Saturday, March 26, 2011

Robert Roman - "Subgenres and Special Interest Fiction"

Special Interest Fiction Tags
Today I'm blogging about a topic that's near and dear to my heart.  Ok, not really, but it is on my mind a lot.  I'm talking about genre labels.  Those of you who follow me around…  You're out there, right?  You're not just figments of my overactive imagination?  No?  Right.  Good.  Moving on.   You fans know that a while back I did a blog post about genres, because my books tend to straddle two or more. 
Today I'm thinking more about the tags that get slapped on to clarify the genre label.  Quite often, they're considered genres of their very own, although the definitions of those genres are even less firm than those of the 'normal' fiction genres.  I'm talking about things like LGBT, Women's, Interracial, Black, Hispanic, Multicultural, or Military.
I understand completely why they exist.  If someone is in a special interest group (sorry if the term offends, I'm not intending to), they might want to read a book that appeals to them based on that special interest group membership.  If someone is looking for some particular aspect to the fiction they're reading, maybe because they just had someone added to their life who belongs to the special interest group, it helps them find it.  Makes perfect sense.  I can even see where the core of each of them is.  For example, a book which explores the problems a couple has because one of them is Black and another is Asian is pretty clearly Interracial Fiction.  If both of them are men, and they deal with the problems of being gay as well, it's also LGBT Fiction.  If one of them is a CPO and the other is a Master Sergeant, you can pretty clearly see the Military Fiction angle.
Now, at this point the debate is 'is it Interracial, LGBT, or Military Fiction'?  No matter which one you place it in, the other tags pretty well apply too.  However, if the core of the story is how these two guys fight Space Vampires who want to take over the world, and eighty percent of the whopping big hundred fifty thousand word tome are spent slaying he immortal extraterrestrial evil, it's straddling SciFi and Fantasy.  But do the tags still apply?  You've got thirty thousand words, a solid novella, of dealing with issues.  The tags are still pretty clearly appropriate.
Now, let's assume some of that exploration of problems winds up on the cutting room floor.  There's still some of it there, but now it's just a brief nod to the fact that there is a problem.  Now you've got a book about gay military action heroes named Petty Officer Washington and Master Sergeant Ta.  They're still gay.  They're still soldiers.  They're still an interracial couple.  But now those things are window dressing.  They're not going to be treated insensitively, at least probably not, but they're not going to be explored very much.
My thought on the matter:  if you're in the service, or gay (or especially both), you probably want to see this book, or at least be made aware of it.  If you don't like Space Vampires, you probably won't read it, but if you *do* like Space Vampires, you're probably tired of the gay guys being the no-sexual-tension friend and comic relief for the butt kicking suburbanite teen aged white girl.  You want the hero to be someone, well, like you.
OF course, sometimes it backfires.  Sometimes someone who isn't familiar with genre conventions will pick up the book because it says 'Black' on the cover and say "Petty Officer Washington uses magic powers to fight the Space Vampires!  Magic Negroes are offensive to Black people!"  So you don't want to over use them, either.
So, tell me, tell me, one and all, when do you think special interest tags are appropriate, and why?
If you liked this (Hint: if you read this far, you liked it*, you hated it**, or you have a text addiction***), you can find all four of my books at  They're a mix of pulse pounding action, sweet romance and funny bone tickling comedy.  One of them has a Hispanic Cop (Road Mage).  Two of them have a half-breed Black / Jewish Female Military Engineer ("The Strange Fate of Capricious Jones" and "A Christmas Evening Vigil").  And one of them (Fae Eye for the Golem Guy) (What Not to Fear will soon make it two!) has Gay Fairy Godfathers.  And none of them were written to be Special Interest Fiction.  Even if they might be.  J
*If you liked this, you'll like them.  Trust me.  Would I lie to you?
**If you hated this, buy one of my ebooks, print it out, and burn it in effigy.  You'll feel better.  My first print release will be along soon.  Buy one of those and burn it in effigy, too.  You'll feel even better about that!
***If you have a text addiction, my books are an excellent word-count-per-dollar value!
Check out Robert Roman's work at Decadent Publishing!!!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Deena Remiel - "Romance and My Children Don't Mix"

Hey there everyone! Today we've got guest author Deena Remiel, blogging about romance and her children!
Romance and My Children Don’t Mix
Just last week I wrote about how my husband and I have scarred our children for life by kissing in front of them. Well, this week’s escapade at the mall takes the cake as the all-time fry-the-brain-cells moment in our family’s history.
Let me begin by telling you that I’m attending the Romantic Times Convention in LA. Every night there’s one kind of ball or another with different themes. One may dress up to go along with those themes. And here, my friends, is where things get funky. So, I’m attending a Vampire Ball hosted by Heather Graham, among others. I’m such a fan, I can’t wait.
Well, I need a costume! I decide to go into Frederick’s of Hollywood for a corset. I try on a few, settle on one, and I am feeling fantastic! Never mind that I can’t breathe. Who needs to breathe? As long as I look good, I can breathe later. I come out of the store and meet up with the rest of the family who was shopping in stores of a much gentler nature.
Youngest reaches for my bag and proceeds to look inside. “What did you get, Mama?” she asks.
“A corset,” I respond.
“What’s that?” Youngest asks.
“Isn’t that one of those things you wear and your boobs get all smushed up?” Eldest chimes in.
“Uh, yeah,” I respond and giggle since Hubby is listening very intently.
“Ew! That’s gross, Mom!” Eldest shrieks and laughs.
“What? It’s a costume and it’s beautiful. I bet Daddy will like it,” I say defensively, trying hard not to laugh at my daughter’s pruned up face.
“Mom! Stop!” Eldest screams.  “You told me Pot fries the brain cells. THIS has completely fried my entire BRAIN! Just don’t say anything more! Don’t!”
I sigh and shake my head, then laugh hysterically. It seems my eldest daughter just can’t stand anything having the least bit to do with romance and her parents. Our kissing grosses her out, our saying mushy things to each other makes her want to hurl, and now provocative clothing on her mother is frying her brain.
God help me when she has her first real romance!  Even Hannah, my heroine’s daughter in Trinity, is more accepting of romance than my own daughter. She actually would love to see her mother and Michael kiss and even get married! Speaking of Trinity, at least I can rest easy knowing that the lovey-dovey ick factor will keep my kids from sneaking peeks into my book. Yeah, neither daughter is ready for any kind of romance novel, YA or adult.
So, to keep peace in the house, I promised them I wouldn’t wear the corset in front of them. I wouldn’t talk about it around them either. I must lead a clandestine life until they are young adults who can appreciate romance and all that goes with it.
Yeah, romance and my children… they don’t mix.
~Deena Remiel
               Thanks for the awesome post, Deena! Everyone - check out Deena Remiel's Brethren novel series. The first book, Trinity, is releasing from Decadent Publishing on March 22nd!!! Evil better run - because the Brethren are coming!!!
TRINITY releasing March
Click HERE to go to the buy page at Decadent Publishing!!!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Interview with Maureen O. Betita!

Hey there Maureen. Thanks for joining us! Please tell us about yourself:
I noticed on your website that you mention 2nd chances. What does this mean to you and what influence does it have on your writing?
          Well, I am the recipient of the ultimate second chance. I suffered sudden cardiac death in April of 2007 and only through the swift action of my husband am I still here. At the time I was pretty much sleep walking through life, a bit frozen with depression…writing, but convinced that I could never attempt to be published as one rejection would see me shrivel up and die.
          Ha! Then I nearly died. After some therapy, I realized that I had faced the worst thing life could do to me…rejection was nothing! And I began to celebrate my second chance. I believe in as many chances as one needs, that chances continue to come forward in your life and everyone, bloody absolutely everyone, deserves how every many chances it takes. I’m proof of that! And chances are certainly what my books are all about.

I thought I saw on a blog post that you have a Kraken collection. Is that true?
          Oh, yes! I have many krakens! Stuffed krakens, a hand puppet, a beautiful ornament, tablets, jewelry… I’m thinking I need a tattoo! When a kraken plays cupid in your premier book, they become quite important. And, of course, on the group blog I’m part of, the kraken follows the ship around since we feed it inner critics on a regular basis. I highly recommend tossing you inner critics overboard at every opportunity!

I saw on your web site that The Kraken’s Mirror is now available in print. Is this your first print book so far? What are your feelings about being a printed author?
          The Kraken’s Mirror is my first book, both e and print! And as much as I love my e-reader, and I read mostly e-books…there is something quite magical about having a book to handle. And I look forward to giving one to my Mom!
I’ve got to ask the question – If you had to be stuck at sea with a pirate, would you take Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow, or would you fight me for Orlando Bloom as Will Turner?
          Will is all yours, Leslie. I’d take Jack. He’d be more entertaining and prone to moments of brilliance! Like when he tipped the boat in the third movie…that was inspired! Though given a real choice…I’d probably opt for Barbossa.
Is The Chameleon Goggles a sequel to The Kraken’s Mirror? If not, do you have a sequel planned?
          Yup, and I’m hoping Decadent wants The Chameleon Goggles. It’s set in the same world, with the same characters, but a different romantic couple. And an invasion from a steampunk world! The kraken proves pivotal in this book.
          I hope to see a third and final book in the series. The Pirate Circus!
Do you listen to music when you write?
          When I remember my headphones and bring them to Starbucks…I listen to my music. Otherwise it’s what they are piping into the cafĂ©. When I get to listen to what I want… Right now it’s Abney Park, and the soundtrack from Sherlock.
Thanks for joining us!
My pleasure, Leslie! Let me add that I love to interact with readers, or just about anyone. Friend me on Facebook, follow any of the blogs I wander on, check out my website. Talk to me!
Blurb –
Treated by our youth-oriented society as invisible and sexless Emily Pawes attends a pirate festival to recapture the make believe magic she knew as a young woman. She wins an interesting bit of booty at a bric-a-brac stand. The Kraken's mirror is a magical portal and transports her to a land of Hollywood piratitude, where swashbuckling heroes own iPods. With little choice, she embraces the madness, deciding she’ll play pirate until she figures out how to get home. Or wakes up in a padded cell.

Instead of men in little white coats, she encounters the handsome Captain Alan Silvestri. He is a man haunted by a strange curse. Good luck is his to command, but it comes at the cost of any place to call home or people to call family. Resigned to die shunned by all, forced to sail every three days, he begins to dream of a special woman.

When they meet, sparks fly, passion flares. He needs her to be free, but more than that, he needs her to be whole. They set sail, uncertain of who has control of the wheel, seeking to defeat his curse of good luck and discover all the Kraken’s mirror plans for them.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Olivia Starke talks about Exercise!

Hey there everyone! Today we've got Olivia Starke as our guest author, and she's talking about the importance of exercise for writers.
Today I thought I’d blog on something that every author should consider adding to their writing program: a good exercise program. Working out may not be everyone’s cup of tea, maybe you hate physical exertion, but not only is exercise good for depleting those naughty fat cells, it’s an excellent way to increase brain power! Science has shown that increased blood flow to the brain raises cognitive abilities, and we writers need all the brain juice we can get when battling literary befuddlements.
Stress is a big part of our lives, and for authors who are meeting deadlines and struggling with dead end plots, we can burn out pretty quickly. Next time your head is spinning in circles, grab the dogs (or kids) and head outside for a play session. Exercise doesn’t have to be an agonizing hour on a treadmill—fresh air and sunshine with those you love can work miracles for that wayward muse inside us all. Play Frisbee or catch in the park, climb the monkeybars, swing, or anything else that brings out the kid in you and lose track of time like a five year old. I admit I love running and my Brazil butt work-out DVD, but I also make sure to mix it up with hiking with the dogs to get some fresh air. I also recently purchased a kayak and am super excited to try it out when the weather warms. Heck, I was even involved in a bellydance troupe, and it kicked my butt even though I never once felt like I was exercising.
Variety is the spice of life, and our bodies were designed to move, so try to find different ways to play that bring you joy. That’s the trick with exercise, may it a playful session. Not only will your body love you, your muse will, too!

Olivia Starke
Coming soon to the Decadent Publishing 1Night Stand series:
Familiar Desires

Ashley Adams is tired of being called Mom by her twenty-something year old coworkers so she decides to join a dating site headed by Madame Evangeline. When she is paired with a hot twenty-six year old named Justin, sparks fly as soon as they step into the elevator of the posh hotel.
There is something magical in the chemistry between the two of them, but there is something more to their physical union. A secret that Justin must wait for Ashley to discover for herself
 Thanks for joining us, Olivia!!!