Greetings folks! Instead of the muse, I’ve decided to talk about something that affects all authors everywhere when it comes to their craft; writing characters who aren’t faithful to their spouses and or partners.
Let’s go back a ways when I decided to write my latest book, Something About Jayden. When developing the story, I did a lot to make the characters believable and relatable. Jayden Demario, a foster child, is a college intern looking for his first big break in the advertising world. Because of his past history with his stepfather, he isn’t too hip on the holidays and his upbringing in a rough neighborhood forces him to stay somewhat closeted. My other character, Isaac Bridges is a successful advertising executive who is also in the closet and married to his best friend; a woman he’s known for years named Brenda. The two of them are in this setup for convenience but have the understanding that once the other finds love, they’ll separate. Notice Isaac’s character bio; married and in the closet which means he’ll try to cultivate a relationship with Jayden during the course of the story.
I knew this would be difficult to pull off from the get go and that many might not want to read it because of the cheating hero. Still, being the author who likes to write what they want and take risks, I did it anyway because it was a story I’d still read.
No question, cheating is most likely the biggest no no in romance. Seemingly not a lot of people enjoy stories about someone who leaves their significant for another regardless of the situation but like many other things in fiction, this too is part of reality. A grim one but definitely something humans face in the real world. It’s a very touchy subject but in my opinion, we as authors, especially when it comes to our craft should be willing to take risks. I don’t write for the money, I write because I love it.
Another case in point is Michael’s book, I Love it Rough. In this one, my main character Frankie finds another man he works with very attractive. From the few reviews I’ve gotten, this turned off some people but truthfully my character reacted to frustration with his current lover Kajika and because of this his eyes wandered to another man.
Like Jayden, I knew this might have an effect on the book but in Rough, it isn’t part of the main character’s make-up. Really, Frankie’s infidelity is the build up for the next book between the man he’s lusting after and another so there is reasoning behind the madness. It’s not just for the sake of showing cheating or glorifying it but again, the characters unfaithfulness leads into another part of the storyline. In the case of Rough it builds a bridge to the next book and creates more tension; something I love to do.
So what’s my point here? Cheating isn’t pretty. It isn’t something people like to hear about, read about, or experience but it’s a part of life. In no way shape or form am I trying to make you, the reader, change your mind about books if it’s part of the storyline. You read what makes you comfortable and happy which is fine.
However, a lot of authors like to push the envelope, because reading happy go lucky Jenna and Brian or Bill and Nate isn’t always fun to write. We like some angst, we like the drama and the cheating definitely adds something to the storyline.
Many publishers don’t even want the element in their books because they want their stories to be HEA or HFN and they know how readers feel about infidelity. Few others allow us the freedom to write what comes in our heads and if we self-pub, like I did with Rough, we write whatever satisfies our creativity.
I’m proud of how both books turned out and if I have a cheating MC I won’t hesitate to write him or her again. Not because I’m insensitive to people or want to glorify the ugliness, I like telling stories that push the boundaries and break the normal romance mold.
To read more about Something About Jayden, click here
To read more about I Love it Rough click here
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About Sharita Lira: In one word, crazy. Just crazy enough to have
This happily married mother of two beautiful children loves music, computers, reading, and still enjoys reading and writing fanfiction. She’s a proud member of the Erotica Readers & Writers Association, as well as an advocate for rights of GLBT citizens.
She’s also co-editor to the heavy metal ezine Fourteeng.net