Drum Roll please!
As promised, I have the very lovely
Tart Hart Johnson as my guest today.
Take it away, Hart!
Not Everybody's Flavor
First I want to thank Lady Gwen for having me! I really appreciate the chance to get around to other blogs and I've so recently discovered Gwen's ability to channel Tart, if you will! So before I get started, I want to ask ALL of you to do a little rain dance for Gwen and our friends in Colorado. And YES, a proper rain dance MUST be done naked—if you want something from nature, you have to request it au natural, ne? Otherwise it's only so much wiggling. That, though, illustrates my point a little...
I knew it was coming. It HAD to come.
See, I try to be NICE almost all the time, but I really make no apologies for not being a person who can behave. In fact I admit I am annoyed when people claim they WANT to be someone who behaves. (Proper behavior? Who needs it?!) So I shouldn't have even been a little surprised when my first negative review this week was about my slutty, swearing characters *cough* (never mind that NOTHING is on the page—the sexual references are ALL allusion (and unsubstantiated at that)... when Annie swears, it SAYS “Annie swore.” The word 'freaking' is used a time or two... (I so thought that wasn't really swearing! I swear!--DOH! There, I did it again!)
And I (meaning my book, not me personally) have a whole lot more sexual frustration than shutting the door and letting the imagination run wild... as for the actual on-the-page sex? A few attempts (with clothes on) to cop a feel... But okay... too much... I hear you (or rather her).
So yes. I confess to not living up to rated G standards... wait... I've seen rated G movies where the adults shut the door... and where there is a stand in for swearing that isn't really swearing... but whatever. I get that the SPIRIT of my characters really WANTS to be PG13 and I have to use some tricks to keep them in the Cozy Mystery PG parameters... And that an intelligent person may well spot them as tricks... allusion, innuendo, naughtiness... Guilty. On all counts.
I guess what I REALLY am reminded is... not everybody likes the same thing. Being who I am, I seem to draw friends who would be far MORE annoyed with a 30-something sleuth who was 'saving herself' (I threw up a little just writing that, to be honest—I don't believe in that—use it or lose it, Amiga—not that I can't respect that decision if made with sincerely rather than because of expectations, but I will certainly have to bite my tongue to not say 'oh, for pete's sake, that is such a bad idea!') And those friends (the ones who are used to me being naughty and just a little outrageous) are all cheering on any of those little hints at shenanigans.
But I GET that the other sort are out there... that want to believe that at least in fiction, storks bring babies and holding hands is high romance. I respect the taste differences, particularly as my own taste runs in the middle. I ALSO have erotica friends who keep asking when the hanky-panky is going to get spicy, only they don't use the word hanky-panky... (erm... sorry friends, wrong genre).
And I could have encountered a bad review related to the WRITING instead of personal preference as to how people ought to be—THAT would have caused some self-doubt. THIS... this is just a nice reminder that we all want slightly different things. Heck, there are even people who don't like chocolate. INSANE people, to be sure, but they exist. I don't pretend to be chocolate. I am more like dried ginger... sweet and sticky at first taste, but with a bit of a kick and a fair amount of 'well I've never had THAT before'. Some people love me right away, for some I'm an acquired taste, and for some I am just not a flavor they will ever acquire. I'm okay with that.
I guess the message is we need to stick to who we are. We will never ever please everyone. People will run into us who DON'T like us, but they will bounce off. The people who DO like us will keep coming back. So chin-up, friends! We can DO this thing!
The Azalea Assault
Cam Harris loves her job as public relations manager for the Roanoke Garden Society. It allows her to combine her three loves, spinning the press, showing off her favorite town, and promoting her favorite activity. She's just achieved a huge coup by enlisting Garden Delights, the country's premiere gardening magazine, to feature the exquisite garden of RGS founder, Neil Patrick. She's even managed to enlist world-famous photographer Jean-Jacques Georges. Unfortunately, Jean-Jacques is a first-rate cad—insulting the RGS members and gardening, goosing every woman in the room, and drinking like a lush. It is hardly a surprise when he turns up dead. But when Cam's brother-in-law is accused and her sister begs her to solve the crime, that is when things really get prickly.
Alyse Carlson is the pen name for the author some of you may know as Hart Johnson. She writes books from her bathtub and when she isn't writing, does research for a large, midwest University or leads the Naked World Domination Movement (your choice).
The Azalea Assault is available at:
(pretty much any book store and some big boxes)
And Alyse/Hart/The Tart can be found at:
Thank you so much for being my guest today, Hart! And for the very much needed RAIN DANCE!!!