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Frustration and Sex.

I haven’t blogged in almost two weeks but it’s not my fault. It’s the virus’ fault. But now, it’s pretty much non-existent. I’m still talking about the virus here . . . not my hope for book success this week.

I’ve reached that plateau where a few things rear up: the fact that my reviews/ratings are stagnant, the fact that I’m writing the follow-up to my first book (even though no one might ever read it), and lastly, a depressing revelation about young adult fiction. That revelation being about the emotionally charged books out there that remain at the end of the young adult line. Kind of like mine.

The Sharing Moon is not fluffy or characteristically sexy. It’s complicated and mysterious. My book is not about characters in high school or college that either: 1. Have sex 2. Want to have sex 3. Talk about sex. See, if I wanted fourteen year olds to read it, including my own child, I’d better put a lid on such. I also find it rather unsettling to think of friends or family reading those scenes, since I am new to publishing. So maybe in another book. What is so frustrating, is the fact that I know my book is suffering in the female market because it doesn’t have that very element. I know that love scenes are a part of that, but I’m limited because I’m the mom of a tween. She’s so impressionable right now and she isn’t yet fully aware that people in books do it. Her old High School Musical book series probably still has some bearing on that. And since I brought up HSM, hang on a minute while I think about Zac Efron at his age now . . . do you know there are women my age exactly that have a huge crush on him? Creepy women . . .

Back to the frustration part. Mostly I see that the male character hooks them right away with his swagger, his body and his ability to pop up right when the female character is having fantasies about him. Magical, that dude is. I’ve become surprised at the number of poorly plotted books being so high in demand. But then someone pointed out to me that one book, Fifty Shames of Earl Grey that started a chain of hot obsession with women young and older, and it’s kind of worked its way into the fragile mind of a teen reader. Ah ok. Not true, I say.

So the following message board comments I saw on books with sex and boys are based on real events. Some names and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, (well, since my guy has been both) or actual events is purely coincidental.

“OMG.OMG.OMG. (Blank) is HOT!” May or may not include a GIF. If there’s a GIF, usually it’s a big accomplishment.

“(Blank) is so f-ing HOT. I couldn’t f-ing put it down!” May or may not include a GIF.

“The writing is horrible but the main character is so HOT that was good enough for me.” May or may not  . . . okay, forget the GIF thing.

You get the GIF. This is an ongoing trend and maddening battle with me. I can’t seem to win with an emotionally raw book. The kind I like to read. My character Elijah is HOT, yes. But he’s nice. He’s flawed. He keeps it in his pants. I’m not sorry I wrote him that way. I admire all authors who work hard. But teen girls and their obsession with sexy bad boys is scary. Especially when those girls are under sixteen. Those feelings should only be allowed after a driver’s license has been issued. (Former note to self).

It’s defeating to see my book swimming upstream in the YA river of sexual thoughts. But it won’t fit into that boat because I chose to write my characters differently. I can still fantasize though, about what it might be like to finally see a GIF in one of my reader reviews. Oh, and I know you clicked on my blog because of me and not my title, so thank you!



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