Here is our 2nd Fan Friday post. Remember - you can submit any type of question to me at any time. So, send them in!

Our question today comes from Amy. She asks:
What made you decide to write clean romances?

I'd love your thoughts - leave them here or on my Facebook page but let me know what you think!

I’ve had several people ask me why, in the days post Fifty Shades, I would even attempt to write clean romances. According to them, people do not want to read about heartfelt romances. They do not want to read about meaningful connections and the trials couples can go through on the way to building a solid relationship. I disagreed and argued that is what life, what love, is about. They may eventually agree, but only with the huge caveat that reading about romance is only interesting with the sex.

To that, I say absolutely not.

Sex is a vital part of any healthy marriage. It is exciting, passionate, and necessary – and it was designed to be that way. I will not deny that, nor will most other people. But, I also think there is more to every relationship than sex and I firmly believe people can get lost in a love story without needing the intimate details.

But the unnecessary description of sex is not the only reason I chose to write clean romances. In fact, it’s not even the primary reason. No – that reason is sitting in the other room at the moment, cuddled up on her bed with a book. For nine years, this precious little girl has graced my life. I watch in awe as she experiences the world, learns to navigate friendships, and understands trust. My heart breaks as I realize how fast she is growing up and I anxiously and hesitantly wait to see what kind of woman she will become.

She is the reason I write clean romances. I want her to be able to talk freely about what Mama does, to be able to tell people about Mama’s books and never have to be worried. More importantly though, I want her know that while sex is beautiful, wonderful and even fun, it does not have to define her relationships. I want her to know that trust, love, commitment, friendship, and respect are just as equally important in a relationship. One day, my daughter will delve into the pages of my books just like she gets lost in the pages of Harry Potter, Anne of Green Gables, Little Women, and the Dork Diaries. When I write, I think about the basic truths I want her to know about romance and love and try to incorporate those into my books. It is part of my legacy to her.

Writing clean romance was never a lifelong goal I had. I’m not opposed to sex. In fact, if you look at my book list on Goodreads, you will see I have a pretty eclectic reading list, including many traditional romances that have varied scenes. But I have been gifted with the responsibility of raising a precious young lady and I want the words I write to mirror the conversations I have with her and the hopes I have for what she will learn as she grows.

Every author has to write what they feel and what they think is best; nothing is necessarily ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. This variety is what makes the literary world so fantastically beautiful. This is just my contribution to that world. 



05/24/2013 2:15pm

I'm glad you wrote your post. I am very new to writing, but if I had to answer that question I would say that I like to write about courtship, and while that includes sex for many people, there are still a lot of us who wait, whether for religious reasons or a personal decision.

05/24/2013 2:44pm

I feel the same way, Rachel! And I think women who make those choices are not often celebrated enough. I want my daughter to know that it's okay to get lost in falling in love and to enjoy every moment. There's no need to rush the ending; enjoy the journey along the way!

Joan Ostler
05/24/2013 5:01pm

Thank you, thank you.

05/24/2013 5:55pm

You are welcome!!! And, thanks for taking the time to read and leave a comment!

05/24/2013 8:16pm

Yay, Marisa! Nothing would be worse than to have to hide your work from your daughter. Plus, clean romance leaves something to the reader's imagination. I like that! Keep up the good work!

05/25/2013 5:08pm

Thank you, Leslee! Sometimes, I think you get more out of it when you leave it to the imagination every now and then.

06/01/2013 2:05pm

Yes. I agree. I also like writing books without detailed sex scenes. I found that although I liked knowing what happened relationship-wise before and afterwards, I really didn't want to know the details of what the characters did. I find the trust and emotional issues more interesting, but then, that's a fundamental part of the sexual attraction, too

06/26/2013 6:40am

Nowdays I like to skip the detailed sex scene on romance. Maybe I just feel overwhelmed at times ;p


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