Monday, June 6, 2011

I Don't Have Blue Hair!

And even if I did, what difference does it make? I don’t wear support hose or have pearls wrapped around my neck either—although I do own a perfectly nice strand. I’m not a wrinkled up old prune living on dreams or in the past and I don’t need KY!

There. I said it.

Age is a number. That’s all. Does it matter to a reader how old the author is or what they look like? To that I say a resounding HELL NO. If readers wanted a visual, they’d go watch Angelina Jolie kick some butt or Jason Statham rocket off to the moon in a car, explode a package, and safely return to earth not a muscle out of place.

So you’re wondering…What’s got Tess on her soapbox? Why is she so pissed off? (Easily done.) Well, it’s like this. I’ve been so incredibly busy volunteering at school for all of the end of year stuff and dealing with my boy and eighth grade prom—shopping for tux, manicure, haircut, etc etc etc. that I’d gotten behind on my blog reading. I spotted a post about bloggers who love to make fun of, hate, the romance genre. At first I told myself NOT to click on the links and get all upset but I did it anyway. So here I am. Pissed Off City!

The first post I accessed was all about this reporter/blogger, whoever the hell she was/is, and how she’d attended the Romance Novelists’ Association meeting in Britain and found herself surrounded by blue-haired ladies wearing support hose. By the end of her post she was saying how much she liked all of the women. But hell that was too late for me. She’d basically insulted every romance writer on the planet by saying we were too old to know anything about love and sex. My friend, who is a geriatric nurse, really needs to talk to that gal about what she sees going on at the old folks home!

Well, I had to go and click on more posts and discovered that some psychiatrists are saying that reading romance novels gives women a distorted view of relationships. You know…if I were a man, I’d take great exception to that statement. She’s saying that men are pretty much pigs, jerks, and assholes and can never measure up to the romance hero. And what do I say? I say that women aren’t stupid! We know daily life—work, paying the bills, raising kids, worrying over how to fix the leaky roof—has a way of putting a damper on romance. We KNOW that the men we love are not perfect and don’t expect them to be. I’ve always been secretly in love with Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan character. Tom Clancy does NOT write romance. John Grisham doesn’t write romance. There are a lot of books I read which are NOT romance. And I love the characters just the same. But that doesn’t mean I expect the same heroic deeds from Mr. Regular Dude walking down the street, now does it? Hell NO!

I think I’m smart enough to know the difference between fantasy and reality. Hell, someone should crawl inside my mind sometime and take a gander of just what my fantasies are! Hmmm…Well…maybe not.

The blogger claims that researchers are saying that reading romance is just as addictive for women as pornography is for men. That just as men need a visual and become excited—engaged over pornography—whenever they can’t get their fix they become depressed and that romance books do the same thing to women.

It’s also being said that the reason Amazon chose to launch its new publishing venture in the romance arena was because women buy romance at the drop of a hat. That it is a cheap, mindless endeavor of some sort for us. Well, sounds like Amazon made a good business decision to me. And if those bloggers only knew how persnickety we women are about our romance books.

Basically, we’re now being called addicts by researchers. And what a sweet ‘n’ sexy addiction it is!

This week’s book trailer is from Delaney Diamond for her book Fight For Love published by Amira Press. Delaney created this video herself! Great job. Fantastic imagery and music.


Mia Watts said...

LOLz Allie, I now have this visual of men skulking down the street sidewalk with guns under their trench coats while they dodge imaginary spies. I'm happy to start my day off with that!

Also, I'm not blue haired... except that one time my purple streak turned blue, but I liked it that way. I'm not support hose-y, or "comfortable round-toed shoe" girl. Actually, I'm very blue jeans and t-shirt. I don't keep my black hair short or in a hairsprayed coif, and I'm really looking forward to my forties when they eventually happen, because every decade has been more amazing than the last.

And even if I was all those things, I'd tell the article writer to get over herself, sit back, and learn a thing or two because my years of experience would humble her. I strongly suspect that most people underestimate our citizens over, say, 50. If they only knew what when on behind those smile lines and wizened eyes, I think those young whippersnappers would shut their traps. I intend to be one of those gray haired smart asses one day.

anny cook said...

Hah. I'm sixty-one years old. Been married...almost 44 years (had to do the math!) And have sex life. Might surprise you. Last night the househunk was looking up Shibari Bondage techniques. Hah.

No blue hair OR support stockings, but those are just outward trappings, anyway. Of course, I take enough meds to support a pharmacy. That's reality for some of us.

But the important thing? That's our imagination. Mine is just fine. MAYBE it's better than it used to be. And experience is good, too. Accumulated memories ain't bad, either.

But if I had blue hair, so what? Age IS just a number. Some of the oldest, most dried up people I know are in their twenties.

Molly Daniels said...

I have an ex-idiot in my past who slammed my Danielle Steele books, just because his brother had a girlfriend who liked to act out scenes from her favorite HQ books or romance books she'd read. Therefore, the Idiot concluded every female uses romance books for 'research', and called them 'trashy'. And when he read one of my scenes in the book I was currently writing, he hit the roof.

Notice he's now an 'ex-idiot'? Give me a break....

C. Zampa said...

I've got mixed feelings about the thoughts on heroes vs. ordinary guys.

I didn't read the post you're referring to, but I DO know that the heroes AND heroines in books can often be a very distorted picture of relationships in general.

And I do not mean sex---they're SUPPOSED to glamorize that. That's why I (only speaking for myself here, no one else) read it...for the dreaminess of it, the escape.

But the thing that a lot of romances DO distort is the happy, happy, happy ending.

Unfortuantely, 'endings' in real life aren't always so.

But...but...I don't think women are fooled by that. As you said, we ARE smart. We DO know better.
If many readers are like ME, though, they love the beautiful distortion anyway, as a dream factor, an escape. What's wrong with that?

I dream of being a millioneress, too, but that ain't gonna happen, either.

Jen B. said...

First, don't disrespect the KY. It's a good product.

Second, I think the reporter needed to talk to readers, check out blogs and actually read a romance novel. I think her article would have been quite different. In my humble opinion, many romance writers are on the cutting edge. The ebook industry would not be where it is today without romance. And certainly the blogs and e-tours are changing the future of how we will buy books.

Third, as far as reading romance being addictive well I say poppycock! I you are a reader you are a reader. If you're not, you're not. Yes, reading can be addictive but it is not about the topic.

Finally, I don't know about the rest of the readers in romance land but for me, none of the heroes in romance novels can even hold a candle to my husband. No, he can't leap tall buildings in a single bound. If I want that, I watch Superman. But, he is real, he is mine and he loves me. Even if romance books weren't available, many women would not be happy with the man they have so it's not the book's fault.

I can see why those posts got you so worked up!

Tess MacKall said...

It simply pissed me off to have it inferred that only young people should write sex, Mia. And then to have a researcher compare romance to pornography---and yeah, some say erotic romance is pornography but we know better. It just was not a good weekend in blog land for me at all.

Tess MacKall said... kick ass, girlie! Ha...tell 'em about that active sex life. Sing it sista!

Bunch of idiots running around blog land trashing people because of age. It's obvious the blogger was thirty or less. If she were any older, she'd understand. lol

Tess MacKall said...

You did good, Molly. EX. Love the sound of that. lol God, people can be so damn judgmental.

Tess MacKall said...

Yeah, I think we know better, Carol. And pornography is entirely different from romance or even erotic romance in my book.

I can see where you can become addicted to porn. That's a big in-your-face kind of tickler if you ask me.

But romance is so varied. There is plotting/storyline, the romance itself, characterization--all that emotion. Just because we give them happy endings or happy for nows doesn't mean that the readers don't understand reality. There are some researchers out there who are way off on this one. Way off!!!

Tess MacKall said...

Yep, Jen, I was worked up for sure. lol My hair wasn't blue but my face turned a different shade for sure. lol RED!!!!

KY is a good product, huh? All right. lol I'll look forward to that version I saw in Wal Mart the other day. The one that heats up! lol

And I agree--I think it's all about reading in general and not just reading romance. And so nice to hear you talk about your hubby that way. Good for you, hon!

Allie Standifer said...

Dang Tess, I'm feeling a little scared right now. Should I start throwing chocolate through the bars before approaching you?
On the less lighter side I do agree with you. Very few people take romance writers or readers seriously. We're lumped in a generic pile & labeled trashy & tacky. Recently a relative asked me to go somewhere with her, I politely said I couldn't as my deadline was crunching down on me. The pickle brain pinhead responded "Like it's that hard to write the stuff you do. Just throw something down, those readers won't know the difference."
Um DO WHAT??? As both a reader & writer of romance I was offended on all our behalves. Needless to say I don't think I'm invited to anymore shopping trips.
We do the best we can, be true to ourselves & screw if they don't like it :)

Anonymous said...

There will always be people in the world who have to degrade everything and everyone. They don't like romance, so they're going to poke fun at it and at everyone that does like it.

These are people who have NOTHING better to do but criticize, criticize, criticize. That's what makes there lives worth living to them. It's sad really.

If there's an addiction going on, it's the addiction to reading. That's an addiction I'm happy to have.

Oh, BTW, you may want to see someone about your fixation on that Jack Ryan character. =D (kidding!)

Tess MacKall said...

Chocolate would be nice, Allie. lol And you're right, we're not taken seriously enough. Even other romance writers---not all, of course---but those who write the sweeter and or more sensual romance and NOT erotic--don't think erotic romance writers are legitimate. That pisses me off too! It's pretty bad when your own kind doesn't recognize you. I'd like to see any of these writers input sex as often as we do and manage to make it look believable and truly show how sex enhances the love between a couple.

And your relative did that? Yeah, sounds like some of mind. To heck with them. I'll shop with ya!!!!!

Tess MacKall said...

Yep, there is always someone who is going to criticize. They're clueless as to all of the hard work that goes into what we write.

And Jack Ryan? Who exactly would I talk to? LOL I'd love to talk to somebody about him for sure. All three actors who played him in the movies were definitely hot. I'd settle for any of them. lol

Marie Rose Dufour said...

Yep, Jack Ryan in any form would be lovely. I can understand why you are fired up. People have very biased opinions when it comes to romance, never mind erotica. It reminds of when I was in Barnes and Nobles for a book signing for a friend of mine. One of the saleswomen was trying to sell me a Nook. I was interested until she said, after looking at my pile of books, "You can bring the Nook anywhere and no one would have to know what you are reading. So you don't have to be embarrassed." Embarrasses! Not by a long shot, ever since I could remember, my mother has carried a Harlequin Romance in her purse. Bye, bye, Nook!

Tess MacKall said...

Oh Marie!!! Isn't it amazing what mindsets are out there? A woman who works in a bookstore, KNOWS that romance is fifty to sixty percent of sales in that bookstore---and still she infers that we should be ashamed of reading romance. And shouldn't someone who works in a bookstore be more open-minded? God, what crap!

I've got three books in my big ol' handbag right now. Two are thrillers and once is romance. And I guarantee I will whip out my romance just like the thrillers! lol I really do need to get an e-reader though. Three books can weight a gal down! lol

Dragon Lady said...

I am 45 and love to read erotic romances!

There...I said it! But, along with that, I have been reading romances since I was in my mid teens when I'd get shopping bags full of them from my Aunt who read (reads) them by the bag full. She is in her upper 80's now, but I was getting them from her about 30 years ago.

In MY opinion, the differences between us reading erotica and men watching porn?? We know the books are fantasy. Men, a lot of them tho not all, expect us to be exactly like the broads in those movies. (I had an ex who was badly addicted to porn and expected me to be just like the ho's in it, hence, ex)

I wear blue jeans, tee shirts, sun dresses occasionally, and I am growing my hair out a bit to get rid of the pinkish bleach on the ends so I can redye my hair with purple streaks. I do have gray hair, but I really don't give a rats ass about it. It's single strands anyway, not patches or all over. My 12 y/o daughter will grab one and say, HEY! this has my name on it! See? Doesn't mean anything.

Btw, ladies.... Try the his and hers from KY. ;) It's NICE.

Anonymous said...

People who talk such crap have a very sad disease. It's called Diarrhea of the Mouth. They also have Ignorance. Put two and two together? Well hell, I don't know...slap some duck tape over their mouth and shove them into a closet!! On a more serious note--I really do think it's sad, especially for the women who suffer from the above, because that means a) they aren't in touch with their own sexuality, b) because of 'a', they are missing out on life, and c) they've obviously never had a down right, mind blowing orgasm!! Sorry I couldn't stay serious, my sarcasm got the better of me.

As for the age of romance writers? I'm not sure why that would matter in the least. A great book is a great book is a great book. The end! :0D!!


Harlie Williams said...

Tess, you had me at Jack Ryan, my all time favorite hero. Jake Brigance from John Grisham is my second favorite. Great post, as always and the blogs I've read lately make me want to slap someone between the ears.

Elle D Hayes said...

Thanks for eloquently verbalizing what I've been stewing over for a couple of weeks. Not sure why the romance genre is under attack right now but I sure don't appreciate it one bit, as a reader or as a writer.