My first book in the Pineville series, PUTTING OUT OLD FLAMES, was just published yesterday, today I finished going over the page proofs for the second book in that series, and I’m currently editing book three. And I’ve realized something that isn’t…so good. The heat levels in the books aren’t consistent. Like graphic anatomical description to flowery metaphor for a woman’s hoohaw inconsistent.
I know it comes down to inexperience, and I wonder how many other authors experience the same sort of schizophrenia when it comes to their writing. If typically they write about ‘hard lengths’ and all of sudden a ‘throbbing c***’ gets dropped into the mix? I can’t be the only writer who’s had to do a Word search for naughty terms to clean them up.
I like reading so many different types of romance, I find I want to write different types, as well. But that inconsistency shouldn't happen in the same series. For my part, I blame the Hallmark Channel. I’d been mainlining Hallmark Christmas movies at the time I wrote my second book, THE CHRISTMAS TREE, and the sweeter tone snuck in. But my natural style, I’m discovering, has a bit more heat, and that came out in PUTTING OUT OLD FLAMES. And then even more so in book three.
Now I’m faced with a dilemma. Tone down book three and make the rest of the series consistent with THE CHRISTMAS TREE, leaving PUTTING OUT OLD FLAMES the odd, sexy man out. Or make book two the anomaly and match PUTTING OUT OLD FLAMES heat-level. (And when I say PUTTING OUT OLD FLAMES is hotter than THE CHRISTMAS TREE, I don’t mean that it’s porno levels. And THE CHRISTMAS TREE definitely isn’t a sweet romance. There is sex, it’s just a chili pepper below my other work.)
I want to write what comes naturally for me. And I’m coming to learn that means steaming up the sheets a bit more. So I’ll edit book three down to PUTTING OUT OLD FLAMES levels, and just hope that the slightly sweeter feel of book two won’t throw my readers for a loop.
And I’ll leave my really naughty writing for a new historical series I just sold, pen name yet to be determined. After all, a woman shouldn’t be limited to just one style.