Saturday, April 20, 2013

More Sex, Please...

By Lynn Cahoon (Guest Blogger)

Get your mind out of the gutter. I’m not talking about my personal journey in the wonderful world of physical contact, just writing about it. 

Temporary Roommates, which releases today with Passion in Print on April 20th started as a sweet novella. I was at a pitch workshop when the publisher I’d expected to pitch to didn't show up at the event. (Bad form, that.)

Anyway, another publisher, Passion in Print, stepped in and loving my pitch asked for the full. When the contract offer came, they explained, there needed to be one on-screen sex scene in order for them to buy the story. But they had lots of energy and seemed to love the novella as much as I did. So I agreed to add a sex scene.

When the edits finally came, my editor felt I needed to up the sexual tension even more. More one-on-one for the hero and heroine. More compromising positions. Troy, the hero, was fine with the changes. In fact, he welcomed the increased physical relationship. My heroine, focused on her career, felt like she was selling out to the more conventional and expected role she’d been raised to lead. 

And it ticked her off. 

So what’s an author to do when your editor wants more hanky panky but your heroine is acting like a kid refusing to try something new at the dinner table? 

You let your character take the lead. Annie didn’t have any expectations from her time with Troy. In fact, she knew that building a career and a life took priority over finding a husband. No matter what her mother and supervisor thought. 

I put her in charge and gave her the aggressor role. Sex as power is usually portrayed as a bad thing. But sometimes, having gratifying, meaningless sex gives a woman perspective. And that’s not a bad thing, either in fiction or in real life. 

Now I hear the groans. For me, sex without commitment or meaning, isn’t powerful, it’s scary. But I’m not my character. I think about stuff too much. (Just ask my husband.) And even when I was wild and crazy after the divorce, I expected a night of sex to lead to a relationship. Like a girl. 

I wanted her to think like a guy. To enjoy herself for a few hours, then go on with her life.

But Troy keeps bringing their situation up in the days following. And she’s caught.

Reversing the role expectations allowed me to really play with the idea of when is just sex okay? And I had to challenge my own insecurities and deeply held beliefs. But in the end, the story was better because of my own discomfort.

So have I told you too much of the story? Or just enough to tease your appetite? Check out TemporaryRoommates and let me know what you think. 


When a determined nurse and a hot intern find the perfect apartment, the same perfect apartment, they must find a way to share it for ninety days, without killing each other.

Annie Baxter has her dream job. Now, all she needs is a cheap apartment close to the hospital. Troy Saunders knows his life as an intern is all about the long hours. He doesn’t have time to play doctor to some Nurse Barbie. So when his sister finds a great apartment walking distance to work and next to the best running paths in the city, he’s sold. Two leasing agents, two prospective renters, one apartment. Can they co-exist without fireworks?

About Lynn
Lynn Cahoon is a contemporary romance author with a love of hot, sexy men, real and imagined. Her alpha heroes range from rogue witch hunters, modern cowboys, or hot doctors, sexy in scrubs. And her heroines all have one thing in common, their strong need for independence. Or at least that’s what they think they want. She blogs at her website


Anonymous said...

First of all, Lynn, may I say that I respect your writing talent and I wish you all the very best with your new book. Please don't be offended if I take an opportunity to express some personal and general views about sex in fiction.

Seems to me that a lot of publishers and editors are like pimps these days. All they want to do is use an author's characters to push and sell sex in order to cash in.

Personally I'm a little tired of sex driven stories where most of the action takes place below the waist. I think the obsession with sex has spoiled and cheapened the romance market. It's now difficult to tell romance and erotica apart.

I wish you could have stuck to your guns, Lynn, and told the editor to butt out and gone the way you wanted to go with your story, but I appreciate that you have to take the advice of those who control the purse strings.

I'm sure the book will sell well, because sex does sell and that's why publishers and editors will go on forcing authors into literary prostitution.

Your books deserve to sell well on your talents as an author and story teller, and not as a result of how many sex scenes can be crammed in.

Lynn Cahoon said...

Thanks for the well thought out comment. And please don't take me wrong, I hope I didn't come across as whining. I believe that my editors are a partner with me in the story telling process. And yeah, sometimes, sex is just that, sex.
But for Annie, the power and freedom she got by acting on an physical need rather than thinking about the emotion and what could be - I think it made her a more complex character.

And that's all an author can hope for, is that their characters take the lead in telling their story.

If you want to check out the end result, my story is available now at -

Lynn :)

Lisabet Sarai said...

Greetings, Lynn!

Welcome to Beyond Romance.

I agree with Anonymous at one level - there does seem to be a general notion lately that the more sex a book has, the better. Although I actually write erotica as well as erotic romance, I'm a firm believer that any sex in a book has to flow from the characters - and change them. Sex for the sake of sex alone is simply boring.

On the other hand, the presence of sex in a book does not "cheapen" the book (imho). Sex is a legitimate topic for fiction, not something that needs to be hidden or treated with shame. And that includes sex without strings as well as sex in the context of a long term relationship. Humans are sexual beings. Ignore that fact and you'll end up with some pretty empty characters.

Good luck with Temporary Roommates, and thanks for being my guest.

Post a Comment

Let me know your thoughts! (And if you're having trouble commenting, try enabling third-party cookies in your browser...)