better' my books would be if I added more heat...and since I've received such criticism for my other books THE CARNY, THE WHAT IF GUY, and BITTERSWEET...I decided to tackle the subject once and for all. Clear up any misconceptions, and make my position known to all of my amazing readers who have made my writing career so incredibly worthwhile. ♥
First off: What I read and write should have no bearing on what you, as a reader or fellow author, should enjoy. My standards and morals are just that. MINE. They are what makes my life good, happy, and livable, and not intended to be used as a moral compass for anyone else. You should read what you like--whether it be an Amish romance with nary a kiss, or an erotic romance filled to the top with gratuitous sex--and you should make that decision based on your own moral compass, and nobody else's. The decision of where your own moral compass points is between you and your own higher power, no matter what that be.
Second: When I made the decision to attempt to become a published author, I made a commitment to myself, and my higher power, that I would never write a book that couldn't theoretically be made into a PG13 movie, since that is the highest movie rating I allow myself to watch. This doesn't mean that I have any negative or judgmental feelings towards other authors who write novels of a more erotic or gratuitous nature, it just means that I've found my comfort level, as an author AND a reader, and I've stuck with it. I have friends in the writing world who write erotic romance, and their talent doesn't wane in the slightest. Their stories are every bit as good as mine are--sometimes better--and their careers are every bit as promising as my own. My commitment to writing closed door sex scenes is just that. MY commitment. Nothing more.
Third: I have no qualms about fan fiction at all. If it weren't for the fan fiction culture, I likely wouldn't have ever picked up a pen after years of motherhood and pushing my own dreams to the back burner. Without being inspired by fan fiction, I wouldn't have started writing my own books, which ultimately led to my own successful career. If someone were to write fan fiction devoted to the sex scenes my characters so richly deserved, I would be nothing short of flattered. However, it is important to know, that in *my* imagination, they weren't lacking good sex. Oh, they had it. Probably a few times. I just made the decision--as the author--to turn away and let them have their private moment. So if you stumble across fan fiction devoted to Gabe & Violet, Charlotte & Vin, Leo & Anna, or Henry & Autumn...just know that those scenes are just a small glance into the bedrooms that always existed, I'd just pulled the shades and left them to their own doings, because that's my comfort level as an author.
And fourth: By committing to write the heat level that I write, I am able to continue participating in religious activities that are important to me, and to my family. Would you approach someone of the Jewish faith with a plate of pork, then chastise and taunt them for not partaking? Would you approach a woman of muslim faith and berate her for keeping her body so covered? I would hope that your answer is no. Here in America, we have religious freedom--a freedom that our forefathers and ancestors fought long and hard for. My religious beliefs are of the utmost importance to me, and I expect to be treated with the same religious tolerance that I've shown to my fellow Americans. If I don't question your beliefs, and why you do (or don't do) certain things, then please respect mine. Every person has a higher power--whether it be God, mother earth, themselves, or somewhere in between--and since we're free to believe whatever we want, we should show religious tolerance to ALL. Don't question or make fun of my beliefs because you're frustrated that I didn't write about my character's climax, and I won't question why you do the things you do. Seems like a fair trade.
I hope that this clarifies why I write the way I write, and I hope that this squashes any misconceptions that I am in any way judging readers or other authors for writing and/or enjoying books with a higher heat level than what is found in my books. I wish EVERY author out there all the luck in the world, and I wish every reader out there happy reading--no matter what your comfort level is. Find where you are the most comfortable, and read it. It's as simple as that. And to everyone whose comfort level is different from yours, bid them respect. The world of books is big enough for all of us, so live and let live.
Thanks for listening.