12 October 2007

Multicultural > Romance, or, How to Pleasure a Sister

Oh, we are all such busy people! Who has time to blog? But friends, let us not forget what brought us here. No need to write essays every time out of the box. But we should continue to talk about why we think innovative/avantgarde/experimental/heterodox fiction is what we all have said it is: a potential antidote to the stupidity of American hegemony in 2007! to the mindlessness of a society that knows of many ways that it's going in the wrong direction but seems powerless to stop itself!! to the simplistic selves we're told we are by advertisers politicians law enforcement officers and many many others!!! an art form at a time when books are commodities and Bertelsmann Murdoch Time Warner etc. has nearly secured its victory over us and we're at the point of near-irrelevance!!!! -- It's important to keep talking. We are not against tradition. We are a version of the tradition that's being edited out.

Or: Fuck, it's Friday afternoon & I'm home from work & no one else has been writing so I will.

A funny thing happened to me this week. I am promoting my novel Malcolm & Jack during the month of October (and so the smartest among you are now saying, oh, I see, this isn't a legitimate blog, this is just part of his marketing strategy ... but I'll just leave that thread alone ...), and have it linked on amazon.com with Jack Kerouac's new "Original Scroll" version of On the Road (See promotion here). This has made my sales rise ever so slightly (and not nearly enough to pay for the cost of the promotion).

Anyway, my novel is called Malcolm & Jack (and Other Famous American Criminals) and is centered around a conjectured meeting between Malcolm X and Jack Kerouac. It's a novel about history, underground characters during the beginnings of American empire, improvisational poetics & politics, etc.

But this bump in sales had it challenging this past week in the top 100 in sales in the "Romance > Multicultural" category. It reached as high as #56. (This corresponded to about #50,000 overall.) What other kind of books are in the "Romance > Multicultural" category? When later in the week I was #69, here were the rankings between #60-70:

60. Shattered Trust
by Leslie Esdaile (Author)

61. Jared's Counterfeit Fiancee (Silhouette Desire)
by Brenda Jackson (Author)

62. Solid Soul (Kimani Romance), by Brenda Jackson (Author)

63. The Honey Well, by Gloria Mallette

64. Bodyguard (Indigo)
by Andrea Jackson (Author)

65. No Apologies (Indigo: Sensuous Love Stories)
by Seressia Glass (Author)

66. Let's Get It On (Love Spectrum Romance)
by Dyanne Davis (Author)

67. The Politics of Love (Noire Fever)
by Giselle Carmichael (Author)

68. Baby Momma Drama
by Carl Weber (Author)

69. Malcolm & Jack (and Other Famous American Criminals)
by Ted Pelton (Author)

70. Somebody's Gotta Be On Top
by Mary Morrison (Author)

The plot of Jared's Counterfeit Fiancee is

"In the real world there was no way flower shop owner Kylie Hagan would ever meet up with millionaire Chance Steele. But the world of single parents and teenage hormones brought them together the first time -- and a simmering passion they both tried to deny wouldn't keep them apart for long.
"Chance made her think of hot, sultry Southern nights. Kylie had him imagining satin sheets and soul-stirring kisses. But in the cold light of day, they had to resist each other. There was no way they'd let uncontrollable desire ignite their carefully protected hearts.
"But some things they couldn't ignore.…"

But I like Somebody's Gotta Be On Top even better:

"So says Darius Jones. At twenty-two, he’s grown…but he hasn’t necessarily grown up. He still thinks the opposite sex exists purely for his satisfaction. Not that he doesn’t know how to pleasure a sister; he just doesn’t want them telling him the way it’s going to be. But trying to be on top all the time only gets him into trouble with the women in his life—including Fancy Taylor. With a regal bearing and skin like brown sugar, Fancy’s definitely intriguing. Darius is sure he’d enjoy sampling what the lady has to offer, but that’s all. Fancy’s past precludes her from being serious relationship material. Yet fate has a way of stepping in and putting the wrong people on the right path…
"Caught between pride and the call of his own untrusting heart, Darius has a lot to learn: about life, women, and what it takes to find and nurture real love. And if he’s not careful, he might just end up on the bottom of everything…."

Evidently, merely having Malcolm X as a title character in my novel Malcolm & Jack is enough to put it in the hot black sex soft-core. It seems to me that this was something Malcolm complained about during his lifetime, at least 40 years ago -- that the mere image of the black man sent the white establishment into a frenzy of sexual fantasy.

What do you see as the moral or lesson of this tale? Dear readers, what say ye all? Do we yet still know each other?