Sunday, December 1, 2013

To be PC or not to be

     Recently, I came across a quote for Stephen King which I am now going to misquote because I can't quite remember how it goes.  He said something like if your books offend no one, you aren't writing truthfully.  As I said, A Trashy Affair is out now on the Kindle and in paperback from Amazon. Thanks to the KDP plan, I'm receiving more reviews than usual.  It's a book I love and am proud of so you can imagine my shock went someone gave it one star.  I am good with the person who gave it three because they like their sex hotter, but really, a one?  Reasons given: I said the young woman was uncomfortable traveling the black area of town at night and the super-macho hero is wary around gay men.  These are my characters' feelings, not mine, but I think they do ring true. I've had two husbands. Both confessed to being uneasy around gay men, though neither disliked them and both were fine about gay marriage. Even now as an old white lady, I worry when stopped at a light at night when young, black men are loitering on the corner. Now, I am going to offer the usual disclaimer-I have many black, gay and lesbian friends, another truth, believe me or not, but I also have common sense. I don't leave my purse on the front seat, and I wouldn't go into either of our local parks alone at night.
     Ran into the exact same problem with my first book, Goals for a Sinner, another one star reviews because I said a dying child looked like a starving African and when my wonderful lesbian character, Jackie, banters back and forth with my quarterback she calls him a Sex Maniac and he calls her a Bull Dyke. Both are joking, but evidently one cannot jest about such things.  Somehow, I feel a reader who is more concerned with political correctness than the overall story whose theme might be helping friends, saving the environment, or the meaing of family is missing the real and more important point.
     Unlike Paula Deen, I have never used the N word, but some of my characters have. They are usually bad men or might just be using the language of their times. As Rosamond says in Queen of the Mardi Gras Ball set in the 1920's, we don't use that word, we called them colored people, which is true to that era.  Anyhow, I must be doing something right to be validated by Stephen King.
     I'll end with an update.  Love Letter for a Sinner is available on the Kindle and in softcover from Amazon. This is the last of current generation of Sinners stories because Joe Dean, the quarterback whose career we have been following, retires.  A Taste of Bayou Water, a spicy Cajun romance, is up on the Kindle, the Nook and in softcover.  A Trashy Affair, not really very trashy since the title refers to garbage services and recycling, is also on the Kindle and out in paperback. I think any one of them would make a great stocking stuffer for the reader who loves romance. You can judge for yourself if they offend by not being PC enough.
      That said, I wish all of you Peace on Earth and Good Will toward all men and women regardless of race or sexual orientation.