Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Fans, friends and fiends

Yes, I'm the one who dreamed up this topic and when I did, it seemed like such a good idea. From what Jamie said, perhaps it was, but only for me.

I've been amazingly lucky with readers or fans over the years. Yes, I've had my share of them who think, to quote a bit of Wayne's dialogue from Lisabet's story, 'You couldn't write the way you do if you weren't a real slut. That orgy in 'The Antidote'. The public flogging in 'Incognito'. And the billiards scene... you couldn't have made that up! There's nothing you wouldn't try – probably very little that you haven't tried.”' It's amazes me when I get email from people assuming I am all the things I write about. My response has always been, 'Do you think Stephan King did all those horrible things?'

But then there are the people at the other end of the fandom scale. Those people who send an email thanking me for looking inside them. For years I wrote for a fetish ezine that centered around breast torture. I was skeptical about doing it, at first. The money was very good, but the subject matter wasn't something that I got off on. I decided to give it a whirl, after talking to the owner about pulling out if I found I couldn't do it. He was very understanding and I took the leap.

Now, you'd expect I'd get comments from men about the stories, right? You'd be dead wrong. I wrote for this site for just over 3 years, contributed over 35 stories or novellas and heard from wives and girlfriends exclusively. I never had an email from a man while I wrote for them. Okay, I admit, all of the email could have come from men masquarading as women, but it didn't seem so. They were mostly wives saying it was wonderful to have someone who could delve into the fetish they enjoyed without making it feel dirty or nasty. Wow! What a shocker. What a real eye opener.

I've written for a few sites, two spanking sites, an audio site, a couple of others, and I've met some amazing people. There are the few men who find my femdom material to their liking. But, for whatever reason, they can't share this with their wive's or lover's. A few I've remained friends with, others I hear from occasionally with a quick note saying they've just read my latest or when am I going to write more. I've had suggested scenarios, been told off for not writing something the way the fan wanted, and still others that wanted to meet me, to submit to me. Now there's a shocker for sure.

We author are in our own little worlds, a lot. We tend to forget there are real people out there and that sometimes we should come out of our caves and maybe meet them. When a fan contacts us, in some ways it's like one of our characters have talked them into saying hi. The fan is touched by a character, or a scenario we've created. Isn't that amazing?

Yes, that's a tad weird, but no one ever said I wasn't weird.

I've actually only met a couple of fans, and it's heart stopping, thought provoking, terrifying, such a rush it's like drugs and more. Maybe I'm just overly sensitive. I was completely touched when I met them. Something I'd created brought us together. To me, that's huge.

Fans are why we submit our work. They're why we struggle to improve our writing. They're why we agonize over a plot or a color or the shape of a man's .... never mind. *G* Thought I was gonna didn't you?

Thank you. To any and all of you who have read me, who will read me and who have returned to read more. I can't say it often enough, you're why I'm here. Thank you.

Hugs

14 comments:

  1. Hi, Jude,

    I know what you mean about looking inside people's heads and hearts. I write, occasionally, for Custom Erotica Source - a site where an individual can come and contract for a story that exactly matches his or her particular fantasies. It's a fascinating and intimate experience, though I never communicate with the customer directly. I find myself trying to put myself in the customer's place, to discover the eroticism in his or her fantasy even when it has little in common with my own. When I succeed, it's a huge rush. I had one customer request a second story (a sequel!) based on the first one I wrote for him. This was as much of a high as getting a great review, even though nobody but me will ever know about it.

    Warmly,
    Lisabet

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  2. When I write, I don't think I set out to look inside someone else so much as I look inside myself. Maybe that's what you're doing and that's why you connect with readers on particular stories. When a writer internalizes his or her subject, making it their own rather than objectifying it, readers will more likely respond positively to those stories. Perhaps that's what you did with the breast torture pieces; while they weren't your cuppa, you must have found some way to connect to the material rather than just look at it with an outsider's cold and indifferent eye.

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  3. It does seem strange that people can accept that horror and every other genre is just the product of an author's imagination, but sex has to be written as biography, lol.

    I think the other side of the equation you wrote about certainly makes up for it though. If a read thinks you've got inside their head, that you're writing about what makes them tick, that's perfection.

    Kim Dare.

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  4. I've had a few fan emails over the years, mostly from people who love Chris and David, but one fan surprised me with a very virulent attack on my third L.A. book, L.A.Boneyard and it's not even out yet. All that's out is a blurb about how David is being tempted into straying by a new sexy partner. So far I've gotten two emails asking me how I could do this, how could I destroy what is so good between them. It's like, huh? You haven't even read the book or know the outcome -- being tempted isn't the same as having the affair. The whole thing is interesting -- that someone is so invested in a fictional character I created -- I still don't plan on telling this person where I live! LOL.

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  5. I've had tons of fan mail over the years - it's an amazing rush, and I am always thrilled that someone would take the time and effort; I don't think I've ever had anything really snarky; but, Pat is right, it's almost scary how real the characters become to readers - At the end of Deadly Nightshade, I left things kind of ambiguous, still unresolved - but, did I get swamped with, "Please tell me the boys will get back together..." Well, gee, it's says on the cover, book # 1 of a new series. So, sure there's likely to be more to come.

    I think it is nothing short of magic to be able to thrill people that way.

    Victor J. Banis

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  6. Hey Jude

    Interesting post. A lot of this stuff is still new to me, including breast torture or the idea of meeting a fan. 35 stopries and novellas over three years is amazingly prolific. Pretty good.

    Garce

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  7. Lisabet,

    Knowing you hit the nail on the head, sort of, is huge. Sounds like you did it perfectly. LOL Thanks so much for stopping by!

    Hugs

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  8. Helen, perhaps you're right. You do need to identify with the characters, especially when it's not something that turns your crank. LOL I'm not sure if we're looking at it from slightly different angles or we're meaning the same thing. *G*

    Thanks so much for your comments!

    Hugs

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  9. Kim,

    Yes! That's it exactly. I write from all angles and POV's, and I may be a sexual person, but I don't think anyone could be THAT diverse. LOL

    Thanks so much for your comments!

    Hugs

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  10. Pat,

    Okay, I admit, I laughed. That's just insane! I've had readers want to know more about certain characters, but never argue with me about what they might do or did. Not sure how I'd handle it. LOL

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

    Hugs

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  11. Victor,

    Being able to drag a reader in that well is definitely a gift. Having to explain why a character might do something though, well, uh...what the hell!

    Thanks so much for stopping in and commenting!

    Hugs

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  12. Hi Garce,

    Blushing! The work I did for that particular site was just part of what I wrote. It was a closed site so I wrote outside of it as well, several books.

    As for the topics I've written, I love a challenge. *G*

    Thanks for your comments!

    Hugs

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  13. You have a bunch of loyal fans, Jude, I see them on Yahoo all the time. And you're not weird, just a little insecure. *G*

    Hugs,

    Jamie

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  14. Fan mail really is a rush, and the more straight forward the better. You describe it with such clarity.

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