Join us as Ethan Stone goes Outside the Margins.
Sign, sign, everywhere a sign
Blockin’ out the scenery, breakin’ my mind
Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign?
Lately I’ve been seeing warning signs everywhere and sometimes I think they’re not needed. Not just the stupid labels on products but also on books, particularly in the MM genre.
I like it when movies or TV shows or books surprise me. There’s nothing like holding a hand to my mouth and murmuring, “Oh, damn.” One of my favorite shows of all time is Grey’s Anatomy. Grey’s has had several Ohmygod moments over the year including the death of both major and minor characters. I think the entertainment value would be lessened if the episode had a warning saying that a certain character was going to die.
Movies don’t start with a label telling us whodunit because that would ruin the flick. What if a movie had this warning? This movie has a character with podophilia.
If I didn’t know what it meant I might just pass on it. Or I might look it up and figure it podophilia is just a fancy term for a foot fetish. Nothing against those who may enjoy foot play, but it’s not my thing. So I might not watch the movie.
But what if the podophiliac character is a minor one and there isn’t any on screen sexual activity showing the foot worshipping? I could be missing out on a very good movie because of an unneeded label.
I believe the same things happen with the warnings on our books.
Now, to be absolutely clear, I am not talking about rape or extreme violence. I have no issue with those cautions. In Recruited, the third book in my Uniformity series, my main character is almost raped. It doesn’t happen but I had no problem with having a notice in the blurb.
What I’m discussing here are the belief that readers need to be warned about everything out of the ordinary, whether it’s a major part of the story or not. That’s what blurbs are for—to cover the main beats of the story.
I don’t think it’s important for the little, non-explicit scenes to be mentioned just because they’re not in the regular range of subjects.
In my new release, Small Claims, my main character, Judge Shawn Rosen goes out on a date with a friend of his brother. Things are going well on the date, though the guy, Freddy, is a little odd. It’s not until they get back to Freddy’s house and get naked does Shawn realize how odd.
Freddy refers to himself as a nurturer. He likes to take care of adult babies. Since this isn’t a kink of Shawn’s he leaves before anything sexual happen.
It’s a small scene with a minor character and doesn’t come up again. However because it fell out of what is normally published a warning label was required. Originally the label warned readers of paraphiliac infantilism.
That’s a creepy notice that could’ve scared off readers without them even knowing what it was. Or scare them off if they did know. It’s not an explicit or violent scene and I tried to write it as humorous as possible. But readers wouldn’t know that based on that single sentence warning.
A compromise was reached and instead of the original warning the blurb now includes this: Reader Advisory: This book contains a brief scene with a secondary character who has an adult baby fetish.
I wonder exactly how much readers truly need to be warned. After all, we’re all adults and we read stuff that a good part of society deems abnormal.
Title: Small Claims
Publisher: Totally Bound
Genre: M/M Romance
Judge Shawn Rosen is about to take on the toughest case of his life.
Small claims judge Shawn Rosen is comfortable in his career, but his personal life is another story. His twenty year relationship ended two years ago, but while he accepts the end, he hasn’t even started to move on. He lives a generic life.
Everything changes when Jody Jacobsen walks into his courtroom and Shawn is attracted to him. Following the case, they have a chance meeting which leads to a wild night. Waking up to cold sheets should have been a sign, but instead Shawn keeps coming back for more and eventually falls fast and hard—so hard he might be missing the clues that the commitment isn’t mutual.
There’s trouble when the case that brought them together could also tear them apart. Will Jody give in to his tendency to run, or will he finally be the man that Shawn deserves?
Reader Advisory: This book contains a brief scene with a secondary character who has an adult baby fetish.
~ Ethan Stone
About Ethan Stone
Ethan Stone is an out and proud gay man. Which is fairly new in his life, the out part, not the gay part. He’s been queer his whole life, though he tried to deny it for years with a wonderful woman. The years in denial weren’t all bad, he has two amazing kids out of it. His son is a teenager and his daughter has made him a grandfather, three times over. A way too young grandfather.
Ethan recently returned to Oregon after almost a decade in Nevada. He no longer has a day job and is doing his best to make a living at this writing thing. If he can’t make a living, he at least wants to support his Mt. Dew and beef jerky addictions.
Readers can find Ethan online.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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