I Write the Books I Love to Read

An open book with magical stars coming out of it.
© Can Stock Photo / stillfx

I consider myself lucky have grown up in a house full of readers. Both of my parents enjoyed reading. Dinner table conversations were often about the books they were currently reading. They liked spy novels, but they also read mainstream fiction.

I loved horses when I was a kid. I must have read the entire black stallion series. Marguerite Henry, however, was my favorite author. I read Brighty of the Grand Canyon from cover to cover many times over. I also loved her Misty series. Beverly Cleary was another favorite. Beezus and Ramona are timeless.

I took English lit courses throughout high school. This introduced me to many different genres. Of course, some were more interesting than others. Oftentimes, however, my biggest challenge was putting the book down. Sometimes I wanted to keep going to the end, but I couldn’t get too far ahead of the rest of class.

As an adult, if you’ll pardon the pun, I fell in love with the romance genre. Like my parents, I also enjoyed mainstream fiction, so, from time to time, I borrowed one of their favorite novels. I think this is why my romance novels are somewhat similar to mainstream fiction. Authors such as Arthur Hailey and Peter Benchley must have influenced my writing.

I started writing novels because I wanted to write the books I’d enjoy reading. I wasn’t as concerned about how many books I would sell, or if I would become rich and famous, as I was about writing a story that I could fall in love with and lose myself in. In other words, it’s about the joy of storytelling, and I write out of my own love of reading. I figured if I wrote the books I would enjoy reading, then there would be others out there who would enjoy reading them too. Turns out, I was right. I’m getting some wonderful feedback from you, my readers, and I thank you for your support. It makes me happy to know that you are enjoying my books.

Marina Martindale

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Oh My!

A graphic of a pair of red lips.

I’ve had some interesting feedback from some of the men who’ve been reading my romance novels. They tell me they’ve really enjoyed reading my sex scenes. Apparently, I have a talent I didn’t know I had. To quote George Takei, “Oh, my!”

Well, I must confess. I’ve actually done some research on how to write effective love¬†scenes, and I’m happy to explain the techniques I use.

First, I take my time to build the sexual tension between my characters. The build up happens slowly. Arousal starts innocently, with hands accidentally brushing, or someone touching a forearm. The man may find the lady’s dress sexy. Sometimes horseplay turns into foreplay.

Certain body parts are never mentioned by name. I’m writing romance, not a medical textbook. My goal is to describe what the characters are feeling. I’ll refer to it with words such as, “she felt a sweet sensation.” We all know what happens during the act. My editor came up with a wonderful way to refer to it. “Reaching his (or her) release.” Oftentimes I’ll use the words such as climax, ecstasy or, the two briefly became one, when describing the euphoria the characters are experiencing.

In addition, I don’t use much dialogue during my love scenes. Two people who love each other, and are making love for the first time, probably won’t be in the mood for chatting. Likewise, too much dialogue would interrupt the flow of the story. I save the dialog for the pillow talk scene in the next chapter. One thing I will do, however, is to try to instill a sense of responsibility in my characters. Oftentimes the lady will be asked if she’s using birth control, or the man will stop to apply a condom. Most importantly, if the characters are making love for the first time, the man will ask the woman if she’s okay with what’s about to happen. My leading men are strong and masculine, but they also know to respect a woman’s boundaries.

And, finally, I only use these scenes to enhance the plot, and I use them sparingly. There are usually no more than two or three such scenes throughout my entire novel. My stories are about people and their relationships, and there’s a whole lot more to a romantic relationship than just sex.


Marina Martindale

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