Saturday, July 14, 2012

50 Shades, My Two Cents

Alright, so I haven't read the book so what right do I have to say anything about it one way another. I don't but here's my two cents. I write erotic romance. Tame by some standards. But it is what it is. I love what I write. I cherish my characters as much as the next writer. And by extension, my readers. What EL James has done is caught lightning in a bottle. You can't predict something like that and to hate her for it, well, it's just stupid. Not that it isn't normal or even human feel a little bit of sour grapes over it but to go spreading it like some kind of venom is petty, unpleasant to be around, and ridiculous.

I hear Anne Rice is nuts. I hear Laurel K Hamilton's lost it. I hear JR Ward didn't let a reader dictate to her how a story should go in a less than kindly manner. It's important to remember these ladies all write like machines to produce characters we love. Maybe we don't agree with their choices all the time but they're human and I try to keep in mind that these stories are as important to them as ours are to us.

As for the 50 Shades phenomenon. It's mainstreamed sex and women are talking about it. Is it 'true BDSM'. I wouldn't know I don't find pain of any kind pleasurable or fear in my sex exciting. I don't want to be dominated and whipped, I don't want to whip and dominate. I do like a good Alpha hero and a strong yet vulnerable heroine. So maybe 50 Shades and menage isn't my cup of tea. Doesn't mean it's not true literature or lower form literature. I think it's perfectly legit and the ladies (and gentlemen) who produce it are great at it.

And when a fellow writer succeeds I see it as a victory for all of us. And if I saw her on the street I'd tip my hat to her for opening the door for others who write in the same vein. Because maybe even if I don't like what she writes I can appreciate that she loves her characters just as much as I love mine.


Unknown said...

Well said, Amy...well said.

Julie Lynn Hayes said...

I heard a lot about Fifty Shades and I wondered about it. I'm not into BDSM in any way, but I was curious. I told myself that if I found it awkward, uncomfortable, or hard to read, I'd simply quit. I got Fifty Shades from the library, began to read - and promptly devoured it!

I found it well-written, fascinating, sexy, and very romantic. Most of all, Fifty Shades is a romance, not a guidebook for how to bring pain into your bedroom, or your romance. It's about two people who fall in love. And any pain is consensual. In fact, Ana is the one who wields the power, as Christian says, because she can say no at any time, and if she does, then that is it.

Why the brouhaha? I think you hit it on the head - sour grapes. EL James made it, others didn't. I've never seen so many discombombulated authors in my life. It's ridiculous the amount of venom they're spewing over these books.

Personally, I think they need to get over themselves and find another target to hate. I've just started the second book today and am already loving it.

We can agree to disagree, of course, but is it really necessary to hate? Don't like her success? Write something worthy of your own and see how easy it isn't.

In the meantime, allow her her due, she's earned it, and frankly why should she care what anyone else thinks?

I recommend reading the first book at least, before you condemn it, those that are doing so. Too many are complaining about it without having read it, or not reading much of it. Too quick to say it's tripe, it's crap, it's whatever.

As I said, don't like it? Do better yourself. But quit raining on that poor woman's parade - she doesn't deserve it.

Thanks for letting me vent. Good post.

Sue Perkins said...

I haven't read the book either, but I say good on her. She has written a book that her readers love and that's what we're all trying to do. So congratulations to EL James for getting it right.

Kiru Taye said...

I totally agree. I'm certainly not rushing out to buy her books. I was never a fan of Twilight and I've got too many books on my TBR list already. :)

But I highly applaud her for being such a success and opening the door for the rest of us romance writers.

Great post.

J.D. Brown said...

Amy, I agree with your post to a point. I do not hate other authors for hitting the jackpot. Good for them! I only wish I could do the same for myself!

What peeves me about 50 Shades is not that it's about BDSM - it's that the book was originally a Twilight fan-fiction. So when you say good for her for loving her characters, I can't help but think that she REALLY loves Bella and Edward, which are Stephenie Meyer's characters....

But whatever. She did something right in the eyes of millions of readers and for that I also raise my glass.