How Sex Became Part of My Courtroom Suspense Novel
While the characters in my book, Malpractice the Novel, did seem to “write themselves”, claiming that it was that alone is a cop-out. The characters, of course, come from the unconscious and conscious mind of the writer, who is thusly responsible for them. So, why then did I, a senior citizen, add explicit sexual descriptions to my medical-legal drama?
I have had the opportunity to observe the changes in the public’s tolerance for display of sexual activity, from the censorship of Hollywood by the Hayes office in the 20’s and 30’s (kissing only) to modern cable television and mainstream movies in which sexual acts are often displayed. But, what about mainstream fiction?
On January 20, 2010 in a New York Times Book Review, Katie Roiphe published an essay entitled “The Naked and the Confused: Sex and the American Male Novelist”. She writes that the previous generation of male novelists do not even mention sex in their writings. Some time later, Erica Jong was reported to have said that female novelists were also not writing about sex. This seemed strange, in view of the visual media’s sexual depiction. This got me thinking.
Finally, I noted a widespread recognition that women were basically as sexually aggressive as men. A fact that had long been hidden in polite society, and is still hidden forcefully in some societies and religions.
All of this made me want to return sex to the American novel. This might be grandiose and pretentious for any writer, but especially the a first time male writer. But, so be it. The primary way readers follow the characters in Malpractice the Novel is through their sexual history.. in explicit detail.
Malpractice! the Novel is an electrifying work of realistic fiction written by an anonymous insider who worked the frontlines of the clash between the medical and legal professions during the California medical malpractice insurance crisis, which began in the 1960s. William Louis Harvey, a nom de plume, takes readers on a steamy adventure involving power, sex, lies and money in this candid courtroom suspense thriller. While Malpractice! The Novel, is a work of fiction, it is rooted in the personal experiences and firsthand knowledge the author acquired during his decades of working inside the medical industry. California in the 1960s and first half of the 1970s had already seen a dramatic increase in medical malpractice lawsuits as juries awarded progressively higher sums for “pain and suffering,” a category that had no concrete limits and caused physicians’ insurance premiums for malpractice to skyrocket. Harvey chaired a committee that reviewed all malpractice claims involving a major California hospital during the crisis. Details of some of the cases he experienced are engraved in his memory, and small portions of these tidbits find their way into Malpractice! the Novel, his first novel. Roused by a recent New York Times article about the American male novelist’s fear of addressing sexuality, Harvey interleaved honest sex histories for his novel’s characters, adding a titillating sensuality to the suspenseful novel.
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Genre – Steamy Courtroom Drama
Rating – R
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