So I had some reeeeally great news a couple of weeks ago: I finalled in Red Sage Publishing’s Alpha Male novella contest.
Why is that so great? Because it’s a contest run by the Red Sage editors. These ladies had to sit down and read all the novellas submitted to the competition and pick the finalists. And they chose my novella, Even Demons Get The Blues, as one of the four finalists! I mean actual editors – that’s editors in plural – reading MY novella… That’s an opportunity that doesn’t come your way very often. Even better, actual editors (in plural!) liked my novella enough to choose it as a finalist. Yeeha! Whatever happens next, placing or not, that’s just freaking awesome!
Unfortunately it’s kinda hard to communicate that awesomeness to non-writing friends. Especially when those non-writing friends are male! My writing friends ‘get’ this competition. Alpha males and romance writers? No-brainer. My hubby gets it, too. He’s heard me spouting off about heros, heroines, HEA, GMC, alpha males etc. So explaining ‘alpha males’ to non-writing male friends… How hard could it be?
I rang up a friend, all full of my achievement, and got her hubby on the line instead.
“Congratulations!” He’s a polite guy. “So what’s the website address?” I told him the link and he went straight to it. And… wait for it… “Interesting title. Erotic romance, huh? Mmmmm.” Pause for me to blush. And then, “So what exactly is an alpha male?”
Uh oh. “Ummmm. So he’s like the bad boy every woman secretly would like to have in her bed. In real life, he’d be an arrogant, impossible SOB who took whatever he wanted and your average woman would usually run a mile coz he’d stomp all over her heart. But this isn’t real life so I kinda get to let my imagination do its thing.”
“Right. And your guy’s a demon.”
“So he’s like really bad.”
“And he gets the girl?”
And I can tell he doesn’t, not really. But he’s a sweet guy and he’s not gonna call me on it. No guy likes to be reminded women secretly fantasize about bad boys, I guess.
And I had similar conversations after my Ceroc Dance class when we were all chowing down at Dennys. The ladies ‘got’ it. The guys didn’t. Not really.
“But remember,” I tell them, “this isn’t real life. So I can have my hero be a real badass so long as he also has the opportunity to redeem himself in the eyes of my heroine and my readers. And my heroine isn’t exactly Miss whiter-than-white, either. She has issues, too. Major issues. She killed her brother-in-law when she caught him committing a truly heinous crime and she’s drowning her misery in a different man every Saturday night. Oh, and she’s being fast-tracked straight to Hell by a Destroyer Demon and…”
I can sense I’m really losing them, here. This kinda stuff is just too out there for your average kiwi man who’s into sports and cars and whose reading material usually consists of sports mags and car mags. I mean let’s be honest, unless he’s a Buffy or X-Files fan, the nearest he’s come to paranormal nasties is probably The Terminator, and what woman with half a brain wants to risk hopping into bed with one of them???
“Ummmm, I guess you’ll just have to read it for yourself. If it ever gets published,” I finish lamely, wishing I was drinking Lindauer ilo lemonade.
Non-commital mmmms all round. Except from Tony. He’s read some of my stuff already and he’s always up for reading something different. He enjoyed my Regency-style romantic fantasy with the rather erotic premise, Scent Of A Man, so he wouldn’t flinch at reading this. But then, like my husband, he’s obviously a man of impeccable reading tastes, LOL!
So was I worried about this reaction? Nah. I’m writing primarily for women, and in this case I’m hoping women want to read about a really hot alpha-type male… who just happens to also be a Demon. And not just any Demon, the last surviving Drakon. Oh, and he’s such a badass he used to be the King of Hell’s lieutenant. Until he retired and became a Beguiler. And then became obsessed with a human woman who’s been tagged by a Destroyer Demon. And… Enough. If it’s ever published you all know what you can do.
Off to bake a birthday cake for my son now. Priorities…