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.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Attention span and the ever shortening page span of the ebook. Be it romance or otherwise.

Okay. Don't get your panties in a twisted up bunch if you like the "quickie." But... Since when is 10 pages, a book? Sorry but that's about one chapter in one of mine. Is it because reading on an ebook reader is too draining on the eyes to read longer books? Or is it because the reader only wants "quickies" to read because their attention span is rather short?

I have perused the reviews of some books on Amazon and am shocked to find that in comments on those books, readers faulted a work because it's too LONG. Uh? This lowers a book in some people's eyes? Because a writer went the extra mile and wrote a complete story and not a scene, this made a reader give it less stars? Oh my. Because a writer poured their heart into a work and took the time to build a world or background, and then because the reader can't inhale it in 20 minutes like fast food, it loses luster? Oh my again.

I don't write "10 page" books. If one does not have time to read my work, maybe one shouldn't. If you do read it, break it into parts and savor it. Please. Don't let this fast-paced, hurry-up world push you along. Not just into reading "scenes" disguised as books, but in life in general. Put your hand up and say "no!' Do it at your pace not someone else's.

Treat yourself. Tell you attention span to chill. Read a book longer than a chapter and immerse yourself. Turn off the rampant chatter in your brain. Slow down.

Besides, is your personal sex life like a 10 page scene? Oh man. my condolences.

By the way:

Universe, one; George Zimmerman, zero.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Trends in writing, the reading public, expectations and the writer's dilemma

Trends. Trends. Trends. It’s a very risky gamble for writers. Creating stories or basing one’s whole writing career on a trend is a toss of the dice. Trends are fickle. Therefore, one’s career could plummet or stall or fail based on trends. At the moment a new genre has emerged called new adult. I researched it and it sounds like YA with sex and violence or tragedy, or at least the air of tragedy surrounding the heroine. Example: The heroine is an older teen or early twenty-something with some sort of physical or mental assault in her past and/or a huge loss in her life (deaths of immediate family members). And the characters seem to be on a journey through life. Sounds like the picaresque main character in every story written by every Siecle- des- Lumieres philospher/scribes' work I've ever read. It looks like ‘the next big thing” writers are rushing to pen. My caveat: Do it well! We all can relate to being subjected to the slew of imitators who wrote angst-y teen vamps after Twilight appeared. Some did it pretty well; others, not so. And let’s face it, pathetic vamp books are tired. But no matter how tired, the genre abides. It ain’t going anywhere. So, like it or not, I suppose Twilight is the touchstone by which all teen vamp lit is measured.

What work is its equivalent in new adult? I don’t know. All I do know is, there is a lot of it coming out. Which brings me back to trends. Readers, are you buying it because you like it? Or are you buying it because it’s there? Yes, the chicken and the egg question. If your answer is the latter, that mystifies me. Why? Because sooooooooooooo many readers have said that unknown or new premises and unknown authors make them wary. All that uncharted territory scares them. All that unfamiliar landscape they have to build trust with. Wow! If trends are being embraced that must mean that readers do venture out of their comfort zone. Or they are bored with what they are usually reading. Now be honest. Do you follow a trend because it’s interesting or because some publisher’s advertising persuaded you? Hmmmm?

Don't worry. From its enthusiastic reception, it appears new adult ain’t going anywhere either.

Hats off and good luck to the readers and trendsetting writers in this case. 

Friday, November 1, 2013

Finally! UNION is here!

Okay. Here is the cover to my latest installment to The Felig Chronicles.  The book is available now from eXtasy Books. The cover is sexier and more bare than I thought it would be. My books are pretty tame compared to what eXtasy is known for but hey, it's their company and they know the ropes. I really wanted shorter hair for the couple, but artists of famille Waters, never fail to get the essence of the book. Please seek out UNION and see what happens to Nate and Tina and how the Felig "go all in" when they want something.