Monday, April 28, 2014

Sex sells

When I originally started writing my first book, my intention was not to have detailed sex scenes.  But as I continued to read book after book, I noticed that all of them had sex scenes in them.  I mean romantic relationships and sex go hand in hand so why wouldn't the stories include them?  Yes, I could have written the story of Janie and Jake without the sex scenes, but to be able to share the passion, tenderness, and all the sensations you feel in those moments just adds to the story.  I guess you could say that they are added bonuses.  But isn't that what we all hope to find in a good romance novel?   And I am talking ROMANCE novels, NOT erotica. What's the difference?  Romance novels have a story, a plot, one that can be told without the sex.  Erotica is simply just about the sex.  I was talking to a friend about Cutting Through, and I had mentioned the shower scene.  She didn't remember details about it, but she could tell me details about the love story and characters.  I thought that was awesome, because it made me feel like the story overpowered the sex scenes to the point that you don't really remember them.
Romantic fiction is the largest selling fiction sub-genre, so I guess we know what that means.  Yup, women read more than men, and sex sells!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

What's your name?

I have been asked why I didn't use a pen name. I guess I never really thought to use one.  I wanted people to know that I, Amy Heileman Ben-Kiki wrote a book.  Whether people like it or not, think it's crap or love it, it's my work and I'm proud of it.  I have been called so many other things my entire life, I finally have something that is mine and I wanted MY name on it!
I grew up being the youngest of four.  This meant that 99% of the time I was NOT Amy. I was called all of my sister's names or I was simply so and so's sister.  After that, when I started dating my husband, I then became Jay's girlfriend/wife.  I get it, he holds a higher rank in our jobs and he's a bigger presence than I am, and that's ok, because my husband is amazing and I'm proud to be his wife.
When I had my kids, I then became Chase and Cooper's mom (my favorite name so far.)  At their school where my mother-in-law teaches I am Joyce's daughter-in-law.  I wouldn't give up any of those names, but for once I just wanted to be known as me.
I guess I feel like I have had so many names my whole life, that I really didn't want to add another.  I just simply wanted people to know me by my name.  My REAL name.  Just for a moment, I wanted to be known as Amy Heileman Ben-Kiki!
And now I'll happily go back to being so and so's sister, Jay's wife, Chase and Cooper 's mom, Joyce's daughter-in-law, and so on...

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Cause you gotta have faith!!

The story of Maggie and Drew has become so much more than I originally thought.  The subject of God and faith have taken over the storyline completely.  But as I have stated before, I am not a religious person, so this book is not preaching to the reader.  The characters are all different in their levels of belief.  It all comes down to what you believe in deep down inside.  I think that a lot of people need to believe that there is a higher power to help them accept certain things in there life.  Other choose to believe because it gives them comfort, and some don't believe at all.
I was raised going to church on Sundays with my family, attending Sunday school and confirmation classes, but I have chosen not to believe.  I do however feel that being taught the lessons in the bible has made me a better person.  That is why I send my kids to a religious school.   The lessons they are learning are those of morals and decency, to name a couple.  Because I am not religious, I know this would be the only way my children would learn the same valuable lessons I did when I was growing up.  I mean I do teach my children right from wrong, but to have the fear of judgement instilled in you doesn't hurt.
In a way I am a lot like Drew, but also very similar to Maggie in some ways.  I can't wait to finish it so that my readers can experience the power of faith and believing!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

What's with all the music?

To continue from my last post, regarding the music aspect of my writing.  Most of you know from my profiles that I LOVE music.  And as I said in my last post, songs inspire some of the scenes that are created in my head.  Sometimes I feel like my own words can't truly express the full emotion of what I want to have come across to the reader, so I share the song that brought me to that place.  It's not just the words of the song, but the tone, tempo, melodies of the music.  Imagine watching a movie and there was no soundtrack.  A lot of times it's the music that brings you to the emotions the screenwriters want you to feel.  When I write my books, I am sharing the story of the "movie" that is playing in my mind.  I can describe to you in words the emotions, but I feel like adding the music pushes the reader to the next level of emotion.  Music, in many ways has saved me from the brink of insanity.  It has helped me through some really tough times and helps me remember the good times.  It is a huge part of who I am, so naturally I would have to include it in my writing.  Sometimes I wish that I had an ounce of musical talent so that I could write songs, but I don't. Not at all!!!  So I do what I can to tell you their stories.  I may not be the best writer, but I hope I'm a great storyteller!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Gotta let it flow

People have asked me if I use notebooks to write my thoughts down.  A lot of writers do, but I have to say that I am not one of them.  The reason for this is simple.  Fear.  The times I get stuck the most are the places in between my thoughts.  I know that doesn't make sense.  I will try my best to explain.  My stories come to me in pieces, almost like little movies.  A lot of times it's from listening to a certain song that will inspire a vision, almost like my own personal music video.  So I have all these little movies in my head and need to somehow put them all together to make a story.  If I were to write down each vision as it's own piece then I fear that I won't be able to connect them.  So, I hold them inside my head and tell the story from the start and hope that it will help allow the story to flow out of me better.
I do have to say that there was one time I did write a scene down, and that was again, because of fear.  It had come to me very early in the writing process of Cutting Through.  It was taking me a long time to get to the scene, since it was closer to the end.  I couldn't take having it rattle in my head any longer, so I wrote it down.  I feared that if I didn't get it out and on paper that it would eat me alive.  It was the scene where Janie and Kyle meet up at the bar and the incident in the parking lot.  That was an intense scene for me to write, so I felt if I didn't get it out of me soon, I would go crazy.
Not every one is going to understand how my brain works.  Most of the time I don't.  Some may think that what I just said sounds absolutely nuts, and maybe it is.  But I don't care.  I never asked for my brain to work this way, but I'm glad it does.  I love telling stories, and my hope is that people will enjoy reading them just as much.