by V.K. Sykes
Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus
You’ve heard it before. Cliché? You bet. But like most clichés it carries a grain of truth. I’m living proof of that because I’m the female half of the husband and wife writing team of V.K. Sykes. This gives me a very particular insight into how the male mind works—especially when it comes to romance. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that I would someday write romance novels with my dear hubby, but here we are six years later and I swear it’s like we’re some kind of scientific experiment in the differences between the sexes.
And it IS different. Not better or worse, just different. The way we approach our stories is almost always interesting (at least to me), occasionally frustrating, and often hilarious. Although we brainstorm our plots together, Randy always writes the first draft. That’s where the differences between us become most apparent, especially when it comes to that balance between the plot and the romance—or, as Randy calls it, the sappy stuff. His early drafts are usually pretty action-oriented, with a lot of snappy dialogue and great scenes between the hero and his guy friends.
But romance and emotion? Tender expressions of affection between the hero and heroine? Not so much. Well, thank God for that, or I wouldn’t have much to do with the book.
Then there are the sex scenes. When I arrive at that point on the first read-through of the manuscript, this is usually what I see: write sex scene here, with a lot of hot groping and stuff.
Talk about stripped down (pun intended). It’s not that Randy doesn’t like romance and sexy times, but actually describing them? Heck, no. He’s the strong and silent type who’d rather take a cheese grater to his face. And I get that because, hey, he’s a guy! He’d rather do it than write about it.
Hubby is also a little challenged when it comes to describing clothing, unless it’s jeans and a tee shirt on the hero. But the heroines all seem to end up in pretty much the same outfit—blouse, skirt, and a pair of strappy sandals. What is it with those freaking strappy sandals anyway? Doesn’t any heroine ever wear flats or plain old sneakers?!
I won’t deny that there aren’t challenges in writing with a partner, especially one who is marital. And, yes, there have been the occasional frosty exchanges when we disagree on how to solve a story problem. But our experiment in writing—and it was an experiment when we first started—has turned out pretty darn well. We love each other, we love working together, and we love writing stories that readers have, thankfully, taken to their hearts. I guess we’ve got the best of both worlds—or planets!
More about SUMMER AT THE SHORE (Seashell Bay Book 2)
JUST A SUMMER FLING?
Morgan Merrifield sacrificed her teaching career to try to save her family’s bed-and-breakfast and care for her younger sister. She can’t let herself get distracted by Ryan Butler. After all, the rugged ex-Special Forces soldier is only in Seashell Bay for the summer. But her longtime crush soon flares into real desire-and with one irresistible kiss, she’s swept away.
Ryan values his freedom. As much as he wants Morgan, he’s not ready to settle down with anyone, much less in sleepy Seashell Bay. But his code of honor doesn’t allow him to leave a woman in distress-and she’s in desperate need of help to fix the inn. It only takes one day working under the same roof and Ryan is already hoping for a lifetime of hot summer nights . . .
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