Wednesday, May 5, 2010


By Isabo Kelly

I write sexy, often erotic, romance novels with sex on the page and as much sexual tension as I can cram into a story. I don't necessarily have to feel "turned on" to write sex, but romantic scenes flow easier if I'm at least feeling a little sexy and romantic.

And nothing kills my sexiness faster than a hard day as "mom".

Being a mommy is great, but reconciling that role with the role of romance writer can be tough. When your mind is full of toys, nursery rhymes, Dora the Explorer, nap time, dirty diapers and temper tantrums, shutting that down to concentrate on the first bloom of someone else’s love and lust is not easy. I mean, how sexy would you feel after changing a particularly dirty diaper and having a fight with your kids when trying to put them to bed. Not to mention the shear exhaustion that can so quickly rob you of the need for anything but sleep!

Also for a lot of women, once firmly in the role of mommy, they stop considering themselves sexual creatures. They can even forget what it’s like to be something other than mom. But as a writer of romance, I have to remember how it feels to be a woman and a lover or I can’t write what I need to.

So what do I do? Fake it. That's right. Sometimes, I fake it.

You know you've done it too.

I rely on my craft and I motor through the sexy stuff. I get down the basic choreography, I try to infuse some of the emotional depth the scene needs, and I rely heavily on my skill with words to make sure the scene doesn't have to be thrown out completely when I get to editing. I don’t feel the emotions or sexiness, but I write out what I know is supposed to be happening.

There are other tricks to ramping up your romantic feelings to get through writing a sex scene—taking a bubble bath, lighting a pretty scented candle, wearing sexy lingerie—and if those work for you, go for it. Personally, though, when all I want to do is get my words on the page so I can get to bed for some much needed sleep, most of the extra stuff takes too much time. And really, I'm too tired.

So I've become a big believer in faking it. I get the words down and worry about making sure they're really sexy later. The funny thing is, when I do this, when I'm relying totally on my craft over my mood, the scenes usually turn out pretty damned good. Much better than I anticipate when I go back to edit.

Good lesson for all writing. We aren't always in the "mood" or feeling inspired. So sometimes we just have to write, relying on the skill we've spent years developing, and get words on the page.

Turns out, faking it can bring some really satisfying results.♥

Isabo Kelly (aka Katrina Tipton) has won awards and garnered many excellent reviews for her sexy, romantic science fiction and fantasy stores—despite her mood while writing those books! Her latest paperback release, SIREN SINGING, won the 2009 Prism award for best erotic romance, so something she’s doing must be working. For more on Isabo’s books, visit her at


  1. Great Post Kat,
    My hats off to all the moms out there who balance writing and child care... And the writing advice for faking it is good for anyone who just wants to get the words on the page and tighten it up later.

  2. I agree completely. As writers we don't have to feel sexy to write sex. I mean, if we were writing a murder scene would we get out the guns, knives, or whatever?

  3. Thanks, Carolyn! And very true, Anne. That's what our
    imaginations are for! :)

  4. Thanks for the post Katrina! Really puts things in perspective, esp for those of us who aren't mothers. No more excuses from me!

    BTW, happy Mother's Day to all the mothers in here!