For book/ebook authors, publishers, & self-publishers
You know, I think my first novel just may have offended someone (who has not read it). It's called 'Calumny whlie reading Irvine Welsh' and I was attending a function at my local library last week, and I found 'Calumny....' on a shelf in Young Adult. My other novel, 'Abernethy' is Young Adult, and therefore in the right spot, but the librarian assumed the first one fell into that category as well. I removed it, took the young fledgling librarian aside, and explained that this first novel has four instances of the dreaded 'C-Word', a sex scene (somewhat prosaic, but there's a condom and all, so at least it's responsible), and one of the characters likes to smoke bongs. After I had sorted out the librarian, I laughingly mentioned this to a couple of other guests at the function. One woman said, 'Then it shouldn't be here!' She moved away before I got the chance to have her clarify her comment, ie, did she mean it should not be in young adult, or it should not be in this hallowed library in the first place. This woman is deeply religious. She is very nice, and a local nurse. She was the 'helper' when my oldest son did his Sacraments of Initiation - Confession, Communion, Confirmation. Yes, your blogger is 'of the faith' (typed in an Irish brogue). Your blogger is a bit of a lapsed Catholic, but is having her children go through the Sacraments. This is commonly referred to as Covering Your Arse. Now, I like this woman. She is kind, and was fantastic with the children during the sacraments program. She'd apply stories of her own experiences as a nurse in the outback when explaining the theory behind the Holy Spirit. She worked for the Royal Flying Doctor Service (in Australia we have doctors who have qualified as pilots who fly to outback properties in medically equipped aeroplanes - they helped my sister-in-law when a rogue softdrink bottle exploded and sent fragments into her eye, but that's another story). But, to my knowledge, she is not a writer. I complained to my husband, and he pointed out she is entitled to her opinion. This is true. But I resent being told my book should not be in the library, if that was indeed her meaning, and given her great faith, I think that's what she meant. I recalled an instance where she met me in the street, during the sacraments program, and cried, 'Oh, I was wanting to ring you but couldn't remember your name, so I prayed to St Anthony, and now here you are!' That day at the library, I felt like saying, 'Who are you to dump shit on my book? You haven't read it, and you have imaginary friends!' Actually, St Anthony no doubt existed. I've never prayed to him when I can't find something. I usually yell at my kids to go and look, because it's usually their item that's gone missing. But if she's so incensed by my first book (notwithstanding she's most likely not even read the blurb yet), I'm wondering will she go around town criticising and petitioning the library for its removal. This can be a pretty good thing; there's no such thing as bad publicity. I'll have to start going to church more often and tell her about it after Mass, so she can start the campaign! (heh-heh!)
My books are published via Zeus Publications at http://www.zeus-publications.com. 'Calumny...' was influenced a little by 'The Bonfire of the Vanities' in that my protagonist's life becomes a media circus, and 'Abernethy' is about a fourteen year old who meets a beagle that, by virtue of having worked as a witch's familiar, can talk to him. The dog becomes a Jiminy Cricket type figure. She'd probably complain about the supernatural themes, too. And with no hint of irony, the saints to whom she prays are after all supernatural beings, too.