Sex scenes. Most avid adult readers enjoy them. I know that I do, but do adult paranormal romance stories sell just as good as YA?
First off, I have to say that I have yet to read a book anything like the book I’m writing, except for maybe Alyson Noel’s The Immortals Series. The way that Alyson and I are alike (yes, she is one of my favorite authors) is that we both write paranormal romance that doesn’t involve vamps, wolves, shifters, or anything that falls along those lines.
So what does Alyson Noel write about? You guessed it, Immortals. I love her style of writing, and I’ve been following her series for the last year. She is more of a YA author, not that I have any problem with that. Most of the books I’ve read in the last couple of years, apart from Johanna Lindsey (who typically writes historical romance), have been YA. I’ve enjoyed them immensely, and have considered writing YA myself, but then I think about my all-time favorite author, Johanna. To me, she is inspiring. I love most of her work, especially the steamy sex scenes.
While I enjoy the YA paranormal romances, I have to admit that I love books with sex scenes more, and that is the style of writing I have chosen for What the Heart Wants. However, there are days that I question myself and wonder, Am I doing the right thing?
Part of me says no, I should write more toward the YA style, but a bigger part of me says, Yes, I am right to include the sex scenes in my writing. It’s not just because I enjoy this part of the book, but because I feel my story isn’t geared toward YA readers. My characters aren’t in high school. They are 20 somethings. Sex is going to be part of my series and will play an important role in upcoming books. I don’t consider myself a writer of erotic romance. I have read some books from this genre, and while I enjoyed them, it’s just not the style of writing I want to pursue.
Many of the successful, bestselling paranormal romances that I’ve read in the last few years are mainly YA. They owe a big part of the rapid sells to teenagers, but I know there are women out there, like me, who enjoy these stories too. I know I was enthralled with the Twilight Series by Stephenie Myers. What was disappointing for me as well as other adults I know, who read the series, is this. By the time we were seduced by the love story of Bella and Edward, teased repeatedly by their painful yet steamy kisses in New Moon and Eclipse, we wanted more out of Breaking Dawn. All the angst that led up to this point in the story had us craving something more. Sex. Was it delivered to us? Um … yes, to a point. I know that this is another YA story, but it was definitely a big let down when the sex scenes were kept to a few descriptions and then faded to black.
Don’t get me wrong, I loved the Twilight Series. I have watched all the movies, have fallen in love with Bella and Edward, time and time again. I also love The Immortal Series, because Damen and Ever pulled me in from the beginning. These are great examples of YA paranormal romances … without the sex. I want my Soulmate Series to deliver the scenes I missed so much in these other series. I want to draw in the group of women who, like me, craved the connection and the love scenes we were denied. That’s why I have chosen to write adult paranormal romance. I want all the angst between my characters to be resolved in the end with a good old fashion romp in the bed.
So what are your preferences? Which do you enjoy more; the paranormal romance stories with the sex scenes or without?