Articles for the Month of October 2013

Kudos to Amazon

Bestselling erotica author, Selena Kitt wrote an excellent blog post about the recent purge of erotica titles at many online booksellers. It’s a fascinating read, and I encourage you to check it out.

I’ve also heard from several of my author friends who write erotica — books Amazon pulled were put back onto the shelves, after the authors agreed to make a few changes. In some cases, it just involved making the cover less provocative – or rewriting the description, or changing the title, in an effort to clean up the cyber storefront. While some might still be upset, I am glad to see Amazon making an effort to compromise.

It is not a perfect system, but Amazon seems to be trying.

Sex is Taboo, but Violence is Cool!

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Support your Independent erotica author! Time to buy erotica, before it’s all gone!

Amazon is once again taking erotica titles off its book shelves – books that have been there for months. These are titles by authors who thought they were following the rules. The rules, by the way, are very ambiguous.  There is nothing illegal about  the books. They just offend some readers

From what I’ve read online, Amazon isn’t the only bookseller removing erotica titles.

Personally,  I find Silence of the Lambs far more offensive than one of Selena Kitt’s books.  However, sex is taboo, violence is cool.

Apparently it is just the independent author – not the traditionally published ones, who are having titles removed. It is okay for a traditionally published author to write about an 1800s heroine who is captured by a handsome pirate, kept as his love slave until she falls in love with him – but if an independent author writes such a tale, the book is banned.

But, I’m not talking about those politically incorrect stories. Those (written by Independent authors) were banned prior to the recent sweep. This new cleanup is removing anything that offends Amazon. According to Amazon’s own TOS, authors are expected to be clairvoyant when it comes to determining what will offend Amazon.

 So what can you do? Start buying erotica now, before it’s all gone, and help support the struggling erotica authors! (I am quite serious.)

In Defense of Cole Taylor

ColeTaylorI like my characters flawed. In real life there are no perfect people, no ideal hero that come charging forward on the white stallion prepared to fill our every desire. Of course, the great thing about writing books, we can craft such a character and escape in the fantasy of Mr. Perfect. Some readers will love such a character – others will loath him, and reviewers will point out his implausible nature.

Cole Taylor, from my book After Sundown is no perfect prince charming. He has his share of flaws, and as it turns out, some readers hate him. I have to agree, much of his behavior is not politically correct. Yet, I disagree with some of the reviewers – he is no rapist. He is a product of his environment and personal experiences, and the bottom line – he is basically a good person. I would hope that by the end of the story he has evolved and redeemed himself. He hasn’t made an entire transformation, but he’s progressed. Yet apparently, not enough for some readers.

I totally understand and respect those reviewers’ opinions and disdain for Cole. When reading a book like one from my Sensual Romance Series, a reader is typically looking for a quick romantic escape. These aren’t deep or complex reads; they are simple, light, fluffy romances. Quick reads. But if the reader doesn’t find the male lead personally appealing (and everyone has different tastes) then what fun is that?

Fortunately for Cole Taylor, some readers actually like him. Over on Amazon UK the book has three reviews, all five stars, and one reviewer noted she “was Team Cole all the way through.” On Amazon US, the book has seven 5-stars, two 4-stars, one 3-stars and three 1-star. All the 1-stars loathed Cole, and the 3-star wasn’t too thrilled with him either.

Over on Goodreads, the reviews are really mixed – with four 5-stars, six 4-stars, five 3-stars and six 2-stars. Only three of those rating also left reviews. One was from my daughter, Elizabeth, so I imagine you’ll want to take that one with a hefty dose of salt. Although, she did insist she really liked the book and didn’t understand why some readers had such a problem with the character. Of the other two reviews, one reviewer didn’t mention Cole, but wrote “I enjoyed. Fast read.” The other reviewer called Cole a major asshole.

The good news – the three leading men, of my three books in the Sensual Romance Series, are very different from each other. Yet I will warn you, none of them are perfect, by anyone’s standards.

Altering Perceptions of History & Time

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Richard Collier, Christopher Reeve’s character in Somewhere in Time, surrounds himself with artifacts from the period in time to which he wants to travel. Touching those items doesn’t just bridge the gap in time – they fill it. Of course, when he finds himself clutching a coin from his own era, he’s hurled forward, back to his own place and time in the present.

My point being, when we have some tangible connection to a moment in history, that moment in time somehow feels closer. Time it seems is all about perception.

When I was a small child, my less favorite day of the year was December 26. On that day, the next Christmas was an entire year away. For a child, a year seems like a very long time. I remember telling my grandmother, “I wish we could magically make the year go by so it could be Christmas again.” She just looked at me, a serious expression on her face, and said, “No you don’t. Someday time will move much too fast, and you won’t want to wish days away.”

That didn’t make sense to me. After all, a year is always a year, how can it possibly speed up? Of course, I eventually understood what she meant. I even wrote a poem about it, which begins, “Grandma told me time would fly. It’s not that I had thought she’d lie. But she didn’t make it truly clear, that our future was this near…”

It is our perception that changes as we age. While Richard Collier needed inanimate objects, like coins and clothing to fill the gap of time, for me, now that I am older, it is about people. If I’ve known a person who lived during a certain era, that moment in time seems less distant. In 1900 my Grandma Hilda was eight years old. When I was a small child, the year 1900 seemed as far away as 1500. Today, 1900 seems much closer for me.

The story told in my new, soon to be released book, Coulson’s Wife, begins in 1900 and ends almost a half a century later, in the mid-1900s, several years before I was born. One thing that struck me was how much the world had changed for women during that time period.

The story told in Coulson’s Wife is not only about the characters’ evolution, but about the world around them. While I once swore I would never write a historical novel, it appears I have. Although from my perspective, it’s recent history. The fact it is recent history, makes the story told (in my opinion) far more dramatic considering the social changes that occurred during the first half of the 20th century, But, I will have to wait to see what the readers think.

Welcome to my new online home!

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Almost two years ago I signed up for an account over on Google’s Blogger. I thought it was time to make some changes so I’ve moved my online home here at AnnaJMcIntyreauthor.com. I’m still settling in and trying to figure things out. The photo is of my real life office. That’s Spooky on the window sill; he was the inspiration for Jake, in The Senator’s Secret. Next to my office chair is Lady, the inspiration for Sam in While Snowbound.

Don’t be a stranger – hope you stop by again!