Sunday, February 11, 2007

Blushes, and Giggles, and Bitches... Oh My!

Melanie Anderson has some interesting thoughts today over on Romancing the Blog. I get a bit uncomfortable letting non-Readers know that I even READ erotic romances. So I can only imagine what it's like for the authors that actually WRITE it. How DO you become comfortable with the idea that people are speculating about your sex life? How squicked out are you that your family, neighbors, co-workers, etc. are looking at you like they don't know you at all?

On one of the Erotica panels at the Daytona RT Con (05/2006), Cheyenne McCray said that, though she can write them, she absolutely cannot bring herself to say "any of the "C" words." Actually, I can relate to that, too. There are just some words that even my bawdy old self can't utter.

I recently was a beta reader for a new author, pen name Merry Phillips, who sold her first submission, Jason's Reckoning, to Phaze Publishing. It's a F/F/M and, I have to admit, at first I was squicked out thinking of her in sexual terms. Then I got over it and got on with my job as her "Comma Patrol." Thank God her sex scenes didn't need much editing, though, because that would have been very weird debating the details with her!

Alessia Brio left this comment for Melanie:
"It’s “the” question of romance/erotica writers, huh? People don’t walk up to Stephen King and ask him if he really did (or wanted to do) the things in his books. Even so, I prefer that my relatives not have those insights into the workings of my mind"

This reminds me of the ongoing controversy with Laurell K. Hamilton. For those of you that live in a field of innocent daisies, let me summarize it. LKH writes the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series. Anita is a kick-butt heroine who kills rogue vampires and lycanthropes and helps the police solve preternatural crimes, when not busy with her regular job as a corpse animator. That's a really bare bones summary, but it wouldn't be difficult to find more details. The early books were action oriented. The later books are sexually oriented. Some people are downright hostile about the series' change in direction. Although sex was introduced BEFORE Narcissus In Chains, this was actually the pivotal book where sex (actually a metaphysical succubus called the ardeur) became a major storyline in the series.

Most of the speculation has been that Laurell discovered good sex with her then new husband, Jon, and felt a need to "share" it with her readers through a new character called Micah and a new emphasis on sex. ASSHATS, every one of them! Anita had been shooting the heads and or hearts out of people for several books. Did LKH write that because she suddenly had a need to share her real life bloodthirstiness with her readers? So where has she been disposing of all these bodies?

Here's the truth directly from Darla (LKH's PA and indispensable right hand) and interviews that Laurell has done:

At an early book signing of LKH, only 3 people showed up- Darla, Darla's husband, Jack, and a then older teen Jon. They all became friends and Laurell's most faithful fans. Cut to down the road more than a few years and Laurell is going through a divorce from her first husband, Gary. She's a single parent to a very young daughter, trying to make a living and support them through her writing. She has started writing Narcissus in Chains. Anita and her hunny-bunny, Richard, aren't really together anymore, but Laurell, who's going through some rough personal times, can't bear for Anita to not have someone too. Thus Micah came into the picture. Most people start speculating that Micah was/is Jon. Nope, before NiC was finished, Laurell had started to date again. Most men her own age either dismissed her writing career or were intimidated by it. By the time she finished NiC, she had begun to wonder if there could be something more than just friendship between her and Jon. Now with edits and publishing lag time, by the time NiC was released, her and Jon WERE together. But a whole lot of asstards put two and two together and came up with 5.

Look, I don't usually give a rat's ass about an author's personal life. But it just pisses me off that, first of all, people are launching personal attacks against Laurell and Jon, and secondly, the ammo they are using is totally untrue! Not just asstards, but fuckwads!

Which brings me to this recent entry of Mrs. Giggles. I usually enjoy her posts. But why oh why do you have such a hard-on for LKH, Mrs. G? Good Lord woman, you are now laying the decline of erotic writing and probably western civilization at her feet! Last year, you flat out stated that Micah is Jon and Richard is Gary! Of course then you proved that you didn't have a clue what the fuck you were talking about when you came out with this brilliant spew! My favorite part of this one? "She married her fanclub president, created Micah and Jonathan after him, used Richard the werewolf as her therapy couch to indulge in her love-hate feelings for her ex-husband" Who the hell is this character Jonathan? That's her husband's name and he is NOT in the books, Mrs. G!! Have you even READ the books and author that you seem so obsessed over?

Okay, okay, off on a bitch tangent there. I really do enjoy Mrs. G MOST of the time, but she needs to take a cue from the Smart Bitches. When they discussed a recent LKH blog entry that set tongues a-waggin' all over the 'net (more on that another time), they made their point without the below-the-belt personal attacks. In fact, one of their entries criticizing LKH turned into a fascinating discussion among authors about character development and making their characters come alive for them. But, we'll get back to that topic another day.

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