20 October 2007


And what would that be? "Dumbledore is gay." It's brilliant, I say. Some people out there are saying that JKR has hurt her sales. I say they're wrong. Some people out there are saying she's shot herself in the foot with readers. Not a chance.

Why? Because there's guaranteed to be another HP book burning or three. Now, I've written blog posts on this subject. Book burnings really only worked when books weren't as accessible. What will happen now?

1) People who are opposed to the idea of a gay character in a YA book will write blog posts, giving her and the books free promotion. Can't ask for better than word-of-mouth, no matter what they are saying about you. Just spell the name right, please. Even my post is helping her.

2) People who are vehemently opposed will arrange a book banning. Oh, but that HELPS sales. Why? Because people will buy the books just to see if they are as bad as they sound...or just because they are banned, and said individuals are vehemently opposed to banning, because it's censorship. AND, it provides more fodder for the news services, more promotion you can't buy with all JKR's money, but she can buy it with her mouth.

3) People who are RABIDLY opposed will arrange a book burning. Ditto on the promo, as you might have guessed. In addition, what do you have to do to burn books? PURCHASE them, unless you want to go to jail (at least for a night or two...and then pay fines and damages to the store owner) for mobbing a store and stealing them, which adds even MORE promo. So, you purchase them. That puts money in the pockets of the author, publisher, agent... Oh, yeah. That's teaching them a lesson. That's hurting them. Hurt me more, please.

In short, the ONLY down side to this would be the possibility that someone will try to physically harm JKR. Possible? Yes. I'm sure she has mail readers, passing hate mail along to the authorities already. It's just a whole slush more of them.

13 October 2007

Why would you read...

Yet again, someone has asked me why anyone would bother to read certain things, complete with many assumptions. So, let's cover it.

First of all...

Why read paranormal? Several reasons.

1) Paranormal is a complete escape from daily life. Paranormal has characters who are both more than and less than human, in their own ways. The problems they face are typically not the same ones you do. If they face the same ones you do, they face ones you cannot imagine on top of it. And, it's not just a rehash of the old movie monsters. These are humanized and have their own unique world rules.
2) Since the characters have abilities humans do not, it allows for story lines and situations that you won't find in a "real world" romance. In a paranormal, the vampire or psychic that can read thoughts can know precisely what his/her partner wants and provide it. No awkward sex there. And, even in loving relationships in the real world, there are awkward moments, in and out of the bedroom. It also allows for a delightful forced seduction scene, since both parties know precisely what the other wants. Takes the guess work out.
3) Paranormal allows a certain whimsy and dark edge (yes, both) that may be achieved without it, but perhaps not as simply.

There's more to it, of course, but those are the baseline reasons.

Why read erotic? Again...several reasons...

1) You already have a healthy sex life, and reading books that stop at the bedroom door is rather annoying and condescending. After all, if you enjoy sex, why not read books that don't beat around the bush about it? Now, that doesn't mean that's all these women read. Many, like myself, will read the full range from sweet through erotic. Many (again, like myself) read straight genre work, as well as romance and erotic.
2) You've HAD a healthy sex life, but you are currently partnerless or unable to have sex for some reason...perhaps health-related. I see a lot of this, as well. I've met grandmothers in wheelchairs, who read erotic books, because they remember what they had but cannot currently engage in said activities. In that way, they are vicariously experiencing what they so fondly remember...

And, YES. Not nearly everyone who reads books are disassociated from the experiences. It is not uncommon for women (and some husbands) to report that they read, get aroused and either climax to the book or (more commonly) go find their spouse or significant other to engage in some hot sex. Some husbands tell me they purchase erotic romance and erotica books for their wives specifically to illicit this response. It's a different sort of foreplay. Since women experience sexual arousal first in the mind and then in the body, this isn't a bad plan overall, and it's helped many marriages, in my experience.

Back to the subject...

3) Experimentation. Perhaps the reader is trying to learn what appeals and wants the safety of testing it in the mind first. Perhaps the person is not experienced, partnerless and not into one-night-stands (sensible)... There are a lot of reasons to read that stem from this same root. Basically, it's a way to gain safe knowledge and a feel for what excites then file it all away to use later.
4) Dual arousals. There are some things in erotic books, even some things I've written, that I wouldn't want to try in real life (probably wouldn't arouse in real life). Still, they are arousing, in some manner. There's nothing wrong with an active fantasy life. It's a departure from real life...things you don't mind contemplating but don't really want to experience. Everyone has a line. Whatever that line is, once you've exceeded it or hit that nit, it's not going to work for you in the written word, any more than it would in real life.

5) And, I hesitate to mention this, but it exists in small numbers, so I'll mention it. Might as well, if I'm going to be fair and honest. This is another form of escape. What someone has in his/her life is so unsatisfactory/dysfunctional, these people are looking for something positive (idealized or not). Yes, it exists. In large numbers? Probably not as many as you might think.

Side note... The primary consumer of erotic romance and erotica for women are women aged 35+. These are mature women who know what they want to read. That doesn't mean that is the only audience for erotic romance and erotica for women. Some of my readers are men. Some of them are much younger.

Another thing... The erotic work of today rarely bears any resemblance to what you read years ago. I was reading erotica in the 80s...Hottest Blood series books. Aside from the dark, edgy, paranormal bent (currently growing in the mainstream romance and erotic romance markets, at the moment), there is little to connect them. Basing what you believe women's fantasies are on any one book, especially an old one, is likely not going to help you much. Even if everything you read was new, you'd want a wide range.

For instance here... Some get off on extreme BDSM, and some run screaming from it. Some like one type of kink, some another. It takes all kinds to make this world spin round.

The bottom line here is, what arouses one woman will repulse another. There's no single thing I can point to and say "THAT will arouse a woman." It's not possible. Some are acceptable in the mainstream. Some aren't. Some acceptable in the mainstream repulse me personally; others the mainstream shies from are more acceptable to many women I know.

A further note...you cannot effectively lump all erotic together. If you've seen my post about the difference between sensual romance, erotic romance and erotica, you'll notice that they are very different in focus and (to a lesser extent) in content.

I would disagree that you don't see bestselling authors having characters eat at McDonald's. In fact, I can name one that did recently. Sherrilyn Kenyon's UNLEASH THE NIGHT shows Wren going to a McDonald's (or some other fast food, though I think it WAS Micky D's) drive through, because he's been in a jail cell all day and is ravenous. Grinning... Whether or not someone is billed as a real person along the way has nothing to do with what else happens in the book. Going to McDonald's does not a boring book make.

Rejection blues and a twist on the old line...

From a list discussion of rejections/submissions: Author Barbara Kingsolver handles rejection by not considering her project rejected. Instead, she visualizes that she's addressed it 'To the editor who can appreciate my work,' and it has simply come back stamped 'Not at this address.' You have to keep looking for the right address.

Actually, she's got a good head on her shoulders, in my opinion. I keep telling people that things aren't actually "rejected." Rejected has several connotations, but one of the more notable ones is "To discard as defective or useless; throw away." Since I know my work is not defective or useless, I choose not to think of it as a rejection.

It can be a refusal. That would mean ONLY either an unwillingness to do something or "To decline to jump (an obstacle)." That is appropriate. They are declining to jump into production of the book, because they are uncertain of the end result or leery of the conditions of said jump. I can take that.

They can decline. That would mean "To refuse politely." They can refuse politely. Read again what refuse means.

They can pass on it. The most common definition of pass, in this context, is: "To allow to go by or elapse." Think about that one. It means that they stand aside and let the story go on to somewhere else. That's a positive note.

NEVER focus on rejection, IMO. Instead, focus on the fact that they declined/refused and have taken a pass to allow someone better suited to take the project on.


05 October 2007

For the MOMs

If you are a MOM, you have a MOM, if you're married to a MOM, you work with a MOM, you have passed a MOM on the street... Watch this and pass it along. You won't regret it.

William Tell Day!