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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sex and Violence or Violence and Sex

I had to chuckle a bit about a reader review I received. It seems the reviewer was a little disturbed about my novella Not Magic Enough. She thought I couldn't make up my mind about whether it was a fantasy, romance, erotica or drama. It was clear that she minded the sex (calling it erotica, which was an intriguing reference) but she didn't seem to mind the violence in it. Never mentioned it.
Now, she's absolutely entitled to her opinion, but I have to warn her then that she probably won't like any of my books. To me without drama there would be no novel - who wants to read about someone's daily undramatic life? And in all my novels the circumstances are what brings the protagonists - the hero(s)/heroine(s) - together. The romance begins, the drama fuels it, and - in any normal relationship beyond a certain age - intellectual and emotional attraction fuels physical attraction. To not include that seems to be a bit...puritanical and unrealistic. As well as unnatural. Some folks will argue that the sex - even expressing love - doesn't need to be so...um...visible, let's keep that behind closed doors. Banning the expression of physical affection between two adults while splattering blood all over the place seems strangely perverted to me. I'd rather project a certain reality, even in my fantasy novels. A reality where it's as okay to portray loving sex as realistically as the violence. And sometimes where the former allows us to express the relief and gratitude at surviving the latter with the one they love.