On the surface "Burnouts, Geeks and Jesus Freaks: a love story" is a simple, funny,easy read. I designed it that way. It's meant to be something fun you can start and finish on one vacation because sometimes you need a book that doesn't drag on forever and require major brain cell usage.
|This book is so much more than it's cover.|
But, if you look closer, and scratch beneath the very cool pink surface, there's a lot more there. There is trend bucking galore. I love NA books, but I started to feel like the world of new adult romance had become over populated with motor-cycle riding, tattooed, angsty man-whore heroes and the equally ubiquitous cavity-inducingly sweet, virginal, damsal-in-distress heroines. In response to these archetypes I created Ben - a geeky, polite, virgin hero, and Carrie - his sarcastic, funny, sex-loving heroine.
Wait, hold the phone ... she loves sex?!?!
Yep, and her friends do too. I'll pause here to give the overly offended time to exit (mumbling "I always knew there was something wrong with her.") and everyone else time to switch gears to this burgeoning new idea - women can like sex and it doesn't make them a whore or a slut. It makes them human.
I'm excited to be part of this new idea in romance writing. I'm ready for more unapologetic, fully-human female characters. And equally as important, I can't wait for more male characters who value a woman for more than being previously unclaimed territory and smokin hot.
I'm sure some of you are wondering how this works ... she's not a slut, but she loves sex? Well, first you have to let go of the idea that women have absolutely no control over their lust once they lose their virginity. I'm not sure who started the idea that once we have one guy we just can't seem to stop ourselves from wanting any and all guys - that we become indiscriminate, grabbing at any low-hanging fruit (visual pun). My guess would be that the idea came from the guys who would fall in the low-hanging fruit category - a marketing campaign of sorts from the bottom rungs of the male gender. There is no magic presto-chango that happens to a female upon losing her virginity. She's the same person she was the day before with a little more life experience tucked under her belt. (Check out this fantastic post on the whole concept of what actually constitutes losing your virginity from Girl on the Net.)
My novel is not a morality play for or against premarital sex. It's a slice of reality. Some of my girls have sex, some don't. Some regret it, some don't. Some enjoy it, some pretend too. What they don't do is apologize to anyone for the choices they make.
But there is still more hidden in this deceptively simple story. There is also some really steamy realistic sex. If you love erotica that features Cirque-du-Soleil gymnastic style moves, this is not the book for you. If you want to believe that a well-used gym membership can make some guy is so studly he can defy that fact that 80% of women cannot come by penetration alone, this is not the book for you. I think these myths hurt women more than help them, so I left them out.
If you are still with me--welcome to the trend, and while I support this trend, I promise not to be preachy in my books. For those who buy my novel for an easy read by the pool with too many margaritas, don't worry, you won't be disappointed. The shiny, pink fun is there, and if you are interested, a little social history-making underneath.
Labels: burnouts, Geeks and Jesus Freaks, romance writing, sex positive, slut shaming