And on Facebook.
And I wondered....what is this new hot book everyone is talking about? So I googled "50 Shades of Gray reviews". I learned two things:
1. This is a book that is categorized as a romance, but is essentially erotic pornography. But much worse because it's very demeaning to women as well.
2. It is very, very poorly written.
Okay, so #1 was a disappointment- I thought maybe we had another Hunger Games-type wunderkind in our midst. No such luck. And in fact, this book appears to have women everywhere indulging in literary pornography for the first time, which is concerning and disheartening.
Is it wrong that when I learned #2 I was very happy? It's kind of like when you meet someone new and she's gorgeous and her kids are perfect but then you learn she can't cook. There's a definite reduction in the intimidation factor and you can rest assured you've got something she doesn't. Totally catty, I know, but you know what I mean.
As I’m sure we’re all aware by now, the publishing industry follows trends, just like the fashion industry. Case in point: is there any shortage of YA vampire or dystopian novels? Nope. When a book makes a splash in one genre, a wave of similar books is sure to follow.
Unfortunately, our motto to “change the world one book at a time” is the same goal publishers have, only sometimes the books they’re changing the world with are books like “50 Shades.” And that means the change is not going to be a good one. Fortunately, as writers and guardians of virtue, we have the abilities to combat this wave with one of our own- with books that are well-written and have meaning and substance.
The fact that this book is written very poorly, ladies, is a boost to our side of this battle we fight every day as Mormon Mommy Writers. What this means to me is that if we want our work, that embodies the good wholesome values we know to be right, to stand its ground against fashion waves like "50 Shades", then we have to polish it and make it shine. The time for fluff is over. You can't pop out a first draft, have your mom take a look at it, make a revision or two and send it off to an agent with your fingers crossed.
Is this a call to arms? Yeah, I kind of think it is! Now is the time to write that story that's been simmering in your head. Now is the time for us to lay it all on the line and get REAL critiques from people who know good literature. Now is the time to take that leap and push that baby off your computer and into not one, not a few, but LOTS of agents' hands and get it published, because without writers like us, the women of the world will be drawn to literary garbage like "50 Shades." WE are the ones who need to give them alternatives- good, worthwhile alternatives that draw them into the light and away from the dark.
If nothing else motivates you to pursue your dreams and fulfill your calling as a writer, let this be the catalyst that launches you into action.
NOW is the time!
Okay, I'm off my soapbox now. I believe in us, ladies. This is one battle we have the tools to fight, and I expect us to do so.
On a side note, I will be needing some maternity leave from the blog starting at the end of July and possibly into the beginning of August. I would love to hear from some of you lovely ladies out there- anyone want to do a guest post for me? Contact me at kaseytross (at) hotmail (dot) com if you're interested. :-)