I recently received this in an email from a reader:
I love books. Especially paranormal ones, but I never condone rape in any form. I'm sorry to say I will not be reading the rest of this series and I will be telling my reading buddies to do the same.
The reason this bothers me is obvious. It implies that I do. No, no and no. This was my reply:
I don't condone rape in any form, either, ever. Having been attacked twice in my life, I fully understand the many emotions and ramifications. (There's a thread at my message board about this very topic that sheds more insight.) The scene was not written gratituously or for sexual titilation. It was what it was: the Lord Master making good on his threat to take what Mac "prized most" which was her free will, by trying to turn her Pri-ya. In no way does the scene condone rape or forced intercourse, and in fact, in Mac's inner dialogue she recognizes the horror of what's happening: that she is being made to want something she so desperately doesn't want.
I have no idea where you got the idea that I "condoned" rape because I wrote a scene that contained it. Many authors write about serial killers and describe graphic torture, but I highly doubt they condone either. Because I have strong feelings about rape, because of what the scene signified and was intended to illustrate in the overall arc of the five-book series, I wrote the scene without naming body parts. I didn't make it erotic. I chose my words carefully.
It's sad. I agree. Mac's in a tough place right now. But I'll reiterate what I've been saying since the first book in this series came out: it's not a romance novel, or even a romance series. It's urban fantasy, with a dark edge, with mystery, suspense and eroticism. I've also said that there will be romance in it. It hasn't happened yet. It will happen when it's time. That time is approaching. I've also repeatedly assured my fans that I believe in happy endings. I do.
I attached the letter I wrote to Borders, to clarify more about Mac's journey, in case she hadn't seen it. (See prior blog entry.)
It makes me sad that this reader won't be around to see Mac get her HEA because she seems to have gotten the idea that because I write about a topic, I must condone it.
Sheesh, will somebody go lock up all those writers out there writing far creepier stuff than me?
Oh, and here's a funny one that made me LMAO. It was a one line email:
I love your books, but will you please get to the point or the end of this series.
Monday, September 29, 2008
I recently received this in an email from a reader:
Sunday, September 7, 2008
These were recently published in Borders' newsletter about the upcoming release of Faefever. I especially enjoyed writing the trivia questions, LOL.
When MacKayla Lane first sashayed into my head, pretty in pink, perfectly accessorized right down to her flawless manicure and pedicure, and began speaking to me in a sweet southern drawl, I rolled my eyes and started shopping around for another protagonist. No blushing southern belles for me, thank you. I prefer my heroines strong, smart and self-possessed.
For a while, MacKayla lurked at the edges of my mind, waving a dainty, embroidered handkerchief that looked like a family heirloom, trying to get my attention. I wouldn't have liked her if I'd met her on the street. I certainly didn't want her in my head for a few years while I told her five-book story, so I ignored her, and heaved a huge sigh of relief when she finally went away.
Unfortunately, she didn't stay away. She came back, obsessed with vengeance, and she'd changed so much that I didn't recognize her. Gone was the gorgeous, long blond hair, hacked short and dyed black, and her fashionable wardrobe had been replaced by urban grunge. Armed to the teeth, she was covered with blood—and the look in her eyes was pure murder.
This time, when she began talking, I listened. Her sister had been killed, she told me in tight, clipped tones, and her parents were too grief-stricken to push the case when the Garda closed it, so she'd gone to Dublin to track down the murderer herself.
But when she got there, she discovered she'd been living a life of lies for the past twenty-two years: that she and her sister were adopted; that they were descended from an ancient, Celtic bloodline of sidhe-seers—people who can see the Fae—and that a war to end all wars was coming, and supposedly she was the only one who could stop it. Little bit of pressure there, she snarled, waving a blood-tipped spear at me, for a sheltered Georgia peach whose greatest accomplishment to date was the launch of a letter-writing campaign against OPI that had gotten them to un-retire her favorite shade of pink polish.
I laughed and opened my laptop. I haven't stopped being riveted by her story since.
Like everything else about the Fever series, Mac is study in contrasts. She's soft and pretty and feminine but if you push her she hisses and spits and turns into steel. She loves sunshine, but spends most of her time lately in the rain and dark. She hates small places, and keeps getting trapped in them. She has no desire to be heroic, doesn't think she has it in her, but can't figure out how to abdicate responsibility for the mess the world's in when no one else will take it over for her. (She doesn't get that sometimes, that's all heroism really boils down to—refusing to quit.)
She's a fighter, she's a dreamer, she's a romantic. She wants her happily ever after, and I desperately want her to have it—which made writing Faefever one of the hardest things I've ever done. I knew where this installment was taking Mac, and it nearly killed us both.
I wrote Faefever fully aware that Mac was barreling toward her darkest hour, squirming with every page I completed. I've never been so invested, so emotionally connected to a character before—and how ironic, considering Mac began as my antithesis, a woman who'd never suffered any adversity or had to struggle for anything. As some of you may know, a little over four years ago, I was bit by a tick carrying Lyme Disease, but wasn't diagnosed for two and half years, by which time the disease had invaded my central nervous system, affecting my cognitive functions, and nearly crippling me. I went from being a strong, active woman who worked out every day and had boundless energy to sometimes having no more than two or three hours a day that I was able to be productive. Like Mac, my world became something completely different than anything I'd ever known. Like Mac, I had to find new pleasures, learn how to live with new constraints, in new ways.
And like Mac, I've learned that that which doesn't kill us really does makes us stronger and that, although the darkest hour is before dawn, dawn always comes and when it does, it's sweeter and more beautiful than any dawn preceding it, because life, too, is a study in contrasts, and without the bitter, sweet is just another bland taste on your tongue.
So, when you read Faefever, dear reader, rest assured that Mac's dawn is just around the corner. I'm a fighter and a dreamer and a romantic myself, and a big believer in happy endings. But the story in the Fever series must be told exactly as it is, precisely as it came to me, and when you get to the end of the series, you'll see that all of it had a purpose and a reason, and that, like all of our lives, Mac's story is stamped at the heart by the grand design of something divine.
Trivia Questions About Faefever
1. Mac's most valuable talent is:
a. painting her fingernails fabulous shades of pink
b. choosing just the right accessories for any outfit
c. being able to sense Fae objects of power, especially the deadly Sinsar Dubh
d. pissing off Jericho Barrons
2. Jericho Barrons is
a. bossy, pushy and overbearing
b. drop dead sexy
c. brilliant, rich and preternaturally strong
d. torn most of the time between wanting to kill Mac or save her
e. all of the above
3. Which of the following is NOT a Seelie Hallow?
a. the Cauldron of Dagda
b. the Sword of Nuada
c. the Stone of Fal
d. the Corset of Brunhilde
4. Which of the following is NOT an Unseelie Hallow?
a. the Sinsar Dubh
b. the Chastity Belt of Aoibheal
c. the Sifting Silvers
d. the Amulet
5. V'lane is
a. a very nice fairy that wants nothing more than to help Mac find the Sinsar Dubh
b. a good friend of Jericho Barrons—they're often found hanging out together in Temple Bar, sharing a pint
c. an erotically-charged, lethal death-by-sex Fae that keeps trying to seduce Mac
d. an Irish mobster obsessed with religious icons
6. To temporarily steal Fae strength and invincibility, one must:
a. eat the immortal flesh of a Fae
b. drink from the Cauldron of Dagda
c. have sex with a Fae
d. tattoo oneself with black and crimson runes
7. A Pri-ya is:
a. a page from the Sinsar Dubh
b. a human that has been turned into a mindless sexual slave by a death-by-sex Fae
c. another book Mac needs to find
d. a poisonous flower that grows on the Isle of Morar in Faery
8. In Faefever, Mac:
a. dyes her hair blonde again
b. has sex
c. runs home to Ashford where she cowers like a helpless southern belle and refuses to participate in books four and five of the Fever series, leaving the author high and dry
d. kisses V'lane a lot
e. both a and b
f. both b and d
(Answers: C, E, D, B, C, A, B, F)
Posted by Karen Marie at 2:41 PM