Friday, 30 March 2012

The 'Lad Factor'


I am three complete chapters into my new book and something has hit me.

(I'm not sure it's actually a problem per se, but it's definitely caused me to pause and consider a few things).

Swan Song had a likeable immortal femme fatale and a very unlikable very human male (upon which the story rested). It was an intimate character study into two characters and their relationship. It existed between them and for them, so whatever they got up to, hey, it's how they get their yucks, right? No matter how doomed or damaged, essentially it was a love story.

Well, sort of.

The new book has been designed to have multiple characters, multiple scenarios and be everything Swan Song wasn't. Dialogue heavy, humourous, quick paced, more complicated, more epic, etc...

Basically, everything Twilight was, Swan Song was designed NOT to be.

Basically, everything Swan Song was, this new book is designed NOT to be.

(Get to the point, Jev!)

Okay, so now I'm free to run wild, right?

After all, this is unforgiving, British vampires at their most unremorseful we're talking about. Red blooded males with ferocious tempers and more ferocious sex drives.....

Well, I may have gone too far, as early as in the second chapter.

I may have fallen foul of the 'Lad Factor.'

Essentially, without giving anything away, the second chapter is a boy's wet dream, a boy vampire's wet dream.

It's playful and not at all smutty but loose, slutty and surprising, too early in the book. I know men will love it but what about my female readers?

(At this point, I think it's safe to say more women have read Swan Song than men!)

The only reason I bring this up is because recently I attempted reading Flirt by Laurell K Hamilton and couldn't get past the first twelve pages.

It was the work of an author who WISHED she was her main character, who had two vampires and one lycanthrope as her lovers/slaves and, naturally, they were GORGEOUS! By Chapter Three, all four of them were snuggling publicly in a restaurant and discussing which of the males would be lucky enough to take her home.

It was pure tripe. Wanton fantasy along the lines of the worst Myer condition and I couldn't get any further.

It is now I look at my second book with subjective eyes.

What if my beloved female audience (whom I worked hard to attract with Swan Song) get two chapters into my new book and hit such a laddish scene that they can't continue?

Don't get me wrong! I want to distinguish my London vampires from the immortal pussies out there, but I don't want to alienate my female readers doing so.

I am currently rolling on, full steam ahead, and leaving the chapter intact, for the moment, but the thought keeps coming back....

Do girl readers REALLY want to see boy vamps acting out?

And mortal girls paying the heavy, sexual, fatal price?

As of writing, I am undecided.......