The Land of Indecision

This is yet another post about what to do with Life Mate.  I hate this.  I keep going back and forth on what to do with this story.  Do I make it romance or an erotic romance?  I do fine with it being a romance until these characters want to have sex.  Then they want to get a little more explicit than I do in my regular romances.  They like variety, and variety isn’t something I do a lot of in my regular romances.

I’m coming upon one such sex scene in tomorrow’s first draft post and I’m not sure what to do about it.  Yes, the story is fine and works fine without the more explicit part of it, but is that the way the characters want to go?

What’s holding me back from the original version?  The erotic romance one?  I think it’s because it won’t be read by a lot of people.  I love this story and want to share it with the world.  This is what happens when an author gets enthusiastic about their work.  They want to run all over the place and share it with everyone.  But then, it’s so different from what I usually do, it might be better off being as it is and not reaching as many people. 

I hate this.  I don’t have this problem with my other books.  They’re all clear cut.  Maybe part of it is that, at its core, Life Mate is really a tender book.  With Substitute Bride and An Unexpected Seduction, I’m writing in the more comedic realm, and those are easier to put into the erotic romance category.  But a tender romance is tougher to not want to lop over into Ruth territory.

Please don’t hate me because I keep changing my mind.  This is really the hardest book I’ve had to deal with.  I think what I should do for the time being is take the cover off of all my sites while I make up my mind because all I’m doing is confusing everyone…myself included.

*sigh*  No one is more frustrated with myself than me.  😀

About Ruth Ann Nordin

Ruth Ann Nordin mainly writes historical western romances and Regencies. From time to time, she branches out to contemporaries romances and other genres (such as science fiction thrillers). For more information, please go to or check out
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11 Responses to The Land of Indecision

  1. Stacy-Deanne says:

    Ruth my dear you’re your own enemy. LOL! Your problem is you’re too busy trying to categorize the darn sex and it’s stopping your flow from writing it. Don’t worry about what to categorize the book yet! Just write the kind of scene your characters crave for. You know us writers are slaves to our characters. Listen to them. If they want to have sex, let them have sex. If you don’t then you’ll be disappointed in the scene and only holding yourself back if that’s what you really want them to do.

    Also, remember that just because characters have sex, even rather explicit doesn’t make the book erotic. I have read tons of romance that have explicit sex scenes and they are considered mainstream romance books. The same with books that are categorized as literary and they fall on the line of erotic. I write all heat levels of sex. I go by what the story calls for and what I feel is best for the characters. Sometimes I do the “close the door” and not show sex because it’s appropriate. Sometimes I show characters just getting down and dirty, having no-holds-barred, fingernails-on-the-back sex, LOL! Sometimes I show characters making love, exploring and touching. It depends on what my characters want.

    So remember, just because you get more detailed with the sex, it doesn’t mean it’s erotic. There are certain things that make a book erotic. Right now, what genre it ends up being is not important. Just write what makes you happy and everything else will fall into place.

    Best Wishes!

  2. Stacy-Deanne says:

    Don’t worry, people will always wanna read your work. No one hates you for being confused! We all get confused but trust in me. Just go with the flow and don’t let negativity stress you out or impact your creativity.

    • True. I need to block out the rest of the world and just write it as it’s meant to be. I got to admit that I’m surprised that my characters are as enthusiastic about sex as they are, but considering Chris has never been around women until he met Caitlyn… Well, it actually fits.

      But I think people who are used to my Ruth books won’t be prepared for this much steam in a book because I’ve never come to close to getting this heavy in anything I’ve written, except for Substitute Bride which is under Kate. So I’ve already branded my style as Ruth, even if I did push the envelope a bit with Bid for a Bride which was steamier than I usually do but a blind man is going to be more sensual in bed because he has to feel everything to ‘see’ it.

      So yeah, I get you on the characters and stories dictating things. Like with Loving Eliza. That needed to be as vague as it was, and anymore details added would have hurt the story.

      You’d think since I’ve been writing romance for three years now, I’d already understand that the characters have to dictate the story. lol It’s nice to have the friendly reminder. 😉

  3. Mary says:

    Oh, Ruth, Oh, Kate, who are one in the same person, your readers are devoted to you. Who will really complain about the sex scenes? One of your crazy stalkers? Remember, you were going to excise their putrid flesh from your websites whenever they again reared their ugly heads and unleashed their poison tongues on you? Write the story as it is supposed to be! Claim it in your rightful name, because it is a groovin’ hit idea, and will be a thrilling Success!! Later, if you want to remove our hearts from our throats, and release a calmer version, go ahead and do so– you’ve done it before with other books! I love this story, and I think I know where Chris wants to go! Forward all the prim and proper e-mails to me, and I’ll be glad to answer them for you! I’ll have to ask how many times they read it, before they decided it was improper!!

    • Thanks for the good laugh! I’m printing out your reply and taping it to the wall for when things look too serious and I need to remember it’s okay to have a sense of humor about these things. 😀

  4. christyandjosh04 says:

    Ruth, can you not do one in both????? I know that would be difficult but do it in both and then do a final read through and see which you like more.

    • That’s where I’m currently at. Writing both versions side by side and then seeing which one I keep going back to. For the time being, I have removed it from my ‘Ruth’ website and converted the cover back to Kate. We’ll see where it leads, but I do have both.

  5. Sounds like you need to separate Ruth the writer from Ruth the publisher – you’re driving each other crazy! 🙂

    • LOL Crazy indeed. But I finally decided to write it under Kate. I think the reason I held back was mostly because no one knows or reads Kate’s work yet, and it’s hard to go from being used to people reading my work to no one caring a work is going to be out. But that’s why it takes time to build up an audience for your book. I have to go through the process of patiently waiting again. 😀

      The second, and less compelling, reason is that I know some of my readers don’t like erotic romances. It’s hard to be open about my pen name’s identity, but then I figured, either I’m going to stand behind my work or I’m not.

      • As a reader, I get frustrated when a book by an author I’ve really liked turns out to be a completely different kind of book than her previous novels. I get angry and disappointed as if the author had cheated me somehow. However, as an author, I would be frustrated and angry from the opposite perspective – how dare my readers tell me what I can and cannot write! No writer enjoys being pigeonholed.

        I think it’s a good decision to publish under different names, but also to be honest on your blog about what you write. You give your dedicated fans an option to try the erotic novels, or not. And you protect the fans who are not visiting your blog from getting “deceived” into a book they wouldn’t have purchased if they’d known its content.

        When you do publish the new title under Kate, please drop me a line – I would love to interview you on my blog. I don’t have a lot of subscribers yet, but the next few months I’m going to be building that up. We’ll see if we can get you some erotica readers!

    • Thanks for the offer, Megan. I’d be honored to be on your blog!

      The last thing I want to do is make my readers or potential readers to think my book is something it isn’t. Life Mate really is a steamier read to begin with, and I don’t typically do steamy romances. I have sex and rate those that have sex in them R, but my readers know by now that my average is one sex scene for every 100 pages, and while some sex scenes are longer than others, they aren’t necessarily graphic.

      Life Mate is just better with more sex scenes and the characters seem to gear toward a more graphic relationship. I have to learn to trust the characters to lead me where they want to go. I don’t think the overall feel of the story is different from what I do under Ruth, but I am aware that the heat level in a story makes it better to put under another name. That way should people find out, they know whether to check out this type of book or to avoid it, and I do have a number of readers who just aren’t into erotic romances so this will save them a huge disappointment.

      The last thing I want to do is mislead my readers. It’s scary to even mention my pen name, as I mentioned before, but I think in the end, it’ll save a lot of grief. 🙂

      By the way, I’d be disappointed as a reader if my favorite author veered off into different territory and prefer a pen name so I’m prepared for it. So I agree with you. I might still ‘surprise’ someone, but at least they can’t say they weren’t warned.

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