Thursday, May 31, 2012

Too Much Sex?

I have a confession to make - I love to read bad reviews on bestselling authors. Yep. Even those of my favorites, it brings me a little sense of joy to see one and two star reviews. Maybe it just makes me feel better that I don't have all five star reviews. Or maybe, I feel like even those who are in the top of the game have those who dislike their work.

While going through an author's reviews, an author whom I used to love her work, I noticed a trend in the reviews - too much sex. I won't name the author, as I'm not into giving bad reviews (or at least giving out the names), but I will tell you this is a bestselling author who happened to have a great series...until about halfway through the series. It then turned into bestiality fetish erotica. The storyline just disappeared.

Now, obviously, I have nothing against erotica, or really great sex scenes, but this author seemed to have decided as long as someone was having sex she no longer needed a plot for the books. Many of her previous fans have dropped both series and opted to find other new authors.

This whole thing got me thinking; what would it take for your most hardcore fan to turn their back on you?

When we pick up a book, whether this is a new-to-us author or someone we've been reading for years we expect a certain kind of writing. With the author I spoke of above, we expect the character to be stubborn, and almost paranoid that every male is a chauvinist. We also expect gory murder scenes, great plots, a little suspense, and a great crime solving ending. However, in the last half of both series, it seems the author got either bored, or was being pushed too hard to complete too many books in such a small amount of time. I don't know which, and probably will never know.

In a way, it's kind of like certain genres of books or movies; in romances, we expect a happily-ever-after. In suspense, we expect a great who-done-it. In horror, we expect to feel like we should be reading/watching through our fingers. What we don't want is a romantic hero who decides at the very end he doesn't really love the heroine, and wants to now become a celibate monk. We don't want to watch a suspense where you can guess who did it in the first five minutes. And we really don't want characters who had certain opinions about sex and monogamy to suddenly become oversexed sluts with a tendency to screw animals.

I'm sure some of you know which author I've been talking about, but we'll let the name stay anonymous. In the meantime, have you ever stopped reading your favorite author because they suddenly stopped playing by the rules they created? What really turns you off about a book?