“I am writing a short story about a lesbian main character … and almost had it finished when I had a panic attack. I was at a conference talking about my story when a lesbian told me she would never take it seriously because I wasn’t a lesbian and I can’t know what that feels like. But to me that love is love and normal and just like love between anyone else except for that one guy back home and his sheep. I don’t want to do this wrong. I want their love to be the reason my MC survives this ordeal but I don’t want to offend either. What can I do?”
It is not yet time for me to unveil the Unspoken cover! But you guys all know that I love it, and also that we had a lot of trouble coming up with it. For a lot of reasons, among which because a) covers that say ‘Gothic’ also often say ‘old-fashioned’ and b) my first cover artist ran away to join the circus. (Or was abducted by aliens. Not sure which…)
My editor Lovely Editor Mallory (LEM) called me like eight times about covers, and listened to all my ideas. It was kind of amazing. I still don’t know why assassins weren’t sent to kill me.
SARAH: So what if we did something with silhouettes?
MALLORY: No, I don’t think that would work, I’ve seen a lot of silhouette covers that don’t… Wait.
SARAH: Wait, what?
MALLORY: I’ve had an idea. Let me email you in a bit…
SARAH: NO TELL ME NOW MALLORY PLEASE TELL ME NOW…
You are killing me, SRB!
My copy of Rebecca has this cover:
It was on my summer reading list before freshman year of high school. My mother was extremely baffled and kept asking me if I were “Sure this is it?” because she couldn’t wrap her mind around why my English teacher would assign a bodice-ripper.
I have to say that while Rebecca is one of my favourite novels of all time, I was slightly disappointed by the lack of explicit sexytimes in this book. Covers! They can be so misleading!
“You’d think the very thought of a romance writer would bring a smile to people’s lips. Ah, how nice. Love. Making love. Laughter. Kissing. But no, the world is upside down as far as I can see, and romances and their writers are ridiculed, hisses and generally spat upon. For what reason? One of my favorites is that women who read them might get mixed up about reality and imagine a man is going to rescue them from Life. According to this theory, women are so stupid that they can’t tell a story from reality. Is anyone worried that the MEN who read spy thrillers are going to go after their neighbors with an automatic weapon? No, I don’t remember anyone thinking that. Nor do I remember anyone worrying about murder mysteries or science fiction. It just seems to be dumb ol’ women who might think some gorgeous, thoughtful, giving hunk is going to rescue them. Honey, if any woman thought a gorgeous hunk was going to rescue her, romance novels wouldn’t be forty percent of the publishing industry.”—
Remembrance (Jude Deveraux)
Totally awesome. Totally true! And how sad is it that men’s self-insertion fantasy gets lauded as “great” (*cough The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo cough*) while women’s fantasies are dismissed as “trivial” or “vapid”?
P.S. It always makes me a little sad that I don’t like romance novels. I’ve tried, y’all, several times. Jude Deveraux was even my first!
…is that he’s a domestic violence committing, female co-star intimidating asshole. You can read the details of what he did to his female partner at the link. Regarding his treatment of female costars: Kiera Knightly didn’t want him spanking her during one of their scenes in a…