Reading, sex scenes and writing

How do you know you’re reading a good book?  When you’re sat on the tube and only just realise in time that you’re at your stop.  Grabbing bags, coat, and hat and running out the door is not all that easy.  So yes, I’m really enjoying Dan Brown’s Digital Fortress.  I’m only about 50 pages in, but the story’s really pulled me in, I can’t wait to read more to find out what’s going to happen. 

At one of my (three) Christmas parties in the last week, I was discussing writing with a colleague.  He’s just done a journalism course and knows all about my writing, so when we meet up we chat about what we’re up to (although thinking about it, it’s more often what I’m up to).  I was telling him that I’d finished the first draft of Italian Infatuation.  Him being him asked if it was full of sex (it’s not), but that got me on to telling him how hard I had found it to write a sex scene.  Years ago, when my Mills & Boon book idea was just a thought that passed through my head every now and then, I thought I might need one, so I wrote one.  Or I started to anyway.  I found it so hard, I had to end it mid way through and it just be a dream. 

Mr journalist didn’t believe it would be that hard, until he sat down and thought it through.  I’ve sparked a bit of curiosity in him, so he’s now going to try to write one.  I’ll be interested to see how he gets on, although I think it would be a little strange reading a sex scene written by a colleague.  I may have to pass on reading it!

After talking to me last night about sex scenes in novels Mr Journalist found this article in the Independent today.  It’s talking about how ‘Bonkbusters’ from the 80s are becoming more popular again – replacing chick lit.  When I first read it, I got worried.  ‘Holiday’ is a chick lit story.  If chick lit’s on its way out, what’s the point in even trying?  But then I realised, it’s what I like writing and reading, therefore my passion for it will hopefully show through and create a good story.  I can’t write something I’m not passionate about just because it’s ‘in’ at the moment.  Plus, like I said I can’t write sex scenes.  Although having talked about it so much recently, I’m tempted to try again. . .

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