Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Sex Talk With Rebecca Zanetti

When I asked Rebecca to make another appearance on my blog, again she asked me to come up with a topic. We-ell, I kept remembering the time she spoke at an Idaho Writer’s League meeting. Naturally it came up that she writes some steamy stuff. All the romance writers wanted her to elaborate on certain subjects and pitfalls…but alas, the stodgier members kept steering the topic back to the PG-zone. ::sigh:: But now’s my chance. I even gave her an out. I said, “We can talk about sex…or structuring a novella.”

She replied, “Sex? Go for it.”

So, here I go...and since purple's my favorite color, I totally call dibs. 

 Rebecca, you write for Kensington’s BRAVA imprint, which I understand is a bit naughtier than the ZEBRA line. (About a third of my romance collection is Zebra books…and they can get pretty steamy.) Can you tell us more about what a reader can expect from a BRAVA book?

First, a big thank you to Brooklyn Ann for having me over at Supernatural Smut today!  Great question, by the way.  At Kensington, the Zebra line is supposed to be somewhat sweet, the Brava line is sensual, and the Aphrodesia line is erotic.  In Brava, the hero and heroine need to be very sexually aware of each other from the first meet, but they don’t have to actually have sex until it works for the plot.  In fact, sometimes it’s better to wait and just keep the tension going. Love that tension! too, and you do such a good job with that in FATED! 

To get serious for a moment, we all know that romance authors, especially of the steamy variety, get all sorts of judgments and stereotypes lobbed at them. Most recently I’m thinking of the episode with Judy Mays.   Have you gotten any crap from people because of your writing, and how did you handle it?

My short answer here is…no.  The people in my life are supportive…or they’re not in my life.  I have gotten some rolled eyes and dramatic expressions from acquaintances, but screw them.  Sorry to be crass, but life is WAY too short to worry about the opinions of stick-in-the-muds.   You know what’s been interesting, though?  People don’t look at me differently.  They look at my husband differently.  It’s hilarious.  J  (And for the record, my books aren’t THAT steamy.  Okay, they’re steamy.  But they’re not erotic.  And frankly, I have no problem with erotic romances—I just don’t write them.  Yet).

Okay, back to the fun stuff…though this one’s a little related. During your talk at the IWL meeting, you mentioned that one of your dad’s friends called him up to discuss some of the racy stuff in FATED. How did that go? And do you have any more fun stories about reactions from friends and family? (The thought of my father reading my smut makes me cringe…but not enough to make me stop writing it. J)

Oh yeah, I forgot I shared this story.  You have a great memory!  Well, a very conservative friend of my dad’s came up to him and said he read my book.  And my dad was surprised, and repeated, “you read Becky’s book?”  And his conservative friend said, “Sure.  I love vampire books.  Can’t wait until the next one comes out.”  My dad couldn’t wait to call me.  Who knew?  Also, I’m on a nonprofit Board with a couple of nuns, who read the book.  They both just loved the world building.  J

Nuns? Really? That's gonna have me giggling all day.

I read something funny on your blog awhile back. You said, “Those who complained that there was too much sex in book one have already pre-ordered book two.” After I recovered from my laughter, I wondered: Is this sort of hypocrisy common? And what other reactions have you gotten from readers?

You know, I wouldn’t call it hypocrisy.  It’s just human nature.  What happened was an acquaintance (not even a close friend) of my mom bought and read FATED.  When she saw my mom, she said how much she enjoyed the writing, but the sex was way too much for her.  Then she asked my mom if she’d read CLAIMED, and my mom said ‘yes’ because she usually reads a printed off copy from my computer right after I finish the book.  Well, the lady then asked if she could borrow the printed off copy.  J  It gave me a good giggle. 

The fan emails are wonderful and I love getting them.  One nice lady said she is home most of the week with two special needs kids, and while she loves her life, she still needs to escape once in a while in books.  She said she read FATED three times one week to just get lost.  Nearly made me cry.

Awww!!! That's so sweet!

Now for the technical stuff: Do your love scenes just come to you, or do you have to focus or be in a certain mindset to write them?

Wow, that’s a tough question.  I think for the most part they just come to me.  Sometimes I’m under a deadline and I have to really work at it, but usually I’m just in the mood to write a certain scene.

So…let’s ask a question today.  Are some books just too racy for you?  Brooklyn Ann will randomly draw a name of a commenter for a signed copy of FATED.  Thanks for reading today!

Rebecca Zanetti is a college professor by day and romance author by night.  Currently she’s busy writing the sexy Dark Protector Series from Kensington Brava, which has received excellent reviews.  To find Rebecca on the web, drop by her website: 

Book one of the Dark Protectors, FATED, is available NOW from Kensington Publishing at all major book retailers.
Book 2, CLAIMED, will be available on October 25, 2011 at all major book retailers and is available for pre-order now!

While geneticist Emma Paulsen appreciates vampire king Dage Kayrs rescuing her from the evil, pasty, creepy Kurjan leader who wanted to mate with her, she wouldn’t have needed rescuing had the vampires not gone to war.  And while she’s willing to spend one night fulfilling her fantasies with Dage, no way does she plan to stick around for good.  Whether the king happened to brand her flesh or not.

That is until her pregnant sister, Cara, contracts a Kurjan virus that will not only destroy the baby but strip Cara’s chromosomal pairs until she’s possibly less than human.  A virus that turns shifters into werewolves.  A bug that requires science, magic and physics to be quashed.  Emma will have to suspend her every belief in science and to trust the vampires in order to save her sister.

Dage Kayrs has waited three centuries to find his mate.  As King of the Realm, he’s accustomed to diplomacy and design, although he’d rather rip his enemy’s head off than negotiate.  He’s tired of hiding his true nature.  He’s tired of being alone.  But the greatest challenge of his long life will be in learning to compromise enough to keep Emma, his learning to bend during a time of war when his oldest friends might become his greatest enemies. 


  1. Great interview ladies!

    I wouldn't say that there are any traditional romances that are too racy for me, it's the newer stuff with the alternate lifestyles and/or too many partners I have a hard time with - and it's not the subject either, it's I get confused on what goes where and whose it is : )

    I love steamy romances - heck I have 4 kids... lol.

    Great post.

  2. Love this. Write on my friends.

  3. Hi Bonnie and Lynn! Thanks for dropping by today. Thanks also to Brooklyn Ann for having me over. :)

  4. Great interview! I love that a friend of your Dad's read the book and liked it.

    Can't wait to get my hands on Claimed!

  5. Thanks again, Rebecca for stopping by and answering the questions. I love steamy romance but I admit I get a little squicked out by what's referred to in romance-land as "teh buttsecks." If it's in there once, fine. But anymore and I may not be able to handle it.

  6. Too funny! I have tried to write certain... uh... scenes, but they always turn out more like the insecure fumblings of giggling first timers and it is distracting. I'm much better at bloody fight scenes. *Shrug* I may need to employ someone's help once things steam up in my new manuscript. Hmm... Food for thought.

    As to what is too much for me, some of the S&M stuff is outside my comfort zone, but most of what turns me off is syntax. Brooklyn and I have talked about this one, but if the female c-word is used too often and out of context for that character it makes me put down the book. Just a pet peeve of mine.

    However, the romance genre, which I previously avoided for asinine reasons, is quickly becoming one of my favorites. :D

  7. Thanks for the interview loved it. I don't really get put off by the sexiness or steaminess of a book. If I put it down it is because I could not get into it. I have read some that are really erotic and some that aren't. It all depends on how well it is written and if I can get into the book.
    deslauree3 at aol dot com

  8. No matter the level--sweet, steamy, erotic--if the sex works with the plot and is well written, then it works for me. It's when two characters seem to get down to business just because it's time for another sex scene that reading becomes a chore. Really, you're in the middle of the jungle, chased by a serial killer--and you decided to stop a while and get some, really? Also, in very steamy books the sex scenes have to add something new in each scene. If it's just a repeat of what I've just read--same sexual technique, same emotional tension level, same dialog--then I get bored and skip them no matter how well written they are.

    Thanks for a great blog! And yay for Becky's books. I'm anxiously waiting for the third one.

  9. What a fun interview! Lol, I always learn cool stuff about you Rebecca :) Btw, enjoyed playing on your blog today!

    And Brooklyn Ann, I'm lust with your graphics!

  10. My graphics? You mean the pics at the top? Alas, two are not mine. The hot guy is the inner cover flap of Maggie Shayne's PRINCE OF TWILIGHT... and I don't know who did the angel. The cat's mine, though. :)

  11. I feel that the only way a book can have too much sex in it is if the sex scenes don't advance the story. If the scene feels like it was tossed in there for the sake of a sex scene, I will often get tossed out of the fictional world, which makes it hard to enjoy the rest of the book

  12. Straight erotic is to racy for me. But honestly, that's just because reading backside action makes me cringe. Other then that I love my romance racy ;-)