Tuesday, February 26th, 2008 • 5 Comments on I Will Not Make You Drool
Google Alerts is a wonderful tool. Usually. One of my Google Alert searches is Kristina Wright and erotica. You see, in case you haven’t been here long, I write erotica. A lot of erotica. It’s not all I write, of course. There are even those who are surprised to learn that I do, in fact, write erotica because I “seem so normal.” (Yes, someone once said that to me.) But make no mistake, I write erotica.
There are many different definitions of erotica, according to dictionary.com. My favorite one is:
Literary or artistic works having an erotic theme or quality.
There is another definition, one that sort of makes me wince:
Creative activity (writing or pictures or films etc.) of no literary or artistic value other than to stimulate sexual desire.
It doesn’t make me wince because of the last part (stimulating sexual desire is not a bad thing), but because of the first part. I like to believe my writing has literary value, regardless of what I’m writing about. I’m sure there are those who would disagree, but that’s my goal.
So, back to my point. Google Alerts, um… alerted… me to an article that included both my name and the word erotica. I popped on over and discovered it was a collection of book reviews. How exciting! I love reviews! Given that there may be 12 to 20 authors in any given anthology, it’s always exciting when my story gets singled out. Usually.
In this case, the reviewer took issue with my story, “The Mistress Meets Her Match.” Before I say anything, let me add that the title of the article is: “Attention erotica writers everywhere: Spare us the banal details and get on with the fucking!” (Because the review is less-than-positive, I won’t mention the anthology title, the other authors who were mentioned or the editor, but if you want to read the entire review, it’s here.)
This is what the reviewer had to say about my story:
By contrast, Kristina Wright’s “The Mistress Meets her Match” begins with an unapologetic, fast-paced rant by a “benevolent bitch goddess” who was born to dominate men for money. Drooling yet? Wait — she’s about to leave her professional practice and settle down, and this careening story starts to read more like a romance novel that happens to be slightly kinky rather than the hardcore romp of domination and submission that she teases about in the first few pages. The implication that the domme who narrates this story of her life is also deeply unfulfilled is, quite simply, offensive. By the story’s end, we’re left with a fallen heroine — the Bitch with a capital “B” who gives up her power for the faint promise of a hetero-monogamous relationship.
Clearly, the reviewer subscribes to the second of the above two definitions of erotica. Okay, so be it. That’s the great thing about erotica—there’s something for everyone. Clearly, my story doesn’t fit the definition of “erotica” for this reviewer. I don’t have a problem with that. Nor do I have a problem with certain things that are, I guess, supposed to be criticisms of my story. “Fast-paced” is good and, sorry, I don’t take “read[s] more like a romance novel that happens to be slightly kinky…” as an insult. I’m not sure what’s offensive about my protagonist being unfulfilled—it’s called conflict in fiction writing—but to each his own. And while I don’t have a problem with the phrase “the faint promise of a hetero-monogamous relationship,” it’s not as if I discriminate in my writing—I’ve written every relationship combination under the sun and this one just happened to be a bit more traditional (if “slightly kinky”).
I’m past letting one bad review irk me (feel free to smack me if I succumb at a later date), so I’m not nursing a wounded ego or anything. I love this story—it was so much fun to write. I am also far more interested in my editors’ and readers’ opinions rather than one reviewer with a limited opinion of what erotica should be, but this review did make me laugh. See, I have friends who will not read my erotica. No, no, no. No sex, no “slightly kinky,” no “hetero-monogamous,” much less more interesting combinations, none of it. Maybe this review will make them change their minds, eh? Probably not.
On another note, I will say my story “Beautiful Creature” in the forthcoming scorching hot Dirty Girls anthology is probably more to this reviewer’s taste. It’s about as edgy and kinky as anything I’ve ever written. Hopefully, it still has some literary value, too.