Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A Note to "GREG"

Today I spent most of my brief writing time going over some entries I volunteered to judge for Passionate Ink's, Stroke of Midnight contest. And it got me thinking. Passionate Ink is a romance writing chapter that I love. The contests help gear authors to be better, and in a genre like erotic romance, that's easier said than done. It's too easy for people who don't understand or read our work to label it "porn" or "smut." And yeah, I do take offense at that. I shouldn't, since that's a narrow-minded view of what I write, but I can't help myself.

Take a good friend of mine. We'll call him GREG (hey Craig, are you listening?) GREG is a terrific guy. He's kind-hearted, intelligent, and extremely well-read. He's in a fact a literary snot, one of those guys who loves the written word and a well-turned phrase almost more than he likes plot and character. I spent some time with him recently and perused his bookshelf. Taking a gander at a NY Times notable entitled Slammerkin, I found myself immersed in a fictional account of a real life murderess who was hung back in 1763. I read the whole thing. Wonderful prose, lively characters... and at the end, I wanted to shoot myself. So incredibly depressing. I couldn't get that darkness out of my head for hours on end afterward.

This is the type of fiction GREG loves. It moves you. Yeah, it moved me to want to bury my head under the covers and wish I hadn't read it on my vacation. Hello??? I read books that give me an HEA, a feel good sensation after I close the book's cover at "The End." And you know, sometimes I just want a fast moving plot and light-hearted fare. My Circe's Recruits aren't going to win a Pulitzer, but they're giving people entertainment. They're fast-paced and erotic, because my work is about fantasy. When I want a downer, I read the news. It's there wherever you look. Injustice, divorce, death. Why not a change of pace with some happily-ever-after and a man who always gives his woman an orgasm? Yeah, fiction, I know. But at least it leaves you wanting more.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not slamming Slammerkin (haha). It's a terrific book, but if I'd known what I was getting into before reading it, I might not have chosen to indulge in the book while on vacation, where I had intended to relax and enjoy myself. I do highly recommend the book, though. Especially if you want a realistic picture of life in 1700s England. Emma Donaghue, the author, thoroughly deserves her accolades for the book. I just wish it hadn't been so depressing. Then again, it chronicled a real-life accounting in which a woman got the shaft, and not in a good way. Go figure.

No comments: