Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Thirty-Two Shades of GREEN!!!

It's time somebody said what every erotic romance writer has been thinking for the last few weeks. What the BLEEP is going on?  How come an erotic BDSM romance has become the talk of the literary town? Why is every television personality clutching a copy like it was a canteen of water and they're stuck in the middle of the Gobi desert at high noon? Why is every interviewer on every evening program suddenly talking about BDSM like it was some new and shocking sexual deviance?

And most of all - yes, really, I'm going to say it - WHY THE BLEEP WASN'T IT ME?????  DAMMIT. I'M EVEN BRITISH, FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE.

In the interests of full disclosure, I will admit I have not read "the book". I did skim the sample and found it is in first person-present tense. That's a tough POV to write and not one of my faves to read, but nevertheless I'm sure it's a good book. This is in no way a denigration of the author or her accomplishments. I'm the first to congratulate anyone who writes a book, let alone publishes it herself and hits the top of the lists. Well done, E.L. James. Hat's off to you, dear.  No, this rant is an indictment of the media who have worked themselves into a slathering state of drool over the idea (apparently unique) of a novel full of erotically hot BDSM sex.

Uh...seriously?  This is where I begin to turn all those shades of green. And not just for myself. Honestly. We are a community here. So let's look around, shall we?

Ten years or so back <make woo-woo time machine noises here>  - Jaid Black wrote The Possession. That book could've jump-started puberty for an entire generation because it was so damn hot. But was it lauded on tv? Nope.  Another fabulous writer, Kate Douglas, found herself with some erotically charged lions and turned readers on to Star Quest. From there she traveled to wolves and her Wolf Tales series is a continual best seller. Bravo, Kate. But where are the paparazzi? Where are the incessantly hounding interviewers, article-writers, biographers and people who would like her to endorse their latest product? Are they out there lurking around Kate's house? Ditto some of the other wonderful erotic romance authors who paved the road leading to those shades of grey.  Authors like Diane Whiteside (the scarf scene in The Switch. Moan.) , Angela Knight, Lora Leigh and Cheyenne McCray.  And let's not forget one of the all-time BDSM queens, Joey Hill. Where is her adulation? Am I missing a memo? Did I take a Rip-van-Winkle style nap?

And I have to say this, since we're all thinking it...where am I in this pantheon of erotic passions? I'm proud to have a buttload of erotic romances out there. Yes, several are BDSM books and have garnered a share of praise from readers and reviewers. But the last time I looked out my window I completely failed to see a truck with a tv dish on it and there wasn't anyone from Access Hollywood at my door. Sigh. You want some BDSM-lite? Try Pure Sin, written with my partner S.L. Carpenter. Neither of us got a call from the Today Show recently. Or even when it was released. WHY THE BLEEP NOT? It's hotly erotic and features a trip to a dungeon. And a woman who wants to experiment with submission. So...so... uh...
<insert pouty sniffling noises here>

I apologize if this sounds like sour grapes. Well, actually I don't, because it is. Very sour grapes. I, like so many of my fellow erotic romance authors, have worked frickin' hard at my craft. I've put out the best books I know how for many years and with many publishers. I'm now doing it on my own for a variety of reasons. But however they're produced and released, they're still out there. Yet apparently lacking in that certain magic, that je-ne-sais-quoi that makes a best-seller. I'm not hauling in the dosh by the barrel, or buying myself that Lincoln MKX that does everything but make coffee in the mornings. I'm not even anywhere on any lists, that I can tell, unless Bottom-of-the-Birdcage counts. WHY THE BLEEP NOT???

The answer, of course, is that nobody knows. And all kidding aside, anyone who enters the world of writing with the intention of penning another Shades of Grey is in for a huge disappointment. Of all the authors out there writing erotic romance, there are maybe a dozen with such successes under their belts. And that puts the odds at somewhere between going to bed with George Clooney and getting hit by lightning. Twice.  In other words, slim to none.

My philosophy about my books has always been that writing is a crapshoot. There is NO way to predict, analyze or otherwise manipulate this industry to produce a best-seller. And I reckon the last six weeks has proved my belief to be right on the nose. Again, I congratulate E.L. James. She's hit the jackpot and I'm happy she's brought attention to the genre in which I have happily played for over a decade. More power to her and to the others that will follow her.

However, in my quietly private moments, I still permit myself that silent scream of envy. And turn those thirty-two shades of green. LMAO

Begging forgiveness for my weak spirit,
Sahara Kelly