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



Cheyenne McCray said...

LOL. Love your post. And yes, where have those movie deals been all of these years? ;)

Kate Douglas said...

Not weak at all, darlin', and you're right. I've always said that success as an author is 10% skill and 90% luck and timing--and, fwiw, Wolf Tales did get its mention on the Geraldo Show (gee whiz...) and CNN Moneytalk back in 2006 when the first in the series released, but that was before social networking and the concept of "going viral" had, well...gone viral.

I applaud E.L. James and her amazing success as I agonize over the current WIP, but like you, I probably won't read it. I have no time--the thing I said about timing and luck? For me it's a product of very hard work in a career I wouldn't change for anything. The TV cameras and fame might be fun and I could certainly use the $$, but face it--you're as bad as I am, sweetie! We write because we love what we do. I figure I can spend my days in my imaginary world with really hunky men who jump at my beck and call, or I could follow the current political scene and agonize over things over which I have no control. Like there's a choice? I don't think so!

Great post, darlin'! Hope to see you in Anaheim at RWA this summer!

Sahara Kelly said...

I'd LOVE to know where those movie deals are, Chey. I sure haven't seen 'em. (I want Charlize Theron playing me. No question about it. ;) )

And Kate, you're absolutely right! Forgive me for missing your mentions on tv - I should've checked first. But even so...I still think your books are EVERY bit as deserving of such acclaim. It's not so much the work, it's the media frenzy that's made me itch. Can't turn on anything at the moment without being confronted with it. LOLLOL

Kate Douglas said...

LOL...see? That's where I'm obviously MUCH smarter than you, Sahara...{snort} I quit watching TV years ago. All I know of 50 shades is what I see on the social networking sites, which have become my drug of choice.

Mireya said...

You shouldn't feel bad for feeling the way you do, Sahara. You, Cheyenne and Kate were among the first erotic romance authors I ever read and it is because of work like yours, that I discovered the beauty of, first, erotic romance, and shortly after all other subgenres of romance. I'll always be grateful to all of you. It was because of your awesome work that I fell in love with romance and also how I know the difference between well written ones and mediocre (not to say POS) ones.

Thank you to you all, ladies. I am only one reader, but you did make an impact on my life. (Not being melodramatic, just stating a fact).

Sahara Kelly said...

Awww, shucks, Mireya. (Scuffs toe in carpet and blushes!) LOL Readers like you are why we do what we do, honey. The best book in the universe is nothing but scribbles on paper unless someone picks it up and reads it. THEN it becomes alive. Thank you for your kind words and your years of support and encouragement. May we all share many more. And may I hit the best selling lists and take you all to Aruba for the weekend. (giggle) :)

Tracy Cooper-Posey said...

Oh, ditto.

Well said.

I don't bleepin' get it either. I was a lot more polite and careful about it on my blog. :)

But then, if *anyone* did understand why, they'd be editors buying the books they knew were going to break out.

Oh, hey, editors don't know either, do they?




Sahara Kelly said...

LOL Tracy. You're dead on the money there...editors don't know either! And I'm sure there are a ton of 'em scurrying around and beating the brush trying to scare up the NEXT Shades of whatever. Good luck to 'em. It's probably going to be something completely different. LMAO Can't even begin to imagine what!

Amber said...

Sahara, you couldn't have said it better! You have every right to feel this way. I thought when I first saw this on the Today show that it might bring more great authors out in the open, but they seem to think this is the first of its kind. I think Matt Lauer needs a bit of an education along with the rest of the mainstream press.

I like Mireya have discovered so much from yours as well as other great writers of Erotic Romance that it has been life changing. From Jaid's The Possesion to Training to Pleasure and everything in between, and a personal favorite A Kink in Her Tails.

One thing I have learned is that the best books are not always on the best seller list. The best books I've read have come from finding authors like you and all the others who work so hard to put out a story that grabs me and makes me feel like a part of it.

Samantha Kane said...

Sahara, my dear, you are a treasure! The first erotic historical author I ever read. See what you did?! lol But I, too, am some random number shades of green. It's been really hard for me to maintain my enthusiasm for writing over this whole hullabaloo. It's hard to be ignored and shoved in the dark closet while someone else who came after is being lauded and adored, isn't it? But that's my issue, and not a reflection on James, as you said, but on the misguided media.

Sahara Kelly said...

Amber, thank you!!! I didn't write this blog to fish for compliments, but I'm more than happy to read them! LOLLOL I wholeheartedly agree with your assessment about best sellers vs the best books. So many of my favorites haven't hit the heights and yet they've brought me so much pleasure... you're right!!! And yes on Training To Pleasure. Wow. What a book that one was! Those were the days, huh? LOLLOL

Sahara Kelly said...

Lordy Samantha, you're making me tear up here. Really? I'm soooo honored to have been your first! LMAO But seriously...I'm with you in that this whole thing has been a distraction I can ill afford. Some days it's almost impossible to drag words out of my brain. I don't need this incessant media fussing over what - to me - seems routine. Perhaps because it's so close to home it's seemed too...over the top? I wonder at times if it's worth it, but then wonderful folks like Mireya and Amber remind me that yes, it is. For that - well, there are no adequate words, only "thank you".

Joey W. Hill said...

Sahara, you are too kind. And I loved your post! With your usual unique voice and flare, you managed to be straightforward and honest without a hint of pettiness or whining. And interlaced it all with the humor about our crazy business that helps keep us all sane. Yep, if you're looking for a fair industry, publishing ain't it. But as you and the subsequent posters indicated (with great class and style as well), we write because we love it, and for the wonderful readers like Mireya and Amber. Amen and underscore!

Nicely done.

Sahara Kelly said...

Thanks, Joey. Your comments mean a lot. I've enjoyed reading everyone's thoughts - it seems that this is a hot-button issue for many of us. And it cropped up on a slow news day for the media. An explosive combination. LOL However, when all's said and done? I don't think I see myself doing anything else. I still love to write and thankfully there are still folks out there who love to read. That's the ultimate Happily Ever After... LMAO

expert pics said...

Brilliant, I like your novels very much.