Friday, November 29, 2013
Torsos, Reviewers and Tempers. Oh my!
Today’s post covers a few things that had me thinking. Number one, with romance book covers (mostly erotic romance) publishers’ art departments have not been featuring many complete body part couples. I mean there are couples but you only get parts of them. You’ll get the semi-nude chick full on, facing out shielding the naked guy behind her who's pinning her arms back or she’s wrapped around the guy, facing out, looking over his shoulder. With this shot, you get her splayed knees and hands. Her facial expression is usually fixed in some pre- or post-orgasmic rictus, head thrown back, mouth open, slitty-eyed. Or she’s biting her lips against some carnal torment the guy is delivering to some part of her.
But, but, the guy, oh man. He might as well not be present. There is no face or head. They are MIA. What does exists is A LOT of sweaty, ripped torsos with arms and legs. HEADLESS torsos. HEADLESS, muscular, sweaty, naked torsos in open robes or open suit jackets, in hoodies, in tank tops. If a full, face shot does appear, it’s typically marred by the placement of a giant hood or cloak or blindfold or scads of hair or TOTALLY CROPPED OUT. Or the man simply drops his head to his chest. Or, or, or his bare back is to the reader with a slew of tattoos. I am not into sex fantasies of HEADLESS, FACELESS men. It’s scary to me. I was not a fan of the zipless f**k concept of Erica Jong’s Fear of Flying. It’s just plain creepy. One could be getting done by a demon. Wait! That is the premise of a lot of these books. Or a snapshot of your love life. LOL. My bad. Couldn’t resist.
Yes, sweaty, ripped torsos are extremely nice. But after I check out the lovely, damp view, I want to see the FACE attached to it. I wanna see the face, damn it! Don’t cheat me. If the heroine gets contorted face time on the cover, I want equal time for the hero.
Number Two. On to the reviewing of books by reviewers/readers. What is the nasty fuss going on between authors and the readers/reviewers on review sites? Everybody needs to chill. Author: You wrote a book and put it out there. It’s a free-for-all once it’s released. People are going to comment. Good, bad, indifferent. Don’t take any comment to heart, no matter which of those categories it falls into. It’s an opinion. Nothing more. Nothing less. It won’t make you or break you. If you pay too much attention to reviews, you’ll start crafting you stories to garner a certain type of review. Keep writing your style and don’t be so thirsty for approval. Don’t fight with readers and reviewers. But don't be disrespected either.
Readers/Reviewers: You either bought a book or received an ARC. Just do your job as a reader or reviewer and stick to critiquing the storyline not the author. If a book looks like it’s going to end a certain way and it doesn’t, don’t go all Misery by Stephen King on the writer. The author ends a book as HE/SHE sees fit. Not as YOU see fit. Okay? The spending of money does not get you a platform to act the fool. If you do not like what's been written, write your own. Then when you publish, you may get a reader/reviewer who loathes everything about your book, and then begins to heap the personal (calls you stupid or inept) on top of something that is a strictly business interaction. Oooh, feel the burn!
My advice to all: Be fair, be civil, be sane. It's only fiction.