by Giselle Renarde
I don't tend to keep on top of things.
That's especially true when it comes to the daily drama of the romance world.
But I happened to notice everybody freaking out about a chart-topper on Amazon. Apparently this book featured father/daughter incest and underage sex. It's since been removed from sale because both of those things go against Amazon's terms of service. This book's also been banned by Smashwords, and Smashwords will sell you books about getting fucked by your mom, a bull, and the family dog. It takes some effort to get your book bounced from their system.
Bottom line is you can't publish erotic books featuring sex with minors. Ever. Anywhere. This is what we've all agreed to as authors.
So that whole thing happened.
But it didn't stop there.
Because after that incident, I started seeing authors hating on other books... books wherein the main characters were not related or underage. Books about legal adults engaged in consensual sex.
Hoo boy. Here we go.
Remember 10+ years ago, when authors supported each other? Helped each other? I do. I was blown away by the kindness and generosity other writers showed me when I was starting out in this business.
Now what do we get? Authors tearing each other down. Authors scratching each other's eyes out. Petty jealousies that turn into witch hunts. That's what I've been seeing lately.
After the rapey child molester book was taken off the market, I saw authors calling for other books to be taken down too--pretty much any book featuring an older man and younger woman. Consenting adults with an age gap. Everything must go.
Look, I'm kind of glad nobody in that romance world really knows or cares I exist (or they've hated me for so long that it's not even fun anymore), because I've written a ridiculous amount of age gap fiction and I'm not going to stop because a bunch of angry authors think it's "disgusting."
Why do I so often write about older men and younger women? Because I lived it. You know this about me. You know I was involved with one of my high school teachers, a much older man, a very married man. I've told this story so many times you're bored just thinking about it. So am I.
Through fiction writing, I'm able to process my experiences as a teen and young adult. I'm able to think about that time in my life from every angle. I'm sure that, in reading my fiction, readers who've shared similar experiences are able to process their shit too. I recently heard someone say there's no "junk food" when it comes to media consumption. Even if you think of some stupid TV show you watch as a guilty pleasure, it changes you. Everything we consume (books, movies, TV, music) works inside our brains in ways we're not even aware of.
Okay, so one thing that attracted me to the older man I was involved with was that... this might sound a little strange... but he was just so sad. Like, really really sad. Existential ennui, despair, suicidal thoughts. I was so drawn to that. I just wanted to make him happy. I wanted to use my body to make him happy.
I was drawn to other qualities, too. He seemed so knowledgeable and wise. Nobody in my family had gone past high school, and he had a MASTER'S degree. Like, wow, so educated! *swoon* Smart and sad. Shut up and take my virginity!
Did I think our relationship was fucked up while it was happening? Of course not! I'd have gone to the ends of the earth to defend the choices we made. Looking back, do I think it was fucked up? Hell yes. But does that mean I regret my life choices? No, not at all. And does that mean I shouldn't fictionalize my personal experiences? No. It's my life. I'm gonna use it in my books.
"Fine, write your life--but depressing litfic only. It shouldn't be presented in a positive light."
Haha. That was the hottest sex of my life. You think I'm not going to present it that way? My libido's waning by the minute and I very often wish there was some way to recapture those delicious years. I can't recapture them in life. I can in fiction.
Pretty much everything I write is massively fucked up. I'd be bored if it wasn't. If a bunch of other authors hate me because I write taboo erotica or student/teacher sex or adultery or age play, let them hate. I stopped caring a long time ago.
Except I guess I do still get riled up, or why would I be writing these words?
And why would I have decided to post my new adult novella CHERRY for free at Wattpad?
It's about an 18-year-old girl who falls for her father's best friend on vacation. It's pretty much exactly the kind of book a lot of authors seem to want to burn these days. What I keep thinking is: if a book doesn't appeal to you, DON'T READ IT. It's obviously not for you. It's probably for the person who's been through this--who's going through it now or who went through it when they were younger. Or maybe it's just for the reader who wants to peep some hot sex between an older man and a young woman. Why so much judgement? Sheesh.
Anyway, today I posted the first chapter from CHERRY at Wattpad so people can read it for free. I'm going to post a new chapter every day until I'm out of chapters. More info here.
People who find this kind of book offensive can skip it. Or hate-read it. I really don't care. I'm making CHERRY available FOR FREE for the people who want to read it--to process their experiences... or just to get off.