Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Let's about sex, bay-bee with Gayle Carline

One of my friends emailed me after she read Freezer Burn, my debut mystery. Let's call her Mrs. NeedsMore, who wrote:"I enjoyed the read… I was more than a little disappointed with your approach to sex. Not enough detail... You can work on that in novel #2.

"I do have sex in my novel. I mean, my protagonist Peri has sex. She is in a long-term, committed relationship with Skip Carlton, a detective in the Placentia Police Department. They have lovely, delicious, hungry, languid, voracious, rapturous, gourmet sex.You just don't get to see it.Don't get me wrong: I like to read sex scenes. I just don't need to write them.

Before I wrote Freezer Burn, I wrote another novel. It's literary fiction, took me a year and a half to write, and is so convoluted, I can't tell you what it's about in 25 words or less. Hell, I can't tell you what it's about in 25,000 words. There was a young girl in it. She traveled. Stuff happened. Boring stuff. It now lies on my external hard drive, where I use it for parts.I had a big, fat sex scene in that book. It took me a long time to write, because I wanted passion without flowery euphemisms, but when I attempted lean and mean prose, the sparseness was boring. Finally, I had pages of detailed sexual play, leading up to a satisfying ending. And then…I was done. It was like I had this sex scene stuck in my head, and once I coughed it up, I didn't have to write about the details anymore.

In Freezer Burn, I let Peri and Skip make love whenever the mood strikes - before the murder investigation starts, but not after Peri's ribs are broken, after her ribs are healed, but before she gets shot - you get the picture.

Here is an excerpt:******They made it as far as the den, where Peri pulled him down to the rug in front of the fireplace. Laughing, stripping each other, stripping themselves, they made effervescent, enthusiastic love. At last satiated, they lay back on the pillows, propped against the fireplace bricks.

Skip groaned. "Man, we're too old for this."

Peri traced his jaw line with her fingers. "Speak for yourself, buddy. When you can't stand to look at my wrinkles, we'll just do it in the dark."******

The reader knows what happened. They just aren't going to see the videotape. So, Mrs. NeedsMore, you won't see any more detail in the next novel than you did in the first. I'm glad you enjoyed the read, but these are my characters. They deserve their privacy.

Gayle's Bio: Gayle spent 25 years as a software engineer, before escaping into the world of penniless authors. She has a weekly humor column in the Placentia News-Times (CA), but she loves a good mystery, so she wrote Freezer Burn, a cozy little tale of what to do when you find a severed hand in your freezer. It was so much fun, she's writing a second one!


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