UPDATE: If you would like to win the ebook of LUCKY CATCH, read through to the end!
I have been a fan of Deborah Coonts since her first Lucky O’Toole Vegas Adventure, Wanna Get Lucky so I was really excited when she offered to do a guest post for me. Enjoy!
SEX AND THE STORYTELLER
By Deborah Coonts
I’m just no good at sex.
Well, writing it, anyway. Ask me to put sex on paper and I become as shy as a schoolgirl taking her first ride in the backseat of a Chevy.
What words do I use? At what point does the prose become purple? Do I do the Tab A into Slot B approach, or something more prosaic? Do I venture further afield or use the basic missionary? Kinky or not so much?
All hard decisions.
And, since my characters become my friends, their voices real, recording their sexual proclivities and activities seems a bit voyeuristic and well, tawdry. But, to me, a good story has a great romance. And a great romance involves sex.
So, I’ve got to tackle the sex thing. After five novels and four novellas you’d think I’d get good at it…or at least more comfortable. No such luck.
Of course, I guess I could be like a writer I know who made his editor write the sex scenes because he couldn’t bring himself to write girl-on-girl sex. He could watch it, but he couldn’t write it.
Of course, how many men do you know who can write sex and get it right? I can count them on one hand and not use all my fingers.
Recently I was on a Sex In Mysteries panel at Left Coast Crime. One of the spots the moderator, Allison Brennan who is an evil, evil moderator, put us in involved each of us reading a sex scene written by a published author. These scenes, of course, were largely considered the absolute worst of their ilk. I had no idea this was coming…and I was positively apoplectic as each read in turn, praying none of my efforts ended up being read aloud for all to skewer.
Thankfully, I was spared. And the scenes were horribly beyond imagining—we all were crying with laughter by the end of it.
What did I learn? First, I can keep a straight face while reading a terrible, graphic sex scene in front of a couple hundred people I know only slightly. And, even great writers write bad sex.
Shallow as I am, that made me feel better. It turns out everyone has issues with sex. I don’t know why that surprised me. And, as in life, we each have to find what punches our buttons.
One time, years ago, a writer friend asked me to read some pages. I took them with me on a flight to Hong Kong. Settled in with a glass of bubbly, I broke out the pages, and broke out in a sweat. Holy cow!
When I returned home and my friend invited me to lunch and asked me what I thought, I squirmed and avoided eye contact. Finally I managed, “You know that first scene? I’m not sure all of that is even physically possible.”
She looked at me stone-faced and said, “Oh, I can guarantee it’s possible.”
I’m very visual. I was traumatized. Still am.
But I also learned that I really don’t want my sexual experiences ending up between the covers… of a book.
But, to the extent we draw on real life when we write, is that realistic? You bet. Now I just write sex as I wish it to be.
When Wanna Get Lucky?, the first in the Lucky series, was published a man asked me if the book was a how-to book. I thought for a moment, then nodded. “Yes, it is.” He looked confused. I bet he’s still trying to figure out what I meant by that.
As with all writers, I am working on the next opus. Yesterday, I ran headlong into the “big sex scene.” Even still, with all this perspective, I get all twitchy when I have to step into the bedroom (or the closet, or the shower, or the living room, or the kitchen—my characters are often adventuresome) and record my characters inter-coitus.
So, what did I do? What I always do. I sat at a bar, ordered copious amounts of wine, and imagined….
About the Book, Lucky Catch:
Trouble always comes in threes. At least that’s what Lucky O’Toole, the VP of Customer Relations for Las Vegas’ primo Strip casino/hotel, the Babylon, has heard for years from her mother. So, tonight, when Teddie, her former lover shows up at her office unannounced and very unexpected, her father offers Teddie a job at the Babylon, she is called to deal with a pig in residence at one of the hotels most exclusive and opulent suites, and Lucky’s current lover, Jean-Charles Bouclet stops answering his phone leaving Lucky to handle his five-year-old son, Lucky figures she has tonight’s compliment of chaos covered.
As usual, she is a tad optimistic.
With a cadre of celebrity chefs with the maturity of teenagers in Vegas for a televised cook-off, a prized Alba truffle in the Babylon’s care, and her mother’s pregnancy racing toward the inevitable, what could go wrong?
When the truffle is stolen from the walk-in in Jean-Charles’ gourmet burger joint at the Babylon and a young chef apparently killed with a smoking gun is found in Jean-Charles’ food truck on the back lot, trouble takes a sinister turn.
And Jean-Charles still isn’t answering his phone.
Another body is discovered. This one stuffed in an oven at Jean-Charles’ eponymous restaurant and set to broil.
Desperate to put a lid on the body count and more than frantic over her AWOL lover, Lucky uses her Vegas contacts to search in places and in ways the police wouldn’t or couldn’t. Teddie insists on riding shotgun. Lucky hasn’t the time nor the resolve to say no. She’s never been able to resist Teddie … not really. With danger dogging their heels, Lucky finds herself falling once again under his spell as they traverse Vegas, being drawn deeper and deeper into the highly competitive world of high-end eateries and the battle for the very rare, most highly prized gourmet foodstuffs.
Would somebody really kill for a truffle?
In a heartbeat.
And when Lucky’s path crosses the killer’s… will her goose be cooked?
Watch the trailer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJsrREAHLho&feature=youtu.be
About the Author:
My mother tells me I was born in Texas a very long time ago, but I’m not so sure—my mother can’t be trusted. These things I do know: I was raised in Texas on barbeque, Mexican food and beer. I’ve lived in every time zone in the U.S.; the most memorable stint being the time spent in Las Vegas, where I currently reside and where family and friends tell me I can’t get into too much trouble…silly people.
The only constant in my life (besides my family, who deserves hazardous duty pay for sticking with me) has been change (my mother is still waiting for me to grow up). Silly woman.
But all of this career ADD made me incredibly unemployable. Hence the whole writing thing.
Actually, I’ve known from a young age that somehow stories would be a large part of my life, but my path to telling lies for a living (okay, not lies per se, but variations of the truth, for sure) has been circuitous. If someone had just told me when I was a kid that I could actually be paid to daydream for a living, life would have been soooo much easier. But they didn’t. And I never saw a ‘daydreaming’ booth at all those Career Days I attended.
So, initially discouraged when unable to locate anyone willing to pay me to read books, go to the movies, or attend the theatre, and in need of providing for the best child in the world, my son Tyler, I spent years being someone else—an accountant (blech), a business owner (pretty fun), a lawyer (loved law school, hated practicing law), a pilot (giddy and terrifying at the same time). But through it all, I wrote. Along the way I wrote the world’s worst novel, a slightly more well-crafted but equally as poorly plotted novel, several non-fiction feature articles (my first sales!), multiple humor columns for a national magazine (more sales!), and, finally, the novel that sold, Wanna Get Lucky?, the first in a series to be published by Forge Books. The series is a Sex and the City meets Elmore Leonard in Vegas kind of thing, if you can imagine that. Okay, have several glasses of wine, then think about it…makes imagining easier. Anyway, the books are sexy, wry, romantic, and slightly naughty mixed with a little murder and mayhem—shaken, not stirred—then illuminated by the bright lights of Las Vegas—one of the truly magical cities in the world.
Many of my friends have asked me how in the world I came up with the Lucky series. The way they asked led me to believe they thought mind-altering substances might have been involved even though they knew the worst I do is a glass of fine Pinot-Noir. The answer to their question is actually very simple: let your fifteen-year-old male child pick where you live, follow his dream to Vegas, then keep your eyes open.
Hey, it worked for me!
If you would like to win the ebook:
Send an email to email@example.com with “ LUCKY CATCH” as the subject. You must include your snail mail address in your email.
All entries must be received by September 10, 2014. One (1) name will be drawn from all qualified entries and notified via email. This contest is open to all adults over 18 years of age. One entry per email address. Subscribers to the monthly newsletter earn an extra entry into every contest. Follow this blog to earn another entry into every contest. Winners may win only one time per year (365 days) for contests with prizes of more than one book. Your email address will not be shared or sold to anyone.
LUCKY CATCH by Deborah Coonts. Cool Gus Publishing (August 26, 2014). ISBN: 978-1621251828. 262p.