My sister-in-law sent me a truly hubba-hubba pic via email that I had to share. The story goes (I'm paraphrasing here )...aren't you sick of all those cutsie angel emails people send all the time? The ones with the chubby darlings with wings who are sprinkling fairy dust, and you're supposed to send them on to everyone you know or else you'll be cursed with bad luck forever and ever. Well, one woman had had enough, so this is her version of what an angel should look like. Hehehehe!
See anything up under that loin cloth? Keep looking. Keep looking...
Here's a question for you.... How do you feel about historical figures being fictionalized? And I'm not talking about historical figures used in fiction in the correct context of the time the author is writing about. I'm talking about authors who take historical figures and give them fictional lives, lives that might be completely foreign to who these people were in reality.
I ask, because recently a particular book was published that used historical figures as main characters, and these characters were apparently put into hardcore sexual situations. The historical figures themselves, in real life, were conservative, upstanding folk. Yet this author took extensive liberties with these people in the story, putting them in scenarios that are not only unflattering, but could be perceived as downright offensive to some. (I won't say which book, author, and publisher because this really isn't intended to be a bashing session and I mean them no disrespect. What follows is my personal opinion about situations like this in GENERAL. I have not read the book in question. I base my comments above on the book's blurb and the general promotion buzz I heard prior to the book's release.)
I felt uncomfortable when I heard about this story. To me it seems in very poor taste, and it also seems rather lazy (and perhaps even a bit dangerous in our litigious society) on the part of an author to use real people, no matter if they lived a hundred and fifty years ago. Those of us who write fiction for a living have absolutely no limitations on where our imaginations might take us. To be rather blunt, we get to play God on a daily basis with our stories and characters. We can create hundreds...thousands...of fictional characters in our lifetimes. Characters of any possible race, creed, physical description, lifestyle, and personality. Do we really need to "borrow" real people to write about? Real people who probably still have family alive somewhere who wouldn't at all be pleased to find out their great, great, great grandfather or grandmother is being fictionalized in adult material.
I've certainly read historical fiction that took some liberties with real life people--Queen Elizabeth I having conversations with fictional heroes and heroines, historical nobility participating as secondary characters in intrigues that never really happened, maybe even key historical figures having secret fictional love affairs--and the vast majority of the time it hasn't bothered me if done with taste. But where does one draw the line? I guess what I'm wondering is how far is too far?
I'm curious what readers think about situations like this. If you have any thoughts on the matter you'd like to share with me, drop me an email.
People always ask me how I come up with ideas for the stories I write. I tell them ideas are everywhere--life, newspaper, TV, movies, music, people, events, you name it. I'm never at a loss for story fodder. Sometimes I roll ideas around in my head for a while until all the pieces fall into place and other times they come to me in one fell swoop.
A couple of weeks ago I signed up to write a novella for a special Amber Quill project that will be released in December. The story's theme has to deal with the movies or theater. I'd been struggling with possibilities ever since. Then, this weekend, I was listening to the Moulin Rouge soundtrack. Ewan McGregor can sing to me any day, baby! That led me off to thinking how sexy a man's voice can be. (Those of you who've read my stories know this tends to be something that pops up in my work often, LOL!) I started thinking about all the powerful, sensual men's singing voices that really do it for me, and along with Ewan's, another one that's always cranked my engine is Michael Crawford's voice in Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera. Hmm...Moulin Rouge, Phantom of the Opera...did I detect a trend? :)
And just like that...voila! A plot and characters for my story appeared in full bloom in my mind. Even the characters' names and appearances came to me in Technicolor. I LOVE it when that happens!
So in December, look for my novella, MASKS, coming from Amber Quill Press as part of their Lights, Camera...Action!!! AmberPax series! I'm pretty psyched!
Now...time to go dig out my Phantom of the Opera CD. (It's research, I swear!)
Okay, gotta talk about this. As some of you may know, I'm a HUGE Harry Potter fan. Not only do I adore the books and the movies, I have this whole fantasy life about the grown-up Harry. (It's a sickness, I tell you! LOL!).
So what did you all think of the third HP movie, Prisoner of Azkaban, if you've seen it? I was soooo hyped about it that I stood out in the rain for almost two hours to get tickets and if I hadn't been able to get in on opening night, I probably would have cried. No joke. I take my Harry very seriously.
The first part of the movie I was completely enthralled. Love, love, love what this director did with the story--the music was awesome, so were the settings (although the different feel to the castle and Hagrid's hut took a bit of getting used to), gone was the "cutesy" magical stuff and left in its place was an edgier, more adult fantasy/magic feel that better fit the series. I have to admit, though, that the first time I saw it I was distracted by the discrepancies with the book. There were some things I felt should have been in the movie that simply...weren't. And some things that were that weren't totally true to form. Because of that, I told my hub I needed to see it again before I could decide whether I loved it or not(I felt the same way in the Lord of the Rings movies--the first time for each was me being nitpicky comparing to the books, but once I got over that hurdle, the second and consecutive times I could enjoy them for what they were).
Needless to say we went to see Prisoner of Azkaban again a few days later. Loved it! Really loved it. Will probably see it again...several times...in the theater. (How long until it's out in DVD and #4 is in theaters?!?!?! Argh!!)
And now, of course, I'm fantasizing about Harry more than ever. :)
Yeah, I decided to jump on the bandwagon and do this blog thing. To be honest, for a writer, I've always been notoriously BAD at keeping a journal. So I can't promise I'll post every day or even every week, but I will toss out bits of this and that as they come to me. :)
Gotta thank my hub for coming up with the awesome title for my blog. My mind was pretty empty. (Just finished writing a book...what do you expect?! Creativity gives me brain drain.) Hub was giving the dog a bath. "Hey," I said, "quick, give me a name for this thing I'm going to do." "The Rhodes Less Traveled," he said, without thinking twice.
Damn, I knew I married that man for a reason! LOL! He's cute and thinks fast on his feet!
I'm an opinionated chick with a decent sense of humor and a vocabulary that's way too smutty for someone who grew up as a "good" girl. I write books for a living...more specifically, gay male romance stories. I'm passionate about gay romance! I love hot, steamy stories about gay men meeting, falling in love, and finding happily-ever-afters. I love to read them and I love to write them! So I do...write them. Because there's nothing better than having a job you love! If you'd like to learn more about my published gay fiction, check out my website at www.mlrhodeswriting.com :)