What’s Your Heat Level?

October 5, 2022 by in category Writing with 0 and 0
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Happy October. I’ve got a question for you. What’s your heat level? Recently, I was asked a similar question about my books and I have to admit I was a little off base on a few of them.

A few posts back, I mentioned I had hired a PA. She’s been extremely helpful. In the beginning of our working arrangement, she asked me about the heat level on one of my books. I have to admit I was at a loss. What I thought and the reality were completely different.

In the past, when someone asked me that question I would refer to my books as more sensual sometimes a little steamy. However, there was a book my PA was setting up a swap for and I wasn’t quite sure of the heat level. She sent me a heat level chart and I was a little surprised where some of my books landed on the chart.

Talk about an eye opener…this little chart revealed a truth I didn’t really want to know, the majority of my books are not just Steamy, they’re also Sexy. Sometimes very Sexy. However, I have a book that unbeknownst to me, lands in the gray space between Sexy/Steamy and Erotic. I really didn’t want to admit this so I asked my godsister who had read an ARC for the book and she agreed it fell into the gray zone.

The heat level of some of my books is the reason I had to hire a new editor. In my defense, not all of my books fall into the Sexy/Steamy category. I have some that are Wholesome/Clean and Sweet. Those are either novellas, prequels or series starters.

Here’s how I write some of my series. I loop you in with a Sweet book and as the series progresses the stories get steamier. It’s like a slow build up. I’ve hinted at the sensuality so by the time the reader gets to book three or the end of book two [if it’s a big book], they are begging for the characters to go further.

Now I will admit, sometimes I don’t see the intense heat some of my readers see. I’ve had reviews that were a little shocking but that’s a matter of opinion. I had one review that said they couldn’t make it past chapter four. She went so far as to call it soft porn. I may write a little steamy, but I don’t write porn. No offense to those that write and read porn. Back to this review, I felt sorry for her, because she missed out on a great book. I also had a review praise me for the sexy love scenes. That one makes up for the other review. When it comes to heat levels it’s a little subjective. What one person finds Sexy/Steamy someone else considers Sensual/Medium Heat.

I have one book to this day I really don’t know how Amazon managed to class it as Erotic Poetry. My mother and I have had several conversations about it, however she agrees with Amazon. She said it’s the implied tone. Just last week, my book LOVE NOTES, was the #1 free book in three categories…Love & Erotic Poetry, Poetry About Love and my personal favorite category…One-Hour Parenting & Relationships Short Reads on Amazon.

I can understand Poetry About Love and I’ll even acquiesce to Love & Erotic Poetry. However, I’m flabbergasted at One-Hour Parenting & Relationships Short Reads. My mother told me to stop complaining, because the book gets me noticed. She’s right. I’m also often trading top spots in the Love & Erotic category with The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe. So I guess I’m in great author company.

Back to my original question…what’s your heat level? Check the chart below and see where your books land.

ROMANCE NOVEL HEAT LEVELS
Wholesome/Clean

!
Chats kisses, holding hands, and hugging. No love scenes – not even closed door. Just lots of emotion

Sweet
! !
Sex is implied. Closed door/morning after for intercourse. Any sexual activity would be vague on detail, heavy on emotion

Sensual/Medium Heat
! ! !
Sexual chemistry is heating up. Love scenes on page and described but still lighter on detail with strong emotional component.

Sexy/Steamy
! ! ! !
Sex is man component of the plot and is on-page and explicit. Swearing/dirty talk is frequent. Light kink/user-friendly sex toys might make an appropriate appearance. HEA.

Erotic Romance
! ! ! ! !
LOTS of sex, graphic, detailed, often kinky, non-conventional, and boundary-pushing. Sex is a big part of story line but still a HEA.

Author Bio
Author Bio
California native, novelist Tracy Reed pushes the boundaries of her Christian foundation with her sometimes racy and often fiery tales. After years of living in the Big Apple, this self proclaimed New Yorker draws from the city’s imagination, intrigue, and inspiration to cultivate characters and plot lines who breathe life to the words on every page. Tracy’s passion for beautiful fashion and beautiful men direct her vivid creative power towards not only novels, but short stories, poetry, and podcasts. With something for every attention span. Tracy Reed’s ability to capture an audience is unmatched. Her body of work has been described as a host of stimulating adventures and invigorating expression.
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California native, novelist Tracy Reed pushes the boundaries of her Christian foundation with her sometimes racy and often fiery tales. After years of living in the Big Apple, this self proclaimed New Yorker draws from the city’s imagination, intrigue, and inspiration to cultivate characters and plot lines who breathe life to the words on every page. Tracy’s passion for beautiful fashion and beautiful men direct her vivid creative power towards not only novels, but short stories, poetry, and podcasts. With something for every attention span. Tracy Reed’s ability to capture an audience is unmatched. Her body of work has been described as a host of stimulating adventures and invigorating expression.

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