It wasn’t originally my idea to include sex in my books. In fact, the thought didn’t even occur to me when I initially became serious about writing. Instead, it was the first editor I worked with roughly two decades ago who told me the novel I had written would be so much better with sex. I resisted the idea at first, but eventually succumbed to his advice. And you know what? He was right.
I locked away that particular book in a virtual drawer long ago, probably never to be seen again, but not before I discovered the sex scenes brought so much life, passion and intimacy to the characters, not to mention richness to the experiences they were going through. And it transformed my thoughts about sex in mainstream novels.
I am often quoted for saying that sex is the most emotionally charged part of our lives, so living it through a book character completes the window into his or her soul. And, when you add those exhilarating scenes to the suspense and intrigue of an action thriller, you kick the reader’s experience to a new level and connect with all of his or her sensibilities.
The problem is that sex, particularly in American society, can be a taboo subject. Perhaps that makes the experience of it in a book more titillating, hence the tremendous success of Fifty Shades of Grey. But it also pushes a large number of readers away.
I have a friend who often says a line when he introduces me to other people: “This is my friend, Kevin. He writes porn.” My friend is just kidding around, of course. But for some people, that’s not too far off the mark. They will overlook the fact that my novels are primarily about action, mystery and suspense, and fixate on the erotica, believing that it’s the true, underlying focus of the book. They just can’t see it any other way.
Then why, you may ask, do I include sex at all? Why would I voluntarily alienate a sizable cross-section of readers who would otherwise enjoy my geopolitical intrigue, espionage, exotic locales, international cuisine, wine, cars, existentialist philosophy, and sarcastic humor?
Because I want my books to touch every corner of the reader’s body and soul, making their reading experience complete and delicious. And if that makes some people uncomfortable, I have to respect their feelings and let it go. I can’t let the prospect of lost sales dictate my craft.
But you want to know what’s really exciting? The knowledge that there are people out there who are on the verge of breaking through their inhibitions and will serendipitously find themselves ready to feel the whole gamut of sensual experiences while holding a Jack Lazar novel in their hands. Can you imagine the rush, the shock, and the rapid heartbeats as they try to process those steamy scenes along with action and suspense of the rest of the story?
I’ve received messages of gratitude from people who’ve experience exactly that, and I can’t tell you how rewarding it is to know I’ve touched them in such a meaningful way. That, more than anything, makes me want to write books for the rest of my life.
Nevertheless, everyone has different thoughts on this subject, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But for me, it’s safe to say I’m on board with putting sex in my novels, and I doubt I’ll ever turn back.
Happy reading, writing and…heavy breathing.
"James Bond Meets Fifty Shades of Grey"
Immerse yourself in the world class novels that combine action, mystery & suspense with tantalizing and tastefully written erotica. You’ll find all your sensibilities roused at once with Kevin Sterling’s ultra-sexy, action-packed Jack Lazar Series.
In this fourth action-packed thriller, Jack travels to Denmark for a business venture, but what seems to be a textbook transaction turns into a nightmare after he gets involved with Katarina, a vivacious Danish girl who apparently lacks a moral compass, not to mention an off button. After naively believing their liaison was just a random encounter, Jack discovers she’s connected to his business deal, and there’s a dangerous political group with skin in the game, too.
Katarina makes a convincing case of being a victim, not part of the conspiracy, but can Jack really trust her?
The firestorm gets out of control as Jack digs deeper, unearths the convoluted plot behind it all, and discovers that innocent people are being heartlessly killed. He’s not only horrified by the reason why it’s happening, but how it’s being done, and there appears to be no way to stop it from occurring again.
Then the scheme’s real objective emerges, launching Jack into action with intelligence operatives to prevent it. But that’s not so easy with assassins on Jack’s tail, forcing him to struggle for survival while trying to prevent Katarina from getting caught in the crossfire.
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Genre – Action, Mystery, Suspense
Rating – R
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