Tag Archives: reading

“Unrealistic expectations”

7 Sep

(Originally posted in the community section at MyMedia)

I’ve said it before, here and elsewhere: genre romance is the single most lucrative branch of publishing, and has been for nigh a century. In these days of shrinking profit, genre romance *still* bails out ‘literary’ fiction, by a mile.

Yet, it still gets shit on, constantly, everywhere. The media is generally shitty towards genre romance, with very few outlets even hiring someone half-conversant with the genre to write the ubiquitous ‘think’ pieces around Valentine’s Day, or during the June wedding season, or even to recommend summer ‘beach’ reads.

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Making lists, checking them twice.

27 Aug

This post has existed in draft form for…well, yikes, almost two full years. Something came to light yesterday, that made me come back to it. And you, lucky readers, get to read my thoughts.

As I’ve mentioned before here and elsewhere, I do have a list of authors who, in my opinion, behave badly.¹  And, since my time, emotional labor, energy, and money, are limited, I quite simply refuse to even try their work. It’s still, at least in this small area, a free country.

By the same token, I have a much, much, much longer list of incredible people who are authors who will always get my support.

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Writing diversity: sensitivity readers

23 May

Originally posted to the Literature forum at MyMedia. I have imported a few
of those posts here under the Publishing tag, if you are interested.

While it may seem, particularly when reading the “classics”¹ and the ‘great literary fiction masters’¹ that there is a default in characterization (heroes are straight able bodied white cis males, and most often, of Anglo Saxon descent), the reality is that people come in many more flavors than that.

In the past few years, readers who do not fit this ‘universal’ characterization, have started seeing themselves represented in the fiction they pay good money to read, in still small but increasing percentages.

All good, right?

Except, not all representation is good representation.

If the one homosexual/non-binary/non-gender conforming character in the work is written as a deviant.
If the one person of color is either a criminal or a victim.
If the one immigrant speaks broken or no English.
If the one female character with speaking lines is there exclusively to either be killed or rescued.
If the one neuro atypical person is either a savant or an idiot.

In short: if whatever diversity is there, consists of clichés, that representation is more harmful than the outright absence of anyone who doesn’t conform to the white, straight, male characters of yore.

Enter sensitivity readers.

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Calling bullshit on “unconventional HEA”

3 Mar

Some of my readers may remember that, once upon a time, I was addicted to the reader-crack that is the Black Dagger Brotherhood.

Quitting it was a hard slog, and there were relapses, but J. R. Ward finally cured me, when she decided that killing off the heroine, after she and the hero finally declare their feelings for each other, was a ‘daring’ and ‘novel’ way to play the HEA card, and that that death was part of what makes her books–about vampires and other supernatural beings–so ‘realistic.’

:coughchokecough:

That was more than fine with me–she can write whatever the hell she wants, and I can not read it.

What’s the big deal, then?

Well, my problem is with the marketing of that book as genre romance.

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If you read…

27 Feb

(I originally posted this to MyMedia, where barely anyone at all admits to reading, let alone liking, romance. After a bit of thinking about it, I decided to share it over here too. No need to thank me 🙂 )

If you read romance–and by this, I mean, you have read at least six to ten romance genre books–and if you like it, you will find this both hilarious to the point of tears, and completely accurate.

If you don’t read romance, you may still find it funny and interesting, but you’ll probably miss a lot of the inside jokes.

A bit of a foreword: Continue reading

“Life is really a One Way street, isn’t it?” (At Bertram’s Hotel, Agatha Christie)

11 Feb

completemissmarpleThe title of this post is a line by Miss Jane Marple, that unforgettable prototype of the intelligent, interested, principled, elderly lady sleuth.

Several months ago, the Complete Miss Marple Collection (digital version) was on sale at amazon for a truly ridiculous price–something like $5.99. Being a fan of Dame Christie, I snapped it up (yes, I have all of them in print, and have for at least forty years, but many are in Spanish, and all of them are falling apart at the seams, from age and use).

With one thing and another, I’ve been reading snippets here and there, until a few weeks ago. Feeling a bit sick, I finally fell into one of the stories.

Yay!….?

Well…

Not so much.

See, things that I barely noticed before, or that I was able to shrug off when I did notice, now bother me a great deal, making it difficult for me to fully enjoy these stories that, for so long, were among my favorite reading.

Allow me to explain.

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This bodes well!

16 Jan

In the midst of panic–the TBR Challenge review is due this Wednesday!–I just managed to laugh out loud.

While reading.

While reading a new-to-me author, to boot.

This truly bodes well.

 

(and I just realized I need to change the image and link on the sidebar–gah)