One of the comments I get frequently from readers is that my books are good because they aren't uncomfortable or raunchy. They're books my readers share with their mothers without turning red or can read in front of their students and not be embarrassed.
It's never been a question in my mind as to whether or not I would write sweet romance. Foremost, I'm a teacher, and I definitely don't want any blush-worthy scenes with my name on it.
Even if that weren't the case, though, I'd still write sweet romance. It's what I love, it's what I like to read, and it's just who I am as a writer.
There's nothing wrong with erotic fiction. I'm a huge opponent of censorship or book shaming. To each his or her own in the literary world. Read what you love, and don't apologize. Write what you love, and don't apologize.
For me, my writing has always been about the love story. I want to capture the beautiful, the real, and everything in between. For me, the height of my love stories, the depth of the emotion behind my characters comes from the sweet moments, the hilarious moments, the everyday moments. Real life love isn't always about crazy, sexy romps in the bedroom or flexing muscles or drool worthy abs. I've always believed that real love, real life romance comes in the simple, in the sweet, in the everyday encounters that make us melt a little.
Sure, love involves passion and chemistry. Sure, I can appreciate sexiness as much as anyone. For me though, the passionate moments happen behind closed doors in my writing because that's what I prefer. I would prefer to use my pages, my words to write about the tender moments the modern woman deals with, the moments that are full of complexity and struggle. I want to write about the conversations, about the first kisses, about the fights, about the secondary conflicts. I see the most interesting conflicts and depth in moments other than those happening in the bedroom...that's just how I write.
I pride myself on writing books that are sexy and edgy and unexpected without any of the raunchiness. I like the challenge of showing that sweet romance is definitely NOT a synonym for boring. I like to show that sex isn't the only way to make a women's fiction or contemporary romance exciting.
There are plenty of sparks, plenty of fizzles, and plenty of passionate moments without any moments that will make you want to hide the cover. Sweet romance isn't prudish or dull or conservative. It's simply a focus on emotion, on passion, on the love story. For me, there's nothing boring about that.