“I finished your (2) books and felt like I’d lost a friend when I closed the last one.” So an acquaintance recently wrote after someone gave her my first two books, Where Is Papa’s Shining Star? and the sequel, Finding Papa’s Shining Star, published in 2008 by The Wild Rose Press. Somehow, I felt renewed—they were good stories, carefully researched and crafted—but they were not ‘hot’. Amazon.com removed a scathing review of the first one: basically, there are no sex scenes, and don’t waste your money. Frankly, the sexual attraction between the two main characters evolved and flourished throughout the story, but no, they didn’t hit the sheets until the end--and they were married. Since when is 'fade to black' not titillating?
As an author, I am realistic about what the majority of readers want, and my books just don’t fit the mold. Most of the ‘action’ doesn’t happen in bed, and my preferred vocabulary does not include the f-word, the s-word, and various euphemisms for body parts. If there is what I grew up thinking of as profanity (but now seems part of everyday conversation), it is in context and fits the character’s thought processes at the time of use. Please understand that if this is what you like/want to write/read, go for it. I don't have a problem with anything anyone else does.
And no, my books are not Christian fiction, though they contain underlying themes of human and Divine love, forgiveness, and reconciliation, without which life would be mere existence. I couldn’t write for the Christian fiction market, as I understand it, because I write very realistically. (Notice I didn’t say graphically.) I do not infer but rather spell it out, albeit in less-than-flaming language.
So, as an author, I’m caught ‘between the Devil and the deep blue sea’ as it were. It’s discouraging sometimes, yet a comment such as the one with which I began this blog rekindles my enthusiasm for spinning my little tales.
Am I tempted to stray from my somewhat narrow path? Not for a second. Old Willie (Shakespeare) hit the nail on the head when he cautioned being true to oneself. I may experience relatively small monetary and celebrity success as an author, but the satisfaction is still there—and that’s what it’s all about.
So even if you’re into ‘hot’, cool off this summer with one of my vintage romances/romantic suspense novels. We can all use an occasional change of pace. (Read the first chapter of each book and watch the video trailer at http://www.judynickles.com) You just might find yourself turning pages, tame as they are!
Writing as Judy Nickles:
Where Is Papa’s Shining Star?
Finding Papa’s Shining Star
Dancing with Velvet
Writing as Gwyneth Greer:
The Showboat Affair
The Face on Miss Fanny’s Wall