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October 19, 2012

Friday Fun with Anderson O'Donnell

KINGDOM: A Top 10 List of Things to Avoid When Writing a Sex Scene

Of all feedback I’ve received regarding my debut novel, the dystopian thriller entitled KINGDOM, the comments about the sex scene (page 42!) have been the most interesting. And by interesting, I mean wildly divergent: some people thought it was hot and meshed well with the book’s plot and overall themes; others thought it was a bit gratuitous and porno-derivative.

And so, as I continue work on the sequel to KINGDOM, I’ve tried to apply some of the feedback I’ve received into the two sex scenes (so far!!) scattered through EXILE.

When Donna offered me an opportunity to do a Fun Friday, I thought this might be a great chance to share some of the lessons I’ve learned. Sex is fun, right? And it’s Friday! So here goes: A Top 10 List of Things to Avoid When Writing a Sex Scene.

  1. Have the scene resemble actual sex. If it can’t be done in real life, it can’t be done in the book.
  2. Gravity still applies.
  3. No condoms or other birth control unless the prophylactics are somehow germane to the plot. Pausing to cram in that diaphragm isn’t sexy.
  4. A lot of readers are women. And by a lot, I mean almost 80 percent. So maybe a little less Rocco Siffredi, and a little more Pavarti K. Tyler.
  5. Most people do not carry on conversations while in flagrante delectico.
  6. 50 Shades of Grey aside, not every woman on the planet is secretly fiending for kinky depraved sex.
  7. Just because “Take My Breath Away” worked for Maverick and Charlie doesn’t mean it’ll work for you
  8. Avoid orgies. It’s hard enough to describe what two people are doing, let alone 10.
  9. Don’t use names or physical descriptions of people you know. No matter how clever you think you’re being, someone will figure it out.
  10. Fabio is not sexy.

To see whether Anderson can follow his own advice, check out KINGDOM, which is available now from Amazon.

About the Author:

Anderson O’Donnell is the author of Kingdom, a gritty-biopunk myth that explores the possibility that there is a gene for the human soul—a gene that cannot be reproduced by genetic engineering.

A graduate of University of Connecticut School of Law and a practicing attorney, Anderson also studied extensively with genre-master Jack O’Connell and the poet Robert Cording, two men whose work influenced Kingdom’s compelling high/low culture dynamic.

Downloaded over 16,000 times in the past month alone, Kingdom has been met with high praise from critics, earning a coveted star from Kirkus Reviews, which heralded the novel as a “taut, brilliantly conceived thriller with impeccable pacing bursting with ideas.”

Presently, Anderson is at work on Exile, the sequel to Kingdom and the next volume in the planned “Tiber City” trilogy. He is also scheduled to embark on another blog tour beginning in October 2012, and promotion for Kingdom—including interviews, guest posts, giveaways, and author appearances—is scheduled to run through the holidays.

Connect with the Author:


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  1. Aww Anderson! You like my porn! What a sweet shout-out :) Thank you honey. And I liked the sex scene in KINGDOM. Definitely more of a man scene, but not porno-y at all!