Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Wisting for covers, that is :)

Update: Okay, this post was written back on May 23, 2007 and I have no idea why I saved it to drafts but didn't publish it. So I'm publishing it on 30 Oct 2007--a whole 5 mos later! That'll teach me to abandon this blog for 5 mos, huh? Hopefully nothing in the below post is ...screwy. Actually I see something already: Lacey, Rainey, sex scenes. Yep, that's why I saved it off in the unsee-able archives. Good thing I'm NOT thinking about Lacey or Rainey while I work on Dicky's story, huh? :-) :-)

I just cleaned up my Amazon account--moved some stuff out of the "saved" area of my shopping cart and resigned to "store" them on my wish list, meaning I still very much want the stuff but no way, no how am I gonna be coughing up the money for them at the moment. Since the St. Louis public library systems are all oh-so-broadminded, my research is pretty much at a standstill until I figure out how justify spending more money on books than I do on food.

The ripple effect of this, of course, is that the Lacey & Rainey story needs a little tweaking in the sex scenes (not the funny ones already there--the many instances of coitus interruptus will never ever be cut, not to fear) and I was looking for inspiration.

I read a couple of books last winter, which led me to a couple of other books which...well, you know how it goes. There's always a ripple effect and you end up with 20 books you've just "gotta have" or else. I'm not getting any of them *pout* unless one or more of you wants to pluck them off my Amazon Wish List and send them off to me. My birthday's not until November (the next NaNoWriMo month) so find another excuse if you need one--I don't! I accept all gifts, all the time. Baked goods might be bartered on request, too (Evil Laugh Ensues)

At least I had fun trying to find the silly banana books for a quick review 6 mos after I'd read them. Just wish I'd written down the authors' names--I remembered the catchy titles and well, I remembered there were bananas on the covers of at least a couple of them...and so it began.

The Penis Book by Joseph CohenIt all started with an adorable little coffee table conversation-maker called The Penis Book. Yep, that's the title. Nope, it's not really about bananas. Yes, it's supposed to be a gag gift book. Or so one would hope ;-) But the real *ahem* point here :) is this was not the "banana book" I was looking for. I didn't really mind, this was a pretty funny book.

So there I was, reading through this little pocket size gag gift, stifling my chortles and snerks, gagging down my shrieks of delight at the hilarious little--erm, not really little but darling in their own way--tidbits of tantalizing tantrawannabe and I'm sure the effort had me turning nearly as red as the cover. Why wasn't I LOL at this thing? I was in public and you know, I do try to refrain from ROTFLMAO in front of complete strangers--especially while holding a book titled The Penis Book. Restraint was my mistake.

A "helpful" salesperson tried to help me (no, I won't say at which major chain bookstore this occurred; litigation may ensue ;-)) I mean this book is intended to be funny. Well, I explained I'd really come in to do some research and was looking for these other two books of non-fiction with a banana on the cover and I just got distracted. I mean, the bright red cover caught my eye and then it does, after all, have a banana and the word "penis" on the cover--two topics guaranteed to intrigue and captivate my attention, especially when combined.

She Comes First by Ian KernerOkay, salesperson beginning to be suspicious but still tries to be helpful when I give the titles. Mistake Number Two. I mean She Comes First and He Comes Next are titles that just beg further elaboration, eh? He Comes Next by Ian KernerAnd after all, despite every last claim to open-mindedness in The South, the fact is I'm in The South. A Yankeegrrl in The South. Bad combination. I doubt even Mr. Clements (Mark Twain for those of you who don't actually read books, just blogs) could have gotten away with asking about those titles.

Quickies by Tracey CoxSalesperson asks what am I researching, exactly? I explained I'd come in to check out some of the Tracey Cox non-fiction books (holds out printout of page with book covers--even "worse" than bananas on the covers, these have real men and women!!) The 3 books in my little pile on the staircase were not by Tracey Cox. I explain how I've pretty much exhausted all the shelves of non-fiction sex-related and/or self-help books and well, that's how I ended up at the rack with The Penis Book. I saw the banana and came right on over to it only to have my hopes dashed yet again. No problem, says the saleseperson, we have a computer. We can look her up. Tell me about Tracey Cox's books.

Supersex by Tracey CoxHer "super" series is actually published by DK Adult over in the UK and to be honest, I think the prices might be lower (even with s/h across The Pond) buying direct from them. Besides, DK sells the 52 playing card set version of the Supersex Deck--what a toy! Toss the cards in the air and see what ummm, comes up :) Talk about a tool for writers trying to be "creative" and non-redundant with their sex scenes!

In any event, back in the real world, after too many minutes on the new-fangled ghizmo called a computer, the oh-so-helpful salesperson has determined that no, apparently, the store's not "allowed" to carry Cox's books because the covers are "too racy" Ummm....huh??

First of all, Cox's books are non-fiction. Secondly, have we ever walked on over to the rows upon rows of racks under the signage "Romance"? Superhotsex by Tracey Cox There are oooooodles of naked bodies and "racy" poses on those shelves. Ahhhh, but grasshopper, said salesperson explains that since Cox's books are non-fiction there's an intimation that the photos on the front are real people having actual sex. Ahhh, but -sry ain't no grasshopper.

And recall, I have just quit smoking and this issue of book covers strikes....well, too close to home. I hate book covers that have nothing to do with the book's content, and hate even more that authors typically have zero input/control over their book covers--at least, non to speak of in any real way. It's up to the publisher's marketing dept. which personnel, half the time, don't even read the book!

Kiss Me While I Sleep by Linda HowardSo, I pounce on the poor salesperson: "I don't get it, are you trying to say those realistic photographs of what appear to be real people aren't really people but are fictional people so it's okay if they're on books of fiction but the same photos cannot be on a work of non-fiction because someone might think they're real??? Case in point: Linda Howard's Kiss Me While I Sleep had the foil cover shown at right (this version was from the CD/audiobook and just so happens to be off B&N's web site but puh-leeeese don't read anything into that O:-))) which title actually refers to the Hero performing cunnilingus on the Heroine while she's asleep (one of the best scenes at the end of the book, hands down--ha ha!) To say the least, I do believe this cover is just a tad bit "racy."

The "helpful" salesperson left me alone to my research. *tee-hee* I suppose I should have left the poor "helpful" salesperson alone but you know, I just quit smoking and I really needed to give someone a hard time and hey, I was minding my own business, just me and my banana book--I wasn't even leaving fingerprints or LOL. Besides, they don't even have the Tracey Cox books. Never mind whether or not they can shelve them or display them - they won't even order them! I was lucky to find just one of Ian Kerner's books--the second one, He Comes Next.

And do you know what's on the cover? A peeled banana just bared to the world for all to see. Shocking, I tell you. Just shocking ;-)


Blogger Jasini said...

St. Louis is in The South? Since when? St. Louis is solidly Midwestern.

Fri May 25, 11:28:00 PM CDT  
Blogger -sry said...

Betsy, my dear, "San Loo-weee" is most definitely "Suh-thun" not just to my Yankee Grrl ears but due to the Old Money attitudes (not necessarily any actual Old Money tho') in the Good Old Boy networks of St. Louis. Now KC, where you are, might not be quite so Good Old Boy, but truly, STL is.

If that's not sufficient, try being black in STL. No, this white girl from the north hasn't suddenly become black but... the prevelant racism is pretty hard to avoid encountering just walking down the can almost feel it in the air. Yankee. Not accustomed to such overt racism.


Sat May 26, 07:18:00 AM CDT  
Blogger Jasini said...

That's funny. I lived in St. Louis for more than ten years, and didn't notice all that much difference between there and Michigan where I grew up. The most obvious differences (besides days with 100% humidity and not a cloud in the sky) were the pronunciation of "ice cream sundae" and saying "soda" instead of "pop".

I went to school in Texas, and noticed a lot of differences there, like southern accents, and being served grits, etc.

And personally, I think that referring to a person by name, especially in a public forum, when she has signed her preferred internet nickname, is at best disconcerting, and quite possibly downright rude.

Wed May 30, 02:38:00 PM CDT  
Blogger Jasini said...

Hey, Sarah, I'd like to get your response to a topic I just started up in Blazes.

Thu May 31, 06:21:00 PM CDT  

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