Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Some Developments

In February, I'm going to be the featured author or spotlight author or some kind of special author at the Goodreads m/m romance group, and Mongrel will be the book that's featured along with me. (It wasn't voted in or anything cool like that -- people don't generally vote for my books when polls arise -- so there's no need to congratulate me. I chose it because it hasn't received much exposure, and I happen to think it's a damned good novel. Besides, I don't have a release in February. Oops.)

I'm not entirely sure what my month in the limelight, such as it is, will entail, but those of you familiar with the group should be able to find me. If not, I'll post links or a map or drop crumbs or something -- because, lord knows, I'm going to need some shills to make me look like the Incredibly Intriguing and Popular Author that I'm not. ;-)

On a related front, I continue to be fascinated by reactions to precious_boy (and can't help but wonder why so many of my books are so polarizing!) A pretty danged gratifying review was just posted at MichelenJeff, and another is apparently coming from Queer Magazine Online. I know this because the reviewer contacted me after reading the story and was, to say the least, enthusiastic.

And yet . . . plenty of people have had reservations about some of the novella's elements. I'd fully anticipated occasional squirming over Ethan's age, but discomfort over the protags' age difference has rather surprised me. It's only ten years, which was the span between my ex-husband and me (I being the older), and both I and scads of women I've known have been in relationships with ever larger gaps. Hmm. The other minor surprise has been reaction to Jonathan's sexual interlude. Some readers perfectly pinned down the reasons for his apparent lapse in judgment; others were puzzled, bothered, or downright put off by it. Another hmm.

Interesting stuff, and it only goes to show how personal experience shapes personal expectations, even when it comes to entertainment. No wonder a part of me has always wanted to be a psychologist!


Tam said...

Yay you! You got picked by someone, even if it wasn't a vote. :-) I do go to Good Reads and know a few people from there but I'm not really "in the know" so I'm not sure what the author du month does/gets. I'll keep an eye out though.

I think it's interesting for readers as well to find out what will tweak our buttons. Sometimes I read something that really just rubs me the wrong way and I think "Wow, I never realized that X was a problem for me." On the other hand, I've also read things and though "Huh, I figured that would squick me out and make me hate that book, but in fact it was the opposite." We absorb so much into our subconscious that we are completely unaware of, that if it's something fairly uncommon it may not come up very often.

The human brain is a complicated hunk of neurons and squishy grey stuff. :-) Infinitely interesting though.

K. Z. Snow said...

I didn't get picked at all, Tam. I volunteered. (Well, at least I didn't have to beg -- too hard.) Story of my life. :)

So true what you said about the power of the subconscious. Its influence does indeed crop up when we least expect it.

Lily said...

I use Goodreads but mainly to keep track of my books and reviews. I'll keep an eye for you next month though.

OK, I gotta admit that while I loved precious-boy I did say in my review that Jonathan's interlude bothered me a bit. I wasn't bothered by the fact that they'd once had a relationship or by the age difference all around but that scene.. yeah, I could understand why but still, it didn't work for me.

wren boudreau said...

You in the spotlight! I'll try to visit and ask thoughtful questions. Or just be goofy. Who knows... Just don't try to psychoanalyze me. ;)

I haven't read Precious Boy yet, but plan to soon. Now I'm curious. But really, an age diff of 10 years is nothing. I'm reading a book now where one guy is 24 years older!

Lily said...

After commenting at Tam's I realized I didn't fully give my reason here. Duh! Sorry! The reason it bothered me was I just didn't like Donald. Actually, I couldn't stand him. :D

Chris said...

Have fun at the GRs group, KZ! I mostly lurk around the edges because there's just so much going on there.

K. Z. Snow said...

Donald wasn't meant to be likeable, Lily, so your reaction is understandable. ;-) Oddly enough, though, I started feeling sorry for him as his character took on more dimension.

Jonathan's weakness? He's 28, male, unattached, and horny. That's the obvious explanation for it. But there are also psychological issues involved, so a kind of complex dynamic is going on throughout Donald's visit.

As it turns out, Jon's seeming capitulation to Donald's will is actually an assertion of his own will. The tables have turned between these men. Jon determines how their meeting plays out and, ultimately, the future of their relationship -- a degree of control he hadn't had before.

Still, I know how hard it is to "sell" readers on distasteful characters, and even harder when a story's protagonist gets involved with one. But sometimes in fiction, as in life...shit happens! :)

K. Z. Snow said...

I hope I do, Chris. I'm just afraid I won't be able to figure out what's going on, especially when it comes to the live chat later in the month -- if, that is, anybody shows up.

K. Z. Snow said...

Wrenboo, Tam's the psychoanalyst. I raise questions and piss away too much time pondering them; she cuts to the chase and comes up with answers. I'd put her on my payroll if I had a payroll...and didn't have to compete with the Canadian government's salary scale. :)

I think it was the second protag's youth that threw some people for a loop. (And, to be perfectly honest, I was sorely tempted to have some smexxin' take place before he turned 18, as Tam suggested -- but then my survival instinct kicked in. *g*)

I'll be curious to see your reaction to the story if/when you read it. I've been really fascinated so far by each reader's take on precious_boy. Very educational!

10:55 PM

wren boudreau said...

Chris might lurk on the fringes at GR, but she is the Contest Queen!

I'll get back to you with my reactions to p_b

Chris said...

KZ: Just practice typing fast for the chat. :)

Wren: You found my hiding place on GRs! ;)

Tam said...

I actually kind of had a moment of weakness for Donald. When he said something about maybe being too old to find love or something to that effect I thought "oooooh, KZ needs to find him a man to knock his socks off and make him stop being a jerk". :-)

I'm not sure I am a very good psychoanalyst. I'm not sympathetic enough. LOL But it sounds more fun than what I'm doing now.

K. Z. Snow said...

I'm glad the poor guy got some sympathy from you, Tam. He's an increasingly lonely man approaching middle age, and although he can still be an insensitive and condescending ass, he has occasional glimmers of self-awareness. I see him as rather desperate and insecure.