Okay, apparently I cannot escape the blackhole that is 50 Shades of Gray. Its sucks everyone in eventually, no matter how hard you try to escape it.
I had vowed quite adamantly that I was not going to read this book. I have nothing against the content, erotic fiction has its place and if I really wanted to read that genre, I know of many very good authors I would no doubt enjoy reading.
I'd read an excerpt of 50 SOG, and that was enough to convince me I didn't really want to put myself through the painful experience of reading this poorly written book. I'm not criticizing the author, this book is what it is, and maybe with a few more years practice and several more manuscripts, EL James might become a decent writer. But 50 SOG has too many writing flaws for me to want to read it.
Except now, apparently I have no choice.
In August, I'll be appearing at the Bendigo Writer's Festival, and sitting on a panel with several other authors, the topic of which is "His & Hers; do women and men write differently?" This week on Facebook and featured in an article in a local newspaper, the organizers have mentioned the popularity of 50 SOG and asked the question: could this book have been written by a man?
To quote the newspaper article: "Local romance writer Jess Anastasi will have something to say about the difference between romance and erotica at the Bendigo Writers Festival on Sunday August 12 at 3pm. She will also be discussing the difference (is there any?) between men and women's writing."
For about five seconds I asked myself "does that mean I actually have to read this book now?!"
The answer is quite obviously yes. It wouldn't be very professional of me to get up and talk about my opinion of 50 SOG if I haven't even read it cover to cover. And possibly made notes.
In addition to this, I've made a commitment to find and read as many male romance authors as I can. Yes, there are a handful out there. I've started with Leigh Greenwood and his western romances. So far, I cannot see any difference between what he's written, to what any female romance author would write. There are several more I'll be tracking down, most of whom write under female pseudonyms.
And as for my own work, I'm off to do some more on Quantum, the second book to Atrophy (sci-fi romance). I must say, I'm a very happy author at the moment. I've wanted to write Quantum ever since I finished writing Atrophy, and being back in that universe is fabulous. The words are flowing, the characters are co-operating and so far I'm extremely happy with how the plot is unfolding. I can only hope that my agent finds a quick home for Atrophy and we can launch this series into the world, where it belongs.