Several years ago, the film version of Pride and Prejudice was released with a different cast from the popular BBC series, the premise being five daughters with little fortune need to marry a wealthy man. However, Elizabeth Bennett wants a marriage filled with love and turns down the reverend cousin, the male who inherits, in her quest.
Her eye catches William Darcy, a very rich boy who’s quiet, thoughtful, a good friend and quite prideful and prejudiced. It doesn’t help that he thinks she, too, is prideful and prejudiced. Quite the conundrum that could have easily kept them apart…until they begin to see the true qualities in each other. Near the end (spoiler alert!), Darcy finds her and says, “You have bewitched me, body and soul.”
What’s the one writing prize I really don’t want to get? The Bad Sex in Fiction award, offered every year by Britain’s Literary Review “for the most egregious passage of sexual description in a work of fiction.”
It’s not like I’ve yet been in extreme danger of receiving this honor. My sex scenes are not of the anatomical and bodice-ripping sort. I don’t even write in genres such as romance.
I write contemporary fiction, with some works a bit more in the literary fiction realm than others. But that doesn’t put me out of the danger zone. If anything, now that I think about it, I’m right in the bull’s eye. My stories focus on relationships, and many are romantic relationships. In order to properly build these relationships, sex has to make its grand entrance at one point or another.
Most of us writers are voracious readers. And man, do we love our characters and our authors. From day one, right? From the moment when the word “LOOK” (for those of us who began our reading careers with Dick, Jane and Sally) first clicked in our brains and we lit up like little Christmas trees, to last night when we cuddled in bed with our newest favorite crush. (For me it’s Miranda July and last week it was Atul Gawande.) So what happens when we have to lower the boom? Breaking up is hard to do.
One of the great expressions about fiction writing is that “We tell untruths to arrive at truths.”
That’s why I started writing novels, and especially that’s why I started writing medical thrillers.
Doctors save lives. We deliver babies and save babies. We help prevent disease, we treat disease, and we can often cure disease. The power of life and death is often in our hands.
The problem is that power can corrupt, and some doctors, unfortunately, are not immune to the kind of corruption that human nature permits.
When people find out I wrote a book, the first question that pops up is: “Where did you find the time?”
Not “what kind of book?” Not “how long did it take you to write it?” Not “what is it about?” Yes, these questions come out eventually, but the first, almost irrepressible, question is about finding the time.
For those of you who haven’t been to Savannah, you’re missing out on some fantastic inspiration—especially if you have a supernatural story to tell.
Besides being an idyllic vacation spot, Savannah lends itself to every kind of tale. Savannah is a port city, with the historic district being on the banks of the Savannah River. Legends and myths abound about innocent men having a drink on River Street and then being shanghaied onto pirate ships. There are real places, such as the local favorite restaurant aptly named The Pirates House, which gave truth to the legends: underground shanghai tunnels that stretch to the riverfront can be spotted inside the restaurant even today.