I write clean books.

Neither of the books I’ve published have anything graphic, sexually, in them. One is an inspirational romance and the other is a fantasy. Both are completely wholesome enough for your teenager or your grandmother to read. Even your priest, if he’s interested.

Does that make me weird?

Recently I did a chat on the Catholic Writers’ Guild. I was asked how I, as a devout Catholic, deal with my writer friends who write erotica. Do I see my friendship as an evangelization opportunity.

Well, I don’t. I see my writer friends as my writer friends, not as a potential mission field. I’m not shy about my beliefs, either, however. They all know that I write clean, and I think it shocks them a little that I know words like “erection.” Hello? Married almost 22 years, teach Natural Family Planning, have a kid??

The way I “deal” with the erotica authors is the same way I deal with this historical authors, except I probably won’t buy any of the erotica authors’ books. I have a couple of critique partners who write “a bit” hotter than I do. At least one considers herself an erotica author. She’s the one who’s been helping me the most on my current work in progress.

She asked me, jokingly, a couple of weeks ago, if I’d read her newest work for critiquing purposes. I said, without blinking, that I would. I won’t pay money for it, but I’d be happy to help her out as she’s been helping me.

Today our writers’ group had its annual Christmas lunch/party. One of our members brought a bunch of books to give away. One was a Love Inspired. I knew no one else would want to take it, probably, but I have so many books I’ll probably be reading them on the way to my funeral if I want to get them finished. I wonder if we can take books to heaven??

Anyway, I passed it to someone else and one member, unpublished, but well known for her legendary 40 page foreplay scene, took one look at it and said, “Oh, I can’t take an inspirational!” and passed it back to me.

I don’t feel comfortable writing sex scenes, even much less graphic than erotica. I don’t feel comfortable writing unmarried sex or even married sex scenes. I’m a big “close the bedroom” door writer, but right now I’m feeling like I’m going against the tide.

My latest book is not an inspirational. I have a little more sexual tension than inspirationals allow, but I won’t have my characters go to bed together and I won’t have them even remove clothing, but I think there are some “hotter” spots, if only because of their awareness of one another.

However, because it’s clean, it kinda makes me the odd “man” out among my writing friends, and frankly, I really HATE being seen as the one we have to be careful around because “she writes sweet.” I’m just a normal person, like they are. I’d never consider an erotic author to be “easy” or “a tramp” (to use a nicer word than the one I’m thinking). I don’t want to be considered the straight laced repressed schoolmarm.

I asked my husband if my writing choices make me weird, and in his own loving way he said, “You’re merely a Psychotic Puritanical Prude.”

What do you guys think?