17 November 2013

Sex and Sensibility

Authonomy
by Leigh Lundin

I don't know a single crime writer in the Orlando area, not one. In my early days of writing, Criminal Brief readers may recall I worked with romance writers. I'm no Travis Erwin, but romancers found me useful for a couple of things. Obviously, I could offer a male's point of view and point out passages where the author had unintentionally feminized male characters. (To wit: guys don't 'dish' and they don't gossip about Angie's boyfriend's sister getting pregnant.) Further, a Rollins College writing professor discovered I had a knack for getting inside the head of women characters.

I confess I don't care much for the genre of 'romance with mystery elements,' but I don't mind 'mystery with romantic elements.' The difference is that in the latter, the crimes and solutions come first and follow the rules of mystery writing. The former might turn out 'a caper' or some other variation and not follow the rules, which wouldn't satisfy a mystery enthusiast.

Mystery fans are familiar with writing partnerships, most notably Ellery Queen, but also the team called Michael Stanley, and Lincoln Child and Douglas Preston. Romance writers team up too, including at least one mother-daughter combination and, if rumors are true, one or more husband-wife teams. My friend Sharon has collaborated with others.

And so it came to pass a member of a writing partnership asked me a few days ago to mention their book, Diary of a Bad Housewife, on SleuthSayers. She and her writing partner happen to be loyal followers of SleuthSayers. One looks in often and the other is a constant reader. How could I say no?
Diary of a Bad Housewife
Mystery elements?
Not really.
A crime?
Er, not exactly.
Anybody killed?
No, definitely not.
What genre?
Um, erotica.
Erotica with a capital E?
It can be lower case.
So we're talking 50 Shades?
Of pink. Or blush. But it's better, much better, if reviews are to be believed.
So it's published?
Not yet, that's why we need readers' help.
How?
We want them to sign onto the Harper-Collins Authonomy web site and back Diary of a Bad Housewife,.
So the title character fools around?
That's just it; she doesn't. Reviewers call it 'moral erotica', classy even, literary. And it has humor and stuff.
Stuff?
You know… stuff, like sexy stuff.
Why now?
Because among the thousands of books on the Harper-Collins Authonomy web site, this at the moment is number 1. And if it stays in the top 5 through month end, we might– just might– win a publishing contract.

Authonomy, as mentioned above, is sponsored by the British publisher Harper-Collins and is a favorite site of writers wishing to air their work and collect critiques and criticism. Authors can upload any part of a book from 10 000 words upward, ten chapters or a hundred, up to an entire book. It retains author formatting (even when it's bad formatting!) and allows the reader to resize the text as needed.

I've tried Zoetrope, GoodReads, RedRoom, YouWriteOn, and others, but my ADD finds it hard to stay focused when presented with a huge smorgasbord of great writing sites. I found on those rare occasions when I wanted to discuss a book, I preferred Authonomy. Best of all, writers might earn a professional Harper-Collins critique and possibly a publishing contract.

So back to my friend and colleague's request. It's about good writing, I reasoned. It's about author web sites, I said. It's about support. And we've occasionally discussed music publishing and other odd topics of interest to our writers, I rationalized. That said, I also need to disclose I've worked on the book. And it will be a crime if you don't check it out.

Instructions for Authonomy
Diary of a Bad Housewife
  1. You have to register with Authonomy.com
  2. Fill in your profile (you don't have to use your real name) and add a photo, any picture. For some reason, they take profiles with photos much more seriously.
  3. Read the book called Diary of a Bad Housewife by elle. If you like it, back it. This is the key to everything. And give it lots of stars.
  4. If you want to give an extra boost and establish your street creds: Read and rate a couple of books you like over a day or two until you establish a numerical rating. This establishes your bona fides.

Thank you all, whether you participate or not.

A Few Author Community Web Sites
AbsoluteWrite
Authonomy
AuthorsDen
AuthorAdvance
CrimeSpace
GoodReads
Litopia
RedRoom
WritersCafe
Writing.com
YouWriteOn
Zoetrope

4 comments:

Vicki Kennedy said...

Good morning, Leigh! I so hope your novel stays number one on Authonomy and you all get a contract from Harper Collins. I haven’t had time to get back on since I read it a few weeks ago and backed it. I hope it helped. Keeping my fingers crossed for you.

A Broad Abroad said...

Most interesting, Mr Lundin. Never a dull moment on SS.
Not my usual genre, but from what I've read so far I’d say it was more a romance with a touch of erotica than vice versa – not that I'm an authority on erotica, you understand! [blush] There is decidedly more substance to this than a cheap airport ‘fat-‘n’-filthy’. Will keep an eye on the book’s progress, especially come month-end. Wishing your team well.

Dixon Hill said...

"A cheap airport fat-n-filthy." -- That sounds like me waiting for a flight during a long layover. LOL

Can't wait to check out the book, Leigh. Gotta say, "erotica" is exactly what the title immediately made me think.

--Dix

Leigh Lundin said...

(laughing) You and me both, Dixon!

Vicki and ABA, I know the partners and the plot– and yes, it does have a plot. It's surprisingly intelligent.