Open Mouth, Insert Foot

posted in: Various Musings | 4

Readers who have been “with me” for a long time know that I have a steadfast rule—I rarely read in my genre, and I don’t for lots of reasons.  The biggest reason is that I don’t want to sound like everyone else, nor do I want to compare my writing to other authors (for better or worse).  I want my voice fresh, and it is therefore better served by my reading far and wide…and out of the romance/erotica/rock star genre.

Once in a while, though, I do break that rule, especially when a book is particularly compelling.  One day I was reading reviews of one of my books on Amazon, and another author’s book was linked to Bullet.  I clicked on it because the cover intrigued me, and the blurb about the book convinced me to break that rule.  I one-clicked and it sat on my Kindle for a few months while I finished one of my TBR stacks of nonfiction.  A few months later I was in a waiting room and done checking my email and Facebook page.  I opened up my Kindle and there that little beauty was, calling to me.  I started reading and—two chapters later—was certain I would love the book.  In fact, the writing was so great, it made me feel like I need to stick to my day job.  Forever.

I start this out by reminding readers that, on more than one occasion, I have been accused of being “very vanilla.”  I’ll cop to it.  I don’t write about BDSM, ménage, anal, or kink.  Granted, my characters don’t just do missionary, but you bet I’m vanilla, and my readers have assured me that they’re okay with that, so I’m not even going to attempt something I’m not good at.  There are plenty of other authors who do other flavors quite well.  That said, let me just get this off my chest before we go any further.  Almost every sex scene in the book involved anal.  All.  But.  One.  As a woman who doesn’t open up the backdoor (sorry if that disappoints), that was a little…er, um…hard for me to swallow.  Okay, that’s out of the way.  I feel better now.

Over the past year, I have tried to “expand” my repertoire a little.  Riley and Erin played a little with handcuffs; Jet shared a little toy with Val; and one of my upcoming books later in the year will feature (thanks to popular demand) a threesome, but there are a lot of things I’m not comfortable writing about.  As I said a moment ago, I know there are plenty of other authors who handle other varieties better than yours truly, and I’ll leave it to them.  I guess this was just my way of telling you to never expect an anal sex scene from one of my books…in case you were looking for it.  But if you like vanilla, I’ve got plenty of that!

Anyway, I had placed myself in a rather precarious position by agreeing to review the book for one of my blogger friends who thought it would be cool to have authors reviewing authors.  I thought that was a fun idea, and since I loved the book thus far, I was certain I would love the whole thing.  Well, it turns out that I had to “bow out.”  I explained to my awesome blogger friend that even though I liked the book overall, there were things about it that didn’t work for me.  I would have either said that in my review and wound up coming across as a rude, mean and nasty author (something I never want to do) or I would have sugarcoated it and not been completely honest. Either way was a losing situation for me and for the other author.  Fortunately, my blogger friend completely understood.  Bottom line, though, and I feel quite strongly about this:  I know every book has an audience who loves it, even if I don’t, and I don’t want to destroy this author’s chance of finding a solid audience who will love her work.  I know it is well loved by a lot of people, so I am keeping my opinion to myself.

It also comes back to me.  I know not everyone loves my writing, and I’ve grown comfortable with that.  Again, it reassures me that there is an audience for every book written, and eventually that audience will find it.  I’m so glad you all found me!

A little more on reading inside my genre, though.  Some of you know I attended my very first book signing in Las Vegas last weekend (Naughty Mafia).  That was spectacular.  I met so many wonderful authors (there were several I didn’t have the chance to meet as well), and now I know I must read their books.  I just must.  I have loaded up my Kindle.  However, I still can’t make them a steady diet.  They will be my “dessert reading.”

In the meantime, though, I must focus on writing, something that’s become a little harder over the past year as I’ve begun interacting online more.  I won’t stop interacting, though, because I have met so many wonderful people online.  However, I do need to start setting time limits with myself so I home in on what you’re here for in the first place—my books!  You’ll be glad to know, on that note, that Rock Bottom is right around the corner!  A little over a week.  Thanks for the journey, folks.  It’s only just begun!

4 Responses

  1. Nola Lightman

    Hi Jade,

    I just wanted to say how much this post meant to me. With regards to a permanent lock being on the “backdoor,” you’re not alone. And I can’t ever see myself writing anything with that involved.

    This post gave me peace with the fact that if I write something that others deem “vanilla,” it’s okay even if I call myself an erotica/erotic romance writer. I’m a strong believer in there being different levels of sex for all kinds.

    Thanks again for giving such an inspiring opinion, and may you have endless success! ヅ

    • Jade

      Thanks, Nola. I wish you all the success in the world as well. I’d rather be awesome vanilla than crappy chocolate. 😀

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