Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Fifty Shades of Marmite

I had a funny conversation with my mum a couple of weeks ago.  It went something like this:

MUM:  Ooh, there’s this new book out that everyone’s talking about.  It’s meant to be brilliant.
ME:  That will probably be the ‘Fifty Shades’ books.
MUM:  They say it’s saving peoples’ marriages.
ME:  It’s porn.
MUM: Oh.  Is it selling well?
ME:  Incredibly well.
MUM:  Why couldn’t you have written it?

Yes, my 84 year old mother, who has read my books and knows my style, asked me why I hadn’t written about bondage and the likes!  Very open minded, my mother.

So ‘Fifty Shades’, eh?  What can I say that hasn’t been said before?

I read the sample available on Amazon and didn’t like the writing style.  I haven’t read any of the juicy bits but, when a close friend told me she chucked it in the recycling after reading a third of it, I’m not likely to. We joked that it’s now ‘Fifty Shades of Brown, Green and Sludge’.

I guess it was always going to be a Marmite book - there will be those that do and those that don’t - but what will EL James care?  She must be laughing all the way to Anne Summers. And jolly good luck to her, I say, although I’m still slightly astonished by its meteoric rise to fame.  What made it stand out against the plethora of erotica on Amazon?  I mean you can’t move for whips, chains and other paraphernalia.  And I hear that publishers are looking out for the next new James - well, they need to get themselves on Amazon and check out all the Indie writers who are doing their bit for S&M.

So whilst I’m not in a position to review the book, I can pass comment on a very stupid remark made on the recent documentary about it.  The name of the person escapes me but I was left reeling by their stupidity.

‘Women are crying out for non-consensual sex’.

Excuse me?  You try telling that to working or knackered mums.  And let’s get this totally straight. Non-consensual sex is rape.  If you’re not giving your consent to have sex, you are being abused.  If you're pretending not to give your consent, then it’s called role play.

Two totally different things.  One illegal and one enjoyable.

And in answer to my mother’s question, I don’t write porn because I’m too nice!  My books leave the sex firmly at the bedroom door (and not always in the bedroom). My heroines are sexy, feisty women with healthy sexual appetites but I don’t want to ram it down my readers’ throats - so to speak.

If the ‘Fifty Shades’ series is saving peoples’ marriages - great, I’m very happy for them.  I’ve been told my ‘Mummy Misfit’ books have made women realise that they’re not alone in their insecurities and that suits me just fine.  And I also received a review entitled ‘Not Fifty Shades of Awful’, which really made me smile.

Right, I’m off to see if I can come up with a plot for a novel where Libby and Fenella open up a lap-dancing club.

Just to please my mum!

Check out my THREE books on Amazon and Lulu.  Humour and love without a whip in sight.  Oh no, that's a lie - a whip features slightly in 'THE DARKER SIDE OF MUMMY MISFIT' but not in THAT way!


  1. Hi Amanda, you're not on your own with this. I actually read the trilogy more from curiousity than anything else and also wondered what the fuss was about. Saw one reviewer's comment that her and her partner were actually trying some of this stuff out and she was really enjoying it - well I guess that's OK if it rocks her boat!
    But getting down to the baseline, I find erotica fine up until the first encounter but after that the sex just becomes very boring. What would make it less so, would be a strong story line running parallel with the bedsports but sadly these sorts of novels rarely have that.

  2. I have the first book and have read most of it. Not that great. It reminds me of a Black Lace book which used to be the in thing at the end of the 1990's.

  3. And, BusyLizzie, this 50 shades thing is so popular they've revived the Black Lace brand! It's very strange to me since I've read a bit of 50 shades and wasn't wildly impressed, but I've liked erotica for a long time, I haven't recently discovered it, and like Jo Lambert I get annoyed when the sex becomes too dull and repetitive. My favourite erotica books tend to have a proper storyline, but plenty of inventive sex as well.

    However, main thing I came here to reinforce was the consent issue - it's certainly true that lots of women fantasize about a 'rape' but what they tend to mean is definitely either pure fantasy or something they're willing to role-play. Non-consensual sex is rape. I do suspect that comment was poorly composed though.