Judge. Book. Cover.

Th., give thanks and be glad! You are no longer alone in your opinion on my cover. 😉

LDS Fiction has very kindly listed my book amongst the LDS fiction released in the last little while. You have to request this, along with sending its information and the cover (because the poor blog owner can’t be expected to keep track of all the LDS authors and fiction out there). If I recall correctly, I didn’t send a pic of the cover with it because, well, it has bewbies on it. It’s entirely apropos to the story thematically (on about three different levels), but unless you read the book, you aren’t going to get that. On the other hand, I know the audience there and while I didn’t think it would appreciate the cover, obviously the blog owner did what she thought consistent with her blog.

So I’ve garnered a one-star review. Oh, wait, did I say REVIEW? I meant to say, a one-star disapproval rating, based on the cover.

That’s an awful cover. I don’t think I would pick up based on the cover. I couldn’t have it in my home.

To be fair, it does say “rate this book,” not REVIEW this book, but in my world, you kinda have to read a book to rate it, so I think I can be cut some slack for assuming that a rating = review.

This kinda reminds me of the “reviews” Eugene’s book got wherein some folks flew up into the rafters over the fact that there was a bishop’s wife and a vampire together. (Or, better, when the back blurb SAID there was a bishop’s wife and a vampire together, and the reviewers didn’t get it might not be something you’d buy from Deseret Book until they got to the sex scenes.)

I can so appreciate that someone wouldn’t want the print version in the house, so the Lord has provided you with a SOLUTION!

EBOOKS!

Give thanks and be glad.

30 thoughts on “Judge. Book. Cover.

  • December 10, 2008 at 12:40 pm
    Permalink

    I second that ugh. What a system, when an unread book can be ‘rated.’

    I SO dig the cover. You’re right…it’s entirely appropos to the theme.

    Reply
  • December 10, 2008 at 12:57 pm
    Permalink

    Well, it’s on the honor system. I mean, has Harriet Klausner REALLY read all the books on Amazon for which “she” leaves reviews? And how many Harriet Klausners are there, anyway?

    I’m breaking way new ground here in Mormon fiction (I won’t call it LDS fiction because that “genre title” has been co-opted by the consumers and what they expect). Of all the non-Mormon readers I’ve had, only one thought I made the church look bad—and that was never my intention. My characters know they’re out of bounds and say so explicitly (as you know).

    I DO expect it to appeal to romance readers who want something long and involved and complex along with their hot, sexy romance. The problem is describing that. I didn’t expect it to appeal to my religious culture, and I didn’t expect that readers of LDS fiction would be able to get past the cover and if not that, then past the first F-bomb.

    I *want* to be the Tom Wolfe of genre romance. I’ll never make that, I know, venerated as he is by some and excoriated as he is by others. I’m not that talented.

    I *want* to give Mormon writers who might have previously been hesitant to write LDS characters in a less sanitized light (though not as unsanitary as I’ve made mine) a bit of courage to be true to their stories, whatever they may be, without having to dumb it down, either religiously or intellectually.

    Th. has written a novel that’s squeaky clean and perfectly captures the Mormon Marriage Culture of Brigham Young University (which Knox alludes to). But Th.’s book is very clever and subversive and pokes fun at us with affection, without being condescending. It’ll never see the light of day with the publishers of Mormon fiction because it’s not familiar and, therefore, uncomfortable.

    I’m not trying to write LDS fiction, so I didn’t expect a warm reception. That 1-star based on the cover made me chuckle, the way a rejection slip I got once still makes me chuckle (and I have it tacked on my bulletin board—I should post that). It’s not an indictment of that person’s opinion; it’s an affirmation that I’ve done something different.

    If it makes people uncomfortable, well, okay.

    Reply
  • December 10, 2008 at 1:12 pm
    Permalink

    Yep, it’s different…But then, so are YOU!!!

    Which is why Dude loves Mojo, despite being warned away from her because she would corrupt Dude!

    Reply
  • December 10, 2008 at 1:39 pm
    Permalink

    There are bewbies on your cover? Of The Proviso?

    Where?

    I see hands, and flesh that’s covered up that we cant be sure EXACTLY what it is.

    And I’m going to have to pick up Eugene’s book, methinks.

    Reply
  • December 10, 2008 at 1:41 pm
    Permalink

    hahaha, OMG there were several emailed objections to the book. See? This is why, with the exception of your book (and Eugene’s), I don’t read fiction that could be classed as “religious fiction.”

    No profanity. No sex. No violence to me equals no plot.

    Because real human beings curse, they have sex, and they get into violent situations on occasion. And a story that refuses to explore that honestly, I won’t read.

    Reply
  • December 10, 2008 at 1:43 pm
    Permalink

    despite being warned away from her because she would corrupt Dude!

    Apparently, I’ve succeeded. 😀

    Where?

    *chuckle*

    Reply
  • December 10, 2008 at 2:02 pm
    Permalink

    This is why, with the exception of your book (and Eugene’s), I don’t read fiction that could be classed as “religious fiction.”

    Here again, you wouldn’t run into it unless you were pointed specifically to it. LDS fiction caters to a certain sensibility that wants to read that kind of story. It is a product of and caters to the peculiarities of Mormon culture. I have no issue with that; I even like some of it because I do come from and live in that culture and I can appreciate it for what it is.

    *I* don’t get a lot of romance “fix” from those books, though. I get some warm fuzzies and I smile. That’s fine; if that’s what I wanted, it served its purpose.

    But that’s not ALL I want and neither LDS fiction/romance nor genre romance are giving me what I want.

    My chuckle is over the fact that someone rated a book she’d never read. And yes, I am amused. My feelings aren’t hurt.

    Reply
  • December 10, 2008 at 2:41 pm
    Permalink

    I’ve only ever read Wolfe’s Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, but now I totally get some of the things you do in your writing. One of the things that has stuck with me is the use of wordwordword to emphasize, which I haven’t seen anywhere else.

    Reply
  • December 10, 2008 at 2:59 pm
    Permalink

    You really should read Bonfire of the Vanities. If you’ve already seen the movie, try bleaching that from your brain or else try A Man in Full.

    Reply
  • December 10, 2008 at 3:44 pm
    Permalink

    hehe MoJo, fair enough. When I’m not the intended audience for something I shouldn’t bitch about it. I’m not sure people fully get “separation of church and state.” But there seems to be a strong “Separation of church and books.”

    If you talk too much about religion a mainstream press rarely will touch it. They don’t want a book that is “too LDS” or “too Christian” Though it can be rife with Paganism, Buddhism, or any other ism that is currently trendy.

    People who write like you are between a rock and a hard place in trad publishing because religious publishers can’t handle the F bomb, and mainstream publishers can’t handle that some people believe in the Christian God. (I guess it’s passe now.)

    Jeremy Robinson had that problem with the Didymous Contingency which mainstream pubs said was “too christian” and which didn’t meet the moral standards of the Christian pubs.

    It just sucks, IMO, that folks like you and Jeremy get shut out of your own culture’s publishing. I understand the audience is different, but they’re only going to be preaching to the choir. But I guess all genres do that to an extent. There is a certain audience and expectations and those who don’t like it can play somewhere else.

    You know as long as my comments are, it’s kind of weird that I don’t write long books haha.

    Reply
  • December 10, 2008 at 3:53 pm
    Permalink

    I haven’t read Jeremy’s book yet, but I have it. He’s a good example of why and how indie publishing works.

    Reply
  • December 10, 2008 at 4:43 pm
    Permalink

    Definitely! And I think he has a three book deal now with a division of St. Martin’s Press. Not everybody’s goal, but something he wanted, so I’m happy for him. He’s a nice guy and he deserves it.

    Reply
  • December 10, 2008 at 11:05 pm
    Permalink

    Reading this book was my first real sojourn into the LDS world (for lack of a better term), except for a character on the tv show “House.” I wish they’d kept him. He was moral without being prissy and/or anal, which is a demographic we don’t see enough of in entertainment.

    Anyway, I got the point that your characters were ‘out of bounds’ of what’s expected of someone raised as a Mormon, but I think that’s what I loved most about your book. It made your characters truly alive to me. And ultimately (although I’m not sure this was your goal) helps me now to look at those of your faith as human beings, susceptible to the same temptations as everyone else, struggling – despite their faith – the same way we all do.

    Reply
  • December 10, 2008 at 11:06 pm
    Permalink

    Sorry…not to say that I didn’t look at you guys as human beings before. Didn’t quite come out right.

    Reply
  • December 10, 2008 at 11:30 pm
    Permalink

    .

    Too late, RJ. I’m irredeemably offended.

    —-

    This is mostly offtopic, but at one Fob meeting, we were dissecting a chapter of a member’s novel. We had been stuck on one page for a long time as we argued over commas and other trivial stuff. If my recollection’s good, there were no large issues with storytelling to be dealt with but, as we all know, there is nothing like a good argument over commas.

    When we first arrived at that page, I had marked a number of commas (and the like) and the word ‘boobies.’ I mentioned what I had to talk about, but I said let’s dispense with punctuation first. After all twenty minutes or so on commas, everyone was anxious to turn the page.

    “Wait!” I yelled. “I haven’t even touched ‘boobies’ yet!”

    This is the sort of thing people never let you live down.

    Years later, people would ask me if my wife was letting me touch her boobies yet.

    (Incidentally, my issue was the age of the character who used the word. I thought they were way too young; everyone else informed me that ‘boobies’ is the appropriate term for a young child to use. Shows how much I know.)

    Reply
  • December 10, 2008 at 11:37 pm
    Permalink

    Thank you, Kel.

    I think the big problem is that a lot of people of (every) faith struggle in silence, convinced that everybody else in their ward/congregation/synagogue/mosque/temple is somehow “better” than they are, more faithful, less tempted, whatever. The things we hide in shame are, quite often, really no big deal but we don’t know that because no one talks about them.

    Reply
  • December 10, 2008 at 11:38 pm
    Permalink

    Well, Th., now that you’ve put that out on the ’net…

    Reply
  • December 11, 2008 at 12:07 am
    Permalink

    .

    Hey. You just posted that comment on my blog. Recycler….

    Reply
  • December 11, 2008 at 12:08 am
    Permalink

    It’s been on my mind lately. Sue me. 😉

    Reply
  • December 11, 2008 at 1:43 am
    Permalink

    bwahahahaha Kel thought you were MUTANTS! Teenage Mutant Ninja Mormons. 😛

    LMAO th! Yes, a good comma argument is always good, lol. It distracts you from the lack of boobies.

    Reply
  • December 11, 2008 at 10:07 am
    Permalink

    Teenage Mutant Ninja Mormons.

    Well, there is a *very* strong martial arts presence at BYU and thereabouts…

    Not Ninja, though. Mostly American Kenpo.

    Reply
  • December 11, 2008 at 2:50 pm
    Permalink

    Well, you guys need to be Ninjas. Otherwise the label doesn’t work. Cooperate with me here, people!

    Reply
  • December 11, 2008 at 6:41 pm
    Permalink

    .

    I hate to tell you this but, speaking for myself, I’m not a teenager anymore either.

    Reply
  • December 13, 2008 at 2:41 pm
    Permalink

    Ohhhhh. I think I finally “get” the cover. I’d never figured out what it showed. A jaw with mouth covered, a raised shoulder, and top of chest? Two thighs, three hands, and a very close shave? (What is wrong with me that “boobies” never occurred to me?)

    Reply
  • December 13, 2008 at 7:01 pm
    Permalink

    (What is wrong with me that “boobies” never occurred to me?)

    You gave me my only laugh of the day. Thank you!

    I have just settled it in my mind that she is pregnant, which would work on another level for those who might see it the same way I do.

    Reply
  • December 23, 2008 at 11:47 am
    Permalink

    Bewbies!

    You don’t know me yet, so I can steal it, right?

    Elphaba

    Reply
  • December 23, 2008 at 11:50 am
    Permalink

    Oh, bye the way. Hi, I’m Elphaba. I am loving your site.

    So now that you know me, do you want your “bewbies” back?

    Elphaba

    Reply
  • December 23, 2008 at 12:12 pm
    Permalink

    Ah, but I know of you. 😉

    Truth be told, I stole bewbies from someone else, so I can hardly throw stones, now, can I?

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.