Just Sluts with Pens

me and amy (2)Hello, denizens of the Interwebs!  It’s been a while since we chatted and I know you’ve been waiting with bated breath to see what I had to say next.  Well wait no more, here I am!  Well, it’s going to be an exciting Springtime for the old girl. Why, you ask?  Well, tomorrow 3/19/2014, I have a new release coming from Ellora’s Cave and, wonder of wonders, it’s my first novel length work with them!  It’s also my first foray into erotic horror with them, so we’ll see what happens.  So keep watch tomorrow for excerpts, blurbs and just general squee-ing.  I’ve also written a little article called “Velocirapture, the Rise of Crypto Porn” that will be featured in Jamais Vu– Journal of the Strange Among the Familiar, Issue 2.  It’s snarky and fun and I do hope that you’ll like it.

Well, with all that in the works, you’re probably wondering about the title of my little blog today.  Yes, I’m afraid another rant is coming your way.  I know you’ve missed them.  At any rate, yesterday I heard that some romance authors in my area were approached about a reality show that is set to focus on romance writers.  Now, I’m sure that what’s being pitched is a show that would feature “The Writer’s Life.”  But think about it, people.  Many of you reading this blog right now know that “the writer’s life” in actuality would probably not make a good reality show.  Watching me go to my day job, trying to write a sex scene in between answering the phone to say things like “no, I cannot excuse you from jury duty because you have an infected toenail.”  Sitting for hours on the couch with my dog, trying to write but instead succumbing to the swansong of Pinterest and Facebook.  Knowing that I need to write the next chapter of my novel when really all I want to do is write more Sherlock fanfiction.  Staring at a blank piece of paper while I sip yet another cup of tea.  These things would not be intriguing to the general public.  This is not glamorous.  Which makes me wonder– what is the show really going to be about?  I don’t know, but I have some guesses.

It may be because I’m jaded or because I’ve gotten the “oh, you write romance” look far too often.  You know the one.  The one that says 1) Romance novels… that’s not like real writing and 2) You must be a freak in bed!  But I’m very skeptical. I have visions of romance novelists being represented as desperate housewives who are writing up their sexual misadventures with the plumber.  I’m seeing camera crews following authors to conventions where they only manage to catch the parts where we’re sitting in the bar after a day of panels, knocking back some margaritas.  Maybe producers encouraging said authors to dance on tables while having lipstick lesbian encounters with other members of their caste.  Or worse, romance novelists being portrayed as frustrated librarians who can’t get boyfriends writing about their fantasies of watching homosexual couples whipping each other with riding crops.

Hellsong_EC

NEW RELEASE!

In short, I’m afraid that reality television would perpetuate the myth that romance authors are “just sluts with pens.” Reality television isn’t solely to blame, of course.   After all, I have no idea if the show has even been greenlit.  I do spend an awful lot of time on Twitter and Facebook and see an awful lot of authors that, while talented, are so desperate to be noticed that they’re glad to project that slutty image (by the way, if you’re an author and my Facebook friend– I’m not referring to you) just to get attention.  Here’s a pro tip:  if your profile picture on Facebook shows you either A:  half dressed with your tits jacked to Jesus, or B:  wearing a collar and sucking a riding crop,  chances are folks aren’t interested in you for your books. And you’re degrading yourself and the rest of us who consider ourselves artists.  Those of us who work hard every day to craft a story that we can be proud of.  A story that is worthy of our readers.

Just a thought.

Coming up tomorrow:  A new release!  And a blog post entitled:  “If the words “dripping wet love hole” appear in your book, it’s probably not erotica.”

 

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One thought on “Just Sluts with Pens

  1. Women who write have always had a hard time with “branding” – just ask George Eliot. (Go ahead, dig her up and ask her – I’d be curious.) If we aren’t girly enough, we get accused to trying to pretend to be men or ignored entirely because we aren’t being “real.” If we’re too girly, we get slapped with the dread “women’s writer” label that means 1)more than half the population wouldn’t read our stuff at gunpoint (including many, many female people); and 2)our work will never be taken as seriously as a man’s, no matter how brilliant it might be. (If I woman wrote the crap that Nicholas Sparks writes, nobody would read her but her mama.) This gets even worse when sexuality and relationships are part of your work – we have all the problems of girls who write PLUS all the problems of girls who put out. Which sounds flippant, but I’m serious – there’s a whole big world out there that still believes no really nice girl should know about that stuff, much less write about it. I don’t know what the solution is, but I know it’s NOT playing sluttier than you are to get attention which you hope will somehow translate into sales. No woman should hide her freak flag to be taken seriously – if you’re the girl who wears a leather corset to Wal-Mart, good for you – be that; I’ll be proud to be your friend. But don’t pretend to be someone you’re not, in your image or your writing, because you think it will sell books. And readers (and bloggers and reality TV executives) of the world, stop thinking just because a woman can write eloquently about sexual connection, she’s a harlot.

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