Usually for my Hawtie of the Month blog I extol the virtues of a beautiful man who has captured my attention—among other things. Hee-hee-hee! But this month, I’m doing something a little different.
After I blogged for Petit Fours and Hot Tamales on November 20th, my father—the pastor—received many favorable responses. So, being the clever opportunist that I am, I asked him if he would guest blog with me as my Hawtie of the Month…how disturbing is that to call my daddy a hawtie you ask?? Very…
Anyhoo, I hope you enjoy the conversation as much as I I did! Merry Christmas!!
Naima Simone: Okay, Daddy we’re going to start with something fairly easy. Heidi Klum or Julia Roberts:
Reverend: Oh jeez. *laughs* Oh…that’s tough, man. Heidi.
REV: I don’t know! Heidi or Julia… I mean, I like them both but for different reasons. Julia because of her lips. Love them lips. And Heidi…man, that body and sense of humor. Both have the sense of humor, but Heidi’s body and walk…Heidi, definitely Heidi.
NS: Is that your final answer?
REV: Yeah, we’re going with Heidi. Even pregnant she looks good. And they both dig brothers. *laughs* Besides Heidi’s dangerous.
NS: She's what??
REV: She’s dangerous. There’s this look in her eyes. You know it’s like dangerous but in a sexy way. It’s challenging. Yeah, that’s it. Sometimes we like it dangerous. A lot of your readers do too.
NS: Okay, yeah. That’s true. You got something there.
REV: You know that bad boy, bad girl thing.
NS: *plugging fingers in ears* La La La La La La…
REV: You know what I mean!
NS: No, I don’t. Don’t want to either.
REV: You’re such a prude, Nina.
NS: Prude’s good when it comes to thinking about you and dangerous Heidi…In my bio I mentioned how I came by my love for romance honestly. By the way, you do preach a mean Song of Solomon…Tell us something romantic about the Song of Solomon we may not know.
REV: Okay, well first you have to understand that Solomon had 300 wives and 700 concubines. Out of all of them, it took this one unassuming, hardworking country girl to help King Solomon, one of the wisest of persons, to learn and experience the true meaning of monogamous love. Which, when you think about it, is kind of strange for a man, who had so much in the way of material wealth and political power, to find the most treasured and honored thing—love—in another person with no financial means, titles, agenda, and in her own words, possessed no great physical beauty. She would never stroll down the runway like Heidi or become a movie star like Julia, but yet, to Solomon, she was unique in comparison to all the others. Solomon said she was a lily among thorns.
NS: Would you consider the Song of Solomon sexy?
REV: First, I need to say that I interpret the Song of Solomon in the same way I do all the other 65 books of the Bible. This is to say, I interpret it by taking into account its historical, grammatical and symbolic content. When I do this, my answer to your question is, yes. Yes! It’s sexy, warm, soft, physical, funny, exciting, dramatic, and yes, my beloved and spiritual minded sisters and brothers, the Song can also be erotic. Now I’m going to say this at the great risk of having some old, white-headed deacon call my house—women are so much mature about these things—but I believe that God intended for certain parts of the book to be erotic in the sense of helping those of us in marriage to know the pleasures and joys of sexual love and romance. The right study and reading of the Song is a great tool to help us sustain and keep fresh the romance and sexual fun in marriage.
NS: For example?
REV: For example, the phrase, “to climb the palm tree” had a special meaning in the ancient Near East. The male and female flowers of the palm tree are born on separate trees. In order to fertilize the female tree, the gardener had to climb the male tree and take some of its pollen bearing flowers, then turn around and climb the female tree to tie in the male flower. By doing this the tree was fertilized. Now, in the love dialogue between Solomon and his wife—by now they have been married and the union consummated—Solomon says to the love of his life, “I will climb the palm tree. I will take hold of its fruit stalks. Oh may your breasts be like clusters of the vine.” (Solomon 7:8) Here Solomon is using the language of the vineyard to say that he intends to make love to his woman, and that, right away! Solomon is saying that he will caress her fruit stalks, or her breasts. And that he is excited to enjoy the swell of her breasts, which by now are like the ripened grapes.
NS: Get out! Really?
NS: Okay…I do believe I’m blushing! Go ‘head, Solomon! He was a freak!
REV: *laughs* We can all learn something from these two people!
NS: Hee-hee! Okay, Daddy, got another one for you. If you could meet one person in history who would it be and why?
REV: See, you have me in a dilemma because I don’t want to be all super spiritual…jeez. One person in history…Wow. Jesus Christ. It would be Jesus Christ, seriously.
NS: I know this sounds like an obvious question, but I’m gonna ask it anyway. Why?
REV: Because in meeting Him I would know what I could become, you know the potential of what I could be. I would be shaking in my boots to meet Him, but yeah, in Jesus I could recognize and see my full potential as a person.
NS: See? I’m glad I asked, because I wouldn’t have guessed that answer. That’s deep.
REV: Well, Nina, I’m a deep person.
NS: Must be where I get it from.
NS: I’m going to go on with the questions before I find myself in strife. Daddy, have you read my book yet?
REV: You want me to lie or be honest…uh, yeah, I read your book.
NS: You do know that I know you’re lying, right?
REV: Aw c’mon, Nina! *laughs* You know I’m going to get there. I’m just a major procrastinator. I’m going to read it though. Look, I’m still waffling over the first question. Heidi…Heidi…wait a minute let me think on that a minute…Yeah, it would be Heidi. The accent, look and walk. Yeah, yeah it would be Heidi…
NS: I thought we’d moved past that question! How is that shaping up to be the hardest question out of all of ‘em??
REV: *laughs* I’m certain now. See, she has that German thing going on. *laughs* She stirs passion. When people make love sometimes they want gentle, but then there’s the animalistic thing that comes in. Some men want the white negligee when they make love, but most of us want black…or red. Throw out the white negligee! We want the red or black negligee. Ever think about that? White is for the wedding. When the doors are closed, though, put the red on!
NS: I have no idea what you mean. I don’t own a red negligee. White. Only white…
REV: Riiight, Nina. But look, it’s like music. People don’t want to make love to no Beethoven or Bach. They don’t want the 5th symphony or the butterfly suite. They want Luther! Turn that other mess off. Even the staunchest Christian, when they’re making love, you know the one thing they don’t want playing? Gospel. They turn that off and turn the radio to the slow jam station.
NS: LOL! You’re definitely going to have the old, white-haired deacon calling the house! Now that you’ve cleared that up and my eyes are bleeding from the mental images, what is the most romantic book you’ve read and why?
REV: It would have to be the Song of Solomon. It’s so real. In some ways, it relates so much to my own experiences. And as a pastor and counselor, it relates to what I know to be the experiences of others. It also gives us something to shoot for in terms of what we hope to have some day in our relationships. But mostly, it helps me to understand the intimate and unfailing love God has for us. I really find that element in it. And as Solomon says, that makes me lovesick.
NS: That’s good, Daddy. That’s really good. So if the Song of Solomon is your favorite book, who is your favorite author?
REV: I have two. First, there’s the apostle, Paul. He satisfies my need and desire to know stuff. He appeals to that part of me that seeks knowledge and understanding. “Faith seeking understanding of itself.” My second favorite author is Kahlil Gibran. While Paul satisfies my desire for knowledge, Gibran excites my heart to love. When I put them together I understand and accept that of the two—knowledge and love—that love is by far supreme. Without love we have nothing.
NS: No wonder I’m a romance writer. I have a romantic at heart for a father. Speaking of writers—you notice the subtlety of that lead in? How do you feel about having a daughter who writes erotic romance?
REV: You, and your friends, are needed and welcome. We need you. What you write adds to us who read your work. So much of our lives are spent doing this and that and we never take time out for the important things like enjoying one another and life, keeping the flame of passion burning in our lives. Sometimes our marriages, expectations and relationships get stuck. We’re so worried about bills and problems that we never take the time to care for our own feelings, emotions and relationships, and as a result, the fire burns out. We have to keep the fire burning in love. It’s writings like yours and your friends that keep our imaginations working and maintains excitement in our lives. So that’s how I feel. You’re needed. We need to welcome you and embrace what you do. Your gifts are God given. And all God given gifts are for the benefit of others. The ability to write, the vision you have, they’re gifts. And they should not be hidden. So we thank you for your gift—I thank you for your gift and adding the excitement and joy. Thank you for breaking up those mundane periods of my life. Thank you for filling those moments when I can simply enjoy life. You help make life a little bit easier. And, remember, not all of God’s gifts are received. They didn’t embrace Jesus. But you have to keep on writing. Keep on giving because somebody’s life has just been made better.
NS: Speaking as your daughter and an author, that made me feel incredibly awesome. Moving on—because you sooo didn’t make me tear up—you’re a writer, too. If a publisher offered you a contract right now and said write any book you wanted, no matter the subject. What would it be?
REV: Any subject I wanted, huh? I would write a “Salvation for Dummies” kind of book. *laughs* Somebody has to help people understand how great salvation is through Christ. I need to write this book for dummies….like myself.
NS: *snicker* Hey, when I first started writing with the goal of becoming published, I bought a “Getting Published for Dummies” book. That’s classic! Daddy, who has been your biggest influence as far as your views on love, women and relationships?
REV: All of the women in my life who have ever dumped me, they helped me the most. God bless their hearts. I’m sending a big “thank you” shout out to all of ‘em!
NS: *hollers* Alright, final question. What makes a good love scene?
REV: You know what? It isn’t the place. It doesn’t have to be in the best looking bedroom. What makes the best love scene is the mindset of the two people. When the two people’s motives and desires are not on themselves but focused on the other person. When her mind is on him and his needs. And his pleasure. “What can I do for him?” “How can I make him feel like a king?” And when he’s concerned with how he can make her feel like she’s the only woman in the world. “How can I make her happy?” “The otherness of lovemaking.” That’s what we can call it. That’s makes the best love scene, when the concern and focus is about the other person.
NS: The “otherness of lovemaking”. I really like that.
REV: But let me just say one more thing, Nina, about the best place. I would be remiss if I didn’t say this. It’s my belief, and has been my experience, that the best place to fully experience the joy and deep intimacy of our sexuality is in the state and place of holy matrimony. In marriage. It’s there that the two become one. As a pastor I have to make this statement. I don’t want people to think I condone sex outside of marriage. I recognize it happens, but I honestly believe that in marriage—the marriage God designed for us— it’s the best place. If we can get our marriages to mirror God’s desire and purpose, than that’s the best place to experience the joy and intimacy of lovemaking. The sexual act is about sharing—sharing each other’s lives, histories, joys and sorrows. When you add commitment to your lovemaking that boosts it through the roof. That takes it to heights unknown. God created marriage so sex could have a place to be fully enjoyed and experienced.
NS: I know I said that was the last question, but let me ask you this. In a romance novel, often the couple isn’t married in the beginning, but end up that way or together. Do you think this is wrong? Some people consider the fact that two unmarried people having sex makes romance novels morally wrong.
REV: Look, you’re writing about something that happens in our lives and happens often. We can’t deny that it does. You’re writing truth. How can that ever be wrong? It would be wrong not to address it or talk about it. We understand that sex outside marriage is not what God wants, but you’re not promoting it, you’re talking about it. And look, Nina, when we first meet, we all start out single and then maybe, at some point, become married. That’s what happens in our lives. It may be disturbing to some but it’s more disturbing not to recognize it happens. I’m not promoting it, you’re not promoting it. What you’re writing is fiction, its entertainment. It’s not an instructional book. You’re not creating a doctrine about free sex. You have a right to write fiction and entertainment. It has nothing to do with your Christianity. You don’t have to defend your spirituality and shouldn’t be placed in the position where you feel you have to. You’re writing fiction.
NS: Amen! Say that, Daddy! You know what? We’re finished. See that wasn’t painful at all, was it? And you thought it would be hard.
REV: I don’t know. I’m still thinking about Heidi and Julia. Why not Camryn Manheim?
NS: Alright, Daddy, don’t start no junk. Interview over…
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