Friday, April 16, 2010

Lead or Follow

This is a topic that came to mind while I was shopping in Cheyenne, where I bought a few books. But have a few points first.

I bought books, yay! Okay, I didn't really need more books to read but come on. I was in Barnes and Noble. How could I not buy some books? There were a few I wanted that I still am not buying, but that will be discussed at a later topic. So, what did I buy? On Writing by Stephen King (Yeah, a shelf full of books on writing and I'm just now buying King's *slap on wrist*), Changeless by Gail Carriger (I saw the youtube video of the cover being made for the next book and it caught my attention) and Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer (picked at random from searching the YA section, liked the cover and it was paperback).  They will be part of a personal read-a-thon.

Read-a-thon! In order to get some reading done, I've decided to do a personal read-a-thon the first week of May. Anyone who wants to join me, can. My goal is to read 10 books, which might seem small for some but I haven't read 10 books in the last year, let alone in one week.

Remember, my book giveaway ends on the 18th. Don't forget to enter and maybe try to follow the rules, maybe. If you have entered but didn't follow the rules, don't worry. This time, since I'm new to all this, I'll let it slide. ;-)

Now the topic: Lead or Follow

Most of the time, the general rule is that it's better to be a follower but there are some times and people where that isn't the case. Maybe it's just me. I feel like there are times when I would like to follow and not be a leader. But it doesn't work out this way.

To use a non-writing example first. I read tarot cards. Not often, but I do know how to read them. When I was first starting out back in junior high and high school, I hoped that someone would come along (online or in person) who would teach me. Never happened. By high school, I was teaching other people online how to read tarot. I didn't have anyone to learn from, or "follow" in this instance.

Now for writing. I'm sure that many of the authors who are viewed as leaders in their genre never planned it that way. Bet they never really thought they would lead the way in trends, influencing people to read, or anything like that. Then there are the people who follow. I'm not saying they do it on purpose, it just so happens to work out in their favor because the book they loved to write fits. It's not an intentional follow, but it happens.

I wish I had something/someone to follow. Why don't I? Try this drill. Go into say, the YA section, or another fiction genre section in a regular bookstore. How many gay books can you find just by looking at the shelves? Yeah, umm I found 3 in YA. 2 Rainbow Boys ones and then one other right next to them. The chance of gay main characters becoming a trend or obvious is rather slim... okay, very slim. My sister (wants to work in publishing) actually told me that I should write straight characters because it stands more of a chance of being published. But that is one thing I won't ever change in my stories. My characters are gay and I'd rather never be published than change them.

Take Writing.Com for example. I write erotica on there and recently a set of classes were created to help people learn how to write erotica. Am I going to enter? No. Do I need help? Yes. But the people running the classes, same ones from contests I enter, have a preference for straight erotica. The one gay round the main contest had, I was the judge. If I want there to be a class that helps glbt writers along with the others, then I'll have to teach it.

Then there is the erotica newsletter on the site. There was a recent poll and one of the questions was whether or not we felt there needed to be more glbt topics in the newsletter. Guess who gets to write those newsletters? Yep, me. I just sent in my first one about publishing opportunities for glbtq stories.

Okay, I have officially rambled.

I guess my main point is. I wish I had something/someone to follow that are obvious. I'd love to not have to spend hours online just to find a couple of books. I don't know how capable I am in leading, or if the chance will even occur when it comes to this book stuff. And that worries me.


Ashelynn D. Sanford said...

But look at it this way: if your stories do get published, they'll stand out because they're unique - there aren't others like them.

You're writing a risky subject, and I admire you for that. Sometimes you just have to dive in order to swim. (In all honestly, I don't know what I said. I think I'm just rambling...)

Ashley Ladd said...

For adult GLBT novels and have several.

In fact, in adult erotic romance, M/M gay romance is a huge seller right now.