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9.4.08

I Write 'Smut' and 'Bodice Rippers' and Don't Care!!!





Stirring the cauldron…again……




Hi all,

I’ve been reading posts from many online loops and in some major writing organization magazines. Seems there’re some authors out there who strongly object to the use of the term ‘smut’ when referring to their erotica writing. Even more authors object to being laughed at because they write romance novels.

I have to ask…What’s wrong with me?

I can’t seem to summon angst over the subject. It seems to me that if a person is uncomfortable with what they’re writing, then maybe that’s an internal reason for going nuclear when someone puts it down. But it also seems to me that this is a problem originating from the source and some authors need to deal with how seriously they’re taking themselves.

Just take your money to the bank every month or every quarter (depending upon the publisher) and laugh all the way. I truly don’t lose sleep over anyone calling my stuff smut or trash or even laughing at the fact that I write romance novels……I care more about cleaning my cat’s litter box than this subject!



But it is tedious to see this silly topic come up over and over when authors should be worrying over something that really affects their lives adversely! I mean, if you’re an author and you want to worry over professional issues, why not get worked up over the damned inequitable distribution of books into major chain stores and why virtually only one distributor can stock in those venues without any competition? Why not get angry that shelf space is sold; so competition is eliminated? If half as much energy went into distribution issues, maybe we’d all see more of our titles on shelves…..but, I digress…

I see what I write as entertainment. That’s all. It isn’t supposed to alter the known universe, rearrange the celestial spheres or win any prize with the word Nobel attached to it. All I want is for folks to try my writing; if they like it and are amused for whatever reason, maybe they’ll come back for a few more titles. These stories are meant to take you away from your problems for a little while; that’s it…period! Please don’t ask me to be literary…..I’m not Eddie Allen Poe (Yea! My main man, Eddie Allen!) or Jane Austen…I’m just Candace Sams from Nowhere, Alabama.

Perhaps my lack of concern over calling erotica ‘smut’ or having my other work (paranormal romances) laughed at is because there are just so many darn things that are more serious.

I once had a man put a gun in my face. That, to me, was quite grave! I’ve evacuated for several major hurricanes more times than I can count and have put three roofs back on my house because of storm damage. I’ve lost friends, family and a few beloved pets, all of whom were much more worthy of tears than whether somebody called my erotica ‘smut’ or my paranormal romances ‘bodice rippers’. I can’t even seem to worry about whether I’m ‘respected in the industry’ as so many high-fallutin’, better paid and famous authors stipulate. I figure, you get respect by earning it. Screaming one’s head off over this subject isn’t going to garner esteem. And while I’ve read romances from the age of twelve, there were a lot of folks that I deemed more worthy of admiration than authors who right this stuff. Teachers, parents, fire fighters, police officers, paramedics, and just about anyone in the military is far more deserving of respect than romance/erotica authors (ducking from the flying cyber-vegetables at this point). Yeah, that means me, too. I’m amazed that there are people out there getting six figure (or more) advances for their romance novels when teachers can’t afford to pay their rent and fire fighters make about twenty thousand US dollars a year to start – to run into burning buildings and save lives!! And before you say, “Yeah, but nobody makes them do it!” remember that if they weren’t there – these men and women who are necessary to civilization – society would probably collapse. And they work for far less than they should be paid and always have!!!!

I’d far rather have been respected for the time I spent as a cop. When employed in that occupation, I was spit on and called names in languages I can’t begin to spell, but I didn’t lose my temper even then. It was the uniform being challenged, not me personally. I was once even chewed out in Samoan…..how many of you can say that? But I mention all this only to put the subject into perspective. There are just more serious things that can happen to a person than your work being referred to as ‘smut’ or ‘bodice rippers’! And most of you know this.

Now, I don’t mean to be dismissive of how others feel. Heck, I love writing, too, and I want people to like my work. But I’m not gonna lose years off my life worrying over whether somebody calls my genre names. In fact, anyone who’d take the time to denigrate someone else’s profession is probably at a loss for more productive pursuits. And the folks who make the money (I mean the big bucks) in this business don’t seem to care what their writing is called, either. They, too, laugh all the way to the bank!

I don’t know why people like ‘smut’ or ‘bodice rippers’, but they seem to serve some necessary distraction or they wouldn’t sell the way they do. We don’t need them, but readers flock to buy them. It’s just like we don’t need to go watch the next action/adventure flick, but people will. We don’t need to spend money on video games, but folks certainly do. We don’t need television, but everyone has one; probably two or more. And it seems that the more fantastical/special-effects oriented some flick is at the box office, the more money it rakes in! We don’t need to go to those expensive theatres, but we do. And I’ll bet those crazy-wealthy Hollywood moguls worry themselves stupid over philosophers labeling their work as shallow, undignified or worthless to the cause of the human condition. I’ll bet they cry themselves to sleep at night. Ya think?

Well, hell…if it brings in millions upon millions of dollars every year as statistics seem to indicate, call erotica or romance whatever you want to! I write smut and bodice rippers so there!!! And the lines of concern are etching themselves into my face….

I guess what I’m trying to say is, eroticas and romances serve some purpose or lots of folks wouldn’t be spending their hard earned cash on the stuff. But are they necessary to life as we know it? No. Can readers drop us like hot potatoes anytime they want to, in lieu of other entertainment? Yes. You see, they may want to read it, but they don’t need to. Civilization got along well without us all for a very long time. In light of this reality; I just can’t get worked up over the names some give to erotica and romance genres as a whole. I simply can’t.

In terms of authors’ need to feel martyred over the terms ‘smut’ or ‘bodice ripper’ …..please, get a grip…..we folks who write this stuff aren’t nearly as important as we’d like to think. We get paid (some of us darn well) to write something that isn’t really necessary to humanity…ain’t that enough? Just think of that fireman, that cop, that teacher or that paramedic who all bring home a little above minimum wage. What would life be like without them? Could you sleep at night without their presence? Could you sleep at night if eroticas or romances weren’t for sale?

Frickin’ take the money and run….

‘Nuff broom flyin’…





P.S. Because we’re talking about necessities vs. desires, here’s a list of things I want but don’t need:

Chocolate
Matthew MacFadyen
Gerard Butler
Pizza
Ten years off my face (and ass)
A ten room mansion, complete with swimming pool, stables and garden
Chocolate
For vampires to ‘really’ exist
Rocky Road ice cream
A masseuse to come to my house, every day (make him Thor-like; big, blonde and beefy)
To have my own gardener so I don’t have to actually clean that damned, stinking ditch one more frickin’ time!!!
Ice cold root beer
Pink, alcoholic fizzy drinks served to me on the deck of a troop ship (by sailors who’ve been without female companionship for a year)
Chocolate
For life on other planets to really exist
A lifetime gift certificate for liposuction
Chocolate


Here’s a list of what I really need:

Health
Love
Pets
Freedom


Till next rant!!!

Candace Sams (aka C.S. Chatterly)

www.candacesams.com
www.cschatterly.com

10 comments:

Catherine Chernow said...

Wow! Your post really hit home. I just went through something like this recently. My sister-in-law asked me about one of my books. When I told her the title, she asked, 'Oh, is it smutty?'

I got offended. So now, after reading your post, I'm asking myself, 'Why did I get offended?' Why should it bother me?

And after reading your post, my answer is: It shouldn't. It's what I do and...I'm darn good at it. That 'smut' my sister-in-law referred to isn't easy to write!!

I liked your comment at the end of your blog post - where you say, would we all sleep at night if there weren't erotic romances? You bethcha. But the world wouldn't be half as fun.

Thanks for a terrific post and for making me think differently about what I write.

: )

Catherine Chernow

Lyn Cash said...

<><><>Sunny Lyn stamps feet, applauds, & whistles<><><>

You go, girl! - lol - I only take issue with the comment that we're not really necessary. I personally feel that people who GET off are less likely to GO off and that if they'd relieve themselves that way, there's be less strife. *shrug*

:)

Great post, kiddo.

Ashley Ladd said...

Wouldn't the world be even better if people didn't worry over trivial things and get upset over petty stuff? That's awful that people treated you and cops in general so terribly. I wish I could apologize on their behalf. At least let me say thank you for all you've done.

I work for a charity that helps people and we get a lot of hatred thrown at us, too, for trying to help. Unbelievable.

Although we've had to evacuate several times because of hurricanes, we've only had to put on one roof - so far.

dreamwild1985 said...

for the most part i agree with everything that you said, lol. that's why i named my blog "i write smut", because i think it's funny how dismissive and upset people get over romance and erotica. so instead of being offended by the term smut, i embraced it. sort of like what ladies have been doing with the word 'bitch' these past couple of years.

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