GREY Matter

Anyone who knows me knows that I have a love/hate relationship with fan fiction. To me, it is the literary equivalent of song sampling, and I think any writer who borrows characters, plot or prose from another author should cede them a cut of all royalties. (E L James is to Stephenie Meyer as Vanilla Ice is to David Bowie and Queen.) That said, anyone who knows me probably also knows that I have BIG LOVE for FIFTY SHADES OF GREY–no lie and no shame. Sure, even a rudimentary edit to shape the story and remove excess verbiage (and to edit this trilogy is one of my ongoing fantasies) would have reduced the books by 30%, and probably have saved them from much ridicule. But, even in their current form, James brought several things to the table for her story, including a charismatic hero and some clever writing–the email exchanges and Christian’s “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” line being but two examples. I would go so far as to argue that Christian Grey is a more compelling figure than TWILIGHT’s Edward Cullen and, to me, a more romantic one.


Thus, I was giddy when the publication of GREY, a FIFTY SHADES retelling from Christian’s perspective, was announced earlier this week. Never mind that the alternate POV novel  is almost de rigueur these days (not to mention that it has also already been done by Stephenie Meyer). I literally giggled at the news, because anyone who has read the trilogy will agree that the books come alive most when Christian is on the page. And on June 18, we’ll get to be inside Christian’s head for 500+ pages. I think it will be, as Ana might mutter, “teeth-clenchingly good.” It appears that fan fiction is here to stay (thanks, Internet). And while it remains to be seen what contributions, if any, fanfic may make to the canon of great literature, even if it only serves as pop culture junk food, rather than a gourmet meal, in the case of GREY, I think it will be delicious.

Sexy Times, Sexy Tunes

Welcome to my blog! Since I’ve recently transitioned from the music industry to writing romance novels, I thought I’d kick things off with a post about my favorite romantic CDs. First, a brief housekeeping note: This blog will be intermittent until my novel’s (tbd) release date nears and then will be updated regularly. Now, with no further ado (and in no particular order), here are my favorite romantic records:

* Dierks Bentley/RISER. Dierks’ voice could probably induce swoons singing the national anthem, and it’s used to full effect here on songs like “Say You Do,” “Five” and the title song (sample lyric: “I’m gonna get down low so I can lift you higher”).

* Meiko/THE BRIGHT SIDE. I’m not sure anyone has captured all of the emotions of falling in love on one CD better than Meiko does on this record. From joyous songs like “Stuck on You” and “I’m in Love” to the sultry “When the Doors Close,” and even during a detour through love gone wrong (“Good Looking Loser”), this one is a winner from start to finish.

* Cee Lo Green/THE LADY KILLER. You wouldn’t necessarily expect the CD that includes the “stick-it-to-em” anthem “F*ck You” to also include a slew of romantic songs but, if you love the rich tradition of seductive R&B, I highly recommend THE LADY KILLER. I think every tune on this disc is a home run, but I particularly love the overt sexuality of “Satisfied” (“The least I can do is try…I want you to be satisfied”), the swoony “Old Fashioned” and the passionate plea of “No One’s Gonna Love You.”
* Roxy Music/AVALON. Hands down, this is my desert island disc. It’s ethereal. Dreamy. Awash in longing and desire. The song titles say it all: “More Than This,” “While My Heart Is Still Beating,” “To Turn You On” and my personal favorite, “Take a Chance with Me.”
What’s your go-to romantic CD? I’d love to know.