So, I got my royalty check. It covers the period from January to June this year. Thus, before I release the figure, I would like to say, please keep in mind that this period is before the nations’ pants have been set on fire by Fifty Shades of Grey. That is, it’s pre the erotica boom. What I mean is: Lower your expectations, people!
Still, I can’t deny it is a tad disappointing.
Its shit, isn’t it? Goodbye Monaco, hallo Clacton.
So, I lie in bed, even though its 2 o’clock in the afternoon and I have to get up and do the school run and I ask myself: Tabitha Flyte, where did it all go wrong? Why did E L James hit the big-time and you hit the weeny-weeny teeny-tiny time?
1. It can’t be the titles. My titles were ‘carry on’ funny whereas Fifty Shades of Grey has been variously described as a something B and Q would sell or an orgy in an old people’s home.
2. It can’t be the sex. My books had it all. You name it. There wasn’t one position I didn’t have covered. I had spread-sheets and everything! The sex was sexy, funny and orgasmic (but not ridiculously so) There was love too, sometimes. And tension and plot and stuff you have to go to creative writing classes to learn.
3. It can’t be the lack of spanking, could it? Hmm. The books didn’t have that much BDSM but there was some. It was probably a bit half-hearted, but then, I thought so was E L James’s.
4. It can’t be the writing. I can’t believe that. I refuse to believe it. If so, shoot me now!
5. It can’t have been that I didn’t use the phrase ‘inner-goddess’ enough, could it? Ha! I never used the word inner-goddess but surely that goes in my favour?
6. It can’t have been that my female characters are strong and feisty and do not think love will change a man? Again, surely that was a good thing!
But then I come across the reason, the only answer that is plausible, and the good thing about it is that this answer blames someone else entirely and this really appeals to me. Now, in professional terms what I will now proceed to do is called ‘biting the hand that feeds you’ or even ‘career suicide’, but when your royalty check is £56 I think it’s fair to say I’m already pretty much dead. Anyway, I’m not blaming the cover designer himself because he would only be obeying orders (why do I say ‘he’? Just intuition I guess) but a way of thinking – the thinking being women would buy a book with a cover that looked like this!
I give you: THE BOOK COVER
Exhibit A. Fifty Shades of Grey. A silver, patterned tie. Suggestive. Evocative. The emblem of modern masculinity and wealth and of, umm, tying things up. It hints at excitement within.
Exhibit B. Full Steam Ahead. A large thighed lady drinks a large milkshake from a popular fast food restaurant. Now, I’ve nothing against ladies with large thighs drinking milkshake but why oh why is she on the cover of my book? Why is she wearing an animal print fur coat? I hate fur. And if it’s that cold that she must wear fur, then why is she nekkid underneath? And what’s with the hair? That is terrible hair. (It’s a little like mine, but I would never wear one of those terrible hair bands, well not since the 1980’s I wouldn’t.) It hints at more milkshakes within. And a cheeseburger and fries please. Would you be seen reading this on the train? I’m thinking no.
If I had written the masterpiece that is Fifty Shades of Grey, no doubt, my picture editor would have put Paul Daniels on the cover with little Bonnie Langford in leopard skin bent over his side feeding him Krispy Kreme donuts.
Could it be, a tie, a simple silver tie was all that lay between me and my own book aisle at Tescos?
I hope knot! (boom boom).