All right, settle down, settle down… it’s been a busy few weeks and we are heading into … ah… an interesting year so just take a deep breath and relax a second with me while I share something with you.
I don’t usually get all bent out of shape over the comments people make on my Facebook posts. I mean, most of them are positive or in some way propping me up (the whole purpose of being on FB, no, Liz Acolytes?) after all. I recall with some shame my early, damp-behind-the-ears days as an author trying to build an audience with my clever banter and repartee. Because it was more about my whining. And moaning. And crying into my booze glass (see: Don’t Drink and Tweet).
Sigh…all right, I’ll admit it. I was One of Those People who, if I wasn’t humble bragging I was begging for sympathy for my latest agent/publisher rejection. In short, I was a drag.
I have since learned that the Book of Face is a way more fun place if you try and make it that way—humor goes a hell of a long way some days. That’s lesson #1 for you this month. You’re welcome.
Point #2: I’d like to make goes back to my original statement about getting bent out of shape over things folks might say in a comment on my page. I keep my actual posts fairly free and clear of politics, even in this day and age wherein the temptation to (fruitlessly) engage with anyone who doesn’t agree with me is most sorely tempting. So, I post innocuous tidbits…smart ass cartoons, word play, not-so-mildly sexual innuendo if I think I can get away with it. I also talk about movies/books/tv shows I love.
Here in lies Liz, officially getting bent out of shape over a comment. To wit: I posted something (I remember not exactly what) in favor of the latest Star Wars installment: Rogue One. One of my absolute fav things about these last 2 movies was the women in the forefront—as Heroes—not hapless heroines, awaiting rescue.
I didn’t even say this, though. Just pointed out that I saw, and highly enjoyed the movie. One of the comments from a fellow female human stated flat out that she “wondered if anyone else was like her and tired of all these strong females in movies. Give her a big strong hero any day of the week.”
Well, after years of practice, I’ve learned not to go with my knee-jerk, totally rude response to things I find, um, stupid on social media. After all, EVERYONE has an a**hole…and an opinion and are fully entitled to both. But this really got to me, especially considering all the high-level normalization of sexual abuse thanks to some folks in the wider media and their p*ssy-grabbing ways.
But I simply said, “Well, I know that I, and my 2 strong/smart daughters LOVED these women as role models.” And left it at that. I think there may have been some further discussion but I absented myself from it, by way of not getting further bent, if you know what I mean.
It made me think hard about my own tendencies when crafting female main characters in books. I have been criticized (everything from mild wrist-taps to utter excoriation to twitter flame campaigns) for daring to present women in my books who don’t require rescuing by anyone – except perhaps themselves and a long weekend with their friends and a case of wine. Who, upon encountering the requisite over-the-top Hero Dude are skeptical, if willing to partake in a little nookie since all these dudes are experts at it.
Once they snap off a piece of Mr. Fine and Dandy though, many of my female characters won’t commit to him. He is, by genre definition, many times the proverbial Bad Boy. He’s the one who’s gone through approximately thirty-one or thirty-two years of life banging every chick on every elevator he can find, while pining for his One True Love who probably died of cancer before the book started, leaving him the ruined, man-whore wreck that he is.
Some of my lead females even sample a few other male wares, before coming back to said Mr. Wonderful In Bed. (THIS got me in the most trouble…but I say, “how else can she know, unless she compares?”)
I’m not saying that’s NOT a killer set up for an “enemies to friends” trope, or a “bad boy gets super good thanks to the love of a pure woman” thing. God knows I’ve written it, lots of times.
However, I tend to keep my women on this side of skeptical, self-protective even, unwilling to simply dive into the HEA with their eyes closed and their legs open. If Mr. Randy Pants really wants to her to wear his obnoxious ten-karat diamond and give up her job to raise his spawn or whatever, Dude has got to EARN that…and not via multiple orgasms either.
I guess my point here (and I do have one. Stand by), is that strong women are my favorite type to write. And I am not talking about the kind who cave with one kiss, or screw, or trip in a helicopter either. I’ve even broken up marriages in books by making my women unwilling to take crap off their men—a break-up makes the make-up so…much…sweeter!
Learning how to love is, to me, one of the best plots in any books, romance or otherwise. I get the need for fantasy, but that tiny little bent-out-of-shape moment over a “Where Are The Real Men Who Will Rescue All the Women in Movies?” comment really made me ponder why I like my ladies strong, smart, comfortable with their own sexuality (thanks, much). Willing to share in an equal relationship with Mr. Hot Stuff—AFTER he earns to right to be her life partner.
Whatever your preference, reading, writing or otherwise, be sure to support your favorite authors by talking about them on social media, posting your reviews, or sharing your experience reading their books with your reader friends!
Stay warm, my friends.
Amazon best-selling author, mom of three, Realtor, beer blogger, brewery marketing expert, and soccer fan, Liz Crowe is a Kentucky native and graduate of the University of Louisville currently living in Ann Arbor. She has decades of experience in sales and fund raising, plus an eight-year stint as a three-continent, ex-pat trailing spouse.
With stories set in the not-so-common worlds of breweries, on the soccer pitch, in successful real estate offices and at times in exotic locales like Istanbul, Turkey, her books are unique and told with a fresh voice. The Liz Crowe backlist has something for any reader seeking complex storylines with humor and complete casts of characters that will delight, frustrate and linger in the imagination long after the book is finished.
Don’t ever ask her for anything “like a Budweiser” or risk bodily injury.
Speaking of strong chicks, my latest novel TAPPED, currently available for pre-order from the publisher and on Amazon, features one of the strongest, most independent Liz-Style Female Heroes Yet Written. But SHE gets not one, but TWO Mr. Hot ‘n Handsomes by the end…and yeah, “it’s complicated.”
TAPPED releases 2/14/17.
Blurb: When wealthy brewery owner Austin Fitzgerald meets sexy saleswoman Evelyn Benedict, angry sparks fly. They seem destined to clash, until a hot hookup in a cold beer cooler changes everything.
For Austin, it’s a life-altering moment that sets him on a path away from his birthright, while Evelyn must face her fears about committing to a man considered the playboy of the micro-brewing world.
The power of preconceived notions nearly tears them apart—until they meet up with brew master Ross, who opens their eyes to a deeper, even more erotic connection. But three strong personalities don’t always make for the best emotional mix and when a simple misunderstanding causes chaos, it’s up to Ross to repair the tattered shreds of their relationship.