Saturday, March 26, 2011

Guest Blog with author Tess MacKall

Where Do You Draw The Line?

As a writer I believe I should pretty much be able to write just about anything. Now that doesn’t mean I will be at my best with everything, though. I love writing contemporary and historical. Some paranormal. I have a sci-fi sitting in my files as well as a fantasy. But with those last two, I think I’d be only adequate. But I still intend to one day finish them. It’s a challenge for me. But in my head, at least, I’ve drawn a line.

We draw those imaginary lines in our personal lives all of the time. Simple things like what types of movies we watch or TV programs, what to wear and just how low cut. LOL All of this got me to thinking about just where we should draw the line in what we write overall within the erotic romance genre.

It would seem that more and more, certain subject matters are becoming less and less taboo. It wasn’t that long ago, maybe four, that M/M was considered to be a taboo genre. But look at it now! It has been well accepted within the almost all female erotic romance reading community.

There was a time in which BDSM was only whispered about. Now? Even I have a scene or two here and there with handcuffs and, well, a spanking or two. LOL I even have one book in which I use wax play. It never ceases to amaze me just how sexy all of this comes across when I write it, too.

Menage is all the rage. I’ve got one of those I’m working on—IF I can ever finish it. I have trouble writing ménage as strictly romance, however. I’m pretty vanilla—well, I like a little chocolate syrup and a few nuts, too—LOL—but I don’t see the romance in ménage at all. I’m more of a one man, one woman kind of gal. But I have read a ménage or two that came close to showing me a loving relationship. I think my friend Ava Rose Johnson did a good job with her books. For me, though, ménage fits much better in the paranormal realms, maybe sci-fi too. But that’s just me.

Publishers usually list what they DON’T want to see in a submission. And I must say I agree with their list. However, there are publishers out there that will publish anything. We’ve all seen that. Today that has me thinking about just where I believe the line is sometimes crossed and places we don’t need to go. I don’t like to see blood drawn in BDSM books. That bothers me. I don’t like to read erotic romance books in which children are introduced as characters. And I’m not talking about children being a part of the actual story line other than being someone’s children, but just being in the story. If a character has children, and the romance starts, I like to see the kids packed off to grandma’s. LOL A sexy relationship with kids underfoot just loses its sexual tension for me. Now, that doesn’t mean it can’t be done or isn’t being done. Just means it’s not good for me. So personally, I won’t write a book with children in it—unless it’s NOT erotic romance.

I also have a bit of a problem with polyamory. Or however that’s spelled, LOL. And it’s not the sex part of it all. Nope. It’s the way the relationship is presented. One man—two or three women. And these women get along???? No way. Two women in the same house???? There would be blood on the floor. Now I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking that this does and has worked for a very long time in real life and we see these men and women on TV all of the time.

Yep, we do. And it’s usually when the FBI has gone in and rescued a bunch of them. OR it’s on a Lifetime movie. To me? That’s a “control” situation. A cult, brainwashing. And I have heard of polyamorous relationships that work just fine. But I do believe that is the exception and not the rule at all. So I don’t enjoy reading that particular subject matter.

What about “ick” factors in books? Anal without lube? Anal and then vaginal sex with no clean up in between? Those are two of mine for sure. Authors AND EDITORS need to pay attention to specifics for sure. What do you think of two brothers involved in a ménage? Or fisting? Tongues in orifices that should not be there?

Where do YOU draw the line? What’s your personal ICK factor? What genre do you feel is just not for you?

On another note, Black Cougar Curse, the book I co-wrote with the fabulous Natalie Dae is up for Whipped Cream’s Book of the Week! Whoo hoooo!!!!! Natalie and I would really appreciate it if you stopped by Whipped Cream and voted for us. Black Cougar Curse is getting the most amazing reviews and we’re thrilled with the way it has been received. Here’s the link if you have the time:



Deep in the mountain wilderness, Lucia Chavez searches for closure to her father’s death, and the mythical black cougar he sought. Drop-dead sexy Cherokee Indian guide Sam Starr knows more than he’s telling. After he saves Lucia from being swept away in a mudslide, the bath they both need turns steamy indeed. Sam and Lucia are living proof that near-death experiences can bring two people closer together—they can’t keep their hands off each other.

Amidst danger and mystery, Sam and Lucia explore the lust that burns between them. If their desire gets any stronger it could bring down the mountains. Ancient secrets hold the key to their unbridled sexual need. Was their passion written in the stars?

One man. One woman. A curse that binds them—and could tear them apart.

Buy Link: http://www.jasminejade.com/p-9014-black-cougar-curse.aspx

Happy reading and writing to all!

Where You Can Find Tess:

Tess’ Website: http://tessmackall.com

Three Wicked Writers Plus Two Blog: http://threewickedwriters.blogspot.com

Three Wicked Writers Plus Two Yahoo Group:


Join the Risque Newsletter: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/risquenewsletter


Tina Donahue said...

Black Cougar Curse sounds awesome, Tess - cannot wait to read!

Sarah J. McNeal said...

I wish you luck with getting the Book of The Week. The cover is amazing.
I cannot figure how I would co-write a book with another author. I see there are many who do it. How do you mix voice and style to make it cohesive?
I wish you much success with Black Cougar Curse, Tess.

She said...

Good post. Black Curse Cougar sounds good. As for your question of where I draw the line, I am learning as I read more erotic romance what is erotic and what is not. You're right about anal with no lube or going from anal to vaginal sex with no clean-up. I also don't like unprotected sex between people who have only met each other. Children and marriage turn me off in an erotic romance. I want the romance to lead up to marriage but I don't want to see the couple trying to save their marriage by trying out different sexual situations to discover what will make them stay together. I don't like seeing cruelty (abuse) within the BDSM setting. Control is one thing but going into abuse changes the dynamics of the story. As more situations are written about I know I'll discover more of what is acceptable to me and more that is not.

Carly Carson said...

You have certainly listed all of my ick factors (aside from those too gross to be generally acceptable to publishers). I often think I should write YA because it is so popular, and with 3 teens, I have a daily dose of ideas, jokes, etc. But...it doesn't interest me. I think I have enough of it in my real life.

Do you know scientists have now proven that fear is an aphrodisiac? (did I spell that right?) Fascinating stuff. That's why near death experiences are such good frames for sexual tension. Good luck with the book. I shall try to go vote.

Diane M. Wylie said...

Hi, Tess. This is an interesting topic to consider. No matter how hard we might try, we can't please everyone, so I think an author should write what they want and edit as required by their publisher. I've tried reading many different genres and I just cannot stomach humans having relations with aliens that have weird appendages. My own "ick factor."

Good luck with your books.

Rawiya said...

Hi Tess.

Your blog is great. I have my own "ick" factors even as an m/m writer. I also don't like anal sex without lube and latex unless they are well established. Still no lube in either turns me off.

I also don't like children in romances. In my upcoming novel, my character is pregnant but the children will definitely be offset or at least on their way to grandmas before the characters get together.

I can think of a lot of my own icks but I keep them to myself.

Thanks and your book looks great. Good luck with sales and the contest.

Sarah J. McNeal said...

Tess's server does not allow her to make comments with the format here but I'm sure she would like to thank everyone who dropped by and commented on her blog and paid compliments about her book.

Fiona McGier said...

Wow, Tess, you have listed most of my "ick" factors also. FYI, polygamy is more than one female, and polyandry is more than one man. But like you, I don't think 3-somes are realistically possible, so reading them makes me suspend more belief than I can usually do...just like having sex with a dead body (think popsicle) is not exciting to me now that I've read so many I'm tired of the whole meme. Interesting subject and very timely, when so many books are being published every day. At least if you know what you do and don't like, you can choose more wisely. I love Native American heroes...good luck with the book.