Writing About Writing About Sex

Telling my neighbors I was a lawyer rarely elicited titters or clandestine conversations in the dairy aisle at the grocery store. But, now that I’ve changed careers to writing romance, and steamy romance even, everyone seems eager to ask that one critical question, usually at the grocery or hardware store, neighborhood coffee shop, soccer game, or God forbid, in the elementary school hallway.  Typically, it goes something like this: “So, when you write those steamy sex scenes, is it…you know…autobiographical?”


Given that I write fairly straight-forward, albeit very explicit, sex scenes, a randy affirmative answer to this question is theoretically feasible and would probably make my man feel quite proud. Alas, like most authors, I create using my imagination and drawing upon research. As we know, most mystery writers are neither murderers nor private investigators, and I hope that my paranormal romance writing friends haven’t been doing the nasty with the werewolf down the street recently.

So, how does one make up hot and spicy sex scenes? Every writer has her own method, and often it takes years and several books to discovery what method works best. When working with my editor on Objection Overruled, I knew I needed to add additional sex scenes and to rev a few of them up a notch. I tried dealing with those sections while going through the manuscript’s other revisions, but somehow, I couldn’t switch from penetrating penises to dragging dialogue. Instead, I added all of the additional sex scenes (about 30 pages of it) over the course of 1 week.

Yes, I’m a binger. When I’m in the mood, I’m in the mood!

I’ve used the same technique for my current work in progress. The thing that I like about this process is that I am close enough to several scenes so that I don’t repeat the same sequence.  Because while sex might occasionally (at least for the rest of you!  HA!) be formulaic, a reader never wants to read a love scene only to experience deja vu.

The other thing that writing in one long spurt forces me to do is let go of my inhibitions. I write as if no one is going to read my words, especially not the PTA President. I consult my erotic thesaurus (the actual book and not just my guy) frequently, although about half of the time the terms make me giggle.

Yet, through it all, I continue to struggle with what to call the… the… the…”the lady bits.” Let’s face it, the dick is simple. Each man-part has an easily identifiable name as well as multiple slang terms. And, when using them, you never feel like you are in a medical lecture or a scuzzy porn flick. I’ve posed my quandary to erotic romance writer colleagues, and have yet to receive satisfactory resolution. But, another sex scene is on my check list for today.

At least my hero and heroine will get some satisfaction!

What would you do with a $100,000?

Romance novelist Nora Roberts’ foundation has given a $100,000 grant to McDaniel College in Westminster, Md. — the third grant in as many years. If you ever strike it rich, what’s your dream donation?  Ms. Roberts’ grant, which was announced Oct. 1, supports the Nora Roberts Contemporary American Fiction Collection housed in Hoover Library at McDaniel. The collection includes the complete works of Nora Roberts and J.D. Robb, and works of other contemporary American writers.  Good for Nora Roberts!

J.K. Is Real!

Move over Bethany, J.K. is a REAL wife, too!

A friend recently referred me to our local lifestyle magazine, Leawood Lifestyles, and suggested that they feature me as a real wife from our area. After submitting my questionnaire, I was astounded to hear that I would be this month’s feature. So, for anyone out there wondering if I truly am a “real” person, let alone a “real wife,” you can find out all of the inside scoop in the attached article.

For anyone wondering why I write as J.K. O’Hanlon and not Jane Kurtz….Another quite famous author exists by the name of Jane Kurtz (not me) and she write children’s stories.  While the chance of confusion between her stories and mine (erotic romance and cocktail how-to books) is not high, I thought it best to pick another name. So, “J.K.” stands for “Jane Kurtz” and “O’Hanlon” is my husband’s last name.