photo credit: lightning (3) via photopin (license)
Before I start, I want to make it clear: I’m writing this not as a bitching blog. More of a fist pump in the air—never surrender kind of blog. The name of this little site is Unapologetic Fiction and it’s called that for a reason. Well, two reasons. Alison Tyler said that to me one day. “You’re writing is unapologetic”…I loved that. But also, I refuse to apologize for certain things I write. Even when I get dinged for them. Tada!
I write what a lot of folks refer to as ‘insta-love’. Not always. But often. Why? I’ve lived it. More than once, but anyone who knows me knows that final love, that one that really ‘stuck’, if you will, was for almost 20 years and only ended because he passed away. I believe in insta-love because I’ve lived it. I’ve seen it work from the inside out. I believe in it and the possibility of it and I think when a connection is made on a certain level it can be instantaneous and life altering—like a lightning strike.
I was reading a few reviews of my recent novel Chasing Shade this a.m. Something I try not to do, but hey, I was bored. There are a lot of mentions of ‘insta-love’ in these reviews. Some pro, some con. And I’m totally cool with that. Getting a two or three star for it won’t keep me from writing it, just like getting four or five star reviews for it won’t make me focus solely on IL. It is what it is.
One of the stand out comments in a review was about the amount of ‘talking during sex’. This is another thing I get dinged for (or praised for, depends on the reviewer). And…this is another thing I ‘know’, another thing I’ve lived. Hey, we talked a lot during sex. Not always, but often. Why? Because sex is more than a physical act. It’s a connection. Spiritual, emotional, whatever squishy new age word you want to tape to it—it’s more than just insert tab A into slot B. At least for us it was. It was a chunk of time where the whole world fell away and nothing else mattered. Because we were together and it was as together as two people can be without being in a SciFi movie and actually melding into one human being. (Ew, I just grossed myself out).
So, I won’t apologize for chatty sex. Intense sex. Spiritual sex. Sex that transcends fucking. I heartily believe in it *fist pump*.
That particular reviewer also mention stamina (due to all the talking). I won’t go into detail but that’s also something I’ve lived and experienced. But I’ll just leave that comment there and won’t elaborate *ahem*
Another thing I’ve experienced first hand: a good man. A REALLY good man. Some readers seem to think my men are unrealistic. Too understanding. Too willing to help the female lead, love her, maybe even help her heal. Again, I know it, I’ve lived it, I won’t apologize for it. (not that anyone has asked me to, this is a rambling blog that has no point other than to highlight why I write some of what I write even if some people hate it.) The man I had the honor of spending almost two decades with was a good man. An almost unrealistically good man. I mean, I even thought that when we first started dating. When does this end? When does the other shoe drop? When do I see the asshole aspect of his personality? The answer…never!
There was a comment also that said I used a barrage of “ugly yellow descriptors”. To be honest, I have NO idea what that means. But I laughed out loud when I read it and said (to no one because I was alone), “Well, that can’t be good.” But instead of hurting my feelings, I just kind of shrugged. Why? Because everyone won’t love my style of writing (or yours…or yours over there…or hers…). And that’s totally fine.
In a lot of ways I think reading the good, the bad, and the ugly reviews is healthy for me. I am at a place where I appreciate them all. Two, three, four, five stars…once upon a time a three or below would have made weep. For a day or two! Now I just figure, everyone is different. Everyone is looking for a different thing from the book they’re reading at any given time and if my book didn’t happen to fulfill that need, then no harm, no foul. If it did…awesome!
I think I’m the Mary Higgins Clark of ER to some folks. People who don’t like insta-love, unrealistically good men, long intense sex with talking. Why MHC? LOL, well, that’s because back in the day when I would tell people I loved mysteries, most women (especially) would say, “Oh, don’t you just love Mary Higgins Clark?” And I’d say no. (Shock! Horror! Dismay!)
“Because I always figure out who done it within the first or second chapter. I like to be surprised.” (HMC fans, this is my *personal* opinion. Please put down your torches and pitchforks.)
So, I might start putting labels on my novels. THIS WORK MAY CONTAIN INSTA-LOVE, A REALLY GOOD MAN, CHATTY SEX AND A HAPPY ENDING. BE WARNED!
That being said, I am thrilled the book is getting read and reviewed. I am grateful for every single person who took the time to read and weigh in, even the ones who don’t like what I do. They don’t have to like what I do. But I’m going to keep doing it because it’s what’s in my heart, my head, and my experience. I don’t always write what I know (how boring would that be?) but when it comes to the bones of a novel I do tend to stick to what I ‘know’…lightning strike love, long bouts of emotional sex, understanding men who know what it is to love a woman. And I think that’s not boring at all…