#FiftyShades v. #Addicted Trailers

Two highly anticipated erotic books are coming to the big screen. Yay! Since I write in the genre somewhat, I have an interest in watching how well they do. Let’s take a look at the trailers, shall we?

This is the Addicted trailer, based on the novel by Zane.

This is the link, in case the video doesn’t show up for you.

And this is the Fifty Shades of Grey trailer, based on the book trilogy by E.L. James.

This is the link, in case the video doesn’t show up for you.

Okay. Let me be honest. I have watched the Addicted trailer more times than I can count. No, it is not affiliated with Tyler Perry! In fact, the book was out loooong before his Temptation movie, or Unfaithful (which I loved), or even the Fifty Shades books. In my humble opinion, it has PERFECT casting: Sharon Leal, Kat Graham, Tasha Smith, Boris Kodjoe, William Levy, and Tyson Beckford. Wow–hot, hot, hot. It also has a great song track: “Win” by Jarell Perry. Throw in a thriller about a married mother with a sex addiction, and I’ll be there early on Oct. 10th!

Contrastly, Fifty Shades of Grey features Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson. I’m just meh about that. Jamie’s good eye candy, but I would have been more excited if fans had gotten who they most wanted like Matt Bomer or Ian Somerhalder (my pick). I don’t have much to say about Dakota. She wouldn’t factor into my radar anyway, since I’d be completely focused on the G-man. The song track gives us an exclusive version of Beyonce’s “Crazy In Love”. Nice. Before the trailer ends, we get a look at Grey’s red room, but other than that, I found it boring. Sadly. Don’t get me wrong, I intend to see it when it comes out on Valentine’s Day 2015. I’m just not as excited about it as I am about seeing Addicted.

Based on the trailers alone, Addicted looks more appealing to me. Regarding their respective books, it just so happens, I enjoyed reading Addicted very much back in the early 2000s and intend to read it again before the movie’s release.

addicted by zane

I read only book 1 of Fifty Shades, and didn’t enjoy it as much. I’ve been encouraged by many fans to read book 2, as it was deemed much better. Maybe I will one day, since I already own it.

50 shades of grey

 

It will be interesting to see how these movies fare at the box office. We really don’t have to pick one over the other. We can go see and support them both…and hopefully, get more of our erotic favorites on the big screen.

What The Hell Is Erotica?

I’ve never thought of myself as an erotica writer, so imagine my surprise when some readers called The Narcoleptic Vampire Series “vampire porn”. Really? Ha! Total shock for me. But I’ve heard it enough by now to make me wonder if it is.

After reading Time Entertainment’s interview with ZANE, the “Queen of Erotica”, I really found myself wondering whether I miscategorized my series, especially when Zane says: “For me, I’m just doing what I must do, what I’m passionate about. I use sex as a segue to deal with a lot of deeper issues. I don’t feel like I am a sex writer or even an erotica writer. I would describe myself as a very detailed writer who does not tone down her sex scenes.”

I feel that 100%.

I’ve always believed erotica didn’t really have a storyline. It was mainly sex, sex, and mo’ sex. I’m not really interested in a book that’s only several sex scenes strung together. But I read Addictedby Zane when it first came out years ago, and I liked it a lot. I didn’t even know it was considered erotica. There was definitely an entertaining story interlinking all the sex, yet it’s mostly known for the racy sex scenes.

Like my series.

Does that mean I should be targeting a more erotica-loving audience?

Since my most recent literary influences and inspirations have come from my love of paranormal fiction, I just automatically thought my series would fit there snugly. Maybe I was wrong…particularly since I have to constantly warn people about the graphic scenes. You’ll even find a note on my webpage that says Dicey’s books are NOT erotica, although sex scenes are explicit.

So you see? Writing erotica wasn’t my intent at all. Fact is, I don’t write scenes to be erotic. I go for SHOCKING. Now that I’ve done more digging in this world of categories, I’m a bit confused. Am I writing porn that happens to include a good story or am I just writing a good story with graphic scenes?

Never mind that I took the liberty of calling my story good. What do you think is closer to the truth?

More specifically–for anyone who has read Sleepy Willow’s Bonded Soul (The Narcoleptic Vampire Series book 1)–Which do you think would be a proper label for it: paranormal romance, urban fantasy, vampire erotica, erotic paranormal, or something else? Do you think Sleepy Willow’s Heartless Soul (The Narcoleptic Vampire Series book 2) should have the same label or does it differ?

This is why I hate labels, by the way. I don’t like being boxed in. Not when it comes to religion, sexuality, or political party either. Getting my books in the right marketing channel is important, however, if I’m going to spread my poison around the globe. 😉

Note: If you’re reading this blog and have not read book 1 of this series but want to in order to give me feedback, just leave a comment and ask for it. I’ll give three FREE Kindle editions. You have to actually READ the book and give me feedback though…or I’ll add you as a character in Sleepy Willow’s Loosed Soul (book 3) that I’m currently writing. And you won’t like what happens to the character. 😀

If your comment doesn’t appear right away, please give me time to moderate it. Whenever I post something that has “sex” in it, porn sites spam my blog like crazy. I’ll have a lot of them to weed through. Thank you for your patience, and I look forward to your honest opinions.

Where Are The Black Men In Your Book?

I’ve been delaying commentary on this question/criticism for a while, but it’s time I address it. Each time I’ve been asked why there are no black men in Sleepy Willow, the reader has first said he or she LOVED the book but…where are the black men. So, I’m not sure if this is really criticism or just an observation. A somewhat inaccurate one. Nevertheless, I’ll try to answer the question thoroughly.

First–Punch is a black man. Remember him? The HUGE black man in my story? He looks something like bodybuilder Ulisses Williams, Jr. in my head:

Nice, huh?

But, I get it. Punch is not the main love interest for my heroine. That’s really the issue, isn’t it? The romance is between Willow, a black female vampire and Remi, who is…not black. So ladies and gentleman, what we have here is an interracial relationship, right? Willow’s maistre vampire, Maximilian, is…not black. That’s another one. Willow’s boss, Franco, is…not black. Another one. Willow’s nemesis, Agent Monroe, isn’t either. I could keep going down the list, but by now, if you haven’t read it, you’re beginning to understand that this is not an African-American novel. It is a multi-cultural one.

I’m going out on a limb here and guessing those who asked about the absence of black men within the story are wondering why 1) the lead female doesn’t have a black love interest since she’s black, and/or 2) why there aren’t more black men because…I am a black woman author. As in, why would a black woman author not have more black men in her books, like Terry McMillan or Sista Souljah or Zane.

It’s simple, really: it’s already been done a million times or more and I strive hard to make my books unique. I’m leaving the AA fiction to the women listed above and delving into more risque’ material. More controversial stuff. I’m adding several layers of wild and daring, not just one. I’m going beyond an older woman, younger man scenario (McMillan) and drugs and abortion (Souljah) and threesomes (Zane), though I applaud these women for writing books I’ve enjoyed immensely.

Secondly, I did everything I could to make each part of my book a surprise. When you find out Willow’s black–surprise. And when you find out everyone else’s race, religion, love interest, supernatural gift–surprise.

Willow + Punch = predictable. Predictable–> Boring.

I worked hard to keep my book UNPREDICTABLE. (Side note: I’m overjoyed that most of the reviewers respected this and posted non-spoiler reviews. Thanks!)

The Narcoleptic Vampire Series is not the only one featuring an interracial relationship, but you’ll be hard pressed to find more than a handful of paranormal romance/dark urban fantasy stories with a black female lead (first hurdle) who has a non-black romantic interest (nearly nonexistent). And that, my friends, is one of the reasons I wrote it that way.

But that’s not all.

Truth is–in order to answer this question entirely, I’d have to reveal more secrets of my creative writing process. And you know how much I hate doing that. *Being sarcastic, of course.* But seriously, you’d need to know where my ideas come from and how I develop my characters to understand how each one is written the way he or she is.

In this old post, I discussed how Remi’s character was inspired by Nir Lavi. In this old post, I discussed how Joe Manganiello inspired my character Dario. I get inspiration from random input and I run with it. Lots of times, it comes from watching a movie, developing a very short-lived crush on a character or actor, and allowing my imagination to run rampant.

If you’ve been paying attention to my blog, you know Tom Hardy has recently inspired a character or two. For sure. But I have to write my thoughts out now before I lose interest. There will be another flavor of the week really soon. Which means I’ll be inspired to write about different characters with different story lines. I’ll have to chuck the deuce to Tom and welcome my new inspiration.

More so than that, I have a nondiscriminatory policy. I like and dislike men equally. White, black, yellow, green. Doesn’t matter, as long as something stands out about him.

Hey, I just had an idea for a good green character. Wait a minute. I think Laurell K. Hamilton did that in in her Merry Gentry Fae series.

Anyway…

I have to write about whatever I feel most drawn to at the moment. Whatever is churning around in my brain and won’t let me rest until I’ve written about it…him or her–that’s how it works.

I’ve had crushes on Shemar Moore (until I met him in Atlanta while he was filming Diary of a Mad Black Woman. He was gorgeous and nice. I just lost interest after seeing him as a mere mortal), Vin Diesel (not sure he’s black, but he keeps popping up on black men lists), Tyson Beckford (gloriously chocolate), Taye Diggs (wowsie!), Morris Chestnut (I mean, did you SEE him in The Best Man?), Blair Underwood (holy moly), and Will Smith (when he’s not being silly). Just to name a few. But I can no longer write about a character based on them since I don’t feel passionately drawn to them at the moment.

Now you know the method to my madness.

I have a black man at home. A good-looking, athletic one. He’s agreed to pose for an upcoming promotion for Sleepy Willow part 2, by the way…but damn. I’m rambling today. My point is–I have a black man at home so I probably won’t develop a crush on many. Why? You got it–because that’s not different. A Brit with tats, an accent, and THOSE lips…that’s another story altogether. Yeah, I’m talking about Tom again.

Funny thing–other than Idris Elba, Denzel Washington, and Will Smith, you don’t see a lot of black men featured in sexy roles on the big screen much at all. I may have to go on a hunt and find one to base a character on, after all. Any suggestions?

I may have just wasted my time and yours trying to explain this because what you could have been asking was: “Dicey, I just love your book so much and love the characters and I’d like to see more men like Punch in your books because he’s totally hot and I love reading about black men and since you wrote one awesome black male character, I was hoping you’d write more.”

Okay. I’ll do my best. Let’s see how the mood/inspiration strikes me. 🙂