When I was invited to participate in the “Clean Authors $.99 Back-to-School eBook Sale” event, I thought, “What a great idea!” The intention is to collect a whole bunch of “clean” books (sans sex, swearing, and graphic violence) all together in one place and offer them at bargain prices. Readers can buy with confidence, getting some great deals and discovering new authors who write to their tastes. And for authors, it’s a chance to connect with a whole new range of potential readers. I signed on right away.
Clean. “That’s for me,” I thought. I never write anything I would be embarrassed to have my mother or my pastor’s wife read. The Darcys of Pemberley might be rated PG or PG-13 for several allusions to sex (Darcy and Elizabeth are married, after all!), but For Myself Alone and Return to Longbourn are positively chaste.
I’ve always felt like there’s a bit of a gap in the genre spectrum, and that I fall smack into it. My novels have strong romantic themes, yes, but I inwardly cringe if someone tries to label them “romance novels.” To me, that term means something else entirely; just take a look at the covers on most the books in that section. And what about Jane Austen, whom I pattern my writing style after? I can’t claim to be on her level, but would any educated person ever say she wrote romance novels? I don’t think so! She’s shelved in “literature.”
So where does that leave me? In a crack somewhere – not belonging in “romance” but not in “Christian fiction” either. And I’ve yet to walk into a book store (virtual or brick-and-mortar) and see a shelf labeled “clean fiction.” Maybe this event is as close as we come.
Tastes vary, but if yours tends toward a “clean read,” I hope you’ll visit the official Clean Authors site for this one-day special event. I’m sure you’ll discover some great books at bargain prices. I’m featuring For Myself Alone and offering it at $.99 on Kindle for a limited time only! Here’s the direct link.
My only quibble with the event is a question of semantics – the use of the term “clean authors” itself, as if it’s the character of the person and not the content of the book being described. Perhaps it’s a minor point, but then I’m constantly striving for le mot juste (just the right word). Occupational hazard.
Such was Catherine Morland at ten. At fifteen, appearances were mending… Her love of dirt gave way to an inclination for finery, and she grew clean as she grew smart; she had now the pleasure of sometimes hearing her father and mother remark on her personal improvement. “Catherine grows quite a good-looking girl – she is almost pretty today,” were words which caught her ears now and then; and how welcome were the sounds! To look almost pretty is an acquisition of higher delight to a girl who has been looking plain the first fifteen years of her life than a beauty from her cradle can ever receive. (Northanger Abbey, chapter 1)