Monday, December 14

The road to enlightenment--and its bumps

by Liz Flaherty

Sometimes, I convince myself I'm not a traditionalist. I'm a feminist, after all. Who loves or marries whom is quite frankly none of my business. I'm a Christian who believes Jesus Christ to be her savior, but your beliefs are up to you--it shouldn't get in the way of us being nice to each other, being friends, living in the same neighborhood, or laughing at the same jokes. You do like bad jokes, right? Because if you don't, then we'll have to work harder at getting along. But no, I'm not a traditionalist. Surely not.

But then. Nan and I were talking. We do that a lot--we're good at it. If husbands ever got as good at listening as we do are at talking...oh, well, anyway, Nan thinks that some "traditionally pubbed authors feel invaded and diminished by indies" and that--at least sometimes--she's "not a real author because [she's] not traditionally published." 

I don't feel "invaded" by indies, although diminished--maybe a little. And she's definitely a real author. If you haven't read about her Women of Willow Bay, you should. But she's also bummed out because "no publisher wants to deal with my older heroines." That also bums me out because I think I'm permanently tired of traditional heroines. You know. Twenty-something. Way smart. Way beautiful. Feisty. (Ask me sometime how I feel about the word "feisty"--no, don't.)

See? I'm not a traditionalist. I like older heroines. Non-feisty, overweight, and okay-looking ones, too. I was, at this point in the conversation, quite proud of myself for having such an enlightened attitude. 

And then Nan mentioned erotica. 

Oh, crap.

Because I don't like it. I believe, because so many authors have assured me that it is so, that there is a difference between pure erotica and erotic romance. I will defend to the death anyone's right to write, read, and promote it. I think some of the covers are gorgeous and some of the writing equally so. As long as there are no children or animals involved, I don't have moral problem with it. I'm neither squeamish nor even especially prudish, but I get bored very quickly reading about it. I am the same way with harsh language. It's not that I mind other people using it--although I wish they'd clean it up around kids--but I don't want to hear it or read it because, once again, I am bored by it.

So I guess that even with all my bragging about enlightenment, I do still have a wide strip of traditionality. What about you? Are there any conventions that trip you up when you're right in the middle of a loud "hear me roar" soliloquy?
***
And I'm so excited! Our Christmas boxed set, A Heartwarming Christmas is still available for 99 cents, a bargain, as my old boss used to say, at twice the price. And now--here's the excited part--my story, The Gingerbread Heart, is available in print!  Regardless of how proud I am about being non-traditional in some areas, there's still something about paper and ink... 

16 comments:

  1. Great post, Liz, and yeah, we do talk, don't we? I'm so glad! It's hard for me to feel enlightened about this new world of publishing when I'm, honestly, pretty entrenched in tradition. But, like you, I'm giving it my best shot...like going indie when I couldn't get traditional pubs to talk to me about my older heroines. Thanks for the shout-out--I want romance that I can relate to, which means grey hair and poochy tummies and people who talk things out instead of jumping to conclusions and heroines who are aging well and not afraid to take chances. Heading to Amazon for my print copy of The Gingerbread Heart! YAY!!!

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    1. Looking forward to lunch--and more talking! :-)

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  2. I totally agree, Liz. Seems like tradition is different with everyone. I'm not going to sweat it. I'll just write what takes my fancy at the time.

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    1. Good thinking! I think I overthink things sometimes, and I worry too much about trends--mostly because they're over by the time I catch on. :-)

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  3. Liz, great post. I too love character development and great dialog and heroines (and heroes) who are less than perfect and a little older. We all want to read about people to whom we can relate. Congrats on the print version of The Gingerbread Heart. Will pick it up on Amazon.

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    1. Thanks, Carolyn. That's a problem with me, too, finding book people I can relate to.

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  4. A well put post, Liz. I believe authors and readers should write or read what brings them joy. When the writer is passionate about the story, the reader will pick up on that and love the work. Congrats on The Gingerbread Heart!

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    1. Thank you, Stanalei. That's hard sometimes, holding on to the joy, but so necessary!

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  5. Hi, Liz! I like all kinds of heroes and heroines in stories, not the same ol', same ol'. Like Carolyn, people we can relate to- their joys and ups and downs. To think only 20somethings are the most interesting people in the world would be wrong. Congratulations on the book!!!

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    1. Thanks, Vicki. The bad part is that when my generation was in their 20s, we thought we were pretty interesting, too. :-)

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  6. Love the post, Liz! But I wouldn't consider you "traditional" just because you're bored with shallow heroines, an emphasis on sex, and harsh language... we've just seen it all before, and what is one person's cutting edge is another's been-there-done-that. And--Crap!--my books have all three! :{

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    1. What's too bad (and wrong) is how easily I equate beautiful with shallow. But you're right! :-)

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  7. I'm a traditionalist in exactly the same way. It's pretty much live and let live as far as others are concerned, as long as no one's hurt. But I have no interest in erotica or harsh language, no matter how fashionable they've become. BTW - I ADORED Back to McGuffey's and posted reviews at Amazon and Goodreads. Merry Christmas to you!

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    1. Thank you, Alison--and Merry Christmas back atcha!

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  8. Great post. And I hate "feisty" heroines too! Actually, the term that always gets me is "kick-@ss" heroines. I automatically bypass books with that in the description. (Not really fond of kick-@ss heroes, either.) And I lost interest in erotic romance very quickly once the novelty wore off. For me, all that descriptive sex gets in the way of more interesting stuff like plot and characters.

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    1. Lol. It's funny how terms can become a turnoff, isn't it? But what you said is where I'm at--I want to enjoy characters and plot and sex and language on every page dilutes it too much for me.

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