[found on writing-world.com; by Karen Wiesner]
“Let your characters decide the level of intimacy, not publisher guidelines.
I used to base everything I wrote on what the publishers might buy. I suppose it makes some sense to do that when you’re not published. Target your publisher, then tailor what you write to that set of guidelines. Sounds logical, right? I’m not so sure. A part of me really believes that the reason I didn’t sell all those years was because I was trying to write for everyone else except myself and what fit my characters. If you’re writing for someone else, you’re not writing what’s in your heart… and it’s going to show.
The same is true for love scenes. In every one of my books, the level of intimacy is a little different, depending on what that particular hero and heroine dictate. Restless as Rain and Forever Man are strongly what I dub “romantic erotica” because the emotions are as hot as the physical lovemaking. The characters in these books are very extreme, larger than life and they demand a sexuality that suits their personalities. In First Love, the sexual tension is definitely there from start to finish and the love scenes are satisfying without being overtly erotic.
However, the hero and heroine in this book are in need of emotional healing, more so than sexual healing. Their lovemaking is part of that healing process, and it suited them to have emotionally sensual loves scenes rather than down-and-dirty, deep ones. Leather & Lace, my first published book, was completely different. The heroine in the book was very innocent and naive. When she thought of lovemaking, it was always in a more “romantic” sense and, because she was so private, having more low-key love scenes were appropriate. The sexual tension remained throughout, however.”
For more tips on writing from Karen Wiesner, click here.