Cristal Ryder Talks About Writing with Heat!

Cristal Ryder profile pic

Cristal Ryder


Cristal Ryder’s written for Ellora’s Cave, Sybarite Seductions and Lyrical Press. So she knows about stories that are steamy, compelling, physical and just plain exciting! Happily, she’s volunteered to share her insights about how to write “hot”!


“your writing is on fire”

Really? Awesome sauce! That’s what I’m hoping for. It can be looked at a few ways don’t you think? Fast and speedy. Hot. Smexy. Is it all of the writing or just certain segments of it? This is what my editor told me as she was editing SHE WANTS IT, my contemporary erotic ménage coming this fall from Harlequin E. For me, hearing a compliment about my writing is a little unnerving, it still constantly amazes me that someone actually wants to read my stuff and that it’s good enough to be published.

And yes, I write hot. Not purple prose. Erotic romance that sizzles. Along with the hot comes feelings, emotion, questions, romance. Which is what makes it erotic romance and not smut or porn or any of those negative connotations we hear. Just ask any erotic romance author what happens when someone calls their writing “mommy or soccer mom porn” *cringes* It isn’t porn! We want the heat, but we want the love too. And the romance. *sigh* That’s why there is always a satisfactory ending with an HEA or HFN.

My first ever erotic romance wasn’t intended to be hot. I was just telling a story I wanted to tell. The end result was a surprise. I still remember how I squirmed and made faces when I wrote the sex scenes. I don’t squirm anymore. But I still make faces 🙂 Not necessarily when doing the sex scenes, though, just scenes in general. So imagine how I must look when I’m writing during lunch at the day job in the cafeteria as I scrunch up my nose when the heroine does, or when a horse tosses his head…I do too. No, I haven’t lost my mind I’m just living the scene.

I get asked if I write from experience. Or comments my man is a lucky guy. He gets teased by his buddies too (I secretly thinks he likes it too). I won’t ever tell if I write from experience 🙂 I have done some interesting research, all in the name of getting it right and creating the perfect world. I’ll leave it at that. If you find me at a conference sometime, slide a dirty martini across the bar and ask me the right question, I might just give you the goods *winks*

The hot sex in my books must go along with the love story (that’s what makes it a romance) or at the very least if it’s a very short story, a growth period between the couple. The sex scenes should weave together nicely, intertwining them with emotion, feelings, conflict and  s e x u a l   t e n s i o n. I want the reader to feel it as much as our beloved do. That’s my goal and I hope I achieve it.

If this is your first time writing a sex scene, I would recommend you find a spot you feel comfortable in and where no one will interrupt you. It could take a long time to write the scene, and that’s okay. Go at your own pace. Research for your scene can be done in many ways; books, movies, other erotic stories, finding a list of words on the internet, images, kama sutra for positions, your imagination. Don’t be shy to visit an adult store – drive to the next town if you feel more comfortable about it. Touch and hold the items so you have first hand knowledge for the time you incorporate one into your scene. I’ve been to the Everything to Do With Sex Show in Toronto numerous times, it is a wealth of research! It certainly will bring you into the the world of sex in a hurry. Don’t be surprised if you come home with a bag of goodies. 🙂  Just remember, there’s nothing wrong with that.

Writing a good sex scene balances the emotional/sensual/romantic moments with the physical. Think of it as mechanics. If you have a couple, threesome or moresome, there will be only so many body parts and each of those body parts needs to be accounted for. You don’t want someone to suddenly grow a third arm 😀  Envision the scene in your head and make sense of who is touching who and where. Is it physically possible?  If she’s short, she won’t have a long reach, or will be tiny compared to a big hero. Establish their body sizes so that it makes sense when they are together. This is where watching a movie might help if you need a visual – yes there are some good ones written for women too. Seek out other erotic romance authors to talk to and bounce ideas off of. We love talking sex. Imagine the conversations in coffee shops. (LOL) Most important, relax and let your imagination go. Don’t hold anything back and know that you are writing something for your hero and heroine and your readers! Have fun with it and it will show in your writing.

I’m looking forward to writing erotic romance and romance with a lotta heat for Harlequin. It’ll take a bit of getting used to scale back the sizzle. But, I think I can handle it 🙂

If you have specific location you’d like to see some steamy loving set in, let me know and I’ll try to oblige. My stories have taken place in the mountains, city, small town, and my upcoming release with Harlequin E in a tropical location. I also have yet unpublished stories set in the past, future, under the sea and a paranormal world. Of course, all of them are erotic romance. I’m interested what your favorite setting is.

So off I go now to write more on my steamy romance intended for Harlequin. Set in Paris with the sexy Frenchman and a feisty heroine. Sounds good to me.

Follow along with Cristal’s adventures through her website, her Facebook page, on Twitter as @CristalRyder and through her blog and her Goodreads page! She’ll be attending RWA National in San Antonio in July, and check out her site for more appearances. 

Thank you for sharing with us, Cristal, and we’re looking forward to reading your book in the fall!