Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Fictional Hymen

I've been reading a lot of historical romances over the last six months. At the risk of being ostracized by non-romance reading higher literary connoisseurs, I have to say: I love, love, love me some big brawny Scots in kilts.

There is one similarity, however, in nearly every single one of the historical romances I've read that drives me crazy, The Fictional Hymen. Or, rather, the breaking of said hymen.

Why is it, in historical fiction, losing one's virginity is so painful and terrible it always reads like the heroine is having an appendectomy sans sedation?

Okay, so the hero's wang is always of fictional proportions but still, why is it always the most painful thing in the entire world? I remember my first time clearly. Disappointing, uncomfortable, embarrassing maybe, but not the end of the freaking world. Of course, "he" was no where near "fictional proportions", still, I don't buy the scene where the heroine describes losing her virginity as being "ripped in half". WTH

Now, like I said, I still love historical romances. I'm just wondering what the deal is with this theme? I understand the nuances of the times may have left the woman with little to no knowledge of sex prior to marriage but I'm wondering how that translates to being "ripped in half" while losing one's virginity.

In none of the contemporary romances I've read have the heroines felt this way while losing their virginity. In contemporary romance, the heroine usually feels a twinge, a short spike of pain maybe, then she realizes she's having sex for the first time with a man who's cut like a Greek statue and she stops worrying about her stupid hymen.

I'm thinking maybe I'll make my daughter read only historical romances as a teen--and only to the first sexual encounter--so she'll never want to have sex. Hahaha On her 18th birthday, I'll gift her the last half of all those novels.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Annnd, on a lighter note...

I have some wonderful things happening during the first half of 2012. With my first book A LIFE BEYOND YESTERDAY set to release in February, I'll be doing some blog tours, shameless self-promo and even a few book signings in my local area.

I've been working on some promo stuff for give-aways and sale items for book signings and finally received my official, finished S.J. Drum logo.

I've also had a couple requests from literary agents and publishers to read the full SURPRISINGLY SUPERNATURAL manuscript for possible publication. *Fingers crossed, hoping someone is fabulous enough to pick it up!*

Now, for the Needs-Your-Input part of the program:

A lot of people are using e-readers these days so I've been working on some ideas for including e-books when I do author appearances. Specifically, I'm planning on obtaining a booth at the Yellow Springs Street Fair and will have printed copies of my book available for purchase. In addition to the traditional printed copies, I'm thinking of having some thumb-drives loaded with the e-pub/kindle/pdf version of the book for sale at the table as well.

My idea is to have the thumb-drives printed with my logo on the outside and attached to a book-sized, sturdy card-stock print of the cover of my book. I'll be able to sign/personalize the printed cover and you could, if you were so inclined, keep it (even frame it if you wanted, cause I'm just that awesome lol) This way, those that would rather read on their e-books don't have to walk away empty handed and I don't have to depend upon them going home, logging onto the internet, searching out my book, digging out a credit card, and ordering the e-book. Win/Win, right?

Any thoughts? Suggestions? Irrelevant profanities?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Personal Demons

The days (sometimes weeks) immediately following me reading about child abuse are always full of sleepless nights, nightmares, restless days and an all around emotional funk. Why do I keep reading about these things when they become top news? Because if those kids can endure the reality, I feel like the least I can do is read about it. The victims deserve that much at least.

The problem is, whenever a case like the Jerry Sandusky case comes to light or I read a book like The End of the World as We Know It by Robert Goolrick, my own personal demons always break free of their prison as if they've discovered a kindred spirit in these stories and can't bare to be corralled in the dark space where I keep them.

So, I spend the next few days or weeks trying to gather them all up, hog-tie them and stuff them back down where they belong...where I don't see them every time I close my eyes.

I start going back over things and telling myself "I shouldn't have worried about causing a scene. I shouldn't have worried about being embarrassed or getting into trouble, I should've screamed and yelled and kicked and fought harder. I shouldn't have sat there and tried to be as still and silent as possible, tried to disappear. I shouldn't have laid there and wept and waited for it to be over. I should have fought harder."

Even though I've had no less than six psychiatrists tell me it wasn't my fault, I can't help but think it was. Because it wasn't one time and one person. It was numerous times over the course of my life and a handful of different persons. If I didn't somehow ask for this or at the very least, not discourage it properly, then why did it happen?

Humiliation and fear are the number one reasons why there are always more than one encounter. When you're young, when you're a child and someone does something to you they shouldn't, sometimes it feels good. You can't help it and it makes you feel wrong and dirty and ashamed. Emotionally, you might be dying inside but your stupid traitor of a body doesn't seem to be on the same page.

I don't have the answers. All I know is I feel so deeply for the children abused by Jerry Sandusky and others like him. If life were a comic book, I'd gladly take the role of avenging heroine.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sneak Peak At My Work-In-Progress

Here's a little peak at an excerpt from the first draft of my WIP. The working title is CAGED IN MYTH and it's a young adult novel about a 17yr old guy with Druid ancestry who lives and works with other orphaned supernaturals.

“I could go for a beer,” Jace said, stretching his long legs across the backseat.

“Well,” I said, shifting into second gear as I drove down the winding drive, “If you’d gotten your sister to make the fake ID’s like you were supposed to, we could be going to the bar right now and drinking all the beers we want.”

“Hey, man, I tried. I’m telling you, she’s turned into a total prude since she married that douchebag Zander.”

Alex piped in, “I thought you liked Zander.”

Jace grumbled something unintelligible.

I laughed, “He just doesn’t like that the guy’s fucking his sister.” That earned me a smack to the back of my head and a stream of curses from the backseat.

I slammed the brakes, ripped the keys out of the ignition and shoved the door open. Jace clung to my neck with a vice-like choke hold while Alex shouted encouragements from the passenger seat.

I rolled outside and onto the gravel with Jace still attached to my back, trying his damnedest to assert his authority by inserting a spit covered finger into my ear.