I got an email from a friend late last week. She’s an older lady and she’ll always be my friend, but I wish she had never purchased my latest book and first novel, “The Hurricane Café.”
I’m not going to copy her whole email here, but this is the part that got my attention:
“If I had known you had written a dirty little book, I never would have bought it and I was shocked at some of the language you used.”
Again, she’ll always be my friend and I don’t feel bad writing about this here, because she doesn’t read this blog and never goes to Facebook where this piece will be posted too. Besides, what I’m writing here is what I’ve already told her.
First of all, my “dirty little book,” isn’t little. Its 380 pages. Second of all, as far as the language goes, she’s read my column in CityBeat for years and I’ve used “bad words” there when I thought it was necessary. Why she’s suddenly “shocked” at some of my word choices is beyond me.
If I said her email didn’t bug me, I’d be lying. This book has never been advertised as a children’s book. It’s adult literature and if you’re a fan of that, more times than not, there’s going to be some sex involved and a few bad words.
Her remarks got me thinking about the sex scenes in the book. There’s really only one and it’s pretty brief. There are a few “scenes” where people aren’t wearing any clothes, but it’s a book—not an ‘R” rated movie or an adult cable television show.
If “The Hurricane Café” were to ever be made into a movie, it would probably be rated ‘PG-13.’ Giving it anything more adult than that would be pushing it.
In answering my friend’s email, I asked her if she finished the book. The answer was no and this made me feel a little better. If a person can’t take the time to finish a book they’ve started, then I can’t take their being a critic too seriously. I want you to not like my work through completion.
If she had read all 380 pages and still thought it was “a dirty little book,” then she missed the story completely. I would be disappointed about it, but I wouldn’t feel all bugged out about it.
Whatever. My friend and I will remain friends—you know, to each his or her own. She asked me what I was currently working on. I’m writing another novel. This one has a sex scene that’s a little more detailed than my last book and there are a few dirty words included too.
I think I’m going to pay her not to buy it.
(Image from Amazon)