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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

More on Writing OR Oh Crapulous, She's on a Bender OR How Long Can This Title Be, FGS?

And you thought I couldn't write any more about writing.  Hahaha.  I can rant a lot longer than that.  Just ask HIM, the man to whom I've been married for 27 years.  (28 next month and HIM will never forget it.)
My comments upon being awarded the highly coveted 'Ranty.'
Recently, a fan wrote me and said, "Dear C.L., (that's my author's name, in case you don't follow my blog, and btw, if you don't read my blog and you don't read my novels, then WTF?) I recently read your book, Bubba and the Dead Woman, and I loved it.  (All okay with me so far.  Don't mind at all.  In fact, it gives me a warm fuzzy.  No wait, that might be a caterpillar.  No, it does give me a warm fuzzy.)  In fact, I loved Bubba and the Dead Woman so much, I downloaded every other single one of your books.  (Starting to go downhill here and I will explain soonish.)  I was so thrilled to death with Bubba that I can hardly wait to read your other works with joy and happy thoughts abounding.  (Starting to exaggerate here, but that's me.)  Sincerely, a fan."

Excuse me for a moment whilst I bounce my head against a brick wall.

Do I not like hearing from fans?  I LOVE hearing from fans.  They say, "I liked this.  I loved that.  Maybe I didn't like this one.  Etc."  It's okay.  I don't expect folks to like all of my works.  After all, there's several distinct genres floating around in there and everything might not suit.  And I've got friends and family who've never read any of my novels, so if I don't feel put out by them, I won't be by folks who don't like this, that, or the other.  In fact, I was talking to my own sister yesterday who admitted that she hasn't read some of my books.  (MY ONLY SISTER!  Horrors abounding!)

Do I not like hearing that my fan has downloaded ALL of my novels?  Well, yes I like it, but I also wince because what I'm hearing is that they LOVE Bubba and I suspect, based on prior experience, that they may not be happy with other pieces of my work.  Specifically, I get a lot of feedback saying, and yes, I know I've gone here before, "While I loved Bubba, I am not happy with...Bayou Billy," or "While I loved Bubba, I am not happy with...Black Moon," or "While I loved Bubba, I am not happy with...Dial M for Mascara."

Over the years I've written a lot of different things.  Consequently, they all got pooped out into electronic publishing at the same time.  (What a wretched metaphor.)  I've even tried to get things out under pseudonyms.  The mysteries under C.L. Bevill.  The paranormal romances under another one.  The black comedy ones under another one.  But when e-pubbing came around, I basically said, "I wrote them all and I'm not ashamed of my work, so take it or leave it."

But when the person above writes back and says, "I loved Bubba but then I read Book X and it was complete and utter poopoo.  What were you thinking?" I say, "Didn't you read the description of the book?"

Did I sign a contract to make every book I ever wrote to read EXACTLY like Bubba and the Dead Woman?  No, I did not.  Don't get me wrong.  I like writing Bubba.  The characters are like best friends.  I'm having a good time writing Bubba and the Missing Woman right now, but the next one I work on will probably be very different.  That way, I'll enjoy the genre much more when I get back to a fourth Bubba.

Let me ask you readers.  Do I have an obligation to be more specific in the book descriptions?  Should I put in the description of The Life and Death of Bayou Billy: This book contains explicit language.  The protagonist of the book is an asshat.  It's black humor at its blackest.  Corpses are stolen!  Human sacrifice!  Dogs and cats living together!  Mass hysteria!  (Wait, that's Ghostbusters.  I think I need a Bill Murray fix.)

Rant, rant, de rant, ranty rant rant.  (Hummed to the tune of Bonanza.)  Rantety rant de rant rant.  Rant.  Rant.  Raaaaannnt.

Answers to unasked questions:
1.  Yes, I will continue to use potty language.  I love the First Amendment.
2.  Yes, the books will continue to be different, depending on what I'm feeling like writing.
3.  Yes, there will be future Bubba books and I will follow the same vein that I've used before.  Bubba is a good old boy who's smarter than the average Bubba and well, ya'll have to know that murders will continue to happen around him.  Also he's got a hankerin' to rescue a cute little gal with green eyes.
4.  Please, for the love of Bubba, read the descriptions of the other books before you download them.  Possibly you will enjoy all of my works.  Possibly you won't.
5.  If you're easily offended by explicit language and a free thinking woman, don't download Dial 'M' for Mascara.  Sex is included, even though it's supposed to be a parody of chicklits.  Also one recent reviewer of this novel seems to think that I have a predilection for describing genitalia in it, (Hey, the main character's boobs played an integral part of the plot) so be warned.
6.  If you're easily offended by coarse language, don't download The Life and Death of Bayou Billy.  It will probably make you cringe.  If you can't get past the first chapter then well, there ya go.  After all, it starts out with an elderly madam reminiscing about Bayou Billy back in the day and the fact that he was such a handsome man and he possessed a long wee wee.  (He didn't have Long Dong Silver beat, but it was all legend anyway.)
7.  If you're easily offended by anything above, well, I suppose you shouldn't have read this blog.


Mac said...

I personally think your answer is the same for the decision whether to use different pen names for different genres.

For the same reason, you can't make everyone happy. If the reader isn't bright enough to figure out they might not like the genre of the next, they aren't worthy of worrying about.

And I say that, fearing the same issue. I've written in different genres and voice. If you've read HOT HOUSE on my web page, don't expect that in my Black Lake novels.

Tell HIM Mac said Hi.

-- Mac

Carwoo said...

Yeah, well, wait until you start getting letters. And comments. Time to let go. Deep breaths and all that!

Cubop1 said...

Personally, I think your strength is the ability to write in many different genres. What does it say about a person who can't read and understand descriptions? Of course, there is this: you wouldn't be getting comments if people weren't reading your books.

Relax and stop worrying about the complaints. Just concentrate on the good stuff.

Carwoo said...

I vow I shall rant no more on this subject. Unless someone tops the last complaint I ranted about. Uh, I mean, I shall rant no more.

traveen said...

I think part of the problem is Kindle. I know I cannot read a description of the book once it's downloaded without connecting to the 3g network. It isn't even easy when I am connected. When I vist via laptop, it's a lot easier to see descriptions.

Other books do have a quick one-liner abut the suitability of the books for centain ages.. Not sure ass-hat was mentioned but I like the expression! Warning, asshats abound, leave now unless you're this tall ---____---. ??

Carwoo said...

Asshat should definitely be required in the description, when necessary. Warning: Asshat protagonists within! ;0)

Tia Chandler said...

Hey, I've read EVERYTHING at this point. Some I like better than others, and YES, I read the descriptions. Bubba is a gem, I love him, but those books are not my favorites. I'll let you guess which ones they are.

Carwoo said...

I wanna know which ones are your favorites. I'm almost afraid to tell people which one is my favorite. Yikes.

Tia Chandler said...

OK, since you asked.....

I like The Scarlet Tanger best of all, I think. I also loved Sea of Dreams. The Lake People is my favorite series. Read the Cat Clan ones, did not dislike them, but that is not my sort of genre so to speak. Bayou Billy was darn funny. Missle rats was too. Of course, Bubba is a league all of his own, and I am not so patiently waiting for the next one. Could you possible hire a maid for the laundry and dishes issue??? Send me one too, please and thank you.

Carwoo said...

Cool. I always thought Scarlet Tanager would make a kicking movie. I'm working on the maid, but not holding my breath.

Nikki said...

I think your books are fabulous. Keep writing in whatever style/genre you choose with whatever language suits and I'll still be reading them!

Carwoo said...

I luv my fans. ;)

Jo said...

You should know that I absolutely LOVE your writing, and that I have read many thousands of books in my lifetime. (Now if I could just get paid for it) So, fear not, there are true fans (like me) out here. But, hey, rant on! It's good for the soul.

Carwoo said...

Thank you. Do believe I will. Man, am I getting a big head.