Remember how my last blog post was about the new divide in the publishing world between traditional and independent? Well, I have a further comment to add to that, mostly in regards to the growing digital inclinations of this industry. In the event that e-readers completely take over and brick and mortar bookstores die out, the question of how we will find new authors to read and love is perhaps more simple than I initially thought.
Twitter is the best stomping ground for writers, I think. It seems more of my favorites go there to play than anywhere else. And their interactions with each other is the very definition of networking and social media. It was through this venue that I first heard of a woman that goes by the name of Delilah Dawson. If memory serves, she and Yasmine Galenorn had interesting tweets back and forth and this woman just seemed so interesting and engaging that I followed her Twitter account. I literally discovered this woman by Twitter. Her Blud series is high on my list of books to try, the first being Wicked As They Come. And it was all because of Twitter, but on to the main point.
Like many other writers I follow and admire, Delilah Dawson is a survivor. She’s been through some shit, which you can read about in her words here: http://delilahpaints.blogspot.com/2013/06/on-sexism-in-publishing-or-why-im.html
That is also the blog that spurred this one, truth be told. Because isn’t it insult to injury to have a woman who’s already survived one horror to come to face another in the very career she chose for herself?
I can’t decide if I’m here to bitch about the slaps to the romance genre itself or the insults given to writers straddling romance and something else, like SF/F (Science Fiction/Fantasy). If you read her blog, you’ll understand what I’m talking about, and as a woman working towards becoming a published author, this is some scary shit.
I’m a young writer, I’m still finding my voice, but one thing that will always be present in the stories I tell is the romance. And I’m quickly getting the sense that even though romance as a genre is doing extremely well, it’s not going to earn me brownie points or respect. I don’t care about the brownie points, but I do take issue with someone looking down on me for a crappy reason. Looking down on my work because there is a love story and sex involved is a crappy reason. Yet, that is where we are. It drives me nuts that the Black Dagger Brotherhood is such an amazing series, that the Fever series is so epic, and people pass them over because they’re sold in the romance section. Particularly for the Black Dagger Brotherhood, I have a love/hate relationship with the titles. They’re fitting titles, don’t get me wrong, but every last one has “lover” in it somewhere. And though the romance is at the heart of it, it is so much more than that.
This is personal opinion, but adding Lover to the title of a book about vampires seems to give the false impression that the book is just another pile of vampire porn, another cheesy love story with no real depth whatsoever. When in fact nothing could be farther from the truth. These are about men fighting to protect the dwindling population of vampires, facing loss and love and the absolute depths of human emotion, or lack thereof in some instances. In one novel, the hero can be described as being an ass to his heroine, but there’s a reason. In the beginning of the series, he was with another woman, who became pregnant and was eventually killed in the war they are fighting. It was the worst kind of loss imaginable and for a long time, he vanished from the picture, so deep was his grief.
That is real life. Love and loss, pain and joy. People face these things and they break down, come back stronger, and overall just evolve. And that is the case in these books, but many people pass them over. Just because they are in the romance section and have Lover in the title.