Tuesday, August 27, 2013

On Miley Cyrus, foam fingers, and why you maybe shouldn't buy my books

By now, you've surely heard of Miley Cyrus's booty-shaking, tongue-lolling, foam-finger-flicking performance at the Video Music Awards.

Yes, I watched it. Yes, I kinda wanted to grab her tongue and yank it the way I do with my dog when she won't stop licking my ankle under the desk while I write. Yes, I really hope she washed that foam finger afterward.

But as a woman who makes a living writing and marketing somewhat risque romantic comedy, here are a few things I'm pondering:

  •  Why is every headline, every blog post, expressing horror and outrage over the performance of a 20-year-old woman while ignoring the 30-something man gyrating with her in a freakishly-tight suit and singing about the "Blurred Lines" between consensual and non-consensual sex?
  • Why do people so often insist someone has a responsibility to be a role model to the children? Aren't parents the only ones who signed up for that duty?
  • It may be true the young lady woke remorseful the next morning with the foam finger curled limply beside her and glitter stuck to the sheets like the herpes of the craft world. It's also possible she woke up smiling, spent a few minutes with her favorite battery-operated companion, and thought, "hot damn, everyone's buzzing about me now."

This last one is of particular interest to me, since it speaks to the marketing side of my brain (the part that's actually put a roof over my head for the last 15 years during periods I'm waiting nervously by the mailbox for my author royalty checks to show up).

A lot of you probably pal around with me on Facebook and Twitter. If you don't, you probably should, since I'm a lot more active there on a day-to-day basis than I am here with my weekly blogging.

On the surface, it might seem like my posts are a random hodge-podge of details about stealing batteries from my vibrator to use in my wireless mouse or asking my gentleman friend to let me rub my boobs on his back so I can accurately complete the scene I'm writing (both true stories, thankyouverymuch). Posts like that might seem silly, hyper-sexualized, or even downright embarrassing if you happened to give birth to me (hi, Mom!)

If those are adjectives you've used to describe my posts, I'm begging you – PLEASE DO NOT BUY MY BOOKS. Seriously.

What I'm doing with those posts is signaling you about the tone of my books and novellas. I write risque romantic comedy packed with innuendo, sex, and a certain brand of humor not everyone finds amusing. If that's not your thing, no hard feelings. Seriously, we can still be friends. We can even have pillow fights in our underwear if you like, and I promise not to grab your butt if you don't want me to.

I'm just happy we've figured this out up front instead of after you've purchased one of my stories, gasped in horror on page five, and proceeded to write a scathing review on Amazon or Goodreads. Isn't it better if everyone knows in advance what to expect so you can decide for yourself if that's your cup of tea?

I don't know if that's what Miley Cyrus was doing with her VMA performance – signaling fans that she's going a more racy direction with her career. Hell, maybe she really was just a misguided 20-year-old doing something silly and regrettable. It happens.

It also just-so-happens that yesterday was release day for my new novella, Eat, Play, Lust. So you know up front what you're getting, this is a short novella – only 14,000 words, compared with my normal romantic comedies that come in around 85,000. That's why it's priced at only 99-cents.

It's also pretty risque. That's why I'm pleased most of the early reviews use terms like "food porn," or describe the story's dynamic like this (thanks, MsRomanticReads!):

This couple had fantastic (culinary) chemistry, and I especially loved the hilarious dialogue between them. From the nervous word diarrhea filled with double entendres to the food geekery. I would highly recommend this to anyone who is looking for a light, sexy and fun read that will leave you with a smile on your face and an ache in your belly, either because you’re hungry or because of laugh cramps. You’re guaranteed both.

If that's your cup of tea, by all means – please go drop 99-cents on Eat, Play, Lust. If it isn't, no worries.

Just don't come near me with any foam fingers, okay?


Jeffe Kennedy said...

I'm fascinated by the marketing aspect of this, too. I've heard more about Miley in the last 24 hours than in the last 20 years. *Everybody* knows that she's no longer a Disney Princess, for sure.

Congrats on the new release! (and you can grab my butt anytime)

Stephsco said...

I tweeted mixed feelings about Miley paired with Robin Thicke; the whole thing was a rather sad spectacle really, though the sexism that results is nothing short of astounding. Our culture hasn't progressed much from nipplegate; Justin Timberlake was honored at the VMAs (rightly, he's talented), but do people even remember he was the one who ripped the boob-patch off of Janet Jackson? Why is she remembered for it and he's forgiven?

I see Miley headed toward Britney and Lindsay meltdown, which is sad. Hopefully she doesn't go that way and instead follows Christina Aguilera's career, which though a bit rocky, at least balanced out after a bit.

bardellisgirl said...

The difference between your book and the Miley deal was people choose to read your book, they aren't shanghaied into it by simply watching an awards show.
She was down right disgusting and I've seen better acts in a strip joint. I am just wondering why she went that direction? Just ew. Robin Thicke - meh....

Sarah said...

Well, if she wanted attention, she got it. We all keep paying attention.

And, yes, I kept wondering, too. Why is no one mentioning Robin Thicke? I'm not too pleased with his song or his behavior either.

Mary @ BookSwarm said...

Seriously. Glitter IS the herpes of the craft world. But you're not glitter so don't worry about passing on that crafty STD. And when Eat, Play, Lust popped up on my Kindle cloud app at work, I was so tempted to read it right then and there. *shakes fist* Darned work!

Patrick Alan said...

I'm pretty sure Miley's been signaling that career path for a while. My shock is that everyone is shocked. Also that people like Robin Thicke. Robin Thicke is the creepiest human being ever.

Handy Man, Crafty Woman said...

I'm not prudish and "shocking" displays on TV usually make me go "Meh." But I seriously wanted to stuff that girl's tongue back in her mouth! She looked so gross!

And...am I the only one who doesn't know who the hell Alan Thicke is??!

-crankypants today

Handy Man, Crafty Woman said...

and I meant to say, YES! Why didn't Justin get into as much trouble as Janet for "nipplegate?" heh. Love that word.

But seriously. Why? I just love the double standards. Not!

martin said...

I really enjoyed Miley's live concert and never miss top Hollywood singers.Katty,Jennifer,Britney all are my favorite.
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Unknown said...

Loved Eat, Play, Lust! It was such a fun, sexy read!

I thought I was the only one that thought Robin Thicke is ewww. Creepy!