Saturday, August 20, 2011

Bodice Rippers vs BDSM

He mounts her with savage, tearing hands;
The girl turns white as a timid turtledove.
She screams for mother; she weeps.
As the girl is mounted, she begins to yield,
Even her fear increases her melting pleasure.

The quote above is an abridged paraphrase of a poem by Ovid, written more than two thousand years ago about the rape of the Sabine women. It could also be the synopsis of a non-consent historical.

Bodice rippers, historical non-con romances, enjoyed great popularity in the seventies and eighties. Prime examples include The Flame and the Flower by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss, Stormfire by Christine Monson, Sweet Savage Love by Rosemary Rogers, and Whitney my Love by Judith McNaught.

The only bodice ripper I can even remember reading is Whitney my Love. I don't recall the rape, just a flogging. So I'm not an expert in the genre. However, as much as I object to contemporary non-consent stories billed as BDSM, I don't have a problem with bodice rippers. Such historicals aren't considered BDSM. The stories also take place in cultures far removed from the modern world. That means that enthralled readers are generally not going to be inspired to look for an abusive Duke on a dating site. And even if they are, where are they going to find one?

Photo attribution

Thursday, August 18, 2011

When Greed Trumps Civility: Amazon Spam Revisited

I've blogged several times about Amazon's new rules forbidding promotion outside of the "Meet our Authors" forum. But that hasn't stopped people from trying--and trying again. A few days ago, one author promoted his self-pubbed book on the Kindle forum. He was told politely to stop. Rather than apologize, and make a move to become part of the forum community, he emailed one of the women who'd advised him to stop promoting. He then posted this rant (reproduced in part) on his personal blog. Other than the stalkerish misogyny, his viewpoint is quite typical of the spurned spammer:
I strolled into Amazon this weekend to browse around... I’d unwittingly wandered into the Amazon equivalent of a pack of street thugs, roving bands of opportunists taking advantage of the faceless anonymity of the web to prey upon others. Seems I’d broken a rule by self-promoting my book in there.
...So I looked into some of their backgrounds, and found that one woman (the apparent leader who seemed to set the tone) liked to give hatchet-job book reviews. 
I contacted the authors on the receiving end of several of these reviews...One voiced the probability that she has a dog because she can’t keep a man around because none will have her, and this is her revenge and bitter outlet for her rage. After experiencing her and her little pack tearing away at me, that thought carries some real merit, and does seem probable, with her aptly-chosen nic “[name deleted by January]" Another author indicated that she needed to get L^!d, which I found a bit offensive – for the poor soul "saddled" with that distasteful task.

...once we step outside the invisible walls of our literary world, we are - upon occasion - going to encounter a less enlightened element. [Those unsavory few] live to create chaos - the way writers live to create art, poetry, and beauty.
Hey dude! Another name for those street thugs and "less enlightened element" is a reader.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Saturday Musings

I haven't been enjoying reading contemporary erotic romances much. When I'm reading the genre I write, my inner editor gets activated. Rather than thrilling to the story, I'm making corrections and suggestions. Writer-me screws over reader-me. Sadly, writer-me doesn't even benefit from that inner editor. The editor disappears when I read my own stuff. I just don't have the distance and objectivity to critique my own writing--unless I let a manuscript sit for several months.

I have written an outline for another erotic romance BDSM story. It's a prequel to Management Skills, concerning the owners of the Bed and Bondage. I should have that finished and submitted sometime in early 2012.

This summer I've also been working on the final edits of a science fiction romance novel to be published by Carina. (It's not erotic BDSM, so I'll be using a pen name.) SF Romance is yet another genre I can't read without editing!

I'm looking forward to school starting again. You'd think once kids got older, summer vacation wouldn't be so disruptive. Not true for me. Though the kids are more independent, there are still those summer college visits and pulling out wisdom teeth.

I've been killing time by downloading and reading Kindle samples of self-published fiction (outside of erotic and SF romance). It's truly addictive! Amazon has made it easier to find popular self-published novels through the Kindle Indie bookstore.