This may come as a shock to you, but there’s sex in my books.
Not on every page, but certainly on more than one. It comes with the territory when you write romance (though the fact that I write romantic comedy is what compels me to point out that I’ve already used the word come twice and haven’t even touched this week’s topic of family members reading our books).
Where was I?
Right. Sex. The fact that my books contain it has not deterred me from sharing them with my parents. Quite the opposite, really.
My parents are retired teachers. My dad taught middle school English for 30 years, and my mom was a third grade teacher. To say these two have eagle eyes for the mechanics of writing would be an understatement.
I’ve never been shy about discussing the fine art of nookie, and my parents have always been open about such matters. Nevertheless, there’s something disconcerting about having your parents read an explicit scene that comes straight from the naughty depths of your imagination (there I go again with comes. Oh, and naughty depths. And…OK, I’ll stop there).
I’ll never forget the time my mother read a manuscript that’s since been relegated to the save-for-later drawer. I don’t know about you, but it’s not every day I get notes from my mom that begin, “Reading through this phone sex scene, I think there’s a typo in the second sentence after the orgasm.”
When I gave my parents an early draft of MAKING WAVES, I tried to divvy up the editing tasks. “Could you maybe ask Dad to skip reading the steamy shower scene?” I asked my mom. “Tell him to focus on the parts where I left blanks for the names of famous football players.”
Naturally, they ignored me. Good thing, since Dad caught a small error surrounding the placement of the soap dish.
Overall, I’d say it’s been a pretty positive experience having my parents reading my manuscripts. I get the benefit of having them catch typos, and they get the benefit of knowing ahead of time which of their friends should be told there are no more copies of my books available in stores.
How do you handle risqué matters in books and movies when it comes to discussing them with your parents? Please share!