It probably ranks right up there with posting to message boards and lists while aggravated, but I’ve already walked away from my computer and counted to ten so many times my children are getting worried. It’s not helping.
If you think I write morally-offensive books–Yee-freakin-haw. Then. Don’t. Read. Them.
(Okay, since none are actually published, you can’t read them anyway. Work with me here.)
I could go into what a boring, conservative person I am in real life, and point out that the couple in that book having hot monkey sex on the bar are fictional, but I won’t. If you can’t separate the author from her work, have the shrink adjust your meds.
Here it is–if you can put words on the page, sell them in today’s market, and please YOUR readers, I applaude you. Depending on your attitude toward me, I may not respect you, but I applaude you.
Worry about pleasing your readers, and I’ll worry about pleasing mine. You won’t find me on your blog/message board/list insulting you or your books or your fans. And that’s because if I don’t like something, I don’t read it. I certainly don’t seek out those who do in order to let them know how morally-offensive I find them.
The bottom line–“us people” who write “those books” are here to stay.
MÃ ili said…
You are probably referring to the debate at Alison’s blog. I hope you don’t mind me jumping in here. First off, I don’t know the person nor her beliefs.
Although I don’t agree with the person’s views, I think she’s being misunderstood. I believe that she’s trying to say that she resents an implication that if she refused to read these, she’s considered ‘narrow-minded’.
I sincerely believe that she’s not saying that authors like you are morally corrupted or that she’s questioning your choice to pen steamy romances. I think she’s trying to say that, for herself alone, these are ‘morally offensive’ to her *beliefs*.
In a way some may feel about, for example, the issue of hunting animals for sport. Some support this sport and some don’t. Hm. I just realised that that may be bad choice, as it seems that I’m equating sex with death!
OK, how about this one – the best way to bring up children. Oh, I’ll shut up as I’m sure you got my point.
I do think she phrased it badly, but I’m quite sure she means no offence.
Hey, if you can work sex and death into the same comment, you can jump in anytime! :p
No, but seriously, she may not have meant any offense, but offense was taken, nevertheless. This isn’t the first time I’ve seen this particular author put forth her beliefs, and I’ve felt bludgeoned with them each time; it’s also not the first time my chosen (sub)genre’s been attacked on a “morally right vs. wrong” basis–which is almost impossible not to take personally.
And I really try to be reasonable and to take each issue at hand, but I’m an emotional & strongly-opinionated creature and I have a hard time doing that. Which is why I brought this back to my own blog–tracking mud across my own floors, so to speak.
For the record, when it comes to judging, I don’t think it’s fair to ask people who object to sexually explicit books to judge them. If you feel strongly enough about a book that you don’t want to judge it, you’re not going to leave that bias at the door. That does the reader, the author, and the contest a disservice.
Books with strong religious or sexual themes are going to affect a reader much more strongly than “Oh, I don’t care for heroes in kilts.” Rather than a developed reading taste, these tap into a lifetime’s worth of issues. I do believe that a judge should be able to opt-out. I don’t believe the organization can draw the lines well enough to keep opt-ing out within reason, however.
I know that her position became more strongly–and offensively–worded as she tried to explain just how strongly she objected to ‘those’ books–she was trying to make a point. I’m trying very hard to be reasonable. (Really, I am.) But she knew going in that the person to whom the blog belongs writes sexually-explicit romance.
To get back to the whole death thing. I don’t hunt. Can’t do it. But I also say “I’ve never cared for hunting,” rather than “You’re a murderer, out there with guns slaughtering defenseless animals.”
And I’ve found it’s never, ever, ever a good idea to go into a heated debate and start your statement with “You people.”
Bravo, Shan, on saying it well.
I’ve typed out a long post several times, but have decided that personally attacking this person, even here or in my own blog, will not change what she’s said or change the minds of others. Let them see her for what she is–it is her boat to sink.
Morally wrong is a personal label attached to a different level within all of us. If she (or anyone else)is offended with more detailed descriptions in erotic romance, I accept her unwillingness to read them. My conscience doesn’t suffer because my stories have characters capable of enjoying their sexuality wholly–and with a committed partner…and *IN* books that end with a committed relationship.
I do however, hope those RITA judges who would never buy an EC title will be openminded enough to still read my co-author’s books, perhaps skim the sex, but get to know those rich characters, the complex plots and understand that the same effort and talent is needed to write erotic romance as historical, inspirational or suspense–and then grade them based on those writing skills, not the genre on the spine of the book.
MÃ ili said…
Fair point. In that case I’m with you. Thanks for clarifying a bit for me. Cheers for that!
[And, um, as for that line? “Oh, I don’t care for heroes in kilts” … for me, it means death. Because, to me – as a self-confessed Scottish nationalist – the short kilt and all brulala that goes with it have nothing to do with Scotland and everything it stands for. It belittles Scotland, even. *cough* Yeah, I can see those little men in white coming for me, too. :D]
Ah, well. Tis a hot button issue that’s here to stay for a while, so I either need to learn to keep my mouth shut or buy a roll of duct tape.
And I would imagine that, by the time you unrolled a guy from yards and yards and yards of damp, smelly wool, the mood would be pretty well shot.
MÃ ili said…
God, please, no. Don’t learn to shut up or use duct tape! My gran always says letting off steam is good for soul [or in her actual words: “Foaming at mouth is good for your soul” – yes, really, she did say that!]. So, vent away. Please.
Great post! I’m clapping over here! *g*
Morgan Hawke said…
Sounds like you’ve got a narrow-minded, opinionated, drum-thumping, NO-humping, it’s-all-about-them loud mouth.
Okay kids… *rolling up sleeves* It goes like this…
You get in her face and say:
“Yeah, I write SMUT! And I’m crying all the way to the BANK – you B*TCH!”
Repeat as many times as necessary.
You’ll feel better. I promise.
(Smut-Writer, and DAMNED proud of it.)
Oh, HELL yeah! *g*