Because I'm such a Kitty (and if you don't know what that means, then you need to take my Which Bunco Babe are you? quiz. Now. But I digress)...Because I'm such a Kitty, I hardly ever make waves. I just don't like to stir the pot, so to speak, but this has been weighing on my mind for some time now. I want to talk about those persons who will pick up a book and then blast said book because of a) the language and or, b) the sex. Now, this is America, and people are free to do what they want. Which means I can also write this post:)
Maybe books should be like movies and come with ratings. I think that would solve a lot of problems. But unfortunately, they don't. Sometimes, you pick up a book with one expectation, and what you get is something altogether different.
Take "The Time Traveler's Wife" for instance. *spoiler* Here's a book with lots of sex, lots of profanity, and a few strange scenes (Henry's masturbation) thrown in for good measure. I will say that that masturbation scene threw me a bit, but I kept reading. Not so much because I loved Henry (I found him to be extremely selfish, but also extremely compelling) but because the writing was just so damn good and I had to find out what happened at the end of the story. That said, out of curiosity, I went to some review sites and read what people had to say about the book. Not surprisingly, there were as many 1 and 2 star reviews as there were 4 and 5 star reviews. Big books are like that. The more people that read a book, the more all over the spectrum the reviews are. But what surprised me is the frequency in which some of the 1 star reviews called the author out for excessive, offensive sex and profanity. I don't know about you, but if I pick up a book and it offends me, I stop reading it. Life is too short to do something that a) I don't want to do if I don't have to, and b) makes me uncomfortable/squirmy.
So let's go to what I really want to say here. If you pick up a book that's been labeled erotica or Christian literature, then you know what you're going to get. But what about all those books in between? Namely, the genre most dear to my heart: chick lit/women's fiction. From my own personal experience (and I haven't gotten a 1 star review yet, but I will welcome it if it means that lots of people are reading my books!) I've come across people who have told me that they are *shocked* by the sex in my book. These are people who know me, so I have to wonder how well they really know me if they are that shocked, but for a long time now, if anyone has asked me to describe my books I say it's "Bunco meets Sex and the City." And that pretty much takes care of that. And honestly, there's not that much sex in the books. Really. And the few scenes that are there, I think are pretty funny, or at least they are to me, but I'll stop right here, because that's not what I want this post to be about.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that stories are about real people. And real people (especially single men and women in their 20's and 30's and beyond) have sex, occasionally cuss and do other assorted things/behaviors that you'd find in any movie/TV series out there. Here's another big shocker: Teenagers also have sex and use profanity! Pretty much with the exclusion of fiction that's been labeled "Christian" I would expect to find a little or a lot of all that in a book that focuses on male/female relationships. Now, let me scoot back a bit more and say that there is absolutely nothing wrong with Christian literature. There's a market for it and most of it, is, I'm sure, wonderful reading. I myself, am a Christian, I just don't happen to write Christian fiction. I write the kind of books I want to read, because if I don't love my own books then why should anyone else? So, for future reference, let me just say that all my books are going to be rated R. Pretty simple way to solve the problem, huh?