I run a library program of sorts. Mostly paper backs. It is kind of a take one leave one deal, and honestly I don’t require anyone to leave one. I have a pretty captive audience, so the turn around on these books is pretty good. This of course is not a problem as I have several books shipped to me at a time for this particular program.
A lot of the books I receive are “#1 Best Sellers” and “New York Times Top Selling Book Ever!” Skimming through many of these titles I have to wonder about the grand audiences that have skyrocketed some of these books to the top of the charts (and how so many books can simultaneously be the #1 Best Seller). However, that is a subject for a different day.
As I was looking through the shelves earlier I uncovered several books with sultry women wearing form fitting outfits on their covers. These books were by different authors, but they all seem to have the same theme. A beautiful young object of desire in form fitting, pseudo functional, street clothes carrying some archaic weapon (sword, daggers, spear, etc.), out to take back the night from the supernatural. (Something to be said about honey pots and feminism here.)
In one of the books, the heroine was a “half-vampire.” I read no further. Instead I thought about the concept of this beautiful young warrior-ess who also happened to be half-vampire. Like is she only half damned? Or did she want to only toe the line of the supernatural world? All the power of a vampire, none of the weaknesses, and gets to keep her soul.
It makes me think of kids who want to delve into the occult world for the cool factor. It is all fun and games until you accidentally open the doors to Hell and release a nightmare too awful to comprehend.
It was only a game. We didn’t mean to unleash Armageddon!
So was this the kind of heroine I had before me? An angstly teenager too timid to go all the way with evil? Why would I read that?
But mock though I might (and believe me I more than might), at least this author is published. She put herself out there and realized what many writers-to-be only dream of. Yes it is a fad book keeping up with the latest trends, but she did it. She has a world of her own creation out there for others to enjoy. It is far more than I can say for myself.
I guess the moral for me is to not be so damn snotty. It is so easy to sneer and snub at someone else’s work when you have nothing that can be sneered at and snubbed in return. I ought to appreciate the success of writers who made it. They took their story from literal beginning to literal end, and they have something to show for it.
It is also an encouragement to stop holding back, to stop making excuses, and to put myself out there. Write my heart, sit down and persevere knowing that somewhere -even if only small- there is an audience who may actually enjoy the strangeness that I unleash from pen to paper.
Sheesh, now I almost feel like a total asshole for making fun of that book.