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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Tawny's Tuesday: Emotional Themes in Books

Good morning! Happy Tuesday! I hope everyone had a great weekend. I went to our regular monthly family themed dinner thing on Saturday (this month was Irish food). As usual, it was a great time. Ironically, my siblings and I spent some twenty-something years hardly ever seeing each other, not even during the holidays. And then last summer, we got together for some reason I can't remember, and we talked, and talked, and talked. By the end of the day, we decided we just needed to see each other every month. It wasn't just about eating, although a big part of it is, but also about healing a family that had been broken.

Healing, forgiveness, redemption. Loss. Grief. So many people are familiar with those kinds of emotions, which I believe is the reason why books written about them tend to be so powerful...and so popular.

Have you noticed any recurring emotional themes in the books you read? Are you drawn toward stories about certain kinds of conflicts? What tugs at your heartstrings?

Lately, I've done a lot of soul-searching and struggling with my writing. I know I can't play it safe anymore, that readers are looking for more from me, from my books. But it's scary. Writers make themselves vulnerable by tapping into the pain they've experienced in their life and weaving those emotions and conflicts into their books. Take Sherrilyn Kenyon, for example. Recently, she posted a blog on Myspace about how she's taken all the horrific experiences in her life and used all that bottled-up anguish to tell her stories. That's incredibly brave. I admire her courage.

In the past six months, I've been pushing myself to be more like Sherrilyn, to let all the ghosts in my past run amok as I write. The result: you're going to see a very different kind of story come from Tawny Taylor in the months to come. Yes, there will still be plenty of hot sex, as well as the occasional bad guy. And my voice is still pretty much the same. But there will also be scarred heroes and heroines. Deep emotional conflicts--recovering from severe child abuse, grieving death, issues with sexuality, and struggles with guilt, regret, loneliness. For example, my recent Ellora's Cave release, Double Take. It's a menage, and there is LOTS of kinky sex, of course. But it's not just a story about how many ways three people can make a threesome; it's a story about WHY three people need to make a threesome.

I think it was bound to happen, that my craft would take me to this next level. I hope you enjoy the journey with me.

I'll end with a question: what books have struck an emotional chord with you and what was it about that book that made it so powerful? I'd love to hear.

Tawny
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Wicked-Hot Erotic Fiction

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