Monday, December 7, 2009

Take Off Those Clothes And Get Into Bed…

My guest today is a special friend of mine. We’ve shared the First Chapters Romance contest together, moaned over the results, the promotion, and the angst. We’ve critiqued and encouraged each other. I’m happy to say she won. She’s a damn fine writer.

Please welcome, Romance Author, Starr Ambrose, to
Over Coffee. Starr’s stories are a good blend of humor, sassy, independent heroines, hot hero’s and she writes ‘get the fan honey, cause it’s getting hot in here’ love scenes. I would never, in a million years, have thought writing sex was difficult for her. Her scenes are so natural and very well written. Yet Starr admits:

I confess to a secret, a particularly embarrassing one for a romance writer. I don’t know if other romance writers share it, and I’ve struggled to overcome it, but I doubt I ever will. I just hope my readers can’t tell.

I hate writing love scenes.

And yes, by love scenes I mean sex scenes. The hero and heroine in their most intimate moments, described in detail. The very heart of a romance story. By the time we reach this part of the story, we are usually deeply invested in the ultimate happiness of our hero and heroine. We want their lovemaking to be as beautiful and fulfilling as possible. And we want to experience every breathless moment along with them.

I understand. So it frustrates me that as soon as I get my hero and heroine in bed (or on the couch, or the floor, or wherever) my mind freezes and the words stop flowing onto the page. I know what happens next, I just can’t describe it. Not a good thing for a writer.

Before you think I may be doing it all wrong, let me assure you that in addition to my own humble opinion that I can write one hell of a sex scene, reviewers have called my books sensuous, sexy, hot – all those good adjectives that mean I did it well. So why does it take me hours, days even, to get those scenes written?

Here’s the problem: While the brain might play an important part in sexual stimulation, no one wants sex to be a thinking activity. We want the heroine to lose herself in the hero’s strong arms, to be swept into a state of mindless bliss. Her nerve endings are tingling and her heart is swelling with emotion. This is no time for her to wonder if her fingernails are leaving marks on his back or if his muscles are shaking from the strain of holding her against the shower wall.

But I have to. I have to be inside her head, feeling what she feels, besides standing beside the bed, giving the play by play.

So what’s my problem? Is it modesty? Am I writing the wrong genre?

Couldn’t be. I love a good romance, and I want to share all these stories in my head. I must just need more practice. So…

Okay, characters, one more time -- take off those clothes and get in bed!

Our Little Secret Blurb

Lauren Sutherland's sister made a big mistake when she married the powerful and much older Senator Creighton. The senator's son Drew agrees. But the newlyweds have disappeared and even the FBI can't find them. Venturing into the elite Washington social scene, Lauren and Drew discover an elaborate web of explicit photos and blackmail, and a fiery attraction they can barely control...

"Our little Secret will delight romantic suspense fans who want a light, fresh, sexy spin on love and danger!"

Best-selling author Roxanne St. Claire

  • Writers: What kind of scenes do you have problems writing?
    Readers: What do you think makes a satisfying sex scene in a Romance?


Starr Ambrose writes contemporary romances about heroines with a confident attitude and a sense of humor. Add a smart, sexy hero and put them together with a little mystery and a lot of sexual tension for a fun romantic suspense adventure!

Starr is a small town girl at heart, born and raised in Michigan, and graduated from Michigan State University with a BA in English. She and her family live in rural S. E. Michigan on a small farm with horses, chickens, cats, and dogs. She enjoys the abundant local wildlife, except for raccoons, which should learn to keep their evil paws off her chickens.

Starr's Website has excerpts to both of her books and a blurb on the sequel to Lie To Me.

For dog lovers, my blog for Coffee with a Canine: . If you're a dog owner, check out this cute site!


~Sia McKye~ said...

Starr, welcome to Over Coffee. I'm so glad you could visit today!

Grab a cup of coffee. I have plenty of homemade goodies on the Coffee Bar. I even have a bowl of large sized doggie treats for your furry babies.

Anonymous said...

Joanna Ammons:
Sia, I am so inspired to write a romance novel with all the great things you promote :)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

That is great Starr can admit that! I think writing sex scenes is incredibly tough.

And love the blog post title - it definitely got my attention!

Judi Fennell said...

*waves hi to my fellow trenches-survivor, er, FCR finalist. :)

Could have fooled me, Starr, that you don't like to write them. Lie To Me is on my keeper shelf - and I don't keep many books. It's great and I can't wait to read this one!

Kat Sheridan said...

Good morning, Starr, and nice to see you! I remember you from FCR and was glad you won.

My very first ever attempt at writing was a group lesson on writing a "sensitive scene". Perhaps it's because I did it in public, or perhaps because I had such a supportive group around me, or perhaps I'm just naturally inclined to that, but I totally love writing those scenes. I lose myself in the writing as much as the characters lose themselves in the scene!

One thing I have found though, if I don't know the characters well enough yet, or they're not ready to make that committment, I can't write the scene. I need to have done all the yearning and angst and buildup along with them before that moment. But when I get there? I can crank out several thousand words in under 2 hours!

Sia, on the road today, so I'll have my coffee to go please. I've got pumpkin spice cream to add to it!

Olivia Cunning said...

Opening scenes are hardest for me. Did I start in the right place? Give enough introduction? Too much? Is this backstory really important here? Is the reader tossed into the churning story without a life boat? Knowing how/where to start gives me absolute fits.

As for writing I find difficult... Description. For me, it's hard to describe the scenery. For that reason, I tend to write very little of it.

Great to see you Starr! And best of luck with your new release.

Elle J Rossi said...

Hi Starr,

Nice to meet you here at Over Coffee. Great post! I, too, struggle with sex scenes but for a different reason. I can get the words onto the page pretty easily. Actually, sometimes I need to pull back a little because I don't want my stories to be too erotic. My issue is wondering what others will think. Family members, friends, other "moms" from my children's schools. You know what I mean? I know I need to get over it but that's so not easy. It's stifling at times. I will never know what type of writer I can be if I allow others to hold me back. I've chosen to write under a pen name because of this but that only helps so much.


VA said...

I'm with Elle, writing it isn't hard, the sharing it is. Personally, I want a sensory experience in a love scene, not a cataloging of movements. The heat level depends on what I'm writing, but tends to the more explicit due to the above focus.

VA said...

Btw, the link to Starr is not working, here is the correct one:

~Sia McKye~ said...

Thanks Vivian. I corrected it. I was pretty tired when I posted it.

Sherilyn Winrose said...

Starr, it's so good to see you doing well. I, too, was pleased when you won FCR. What a roller coaster than was.

Writing emotional scenes is taxing for me whether it be sensual or a trauma in the story. Finding the correct words can be daunting.

Getting past what 'everyone' will think can be difficult. When I'm writing I remember that none of them can see it right now. Ha! There's no shame in a well written scene.

Starr Ambrose said...

Hi all, and thanks for your comments. It's so nice to find so many friends here from that FCR contest - which by the way I didn't win, technically. I came in second. But got a book contract out of it, so in a way, maybe I did win!

I so envy you, Kat, and all you others who can whip off those love scenes so quickly!

Elle, I felt constrained by the same feelings you have, for a long time. I finally decided if I wanted to be published I had to write what I wanted to write, and not be ashamed of it. I chewed my nails while my mother read my first romance novel, but whithout cause - she just shrugged at the sex scenes. My two twenty-something daughters are more uncomfortable with them than my mother was!

Elle J Rossi said...

Thanks Starr. Hearing that really helps! I'll just do it and then shrug it off, just as your mother does. I'm sure your daughters got the ick factor going on!

Margay said...

Hey, Starr! I'm with you, sex scenes are hard to write. I never know how to handle them until they're upon me and then I worry that I was too explicit because, in the back of my mind, there is always the thought that my mother or one of my daughters might want to read what I write and I worry that it will embarrass them. So I usually end up with something that is more sensual than explicit. Next to that, writing those pesky fight scenes is so much easier!

P.S. Saw your new book in Borders the other day and bragged to my daughter about it. But since I was Christmas shopping, I didn't buy it. After Christmas, though, that book is mine!

~Sia McKye~ said...

Hey Starr, good to see you. I'm like you, write what you like to read and forget about what people thing of it. Which is easier said than done, at times. Like my mom told me, honey, I learned bout sex long before you were born so you didn't discover it, honey. I still haven't shown her those parts.

So do you use music or anything to help with writing sex scenes?

~Sia McKye~ said...

Elle, I've been trying to get over to your blog but blogger isn't cooperating today. Don't know why. But I'll try again a bit later. I hate not being able to access my blog list. sigh...

Sisters-in-Sync said...

No worries, Sia! Stop by whenever. We're always there!


Starr Ambrose said...

Hi Judi! Nice to see you here. You're another success story from FCR. And hi to Margay. So this is where you all hang out!

I LOVE music! And I HATE music when I'm writing! They just don't mix for me, even the instrumental stuff I can't sing to. I'm so easily distracted. For you people who write with background music - how do you do it? Don't the lyrics distract you?

~Sia McKye~ said...

For me, it depends upon the music and the story. I have a couple of stories that have "their song". It's the songs I think about when I think of my characters. I play one of those songs, and I'm there.

But then, I have smeels that remind me of them too, so yah, I'm weird, lol!

Jill Lynn said...

Great cover! It says fun, flirty and mysterious.

Congrats on your second book, Starr.

Anonymous said...

Sex is easy. Comedy is hard. There's a predominance of writers who just shut the door and figure the reader can make of it what they will, but that's cheating of a different sort, regardless of genre. Give em' their money's worth.

~Sia McKye~ said...

And both require thought and timing to make it work. I agree, you give them their money's worth but you also give the story it's due, as well.

Starr Ambrose said...

LOL - I think I gave 'em their money's worth in both my books. With the comedy, too, I hope!

James said...

Hi Starr. Lots of us from the FCR contest here; I thought your chapters were the best in the contest and were certainly the funniest. You did a great job in Lie to Me and like Judi, it's on my keeper list. Great news about getting your second book published. I'll be on the lookout for it.

James Rafferty