Saturday, September 27, 2014

Why I write "porn"

Why do I do what I do?

Well, why not?

I’m looking for a really good reason to feel bad about my chosen profession, and I’m just not coming up with anything. You see, it goes like this:

This week, I ran into someone I hadn’t seen in a while. She proceeded to ask me if I was still doing any textile work, to which I replied in the negative. She asked me what I was doing. I said, “Writing.” She asked me what I was writing. I said, “Books.” She asked me what kinds of books. I said, “Erotic romance and erotica.” She asked if I was actually selling them. I said, “Yes.” Then she said something that nearly knocked me off my feet.

“I’d rather stay poor than delve into something like that.”

Spoken like a woman who married a gay man to bring him to the United States so he could get his citizenship, and then acted surprised when his lover came and picked him up and took him away and he asked for a divorce. Because she’s that woman.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not casting judgment. I’m just saying – how can she judge me?

So I guess I’m wondering what’s wrong with what I do. I make people happy, obviously. They read and like my books. They come back for more. They promote them amongst their friends, family, and Facebook community.

And they do something else too. They talk to me. You know how women talk to their hairdressers and men talk to bartenders? Well, people talk to me, mostly women, but some men. They ask me questions about sex. Funny thing is, I’m surprised at how often I actually know the answers. One person even said, "I guess you get tired of people picking your brain about this stuff." On the contrary. If I can answer their questions, I will. I'm no expert, but I try, and if I don't know the answer, I'll say so. On top of that, I’m honest with them and transparent. I have a policy of transparency: Ask me anything you want and I’ll answer it. If it’s too personal, I’ll tell you, but I’ll probably still answer it.

Note: This does not mean you can ask me if I have big boobs or like big cocks. It does not mean you can ask me if I do my own research and would I like to have you as a research partner. Fuck off. You know exactly who you are.

As I was saying, I’ll answer most any questions. I really don’t mind. And I’ve gotten into some really interesting conversations with people in PMs. Had one last night that, quite frankly, is going to be next week’s blog topic, so thanks, Ken! You’re an inspiration. Literally.

But I do have these kinds of conversations, and they’re wonderful. There are women, especially young women, who’ve told me that they were repressed or afraid or unsure until they read my books and got to know the characters. I think that’s because in Laying a Foundation, we get acquainted with a guy, a good-looking, successful, self-made guy, who realizes that even though he’s well over fifty, he spent so many years with a mentally ill lunatic of a wife, then so many years afraid of a relationship because of same mentally ill lunatic ex-wife, that he has nothing to offer a potential partner sexually because he has so little experience. He goes out in search of that experience, and what he’s taught enables him to find the woman with whom he wants to spend the rest of his life. The reader gets to go along as the two of them finally explore their sexual possibilities together and reach a level of not only sexual satisfaction but intimacy that neither of them had enjoyed before. It’s mind-blowing sex within the context of a loving, healthy relationship between two adults who finally find the person they’re meant to spend the rest of their lives with.

And for that I’m looked down upon? Does that seem right? Here’s another scenario.

I was in this group and this young woman joined us. She introduced herself and asked what everyone wrote. I was the first to welcome her and I told her that I write erotic romance and erotica. She then said that she didn’t write that weird stuff.

Okay, that kinda frosted me, but I kept my mouth shut – for a little while. After a couple of other people responded the same way and she kept making disparaging remarks, I directed a comment to her in which I told her that there were several of us who wrote in the erotic realm in the group, that we made money at it, and we had no intention of quitting anytime soon. She then said she didn’t mean any offense – she’d actually written some of that smut before, but she’d never publish any of it.

By the time I made it to my street team page, I was fuming. And when I told them what had happened, one lovely young lady reminded me that there’s nothing wrong with what I write and I should be proud. I should be proud to be a smut writer.

And now you know where the motto on my banner came from. I should also note here that the girl went by the last name of Sparklepants. Yeah, exactly. How ‘bout them apples? And she called my writing weird and smutty? As I recall, she writes paranormal. At least I do write about things that could actually happen (no offense to my paranormal publishing friends – I like paranormal just fine, but we all there aren’t really vampires, right?).

My point is this: I don’t think it’s okay for some sexually-repressed, straight-laced, stick-up-their-butts people to judge me for what I write. I’m no longer invited to some relatives’ homes, and I think it’s because they think I carry a dildo in my purse and I’m going to start talking about squirting in front of their small children. They seem to not be able to see that I’m the same person they knew before, just new and improved (whether they think so or not). I’m having fun, trying to make some money with this gig, and way more sexually liberated than they are. Jealous asses. I can’t help it that I’m having a good time and they’re not. Maybe they should let their chastity belts out a notch and get comfortable. Hell, they’re married – it’s my personal opinion that they should stop wearing the damn things altogether.

I’m going to write this shit. I’m going to write it forever, and I’m going to write it as raunchy and bawdy and sexy and hot as I want. And if they don’t like it, they don’t have to read it. They can sit around and be frigid until the cows come home. Funny part?

I bet their husbands would like it if they’d buy every one of my books. And I’m going to talk about that next week. So you might as well get your fire extinguishers ready.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

My Reads: Catching Kate by Dee Kelly

I’d been waiting to read this, wondering how it was going to go. The first book stopped in an odd place a la One to Keep by Tia Louise (you remember that one from a few weeks ago, right?). This book is a novella that takes us back to the origins of the whole story. It’s called Catching Kate: The Acceptance Series by Dee Kelly.

I won’t say where we dropped off the map in the first book, because that would spoil some of the fun. Let’s just say a couple of people are in a sticky wicket. But in Catching Kate, we discover who Kate, Jess, and Michael really are because we learn everything about their background, and we do it through Michael’s voice. And that, to me, was the interesting part.

Because Michael’s a self-serving pig in some ways. He becomes quite the man-whore, but there’s a reason: He’s still hurting from the way everything went down when things came apart for him and Kate. Even so, his behavior was deplorable. Bless his heart, if things could be made worse, he’d definitely find a way to do it. It’s as though he has a relationship death wish, and he carries out the deaths with precision and total thoughtlessness, god help him. It’s hard to have sympathy for him.

But I do – I don’t want to, but I do. I can’t help but. He’s such a broken man-child that I can’t help it. But what makes me angry with Michael is his unwillingness to go back and make things right. Yes, he wants to . . . eventually. I don’t know what he thinks will happen in the meantime. She’ll just sit around waiting for him? He says he’ll honor a relationship if she’s in one, but I really think he had no intention of doing that. He just assumed that if and when he came back, she’d be waiting for him.

And that’s not the case. But things are VERY different from what he’d imagined. No spoilers here – you’ll have to read it – but I found myself feeling sorry for him and being infuriated at him at the same time. You know that old saying, if you snooze, you lose? Yep. Pretty well sums it up here.

I think the thing I liked about this book was Dee’s ability to capture the emotions of a group of small children and teenagers, and especially through the eyes of a boy/man. I was impressed with that aspect of the writing. Now I’m looking forward to the second book in the series, Releasing Kate. I want to see what happens with Vanessa!