Posted by Roz Lee in Erotic Romance, Writer's Life on 22-03-2012
Tags: 50 Shades of Grey, Amazon, E.L. James, erotic romance, Kindle, Roz Lee, writing
Ever since the morning talk shows jumped on the oh-my-gosh-who-would-have-thought-women-like-to-read-about-sexual-fantasies, bandwagon, touting E.L. James’ erotic trilogy, Fifty Shade of Grey as if it was the first of its kind, the world of erotic literature written for, and by, women, has been abuzz. Everyone has an opinion, including me.
Just to make this clear, lest you think I don’t know what I’m talking about – I have read it. The whole thing. All three books. I paid retail price for them from Amazon.com for my Kindle. And yes, I plan to write them off on my taxes – market research, you know? After all, how am I, a lowly, multi-published erotic romance author, supposed to keep up with what readers want if I don’t read the stuff they’re buying – in droves? This is my story, and I’m sticking to it.
I belong to scads (that’s a bunch) of Facebook and Yahoo groups for writers, and some for readers too. For the last month or so, there hasn’t been a day go by that someone hasn’t posted something about E.L. James’ trilogy. Are they all saying the same thing? No. Not by a longshot. Some of the readers shamelessly confess how much they enjoyed the books while qualifying their enthusiasm with disclaimers. I don’t read erotica. I never have. But this is so…exciting! I just couldn’t put it down! (Okay, so I’m paraphrasing this from memory, don’t hate me. Yet.)
Some gush about the hero (term used loosely here). He’s so…forceful. Domineering. Sexy. I’d let him spank me…
Others claim the book makes them want to have sex with their husbands, who I suspect haven’t been near as attentive as Christian Grey is in the book, nor as inclined to do the kinky things Christian does.
The morning talk show hosts have a name for this ‘new’ genre – Mommy Porn. Apparently, women in the raising young children age group have found these books, and read them while their kids are at playgroup or napping. They get so turned on, they ship the kids off to a sleepover with whomever will take them, and when their husband comes home from work, they jump his bones.
What’s wrong with this? Absolutely nothing. If reading erotic literature revives a woman’s interest in sex, then that can’t be all bad for a marriage. Can it? I’m sure the husbands aren’t complaining.
But authors of erotic literature are. Complaining. Loudly.
The reason why? Because we know 50 Shades of Grey isn’t the first of its kind. Lots of other authors have been writing erotic stories for…ever. There are plenty of discussions going on among the writing community. Is 50 Shades that good? Is it original? Is it fair to capitalize on someone else’s characters? (It was originally written as fan-fiction for the Twilight trilogy.) The list goes on and on. There is no end to the discussion. But what does it all boil down to?
Okay, here is where you get to hate me.
It boils down to shades of green. We’re all turning toxic chemical green – with envy.
We shake our heads at the talk show hosts and wonder, why that book? Why not mine? Or so-and-so’s? As an author of numerous erotic romances, I think I’ve written some pretty darn good stuff too. It’s even been published! I know plenty of other writers who have done the same. And hate me if you will, but some have done a better job. I know this because not only do I write kinky, erotic, sexy books, but I read them too. Yes, I can feel your hate, but at the risk of losing you as a friend, I’ll continue.
Having read the trilogy in question, I can say that some of the envy-green arguments aren’t inaccurate. Is 50 Shades destined to be a classic? No. Are the sex scenes the best I’ve ever read? No. Is the plot riveting? No. Are the characters so well written I will never forget them? No. Is it an enjoyable read? Yes. I did enjoy reading it. Did I want to jump the hubby afterwards? No. I’ve read much more explicit books, books that hubby would like me to read again…and again. I’ve read books to my hubby. Is this one of them? No.
After all the discussions regarding 50 Shades of Grey, the question remains – why this one?
Who knows? I could only wish it would happen to one of my books, but that isn’t likely, so I’ll just console my green self with hope that the hype will generate interest in all the other books out there in the (I refuse to call it Mommy-porn) genre, of which several are mine. Maybe all those women who are looking for ways to spice up their love life will seek out other titles, and when they do, those of us who have been writing all along in relative obscurity will reap the benefits.
Green benefits – if you get my meaning. You’ll excuse me now, I need to touch up my makeup. Who knew green was so hard to cover up?
Leave your hate mail below. Go ahead. I can take it.