“For those of you craving romance with an edge, some thrills or a paranormal slant, here is a trio of steamy, suspenseful books. If the edge-of-your seat intrigue doesn’t send your pulse skyrocketing, the gorgeous and courageous heroes certainly will.” – Lois Dyer in “Shock and Awww”
According to Lois Dyer’s BookPage column, my pulse will skyrocket (probably against my doctor’s orders) if I read Cynthia Eden’s Burn for Me, Cecy Robson’s Cursed by Destiny or Sharon Sala’s Going Twice. I didn’t like the concept of burning for anybody or the cover on Going Twice, so that left me with the cover with the full moon, the wolf and “tigress shape-shifter Celia Wird” (as the publisher describes her).
Checking Amazon, I saw that Cursed by Destiny has 58 reader reviews, an average review rating of 4.6 and is #106,547 in books. Okay, that number isn’t exactly shouting “bestseller,” but the book’s only been out since January 7.
Here are my thoughts:
- I can continue writing about wholesome people but use the same sexy temptress shape-shifter tigress lady on the cover. This is potentially dishonest and sooner or later word would get out that Wird wasn’t in the book.
- I could go to a biker bar and find somebody who looks like Wird, take her picture and use that on the with cover with a little from Photoshop for the wolves in the background. This potentially would start a fight in the bar and since I’m not quite as strong as the Terminator in the movie who beat up everyone in the biker bar, I’d end up with hospital bills that far exceed the attitudes of my insurance company.
- I could write about a shape-shifter who looks like Celia Wird but change her name to something like Lucy Wolfbane or Marge Gravestone. Unfortunately, writers are supposed to write what they know and I don’t know any shape-shifters, much less anyone who looks like Celia Wird and, while I haven’t checked, I don’t think my wife wants me looking for Celia Wird even for “research purposes.”
- I could wait until the next Friday the thirteenth and then take a candle and some Tarot cards into a cemetery want call upon the forces of darkness to send me a tigress to interview for the book. The last time I sat in a cemetery with a candle, the cops showed up and claimed that they were had not been sent by dark forces.
- Convinced that Celia Wird using the name of Marge Gravestone was my ticket to the bestseller list, I took a copy of Cursed by Destiny to the local Starbucks and asked if they’d seen her around. They said “not lately” and suggested I check the tombstone department at Walmart because “people dressed like that just love Walmart.”
- What’s a writer to do? I checked Amazon and found 1000000000000 books that tell writers what to do. They all promise that if we do those things, we’ll end up on the bestseller list. Since none of those books are on the bestseller list, I figured the authors had all decided to start looking for Celia Wird.
In a BookPage interview, Anna Quindlen (who looks a lot more wholesome than Celia Wird) said that, “I think every writer feels she is one book from irrelevancy.” I wanted to send her an e-mail and ask for the rest of the story because I know a lot of writers who are just starting out and, without having to work at it, already believe they’re irrelevant. Odds are, most of them aren’t trying to battle their way out of obscurity by selling out to Celia Wird.
Some of those writers claim they don’t care about the money because “the important thing is getting my words out there.” My response (which doesn’t go over well) is that money is the universe’s way of telling you whether or not anyone is reading those words. Other writers say they’re publishing on Kindle and CreateSpace for the “joy of it.” I’m not sure what that means, but as Quindlen confesses, “It’s no substitute for being able to pay the gas bill.”
So, I continue to look for Celia Wird even though it’s rather like the Dr. Richard Kimball’s search for the one-armed man.
Malcolm R. Campbell–if you haven’t guessed it already from reading this post–is the author of fantasy fiction, including “The Seeker.”