So you can read my books

Thursday, January 28, 2016


"Sex without love is a meaningless experience,

but as far as meaningless experiences go, it's pretty damn good."
- Woody Allen

Sex does help. Just not the way we would think in our novels.

Sex sells.

You roll your eyes and go, "Duh!"

I mean, just look at the skyrocket sales of 50 SHADES OF GRAY and its two sequels!

(With the movie, not so much since the books did well because of the use of the imagination.)
Yes, sex sells ...

but not always for the reasons you might think.

Men, of course, are hard-wired to see a beautiful woman and have their hormones go into a conga line ( )

But we men are more complex than the cliches written in COSMOPILITAN.

Sex. Lust. Love.

The first two are primal instincts. The third gives birth to legend and magic.

Every writer is in much of his work. But it is not as straight-forward as that.

J.R.R. Toilken rarely, if ever, wrote love scenes. 

Instead, he wrote distantly of Love, the concept with which Tennyson teased but never consummated in THE IDYLLS OF THE KING.

He was a shy man, and it shows in what he chose NOT to write.

He reflected his times -- as we must reflect ours in what we write and for whom we write.

But for whom do we write? And what exactly are "our" times?
We live in a lonely age. 

From teenager on up, we feel outside, misunderstood, and alone --

 the three labor pains that give birth to the possibility of love.

A reader is drawn to a novel by what is lacking in her/his life.

We've already touched on some of the things most people feel lacking in their lives. 

It can be summed up in one word: 

Intimacy --

Sex is only the tip of that iceberg floating in the existential void of our modern times. 

There is much more beneath the murky surface.

How many of us feels valued, loved for who we truly are - bulges, skin blemishes, and other imperfections not withstanding?

Not many.

How many of us have such passion and fire in the night that we tingle in the morning light?

Even fewer.

Many of us settle for half-relationships, tepid gropings in the dark that leave us feeling empty, not full, the morning after.

Why is that?

In the process of love-making, we leave a bit of ourselves with the other. 

If we make love without feeling love, the other fails to leave a bit of themselves within us.

Inside we have become less ... not more. 

Do that enough times and a void is carved within us.

That is why we have become the Hollow People

seeking to fill that emptiness within with all the wrong things:

Sex without satisfaction.

Passion without permanence.

Lust wearing the mask of love.

Think of the words of John Masefield:

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea's face and a grey dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull's way and the whale's way where the wind's like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over.

Why did I quote Masefield's poem?

We all long for that handsome, beautiful Other who will tenderly stroke our cheek,

fan the fires of our passions,

and fill our hearts and head with the laughter of two souls meant for each other.
Romance. Magic. Love.

Those are the stars a winning author steers by.

Fix them to your mast, and you will never go wrong.



  1. You can make a story over love gained or lost. But a romp in the sheets is either porn or a scene. I don't know. Sex sells but I think it is a cheap fix. I've seen pictures of subliminal messages with the word sex in the picture. I have wondered if it was a fluke or intentional.

    1. Sometimes the animators get tempted to be kids again and do it for a lark.

      I just started to read a blooger's survey results: the first result that the majority of her visitors wanted a bit of explicit sex in the books they read. And the blogger was glad because she wrote like that.

      I am steadily tempted to just quietly fold my tents and leave blogging and writing. Obviously, I am a dinosaur.

      Thanks for your visits and comments, They mean a lot. :-)

  2. Which books we choose to read says a lot about 'what' styles we like to read. What's wrong with distant love? Give me Hemingway or Fitzgerald any day over Twilight stories or 50 Shades.

    1. Explicit seems not to work well either in romance or horror for me! Like you, I like Fitzgerald's and Hemingway's approach much better! :-)

  3. In the process of love-making, we leave a bit of ourselves with the other. I have heard that before. Once done, it cannot be undone, and we lose a part of ourselves forever.
    I am blessed that I have both sex and intimacy with my best friend. That's how it's supposed to be.
    I have hints of desires but not any sex in my books. People are just going to have to live with emotional rather than physical satisfaction with they read them.

    1. Only in marriage where two are one does leaving a bit of ourselves in our partner not leave us hollow but enriched But that is just my theory :-)

  4. Awww, you just cited one of my favorite poems, one I've known by heart since my school days. Thank you for that and for your words of wisdom.

    The closest I've come to writing sex scenes is in my Charity MacCay novels, and happily they're set in the Victorian age so I pretty much have to just summarize what happened without going into details. And she can be funny in her oblique descriptions.

    1. I use the same devise with Sam and Meilori since Samuel is from the Victorian age as well.

      I'm glad you like that poem as well as I do. :-)

  5. Hi Roland .. that John Masefield poem is about the only one that comes straight to mind ... I love it. You've described our love life today so well ... John Locke was only successful because his books were full of sex/porn ... and I suspect readers fall into categories - those who need the porn-whoomph .. and those who are happy to imagine and lust in their memories - but live contented lives notwithstanding. It is wonderful to see and know people who are truly in love - for ever ... cheers Hilary

    1. John Locke knew how to make money all right. But I do not think he found joy in his writing of finds it now since he is not selling as much as he used to.

      Readers, like drivers, do fall in categories. In their lives is either a lack or an appreciation of life that drives them.

      Thank you for your friendship and visits. Roland