Bring on fantasy!
At a mystery writers’ conference last week (yep, I write those, too) I was talking to another author (male) and the subject of what women want came up.
Well, the subject was 50 Shades of Grey. When authors get together they always want to talk about books that sell millions of copies.
If we could figure out the formula, we’d sell millions, too!
The conversation went beyond book sales, though. The guy was truly wondering why millions of women bought and read the book.
“Do women want to be taken against their will? I thought that was rape,” he said.
Whew, this was way beyond my understanding of all women’s psychology and fantasies.
Fantasy is the key here, though. Many women have fantasies of having sex when they have some hesitation. But it’s the wooing, the convincing that matters. The woman’s pleasure is paramount in books like 50 Shades.
This book opened the floodgates for BDSM literature, as well as bringing erotica out of the shadows. And looking at the number of books and oceans of sales, women have wanted outlets for their fantasies for a long time.
I have an acquaintance who looks like someone’s grandmother. She should be rocking in a chair by the fire, knitting afghans and reading to her grandchildren. Instead, she writes erotica—pretty hot erotica—and I always wonder when I see her together with her husband of maybe fifty years.
When I read 50 Shades I was beginning to write The Kandesky Vampire Chronicles. I didn’t want my characters to go down the BDSM route, but I surely wanted my protagonist, Maxie Gwenoch, a regular woman, to have a complete fantasy. She was falling in love with a vampire. She loved his caring, his competency, his money, his lifestyle, his urbaneness.
And the fact that he was five hundred years old, had made love to countless women and knew his way around a woman’s body was a giant plus.
In SNAP: White Nights, the seventh book in The Kandesky Vampire Chronicles, the relationship between Maxie and Jean-Louis deepens and a new romance between Nik and Jazz begins. Jazz now has Maxie’s previous job as Managing Editor of SNAP, and Nik is a four hundred year old vampire and a leader of the Kandesky family. Nik’s been with women over the past centuries and Maxie knows Jazz is in for a treat.
My conversation at the conference didn’t resolve anything and the guy went away still not knowing what women want. I couldn’t figure out how to tell him that sometimes we don’t want to be responsible, sometimes we want our partners to (gently) coerce us, sometimes we want romance and always we want foreplay.
A few hundred years of experience would help a fantasy, too.
Michele Drier was born in Santa Cruz and is a fifth generation Californian. She’s lived and worked all over the state, calling both Southern and Northern California home. During her career in journalism—as a reporter and editor at daily newspapers—she won awards for producing investigative series.
SNAP: White Nights the seventh book of her paranormal romance series, The Kandesky Vampire Chronicles, was published March 20. She’s working on the eighth book in the series, SNAP: All That Jazz, scheduled for publication in late spring 2014.
She also writes the Amy Hobbes Newspaper mysteries, Edited for Death and Labeled for Death. A third book, Delta for Death, is coming in 2014.