Some one asked me at a book signing an interesting question, “Do you get turned on when you write a sex scene?” So, I am going to answer that question and broaden it to “Do you get excited or emotionally involved when writing a battle scene, sex, fight or airplane emergency?”

The answer to the first question is yes to the degree that I am emotionally involved with the character as I write the passage. So, do I get sexually excited, sort of. It is not like the act itself, but if I didn’t then I couldn’t put the right (write?) words in the book that would get you, the reader, emotionally involved.

The answer to the rephrased question is yes, I get excited and feel the fear and angst. Again, if I didn’t, there’s no way I can convey it to you through words.

An unasked question is do I like writing these types of scenes and the answer is yes. There’s a fine balance between the number because as a writer, one wants to take the reader on a roller coaster. Sometimes the high is sexual, other times it is fear or excitement. All are good, but if you have too many, or they are one right after another, while it may be exciting to write, it can exhaust the reader. As a novelist you want the reader to keep turning the pages to find out what happens next but not exhaust him/her so they will put the book down, fearful that it will be too tiring to read. In other words, you want to create a roller coaster of highs and lows all building to some sort of crescendo at the end of the story.

So, how does this apply to The Assassin. Short answer is that they are plenty of white knuckle scenes, a few graphic sexual passages with interesting twists as the story of a woman who when in her twenties and thirties earned the moniker The Red Star of Death one of the top free lance assassins in the world. Now, approaching fifty, she is dragged back into that world. Out of it, she finds a new purpose in life and a new love.