This is a bit of a rant. Okay, more than a bit. Lately, I’ve received some unfavorable reviews for Fighting Faith. I can handle not-so-great reviews. My problem is people who complain about the content I warn about everywhere I sell the book.
***Warning – This story contains scenes of dubious consent which some readers might find objectionable.
Maybe I need to post it at the top of each page.
“They hate each other there’s scenes that make me thin[sic] of rape..”
“I know that angry sexual attraction can be hot, but it was sort of uncomfortable at points.”
“I have a pile of concerns about the story that I don’t feel comfortable with.”
“…eric was a big asshole for treating faith that way.”
The main character, Eric, is an asshole – to Faith anyway. This happened by design. I made him that way on purpose, not because I think all women secretly crave assholes, but because I hoped to show that we are all capable of doing things and acting in ways we never thought we would. We all act differently toward the various people we interact with – it’s like wearing multiple hats depending on who you’re dealing with at the moment. Think of the person you dislike most in the world. If you were thrust into a situation where you had to deal with them for an extended period, would you act the same toward them as you would your spouse? Your child? Your parent? Your best friend? What if you really disliked a person, but at the same time wanted to fuck their brains out? If lust (or any emotion for that matter, but we’ll stick with lust since this is erotica) drives us to behave in a manner we deplore, does it change who we are as people? Does a switch flip from ‘good person’ to ‘bad person’ because of one action?
It is my goal as a writer to make the reader think, consider the possibilities, and to make them uncomfortable…because that’s how I roll. Don’t like feeling uncomfortable? Don’t read a book with an uncomfortability warning. If readers want a gushy, feel-good read, they should stick to Fifty Shades of Grey. Oh, wait. Never mind.
To quote my dear friend Annie Walls (she said I could), “but they LOOOVVEEE Christian Grey… and his, “I need to deal with the situation of your virginity by plunging my dick into your virginal hole, and no, I won’t be sorry about it. Eat your fucking FOOD before I beat you with my belt and get off on it!”
But seriously, if you don’t like being uncomfortable, read something else. Lots of books about puppies and rainbows out there. I assume.
Stories are supposed to tug at your emotions (more than just the one that makes your twat tingle or your dick hard. Wait, is horniness an emotion? Oops), make you ask questions, and I believe good stories make you ask yourself the really tough questions. Eric and Faith are insanely fucked up by the overwhelming lust they feel for each other. They both act uncharacteristically because of it. The reader gets to decide if their actions change them from decent people to scum-of-the-earth kind of people. End of story. It isn’t because it’s a novella rather than a novel that their ‘issues’ aren’t addressed (another frequent comment). If readers give the story more than a superficial read, they know the characters’ flaws, what kind of people they are deep down, and that everything will work out just fine.
End of rant. For now. And while I love puppies and rainbows, I refuse to write about them. Shit! I forgot…there is a rainbow in Fighting Faith. I will now shamefully crawl back into my little writer cave.
Brandie, as you said, if people want puppies and rainbows they need to go elsewhere. I don’t read certain genres because they don’t interest me. I wouldn’t dream of commenting on a horror novel because I don’t like them to begin with. It would be a bad review no matter how brilliant the writing was. Blah!
I’ve also had people tell me that Cosette’s Tribe was too dark for them. The ending wasn’t happy enough, and on and on. So, go read some Nicholas Sparks;) I will stick to my gut when it comes to my art.
Exactly, Leah. There are plenty of fluffy stories out there to spread the smiles.
Go Brandie!!! I think if a book makes someone uncomfortable, then it is doing exactly what the author intended for it to do. Personally I like getting out of my comfort zone, makes me think, makes me consider what if that was me. To the people who find the subject matter objectionable and uncomfortable, open your mind a little, you just might learn something.
If you have made even one person think and feel that strongly, you have gone from being a writer and author to being an artist. Congrats to you! Personally, I love your work.
Thank you, Hunter. Artist sure has a better ring to it than hack. I like it! 😀
People are so irritating…don’t read a book if its not your cup of tea…why read something you normally wouldn’t read or like and then bash it …there’s warnings on most erotic or romance books that tells you explicit information about the book …
I know, Nanee. Usually the ‘oh, I’m so shocked’ reactions give me a kick, but those are about the only kind I’ve had lately and they’re wearing on my nerves.
And ill also say all those books with nothing but he met her they fell in love blah blah blah …you write exciting books sometimes with taboo subjects but that’s why they are so great! Giving is something new is great !!! Keep it up
BLERGH! to all the haters…fiction people….read with an open mind. Geez some people have nothing better to do. Like you said Brandi Puppies and Rainbows. I am gonna keep reading your stuff – I like that your writing challenges my beliefs and makes me consider alternatives!
You tell ’em Brandie. And I’m sure by now readers know what warning labels mean. There’s a huge audience for books that are provocative and mind blowing. Like you said, if this isn’t ones cup of tea choose another!
You tell ’em honey! 🙂 I don’t know how people can be such absolute boobs! My guess? A group of friends bought it for the bookclub and clucked around until they all ‘just hated it!’ (Although most of them secretly liked it- cuz it’s awesome!)
It’s like the person who said my ‘trashy’ main character had sex with everything but actual animals…. uh, really? I only counted sex with one person in the whole book, two peole in the entire series. I guess you have to take the prudes and sheltered assholes along with the awesome other people that buy you book. Don’t listen to the assholes.
Thank you, Kirstie, San, and Summer!
I really shouldn’t bitch, I suppose. Most of those complaining have left 3 star reviews, which isn’t bad by any stretch. It’s just the fact they all mention the dubious consent as the reason they can’t rate it higher. Like Leah and Nanee said, why would you read a book you know is going to piss you off? Unless you just like getting pissed. I guess I do know some people like that, lol.
(Summer — unless you’ve changed it, she has sex with two guys in book one. Big leap from that to animals, though. Did Pat Robertson read it? Wtf?)
As they say in showbiz “Even bad publicity is good publicity.” I know how you feel. I have a free book that is clearly labled as for adults but still get the occasional review talking about how the story had adult material in it, and they weren’t expecting that.
To make things worse I actually had a review left were the reviewer admitted to not even reading the story. How can that be?