My special guest today is chick lit author, Margo Candela who is celebrating the release of her book Good-bye To All That. According to Margo, her husband owes her six months…preferably on a tropical island sipping margaritas. The deal was, she had three years to write her first novel Underneath It All and find a publisher. She signed the book contract at 2 ½ years so she still has that six months coming to her. She’s been musing over a few brochures for Fiji.
Of course, Underneath It All wasn’t her first novel. Her first was a romance novel spoof she wrote at age 15 on an antique typewriter she paid $20 for—actually her mom paid $20. Sadly, Wenchhead and the Isle of Evil Men was never published. Do you think it was the title?
In between Wenchhead and the Isle of Evil Men and Goodbye to All That, Margo enjoyed a trip to magazine land where she wrote articles on everything from extreme sports to computer hardware to plushies(people who are sexually into stuffed animals). Shhh, don’t tell Margo’s mom about that last one. She might want the $20 or the antique typewriter back!
When not writing, Margo vacuums. It’s her secret solution to writer’s block and when she hits the Times bestseller list Margo dreams of buying a Dyson DC 25 Animal. And shoes. Ask her the about the black heels on the cover of Goodbye to All That.
(Credit for Margo’s photo: Alex Ben Parks)
Writing About Sex and Romance Without A Punch Line by Margo Candela
While I can be shy, I don’t consider myself a prude. I enjoy a good raunchy joke and can tell one, too. Some of my favorite movies (9½ Weeks, Against All Odds, A Room with a View, Say Anything) are all about sex or unabashed, if unrealistic, romanticism.
Nope, I don’t think I’m a prude at all but it has taken me four novels to finally manage to put some real sex into one of my books. Good-bye To All That (Touchstone, July ’10) is the first time I actually wrote something that made me blush and while I didn’t go all the way (I did the whole fade to black thing), it was a milestone of sorts for me.
My novels are funny and my characters don’t take things too seriously even though there is a lot of serious talk about sex and relationships. I’m not at all opposed to bawdy dialog and it sometimes comes so naturally to me that I have to tone it down to fit my characters. But there is a difference between treating sex and romance as a punch line and exploring it on the page. Sex, especially romantic sex, in a book that isn’t about sex or romance takes a deft writing hand to keep it from veering into either camp or erotica territory.
Sex and romance are serious business in books and real life. And, in books at least, I’m not sure how to fit the funny in there and funny is my default mode. I know my next manuscript will center around relationships, both romantic and familial, and while I don’t know how far I’ll take the boy-meets-girl side of things, I’m hopping my readers will find funny sexy enough not miss any actual sex. And if they do, I have a list of movies and books I can recommend that really deliver on both or either counts.
How about you? Do you ever wish an author would include more or less sex in their work?
Raquel Azorian is Hollywood’s invisible woman. She stands in the shining light of young starlets giving their careers nudges, her memos help boss Bert create money-making productions, and her practicality keeps her quirky family co-existing peacefully. Amazingly, no one notices. But then Raquel decides she deserves a chance to be the star. Why can’t she have the gorgeous boyfriend? Why can’t she tell the VPs to deal with their own snafus and grab a little power for herself? Why can’t she stop being the middleman in countless family dramas? When Raquel takes off her invisibility cloak everyone in Hollywood notices! Don’t miss it.
Purchase Good-bye To All That
To learn more about Margo or her books visit her website or blog.