We are fortunate to have author Lavinia Kent joining us on the blog today. When I schedule guest blogging appearances I generally give the author several potential questions that they can use as an aid in crafting their guest blog post. One of the things I do to prepare the questions is look at the author’s website or blog, their Author’s page on Amazon. Sometimes I read some of their reviews and I craft my questions based on those things. When I read the line “Who writes a better love scene than Lavinia Kent?” in one of Lavinia’s reviews I knew I would have to ask her about how she approaches writing love scenes. I asked…and she answered. Here is her answer…
Writing Love Scenes:
I have to admit that I love writing love scenes. I believe they are a truly important part of any romance. I was actually a little shocked when I first learned that many authors regard them as a chore and something they “have to” put in. When I first started to seriously work on becoming published, something over ten years ago, I think my love scenes would have been regarded as incredibly hot and erotic, but the world has changed with the spread of romantica.
My scenes will make the reader tingle in all the right ways, but I am somewhat less graphic than some authors. I am as much interested in what is going on in my hero and heroine’s minds as in what their bodies are doing. There is almost nothing that I wouldn’t have my couple do, but it has to fit with who they are – and I do write mass market romance so I haven’t written any threesomes or real BDSM.
I believe the most important thing for writing a great love scene is to make it be part of the story. I once heard Sabrina Jeffries say that a reader shouldn’t be able to skip a love scene, that there should be some information in it that the reader had to know. I’ve adopted that philosophy and work to be sure that I always reveal something about character or plot in any love scene.
Making each love scene fresh and different and true to a particular couple is also key. This was a real challenge with the four novellas, The Real Duchesses of London, that I wrote this summer. When I agreed to write the novellas I never thought about having to think of new ways for each couple to make love. The first two novellas were easy and then I hit the third one and had to stop and really think. I knew I could write a hot scene, but I wanted it to reveal something about my couple. I ended up setting the scene in the hero’s childhood nursery. It allowed him to live out some boyhood fantasies and also to explore some new parts of his character.
Probably the most difficult love scene I’ve ever written is in my new release, What a Duke Wants. I’d never written a virgin love scene before and wasn’t sure how to approach it. I didn’t want it to be all hot and heavy with just a sudden pop of pain. I wanted it to be passionate, but also real, to show my heroine’s fears and anxieties, and my hero’s patience and care. I am very pleased with how it came out in the end. It may be one of my favorite scenes. It is very erotic, but also very tender.
When I am writing a love scene I try to stay in deep POV, to really think about everything my hero and heroine are feeling physically, but even more importantly, emotionally. Every moment should contain its own seduction. I love imagining the feeling of breath on the back of a neck or the slight touch of a hand across a collarbone. I think those are the moments that really draw the reader in, so that everything that comes after is even more intense.
I do also enjoy a moment of humor and I’d love to share the beginning of What a Duke Wants with you. It has the best opening line that I’ve ever written and I think goes right along with this conversation.
Please give it a peek and let me know what you think. I’d also love to know which authors you think write the best love scenes, and why.
Thank you so much for having me. I look forward to chatting.
Lavinia Kent never knew that most people don’t make up stories in their heads to pass the time. She still has a hard time understanding how those who don’t survive the doctor’s waiting room or a grocery store line without another world to escape into.
Growing up in New York state and Wisconsin, Lavinia graduated from Wellesley College and, for reasons that are still not quite clear, also holds an MBA from Washington, D.C.’s Georgetown University. Lavinia has remained in Washington ever since.
She lives under the gracious (and usually benign) rule of Erzsebet, the cat, along with her husband, three children, one cockatiel, two rats, and Erzsebet’s younger, subordinate tomcat, otherwise known as The Golden Snitch.
As the mother of three, Lavinia finds “leisure time” to be ever-elusive, but when she is not reading romance novels, she watches far too much HBO and reality television. It must also be noted that she has an encyclopedic knowledge of all things Buffy and Doctor Who.
Lavinia was a two-term president of the Washington Romance Writers and is proud to be a four-time Romance Writers of America Golden Heart nominee.
From What A Duke Wants:
What woman would refuse a Duke’s kiss?
Running from a dark secret past, Isabella Masters craves peace and stability, a life far from the prying eyes of society.
She does not dream of landing a lord.
But in the arms of a stranger with magnificent eyes, she loses herself in one breath-stealing kiss— only to discover she has been misled by a reluctant Duke.
Angered but enthralled, she dares not submit . . . though her passionate heart begs her to. He cannot wed her . . . but he must not lose her.
Only one possibility remains— one too scandalous to consider . . . yet too tempting to resist.
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