Thursday, October 16, 2014

What's popular in books these days? What day of the week is it?

Rita's post on Tuesday got me to thinking, because she said that she hadn't realized that "short contemporary" isn't a genre anymore.  Tastes change, the reading habits of the public change. often quickly.  Whatever is getting a buzz, whether due to a great publicist or actual good writing, becomes the new "hot button" and gets copied endlessly. Example?  Have you seen how many books are out these days with "billionaire" in the title?  Sheesh!  Just how many actual billionaires are there in the world?  And how many are unmarried and hetero-sexual?  And of them, how many are sexy? Narrow it down further: how many of them would look twice at a mousy woman with low-self-esteem, even for a one-night stand?  Then realize how many would marry out of their "class". I know these are fiction romances, but this makes believing the dead can walk (and romance) among us more believable, when you consider how much stretching of the imagination is needed.

Despite authors being told years ago that vampires were "old-school and boring", there is a plethora of undead-romancers as heroes and heroines these days.  Add to that the shifters, and you realize that werewolves aint' Lon Chaney Jr. anymore!  Now they're hot, tortured heroes (okay, he was that), whose energy and enthusiasm for hot sex can't be equaled by any mere mortal. 

Menage and BDSM used to be considered "porn", written by and for men. Now it's such a hot genre, that my latest book had one reviewer claim that despite the frequent hot sex scenes between the heroine and hero, that she was "disappointed" in the "lack of variety" in the explicit action.  Keep in mind this is a romance between a biker queen who's used to having sex with all of the men in her gang, and who thinks that monogamy is a sucker's game, since her mother is still reeling from being dumped by her father for a trophy wife.  Enter a sexy Russian ex-KGB agent who is sent to convince her she's never to revisit the town where the action movie star Raul Roderick lives, since he's now a happily-married father of young children.  But in the book about his romance, the biker queen had ridden into town just to score with the famous actor. 

So Alexandra is not your typical "mousy virgin" heroine.  Not at all.  The meeting between her and Dmitri leads to some explosive sex on her office furniture, before they move to her place.  And it takes everything Dmitri has to convince her that Only One Man Will Do, and that man has to be him.
But because there are no menage scenes involving them and another man, or bondage scenes with one of them whipping the other, the reviewer gave me only a tepid review.  Hey, I write the stories of my characters the way I imagine them.

Which means I'm too explicit to use my real name in my writing, but not explicit or adventurous for some readers.  Sigh.  So what's an author to do?  Maybe my next book should be The Billionaire Were-Vampire Dom and His Brothers Discover His Mousy Secretary's Secret Submission Desire.
What do you think?  Would you read that?

For a chance to win a copy of Only One Man Will Do, I'm at the Snarkology site talking about "My Kind of Heroine."  Leave me a comment there to be entered into the drawing.



Tina Donahue said...

LOL - love the title of your 'future' romance, Fiona. I know what you're going through. My menages are my most popular stories. However, I do like to write a M/F, especially with a deep love story.

I still believe there are readers out there who like that. :)

Harlie Williams said...

You must write that book. The title alone would sell it. :)

I loved Alexandra. She was a fun character. And that reviewer didn't "get" the point of the character. *shakes head*


Fiona McGier said...

Thanks for the support, Tina. What's an author to do, but write the stories in our heads and hope for the best?

Harlie, you're right about the title being the "hook". I just realized that I could make it even better by having the secretary with low-self-esteem be a mouse-shifter! What do ya think? Instant best-seller?

Harlie Williams said...

LMAO!!! Oh Fiona...that's perfect. And the hero be a cat shifter.


Anonymous said...


Yeah I have noticed the many, many billionaire titles myself. It's funny.

Fiona McGier said...

Re: storytreasury comment--Does anyone actually read all of those stories? Don't they get repetitive after a while? Or is that a part of the charm, that it's such a familiar trope that you already know what's going to happen before you start? I like romances with more elements of surprise in them.