Friday, June 29, 2012

Never Enough Secrets: On the Topic of Sex

I know I'm sticking my toes in some pretty fiery waters here, and I don't want to start a heated debate. I just wanted to share another secret with you from my new book Never Enough.

There's sex in it.

It's true, and many of you may be shaking your heads, thinking, "okay, where's the big secret?" Because there are plenty of YA novels out there with sex scenes in them. The difference is, this is the first one of mine.

And so, rather than debating the topic, I just wanted to share a little of my own personal thoughts on the subject. To me, sex is a very private thing. Maybe the most private thing. I've never been one to talk to girlfriends about intimate details of my relationships. It's just not me. To be honest, it makes me uncomfortable reading a sex scene in a book or watching a movie with a vivid sex scene in it (though for some reason I always seem to rent those kind of movies when my mom is coming over!). To me, it feels like the act is meant only for those involved, and not for me.

So why did I write a sex scene into my book then? I'm not sure what to say to that, except that the story and the characters come first. The integrity of the story matters to me. I want my stories to be reflections of true human existence. I write, in part, because it helps me sort out my own thoughts and feelings about the world, and so if I'm not being true to my characters, I don't feel like I learn anything. The places Never Enough went are where the characters took me, and while I got lost and caught up in character during the writing of the sex scene, I admit, it still makes me uncomfortable every time I read it.

Coming up to the launch of Never Enough, I've had some feelings of trepidation about this. If it makes me uncomfortable, how uncomfortable will it make others?  I think of certain friends and family reading this scene and I wonder if they'll look at me differently or be offended or have trouble meeting my eye after reading this book. But the truth is, the same with every other thing that happens in this book, I was telling Loann's story the best way I knew how. The most honest way I knew how.

And, like I said, I'm a very private person when it comes to sex, but here's one more thing that I didn't plan, but that just came out of the end product: this book is a book I wish I'd read when I was a teen, sex and all. No, I wouldn't have been comfortable reading it, but it would have helped me think beyond my preconceived ideas about sex and made me feel like I wasn't alone.

So I hope if you're reading this and you're a blog reader or a friend or a parent, or all of the above...I hope you'll give Never Enough, a chance and know that the story is not about me, the author. It's about Loann and Marcus and Claire, and I hope you will love the brief glimpse I was able to give into their lives.

8 comments:

  1. One of the things I admired so much about Never Enough was how brave you were with that sex scene, which was so uncomfortably realistic.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Carolyn. That means a lot to me.

      Delete
  2. cool looking forward to reading this!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awesome! I really hope you enjoy it!

      Delete
  3. I'm normally a bit wary of books with sex in them but I thought what you did with Never Enough was perfect. I feel like so often YA authors put sex in just to be hip and edgy but that's not the way you did it. In Never Enough the sex wasn't just there to be there. It had a purpose. I have already been recommending this book to a lot of people and I hope they'll give it a chance regardless of the sex. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Julia. You are awesome.

      Delete
  4. There aren't too many books about people and their relationships/situations/dilemmas that *don't* have some sex in them. Mostly I avoid the authors that throw it in as a selling feature. I'm looking forward to reading NEVER ENOUGH and I don't doubt I'll feel you dealt with the subject appropriately for the story.

    Hope to see you on the 14th.

    ReplyDelete