A little self-promotion, a whole lotta controversy

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Because I'm feeling too lazy to post about a couple of book recommendations, and I don't want post another joke, I'll link to the second entry I had up at Romance Junkies. This wip is on the back burner while I work on The Lost, but I love my smart-assed hero, Ibenre, too much not to finish his story. Btw, a new batch of entries are up. Go read, go vote.

If reading the entries is too tame/boring, check out some discussions/controversy going on around the romance reading/writing blogosphere:

1. AAR's big kerffufle regarding overweight heroine's in romances. (I had to remove the link, AAR has no archives, so the whole discussion is gone now. anywhoo... ) Somehow the general questions of: would *you* want to read them? would you find them believable/engaging?, etc, has been lost in all the 'taking it personally' & charges of 'insensitity'.

For me, when it comes to romances, it depends on the execution. I'll read it in general fiction, (with or without romance subplot) though. No problem.

2. From Sybil, I followed the link to Dishing Divas post on some troubles on the JR Ward's messageboard.

I've never been on JR's MB, but I have visited a couple of other author's MBs in the past. My opinion is, they're not necessarily a good idea--for all the reasons you've ever heard. They're really for the most dedicated/passionate of FANS (all caps for a reason).

3. And last but not least, AA romances discussed over on Smart Bitches.

Me? Back to critting/writing. :-)
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Sasha White said...

I followed your link to the Dishing Diva's post and I have to say, I'm so glad not to be "in the know" on that. I am actually a member on JR's MB, although I haven;t been on it in forever.

And as a fan of JR's books, and someone who has met her in person and found her very gracious and warm, I still think she is a wonderful person and a wonderful storyteller. And really, as a reader, that's what's important. The latest book seemed true to the storyline, even if it wasn't what some fans might've liked, and I'll continue to buy, and enjoy, her books.

As fro overwieght heroines...I think it all depends on how the writer tells the story. :)

Jaye said...

Sasha, over the years I've seen so many flame-wars because of author MBs, it not funny.

Sometimes the author jumps in with both feet, sometimes s/he stays out of it. Either way, they come off bad in somebody's eyes.

MBs tend to cultivate a very artificial *all-raves-all-the-time-bestfriends forevah!!* atmosphere, which I think can be detrimental to an author in the way of 'believing in your own press releases'.

*Balance* is always ALWAYS needed. (Trolls need not apply, of course).

My comments are in no way directed to JR. All I know about her is that I have 3 Brotherhood books on my shelf written by her, and I'm looking forward to the next releases. That's all I really need to know, though. My comments are a general long held belief.

We're on the same page with the overweight heroine. It's sad that conversation has been derailed over on AA. Although some of the threads--that are sticking to book recommendation, etc--are interesting

Jaye said...

I'm back because I really didn't read the comments (when I saw there were over 100 of them, my eyes crossed. lol) But I just started to skim a few, and one of the things that disturbs me with MBs becamr pretty prevalent, fairly quickly.

No, you don't go over to someone's house and take a shit in the middle of their livingroom. But... does being a 'fan' really mean you can't voice a concern/discomfort or dislike with a certain aspect or direction a writer is taking on their MB? Is that really seen as being disrespectful? Should you really exect your ass handed to you because you didn't like the latest release? Really?

When I look at my keeper books, not one of them is a perfect read. NOT ONE. But their keepers because they touched me in some way. The characters, the depth and layers of emotion, the magical larger than life feel of the story/romance. The lyrical language, the complexity of character or the disturbing pyschological subtext that had me squirming a bit.
Any one or all of these elements (and others) combined and well executed makes a keeper.

But for every one of these elements, I can probably point to something else that wasn't well done, or almost spoilt the read: Slow pacing in spots. TSTL decisions on the part of the H/h. EEEEEeeeeviiil antagonists, book length too short for the conflict to be reasonably and believeably resolved, etc.,

And several somebodies, somewhere, HATES every single book that is on my keeper shelf. *g* In many cases I can see their reasoning, even agree with them, but it just isn't the deal breaker for me the way it is for them.

A lot of MBs could use a lot more 'agree to disagree' quotient.

Jorrie Spencer said...

I followed Sybil's link earlier and read with some interest. It seems like a whole new world, that message board. I think the only message board I've been a part of is Suzanne Brockmann's, a while back.

Anyway, I suppose what struck me most strongly is this concern about homosexual undertones or overtones or whatever. I was surprised this was a flashpoint. (Okay, must admit I think it'd be GREAT if one of the brothers had a gay romance, but whatever :)

That said, though I haven't read a lot of JR Ward interviews, she's struck me as someone I like.

Jaye said...

Jorrie, I wasn't even concerned with the subject/topic of the flame war. :-P

To be honest, I thought JR was one of those writers that kept a very low online profile a la Linda Howard. I was surprised to find out she had a messageboard over 3000 strong. When I bother to pay attention, I've mostly heard good things about her personality. This is the first time I'm hearing bad. And I'm not sure if it really is bad. She's not coaching, encouraging or condoning the behaviour of certain of her fan based. Seems the beef is she's not policing them well enough and is being held accountable.

I should clarify, again, my problem isn't JR or any other author, but with some "Stan" type fans who give 'intolerance' a whole new meaning and turn MBs into the cyber version of school-yards, with them as the in-crowd bullies. :-/

But if you want to discuss the m/m angle, that's been there from day one. So why the surprise? In the last 2 books people were talking about how 'comfortable' Butch and the other two were together, taking showers together, checking each other out physically--how fine they looked, good they smelled, etc.,

I haven't read book 3 yet, but this is the first I'm hearing about the scene with the m/m (vamp/human) drinking blood and orgasming. I'm assuming the vamp in question isn't one of the Brothers? Wouldn't bother me if it was though. ;-)

Ms. Ward has created a unique world. She's essentially taken WWF stars, made them vamps and given them MTV Rap/hip-hop sensibilities and trappings.

It doesn't have to make sense. lol.

But it is genius! She's combined 3 of the hottest media elements of the day in her books and presented them as romances (the dominant seller in the paperback market)

My advice, just enjoy the books. It doesn't bear, nor warrant, further scrutiny.

Amie Stuart said...

I skimmed over at SB and I"m too tired to read it all. I can say that as far as IR romances go, I had an author reccently tell me IR's with white heroines don't go over well. Needless to say the bottom fell out of my stomach LOL

I know I know execution =)*sigh*

Jaye said...

Really, Amie? That's odd. I'm almost sure I've seen several IR with white heroine's released in the last year. One of them was an erotic romance. Karen Scott reviewed it. The guy was an photographer or artist. Her name was Mercy, and his name Tru, or something like that. And isn't Alison Kent's upcoming release Blk Hero/ Wt female? Don't despair, chica. Like you said, it's all in the execution.

anne frasier said...

yikes. all new to me, but i think i just had a bit of a flashback.


Jorrie Spencer said...

Ms. Ward has created a unique world. She's essentially taken WWF stars, made them vamps and given them MTV Rap/hip-hop sensibilities and trappings.

It doesn't have to make sense. lol.

But it is genius!

lol, I agree! She's really tapped into something.

Sasha White said...

I agree with you on the MB mentality. And the fact that readers should be able to got there and ask questions without being run out of town. (So to speak).

And you're exactly right about the Keeper angle. People get moved by different things, It's why we have different genres, sub-genres and even different authors. To try and get things somehting out there for everyones.

LOL @ the gay angle. LIke you two I never blinked at it.

Ohhhh. I'm bititng my tongue to tell you about the human vamo male male thingLOL

UNDRESSING MERCY was erotic romance and white woman black male...and very very good.

Amie Stuart said...

Sash I know *sigh* it's in my to buy list but last time I went book shopping BN didn't have it. Matter of fact I had a hard time finding any Aphros at that particular BN......

FWIW on the whole JR Ward thing...I agree as far as being able to express your opinion. Other than that I can't comment much since I haven't read the third book (or the second *ducking*)

Jaye said...

*gg*, Anne. These things have a way of spriralling out of control at some point. ahem.

Don't. You. Dare, Sasha!!! I want to experience Da Gay, all in my own time. ;-)

Cece- Aphros get pretty good distribution here.

anne frasier said...

heh! yep, they do!

i don't get why someone would get upset about the gay comment either. vampire fiction attracts a huge gay audience, so it would only seem natural for the subject to come up.

Jaye said...

True dat, Anne! There's always been a homoerotic aspect to the vampire lore. They were equally opportunity predators, sucking on the necks of both male/females.

All ya have to do is look to the grandmother of all things Modern Vamp: Ann Rice. She took that shit to a whole nother level. So if V or Phury end up expanding suxing on other anatomical areas besides the neck, whose gonna be surprised? LOL <--me shit disturbing.

Amie Stuart said...

But we do so love the way you shit disturb, my dear =)

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