PDA

View Full Version : Novel About Romance Between a 30 Year Old & a 16 Year Old Grabs a 7 Figure Deal



Bogna
06-17-2012, 07:17 AM
Tracey Garvis Graves of Clive signed a two-book deal with Dutton & Plume, which she says is worth “seven figures, a good seven figures.”
. . . .
“It’s life-changing,” said Graves, who chronicled her path from rejection to viral e-book sensation last month in the Des Moines Register. “I’m happy for my good fortune and humbled by it. I’m not sure what happened.”

What happened is this: The 45-year-old Clive mother of two rose before the sun and work at Wells Fargo every day and tapped out a steamy novel about a 30-year-old English teacher shipwrecked on an island with a 16-year-old student. She was rejected by 40 book agents and 14 traditional publishers so she spent $1,500 for editing and formatting and posted the e-book on Amazon.com. It sold only 100 copies in the first month, then took off by word of mouth and thousands of positive online reviews from readers.

A paperback was offered and by last week the title rose to No. 7 for e-books and print sales combined on the New York Times best-seller list.
http://www.thepassivevoice.com/06/2012/after-viral-e-book-iowa-author-inks-seven-figure-deal/

What? WHAT?! I know that 16 is the legal age in some states and countries, but this still disturbs me.

kaitie
06-17-2012, 07:24 AM
Ugh. It's even worse that he's* her teacher. There is so much wrong with that in terms of abuse of power.

*Gotta love my automatic assumption here. Goes to show I should read more of the summary before drawing conclusions.

Bogna
06-17-2012, 07:25 AM
Exactly. I really hope that the author is lying about how much money she got.

kaitie
06-17-2012, 07:29 AM
Whoa, just saw in the other thread that this is one of ours, and a book that we've talked about for awhile. I never realized it was about this topic.

Are you sure it's erotica? Because as someone who has read Lolita, I'm not necessarily opposed to this sort of thing, but it is kind of squicky for me if it is done to be titillating. I do find it interesting that the teacher is actually a woman. Reading the full summary (http://www.mediabistro.com/galleycat/tracey-garvis-graves-inks-7-figure-deal-for-self-published-romance_b53028), though, makes me more intrigued. It would all depend on how the relationship was handled and portrayed.


As weeks become months, the castaways encounter many obstacles including violent tropical storms, the many dangers lurking in the sea, and the looming possibility that T.J.’s cancer could return. But as their bond grows stronger with each passing birthday, Anna begins to wonder if the biggest challenge of all might be living with a boy who is gradually becoming a man.Actually, reading this it sounds like the relationship takes place when they're both older before it turns sexual, which changes things. Sounds pretty interesting, honestly.

Bogna
06-17-2012, 07:33 AM
I'm not positive it's erotica, I haven't read it. I'm just going off of the description from comments I'd seen on other sites.

kaitie
06-17-2012, 07:34 AM
The article calls it women's fiction. I'd change the title of this, actually, because it's misleading. It sounds like it's a women's fiction piece about a woman and her relationship that grows over a long period with a person who she wouldn't normally be with.

Hell, that summary you linked sounds like it's intentionally trying to make it sound risque. I'm wondering if someone was hoping to strike a chord with the 50 Shades crowd?

Soccer Mom
06-17-2012, 07:36 AM
It's not an erotic novel and there is no sexual contact when he is a sixteen year old. It's women's fiction. The author is a member here. You can actually find the original query letter here (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=205896&highlight=Anna+Emerson). That will tell you more about the story.

kaitie
06-17-2012, 07:39 AM
The more I'm hearing about this the more I want to read the book. :) I'm going to have to check this one out. I love survival stories.

Soccer Mom
06-17-2012, 07:40 AM
It's really a very good book.

Bogna
06-17-2012, 07:41 AM
It's not an erotic novel and there is no sexual contact when he is a sixteen year old. It's women's fiction. The author is a member here. You can actually find the original query letter here (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=205896&highlight=Anna+Emerson). That will tell you more about the story.

Ohh thank you. Now I'm annoyed with the website that I found it through. They all make it sound like erotica.

kaitie
06-17-2012, 07:43 AM
They seriously did, and I don't blame you for thinking that. I'm just glad I clicked the other article like literally two seconds after yours. My guess is someone was trying to either stir up controversy or, like I said, play on the 50 Shades thing.

That's actually the second ridiculously misleading article I've read today. *Goes off to grumble about what the media has become these days*

SomethingOrOther
06-17-2012, 07:54 AM
*Goes off to grumble about what the media has become these days*

Breaking News: SomethingOrOther Pulled Out His Dick

[We'll be back after these messages from our sponsors.]



ens novel and read a dozen pages. When interviewed about the symbolism, he said, "What is a news crew doing in my room? Get out of here." Back to you, Melissa.

Al Stevens
06-17-2012, 08:24 AM
"On the Island." I bought and read the e-book edition. It is very good. I wouldn't call it strictly woman's fiction, though.

The book is split into two POVs with every other chapter being the other POV as they struggle to survive on a remote island after a plane crash in the ocean and as they deal with the inevitable sexual tension. Without that, the story would not have been believable. The sex descriptions are tame compared to what I see in some of the murder mysteries my wife reads.

Congratulations to Tracey for her success with this work.

kaitie
06-17-2012, 08:26 AM
Congratulations to Tracey for her success with this work.

Ditto that!

backslashbaby
06-17-2012, 10:25 AM
Cross-post! Sorry :)




It sounds really good!

Me, if it's a tropical island and I thought we may never get off of it, I could totally see that (depending on how mature the late teen/20-yr-old was). It's an interesting conundrum, how the age difference may or may not matter in such a different environment.

My problem with it might be that the author treats it more prudishly than I might have, lol! If she's way too squicked out, I'd find it hard to relate :ROFL:

Channy
06-17-2012, 10:48 AM
Wow, kudos to her. I haven't been here for very long but I recognize seeing her postbit/avatar/name around in some threads. It's so encouraging to see some success stories like this coming from a community you frequent. Maybe we all won't be so lucky to land a 7 figure deal after going to e-pubbing, but surely some of us land 5 or 6 on the first go.. or reach success only as e-pubbers. Whatever the case, that's so great to read. Congrats!

seun
06-17-2012, 04:23 PM
Maybe it's a UK thing (our age of consent is 16), but my squick button isn't pushed by the idea of a 30 year old woman getting down with a 16 year old boy any more than it would be if the genders were reversed.

Phaeal
06-18-2012, 12:56 AM
Heh, takes more than a 30/16 split to squick me out, unless coercion is involved. There could be implicit coercion in any relationship between an authority (boss, teacher, priest) and a subordinate, but I don't think that applies to this book.

kaitie
06-18-2012, 12:58 AM
That was actually what squicked me out more than the age initially. However after reading the full summary, I'm not really concerned about it anymore. I don't think that's really a factor here, either.

fireluxlou
06-18-2012, 01:04 AM
All the book bloggers seem quite furious about this book getting a deal on twitter because they are saying it's abuse of power and 'CAN YOU BELIEVE this what it takes to sell a book these days?'.

I recognised the book because I remember her posting around here, I thought 'oh that's great to see she had great success with it!' and they seemed to shoot down my positivity :/

Al Stevens
06-18-2012, 01:05 AM
That was actually what squicked me out more than the age initially. However after reading the full summary, I'm not really concerned about it anymore. I don't think that's really a factor here, either.When you read the book, you'll see that it isn't.

kaitie
06-18-2012, 01:14 AM
I'm sure, Al. My original thought was based on a very biased snippet in the original article mentioned above, which made it sound really awful. I read it to my boyfriend later when I was complaining about it and he had the same reaction I did.

The actual book summary makes it sound awesome, though, and I'm not kidding when I say it's on my list to read now.

kaitie
06-18-2012, 01:17 AM
All the book bloggers seem quite furious about this book getting a deal on twitter because they are saying it's abuse of power and 'CAN YOU BELIEVE this what it takes to sell a book these days?'.

I recognised the book because I remember her posting around here, I thought 'oh that's great to see she had great success with it!' and they seemed to shoot down my positivity :/

I will not be surprised if this is intentionally made into a big fuss. Which might work out better for it. Controversy sells, after all.

I just wish her the best of luck no matter what happens. This is an amazing deal. The fact that she's already hit the bestseller lists while self-published is so impressive on it's own, though, so just way to go all around for her, you know?

ladyleeona
06-18-2012, 01:39 AM
It's not an erotic novel and there is no sexual contact when he is a sixteen year old. It's women's fiction. The author is a member here. You can actually find the original query letter here (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=205896&highlight=Anna+Emerson). That will tell you more about the story.

Ah ha! I was wondering why the the idea sounded familiar--I remember reading that query when it was first posted in QLH. The age difference didn't/doesn't squick me out. I'm putting on my TBR pile, actually.

So Tracey, congrats on the deal and hitting the list:)

To me this is yet another reminder that AW's filled with some verra talented folks. (FWIW, I'm just happy to be here amongst y'all.)

LadyV
06-18-2012, 01:47 AM
I'll admit that I'm a bit of a prude, but after reading this, I'm not offended by the plot. It seems that the relationship wasn't created just to shock the reader, it seem it just happens. And it's not like "Teacher sleeps with student," is anything new nowadays. What I'd like to know is why do these women want to hook up with a kid? Is it a power trip?

lorna_w
06-18-2012, 01:53 AM
so interesting to go back to QHL and watch the Q evolve. And it's really a romance between a 33 year old and a 19 year old cancer survivor, both of which tell me I might buy it (kids who survive cancer can grow up fast), despite that they arrive on the island a few years earlier.

To me, much more interesting is that the query letter either did not work...or she read up on anti-trade-pub sites and decided to go epub instead from the first. It has to give people here heart that if their betas and they think it is a really good novel, and not a single agent wants it...there's still hope. Cool!

ETA: if the author herself wanted to stir up controversy, or the publisher, by casting it as pedophilia and thinking "there is no such thing as bad publicity" I'd guess they'd be wrong. But that's not the case here, is it?

James D. Macdonald
06-18-2012, 04:30 AM
All I can say is Good for Her.

People who buy, read, and enjoy one novel will buy and read more.

Susan Littlefield
06-18-2012, 05:22 AM
Some of the comments at the blog are meant to stir a moral controversy. Read the query letter and the story is a story about a teacher struggling with her feelings of being on an isolated island with the boy who grows into a man. By the time her interest is spurred, for whatever reason, he's an adult. I haven't read the book, but I just might.

As for Lolita, that's a whole other story.

thebloodfiend
06-18-2012, 05:00 PM
My first thought -- ugh. I sure as hell wouldn't want my fifteen-year-old sister shacking up with a twenty-nine-year old man. I wouldn't even date a guy that old. Sex reversed, I still feel the same way.

My second thought -- oh. It's not erotica. And she waits until he's legal. 19/33 is still iffy, but it makes more sense. If it were a movie, I'd watch it. Not my kind of book, though. Still, good for her.

aruna
06-18-2012, 08:49 PM
I don't know if this link has been posted before, but this novel has been discussed on this thread -- with author input:
http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=243193

Devil Ledbetter
06-18-2012, 09:48 PM
All I can say is Good for Her.

People who buy, read, and enjoy one novel will buy and read more.
This.

When I read the initial description in the OP, I thought "Huh. I'm sure I heard of that novel before. How can it be new?" Now that I see it's TanglewoodTracy's, it makes sense.

Way to go, Tracy!

kayleamay
06-18-2012, 10:02 PM
Reading this description of the book then reading the comments left on the blog in the OP has left me thinking that people are overreacting to the "sensationalism" of this deal. It sounds rather benign to me. Now I want to read it.

I don't remember The Reader getting slammed like this and that "boy" was actually a boy, not 19 or 20 years old. If it's good fiction, it's good fiction.

Congrats to Tracey.

KTC
06-18-2012, 10:07 PM
http://www.thepassivevoice.com/06/2012/after-viral-e-book-iowa-author-inks-seven-figure-deal/

What? WHAT?! I know that 16 is the legal age in some states and countries, but this still disturbs me.


It is highly disturbing, as well as somewhat triggering. Doesn't matter that they are stranded together...sex should still be out of the question.

Odd...I was at a bookstore yesterday with my wife. I was in the YA section, so she came to get me and the first book she noticed caught her eye. UNTIL SHE READ THE COVER BLURB. She read it to me and it was about a 16 yo girl breaking up with her 28 yo (?) boyfriend. She put it down and said she hopes nobody ever buys it...it's wrong and disgusting.

We're not uptight. This is wrong. I wish I could say with confidence that it won't sell...but we all know it'll go off the shelf like a rocket. It's a sad world we live in.

kayleamay
06-18-2012, 10:10 PM
It is highly disturbing, as well as somewhat triggering. Doesn't matter that they are stranded together...sex should still be out of the question.

Odd...I was at a bookstore yesterday with my wife. I was in the YA section, so she came to get me and the first book she noticed caught her eye. UNTIL SHE READ THE COVER BLURB. She read it to me and it was about a 16 yo girl breaking up with her 28 yo (?) boyfriend. She put it down and said she hopes nobody ever buys it...it's wrong and disgusting.

We're not uptight. This is wrong. I wish I could say with confidence that it won't sell...but we all know it'll go off the shelf like a rocket. It's a sad world we live in.

But...wait a minute. If I'm understanding correctly, the boy and his tutor are stranded for a number of years and their relationship grows under harsh circumstances for a number of years and develops into a sexual relationship when the boy is an adult. Someone point out the taboo to me, because I'm not seeing it.

ladyleeona
06-18-2012, 10:13 PM
It is highly disturbing, as well as somewhat triggering. Doesn't matter that they are stranded together...sex should still be out of the question.

Odd...I was at a bookstore yesterday with my wife. I was in the YA section, so she came to get me and the first book she noticed caught her eye. UNTIL SHE READ THE COVER BLURB. She read it to me and it was about a 16 yo girl breaking up with her 28 yo (?) boyfriend. She put it down and said she hopes nobody ever buys it...it's wrong and disgusting.

We're not uptight. This is wrong. I wish I could say with confidence that it won't sell...but we all know it'll go off the shelf like a rocket. It's a sad world we live in.

Did you read any of the posts following the original?

KTC
06-18-2012, 10:14 PM
But...wait a minute. If I'm understanding correctly, the boy and his tutor are stranded for a number of years and their relationship grows under harsh circumstances for a number of years and develops into a sexual relationship when the boy is an adult. Someone point out the taboo to me, because I'm not seeing it.


If this is the case, I apologize. It's still skeezy in my mind...but not disgusting. Skeezy...because I don't really think it's okay for an ex-authority figure to hook up with their underlings (especially teacher-student)...but less disgusting because at least they are both adults.

KTC
06-18-2012, 10:16 PM
It's not an erotic novel and there is no sexual contact when he is a sixteen year old. It's women's fiction. The author is a member here. You can actually find the original query letter here (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=205896&highlight=Anna+Emerson). That will tell you more about the story.

Yep. Realize that now. So...not disgusting, just distasteful.

Karen Junker
06-18-2012, 10:41 PM
I agree with KTC. I'm happy for the author, but I wish she'd come up with a different schtick.

kayleamay
06-18-2012, 10:54 PM
I just don't see how a relationship between consenting adults is distasteful. I haven't read the book, but unless she was somehow grooming him for seduction at a very young age (which doesn't sound like the case), I just see it as two people that bond under difficult circumstances.

I'm still trying to see what's offensive or distasteful about it, but I don't. Is it the age difference or the teacher/student aspect?

Karen Junker
06-18-2012, 11:04 PM
For me, it's the teacher/student thing. A person in a position of power over another person who later becomes sexually involved--it smacks of grooming to me, regardless of the intentions of the parties involved. Note: I'm a former CPS caseworker and have seen lots of authority figures take advantage of people over whom they had some authority. Whether it's teacher/student or priest/choirboy or father/daughter, it still creeps me out. Obviously it is just my opinion--but I wonder if the titillation factor in the 'forbidden' relationship isn't part of the appeal of this story?

KalenO
06-18-2012, 11:17 PM
For me, it's the teacher/student thing. A person in a position of power over another person who later becomes sexually involved--it smacks of grooming to me, regardless of the intentions of the parties involved. Note: I'm a former CPS caseworker and have seen lots of authority figures take advantage of people over whom they had some authority. Whether it's teacher/student or priest/choirboy or father/daughter, it still creeps me out. Obviously it is just my opinion--but I wonder if the titillation factor in the 'forbidden' relationship isn't part of the appeal of this story?

Yes, but a teacher's position of authority and power is situational. Remove both the teacher and the student from the school system and any traditional educational framework, as the author did here, then isolate them in new roles for a number of years BEFORE the relationship develops...and I don't think you can really argue that the teacher was still in a position of power/authority over him by the time they got together.

Plus, I haven't read the novel yet, but even just from the summary, it sounds like these are issues that the woman struggles with as well, and uses as reasoning to avoid establishing a relationship. It ALSO lends the impression that she has not been keeping him alive singlehandedly for a couple years, but that she has come to depend greatly on him as well for survival - which additionally vastly redresses any power imbalance they might have began with.

Tifferbugz
06-18-2012, 11:24 PM
This thread piqued my interest so I read it. The relationship didn't strike me as skeezy at all. Two people stranded on an island together, relying on one another to survive, develop a relationship several years after they were trapped (long after the student/teacher relationship has dissipated). Never did it strike me that the teacher was being predatory.

Now if a healthy young woman and man were trapped in this situation as described, and a relationship didn't develop after all that time, that would strike me as unrealistic.

Karen Junker
06-18-2012, 11:28 PM
For me, I'd just go, "Student=Unsexy" and that wouldn't change even if we did end up surviving on a deserted island.

aruna
06-18-2012, 11:28 PM
I read it and mostly liked it, though not overwhelmingly so. I understand its appeal. As for the age difference: it wasn't yucky (and I am VERY squeamish about sex in novels). Mostly I would not like to read about such a huge age difference in lovers, regardless of which one is male/female. For me, maturity doesn't suddenly spring up at the age of 18 or whatever, and even though they may both be consenting adults, the difference in mentality between a 30 and an 18 year old is in most cases much too wide to bridge. I would have been very vexed with 30-year-adults having sex with my kids when they were 18.
The reason it works in this case is because the boy matures enormously through the struggle for survival. This is no pampered First World teenager -- he is someone who has to use brains and brawn to keep alive, and that's something that just turns a boy into a man on the inside -- he has to grow up very quickly and think on his feet to keep them both alive (as does she). The emotional bonding was very intense before they had sex. The story lacked in some respects for my particular taste (I would have liked to have seen more spiritual development, as is usual in such extreme circumstances, but that wasn't what the book was about so OK), but yucky it wasn't. (Well, maybe once or twice. But I' squeamish.)

Rhoda Nightingale
06-18-2012, 11:51 PM
The summary lost me at "stranded on a desert island." Forget age differences and authority figure power trips. That is a trope I'd be happy to never, ever see again, ever.

jaksen
06-19-2012, 12:19 AM
The summary lost me at "stranded on a desert island." Forget age differences and authority figure power trips. That is a trope I'd be happy to never, ever see again, ever.

Some people feel that way about vampires.

I personally know married couples with a wide age difference. One woman who is now 50 and her husband is 12 years younger. (Yeah, when she was 40 and he was 28 people talked. Let them talk. Some people have nothing better to do.) He was not her former student.

Also a friend who at 40 who did marry a former student, but she was 22 at the time and just finishing college. They are still married and have two boys. (He was my bio teacher in high school and later a colleague when I became a teacher.)

Another is a girl I went to high school with who started dating our English teacher as soon as she graduated (high school.) He was 32 and she 20 when they married. Not so big an age difference but omg, he was her teacher! They are still married - got married in 1972 so that's practically forever, isn't it? Oh, and they have five children.

Everyone has a different situation or circumstance, and yes, it's wrong when older takes advantage of younger, etc. But when everyone is a consenting adult I fail to see the problem.

Mags
06-19-2012, 12:54 AM
I've read the book, and enjoyed it. The book is definitely not erotica, and does not exploit the relationship. The two protagonists became emotionally dependent on one another--they have several adventures and dangerous experiences, and besides they are the only two people that they see for three years! The sexual relationship grows gradually and naturally out of the emotional relationship IMO (and as has been pointed out, everyone is of age).

The really interesting part to me was when they got OFF the island--and realized they were still in love, and had to deal with a squicked-out public. It's quite realistic in that way, I thought, though the Magic Suitcase full of shampoo that washed up on the island was a bit much.

TheRajinski
06-19-2012, 01:04 AM
It's quite realistic in that way, I thought, though the Magic Suitcase full of shampoo that washed up on the island was a bit much.

I bet Tom Hanks wished that woulda happened in Castaway. All he had was a volleyball.

:D

firedrake
06-19-2012, 01:13 AM
I'm absolutely thrilled for her.

I don't have any problem with the story line at all. I remember her query in QLH and I remember the recent thread about the book's success on Amaz0n.

I'd not be inclined to pass judgement on the premise unless I read the story first, yannow?

Mr Flibble
06-19-2012, 01:21 AM
I'd not be inclined to pass judgement on the premise unless I read the story first, yannow?

Me neither, but then that would be a pot, kettle black situation. When I was sixteen (legal here!), I had a twenty five yo BF. And no, he didn't exploit me. To begin with he thought I was older.

Anyway, bloody good job, Tracy! Heard loads of people raving about it, so the story must be good, and you deserve this.

DancingMaenid
06-19-2012, 01:47 AM
It is highly disturbing, as well as somewhat triggering. Doesn't matter that they are stranded together...sex should still be out of the question.

Odd...I was at a bookstore yesterday with my wife. I was in the YA section, so she came to get me and the first book she noticed caught her eye. UNTIL SHE READ THE COVER BLURB. She read it to me and it was about a 16 yo girl breaking up with her 28 yo (?) boyfriend. She put it down and said she hopes nobody ever buys it...it's wrong and disgusting.

We're not uptight. This is wrong. I wish I could say with confidence that it won't sell...but we all know it'll go off the shelf like a rocket. It's a sad world we live in.

Leaving aside the fact that this book doesn't seem to actually involve a romantic relationship whilst the student is underage (which I see you've acknowledged), I don't agree that it's "wrong" to depict relationships like that in fiction in the first place.

I think relationships that would be abusive in real life should be handled carefully. I'm not crazy about stories that present overly-romanticized or idealized depictions of abusive relationships, which is perhaps what you mean.

But that doesn't mean that it's wrong to ever write a story about such relationships in general. This is fiction. People write stories about characters who do morally gray or downright immoral/illegal things all the time. There are books, movies, and TV shows that have murderers, hit men, and literal monsters as protagonists.

Writing about a morally gray or immoral situation or character isn't the same thing as endorsing that behavior. If all characters were perfect people who did the right thing, fiction would be less interesting.

Also, how could you tell how the book you saw in the store dealt with the 16-year-old character's relationship with her older boyfriend? If you didn't read the book, how can you know if it was romanticized or if the relationship had real consequences?

Theo81
06-19-2012, 11:55 AM
It is highly disturbing, as well as somewhat triggering. Doesn't matter that they are stranded together...sex should still be out of the question.


Triggering. Hmm. I'm not sure it means what you think it means (although for the sake of argument, yes, it could theoretically *be* a trigger, but it's not content which would require a trigger warning in the way some texts do).


I haven't read this book, but I did give the query a good kicking. IIRC, it's not a student/teacher relationship, Anna is a private tutor brought in for the summer to help TJ grind for his exams (because he's missed school from his chemotherapy).


I'm fascinated by how squicky you guys over the pond find this. You lot get squicked by first cousins doing it too, don't you?

Still, I'm really pleased for Tracy's success. I think this book is the perfect example of why self-pubbing is such a valuable thing these days. The desert island trope is an overdone one, but it doesn't mean it doesn't have a market. Good on ya, girl.

KTC
06-19-2012, 03:45 PM
Triggering. Hmm. I'm not sure it means what you think it means (although for the sake of argument, yes, it could theoretically *be* a trigger, but it's not content which would require a trigger warning in the way some texts do).


I haven't read this book, but I did give the query a good kicking. IIRC, it's not a student/teacher relationship, Anna is a private tutor brought in for the summer to help TJ grind for his exams (because he's missed school from his chemotherapy).


I'm fascinated by how squicky you guys over the pond find this. You lot get squicked by first cousins doing it too, don't you?

Still, I'm really pleased for Tracy's success. I think this book is the perfect example of why self-pubbing is such a valuable thing these days. The desert island trope is an overdone one, but it doesn't mean it doesn't have a market. Good on ya, girl.

I know exactly what triggering means.

mccardey
06-19-2012, 04:00 PM
I know exactly what triggering means.

I don't. :( I looked it up but I'm not sure the definition I read applies. Because if it does, then it would be pretty hard to write anything that was 100% free of triggeriness.

Definition of triggering? Please? Because I'm old and people keep changing things when I'm not looking...

Mr Flibble
06-19-2012, 04:13 PM
If there was a form of abuse in question here, then I could see that yes, it could be triggering.

But there isn't, so I'm not sure it'd be particularly triggering. Unless you have a very specific trigger (and considering the breadth of experiences where triggers occur it'd be hard to avoid all of them)

Unless you could elaborate?

Theo81
06-19-2012, 05:18 PM
I don't. :( I looked it up but I'm not sure the definition I read applies. Because if it does, then it would be pretty hard to write anything that was 100% free of triggeriness.

Definition of triggering? Please? Because I'm old and people keep changing things when I'm not looking...

Yeah, that's how I feel about Eastern European countries. If it wasn't for Eurovision, I'd be totally lost.


*clears throat*
Triggering refers to a text, film, whatever, containing content which is explicit enough in its detail to "trigger" a stress reaction in a reader with a sensitivity to the subject matter. For instance - a blow-by-blow account of a rape, a battle scene etc etc.

For some survivors, a "trigger" can be something seemingly innocuous - somebody wearing the same kind of shoes as their attacker, for instance, - but it's unhelpful to label these with trigger warning because they are individual.

A trigger warning should be used in the same way you warn of Not Safe For Work - as a heads-up.


I'd like for KTC to elaborate as well. Saying this book is triggering is a very specific complaint, one which could be damaging to the work if untrue.
I understand that *you* may not like it, may not agree with it, think it's "wrong" etc etc but none of those mean this book contains triggers.

Don't make life even more difficult for people who have them by throwing this term around where it isn't necessary. Don't damage a book because its plot is in opposition with your moral values.

If this book *should* contain a trigger warning, I hope you'll explain why. There are plenty of AWers who need to know about that kind of thing.

aruna
06-19-2012, 08:23 PM
Never heard the term before. Like mccardey, I'm old!

LaurieD
06-19-2012, 08:38 PM
I came across this yesterday and my first reaction was to be hugely squicked out - teacher-student intimate relationships squick me out, whether the student is still a student or not.

Someone from my graduating class ended up marrying the guy who was first our gym teacher in 3rd grade and then our principal through high school. Completely squicks me out when she posts pics of them together on fb.

This is a book I will never pick up for that reason, no matter how intriguing the story or how well it's written.

Squick.

But, then I realized how fantastic it is that this author managed a 7 figure deal! I mean 7! That's freaking fantastic! Even if they were all 1's it's still an amazing deal!

I'm still squicked out, but I'm so happy for her - and hopeful for the rest of us.

;)

willietheshakes
06-19-2012, 08:46 PM
Triggering. Hmm. I'm not sure it means what you think it means (although for the sake of argument, yes, it could theoretically *be* a trigger, but it's not content which would require a trigger warning in the way some texts do).



If there was a form of abuse in question here, then I could see that yes, it could be triggering.

But there isn't, so I'm not sure it'd be particularly triggering. Unless you have a very specific trigger (and considering the breadth of experiences where triggers occur it'd be hard to avoid all of them)

Unless you could elaborate?




For some survivors, a "trigger" can be something seemingly innocuous - somebody wearing the same kind of shoes as their attacker, for instance, - but it's unhelpful to label these with trigger warning because they are individual.

A trigger warning should be used in the same way you warn of Not Safe For Work - as a heads-up.


I'd like for KTC to elaborate as well. Saying this book is triggering is a very specific complaint, one which could be damaging to the work if untrue.

Near as I can tell, KTC didn't suggest the book needed a trigger warning.
He stated that HE found it triggering.

Surely you can see the difference.

Mr Flibble
06-19-2012, 09:33 PM
Hmm, I thought he said the book is/was 'somewhat triggering'. Not 'somewhat triggering for me'. So yes for him, though that wasn't implicitly stated that it was purely his view (though i suppose that should be obvious in hindsight). It reads like a blanket statement though, so surely you can see....?

Apologies KTC, if that's the case.

FabricatedParadise
06-19-2012, 11:13 PM
I Bought it last evening because of this thread. I finished it today. I liked it. I think it was tastefully done. The guy was almost 19, when they finally got physical, clearly an adult --with the maturity that comes from living in pure survival mode for so long -- and the MC was a tutor hired to catch him up on missed schoolwork over the summer.

Also, it was not explicit or untoward. Though, I must admit, reading erotica is part of my day job, so ,y opinion on explicit might be a bit different than the average Jane. Personally, I think it was tastefully (and realistically) done. The story wasn't about sex on the beach with a teenager. It was about two people surviving and developing a bond that can only come from surviving something like that together. And the second half of the book is about their reintroduction to society.


Anyway, I liked it. It's not for everyone, but it's certainly not meant to tantalize female pedophiles, or even wannabe pedos.

Susan Littlefield
06-19-2012, 11:33 PM
Some people feel that way about vampires.

I personally know married couples with a wide age difference. One woman who is now 50 and her husband is 12 years younger. (Yeah, when she was 40 and he was 28 people talked. Let them talk. Some people have nothing better to do.) He was not her former student.

Also a friend who at 40 who did marry a former student, but she was 22 at the time and just finishing college. They are still married and have two boys. (He was my bio teacher in high school and later a colleague when I became a teacher.)

Another is a girl I went to high school with who started dating our English teacher as soon as she graduated (high school.) He was 32 and she 20 when they married. Not so big an age difference but omg, he was her teacher! They are still married - got married in 1972 so that's practically forever, isn't it? Oh, and they have five children.

Everyone has a different situation or circumstance, and yes, it's wrong when older takes advantage of younger, etc. But when everyone is a consenting adult I fail to see the problem.

Don is 14 years and 11 months older than me. This means when I was born he was close to this 15th birthday. Over the last seven years, we've seen no problem with our age difference because we're both adults (no, I didn't know him when I was a kid).

Susan Littlefield
06-19-2012, 11:36 PM
Near as I can tell, KTC didn't suggest the book needed a trigger warning.
He stated that HE found it triggering.

Surely you can see the difference.

I agree. There are some books that I've read which have been triggers for me.

jjdebenedictis
06-20-2012, 01:15 AM
A simple age difference is not squicky; it's the relative levels of maturity (and, potentially, whether the older person is objectifying the younger, or the younger victimizing the older, rather than each loving the other person for who they are.)

One of my family members married someone 15 years her senior when she was still quite young. It made us all nervous, and yeah, that marriage didn't work out.

Another family member also married someone 15 years her senior, but she was 30 when they wed. It was a long and happy union.

Mr Flibble
06-20-2012, 01:29 AM
Maybe that's where I don't have a problem with this

My Mum was only just 17 when she started going out with my Dad (who was 27/28 - hey, all the men in his family were late bloomers!)

They celebrated their golden wedding in 2010. And they are far form the only couple I know like that. It's more unusual perhaps (or was, I can name a few recent couples, at least one in the public eye and that with a 20 year age gap) that the woman is older, but sauce for the goose, right?

Age is not the issue, once you are of age. Attitude/compatibility/maturity. That's what matters.

willietheshakes
06-20-2012, 01:56 AM
ight?

Age is not the issue, once you are of age. Attitude/compatibility/maturity. That's what matters.

That's completely valid.

But the description in the original post, in the quote, is "a steamy novel about a 30-year-old English teacher shipwrecked on an island with a 16-year-old student". I realize that things are cleared up with further reading, but if one is squicked out or triggered by that line, they're not really apt to read much further...

That description? Definitely squick-worthy.

Mr Flibble
06-20-2012, 03:34 AM
However there is a difference between I am triggered by this' and 'this is triggering'

The first acknowledges that it is something that is perhaps personal

The other suggests more a more universal attitude.

Now, again with apologies to KTC, if it triggered him perhaps he wasn't as precise as he could have been. And if it was just me that had picked up on it, then sure, I'm not always the best at deciphering stuff. Hands up, I'll admit that. But it wasn't just me.

Many people have accsioations aht are not good for them to read

But to label a book triggering when it is personal rather than a more common or universal trigger...as Theo said. For a book that for most people is not controversial, does not involve abuse...that's not helpful. (heck I could label any book that has slugs in it triggering for me and your really DO NOT want to know why. That does not mean it is a triggering book. Same goes for books that deal with bipolar etc. Discussing/writing about it does not equal triggering, treatment does)

From a stance of 'I could not read this because it will trigger me' fine. But 'this is triggering*' as a blanket statement is not (even if KTC feels unable to contribute more, which I would understand)

What is the mantra here? (or one of them) the words you use matter. KTC may not have been in a frame of mind to consider that as he posted (and I understand that) but that does not mean this book should be labelled something it is not.

*

From various blogs on abuse/ptsd etc


Content which is widely agreed by blogs writers to be warned for:


graphic descriptions of or extensive discussion of abuse, especially sexual abuse or torture
graphic descriptions of or extensive discussion of self-harming behaviour such as suicide, self-inflicted injuries or disordered eating
depictions, especially lengthy or psychologically realistic ones, of the mental state of someone suffering abuse or engaging in self-harming behaviour



This book does not fall into any of those categories. So if I say this book triggers me, I need to state that it triggers me.

TheRajinski
06-20-2012, 04:06 AM
Defining what is and what isn't "triggering" for an individual is a dangerous road to travel.

/AmbiguousStatementoftheDay

No reason to say that the mention of this kind of relationship CANNOT POSSIBLY be triggering.

willietheshakes
06-20-2012, 04:09 AM
However there is a difference between I am triggered by this' and 'this is triggering'

The first acknowledges that it is something that is perhaps personal

The other suggests more a more universal attitude.

Now, again with apologies to KTC, if it triggered him perhaps he wasn't as precise as he could have been. And if it was just me that had picked up on it, then sure, I'm not always the best at deciphering stuff. Hands up, I'll admit that. But it wasn't just me.

Many people have accsioations aht are not good for them to read

But to label a book triggering when it is personal rather than a more common or universal trigger...as Theo said. For a book that for most people is not controversial, does not involve abuse...that's not helpful. (heck I could label any book that has slugs in it triggering for me and your really DO NOT want to know why. That does not mean it is a triggering book. Same goes for books that deal with bipolar etc. Discussing/writing about it does not equal triggering, treatment does)

From a stance of 'I could not read this because it will trigger me' fine. But 'this is triggering*' as a blanket statement is not (even if KTC feels unable to contribute more, which I would understand)

What is the mantra here? (or one of them) the words you use matter. KTC may not have been in a frame of mind to consider that as he posted (and I understand that) but that does not mean this book should be labelled something it is not.

*

From various blogs on abuse/ptsd etc



This book does not fall into any of those categories. So if I say this book triggers me, I need to state that it triggers me.

At no point did he suggest it should be labelled - his post was his personal reaction, no?

Mr Flibble
06-20-2012, 04:10 AM
CANNOT POSSIBLY be triggering

You can't say that about any book

Even the Hungry Caterpillar has associations if you have a food disorder.

DancingMaenid
06-20-2012, 04:10 AM
I also think that regardless of whether something is a common trigger or not, there's nothing wrong with writing about that material. There's nothing wrong with those books existing, or people buying them. There are many books that feature scenes of violence and abuse, for example.

There are books that I wouldn't personally want to read because I suspect I'd find the subjects upsetting. But that doesn't mean I think the books themselves are distasteful. They're just not for me.

In this case, I think it's wrong to equate the relationship in the book with rape or abuse when it involves consenting adults. But even if it were an abusive relationship, why would that be an off-limits subject for a novel? We could talk about genre appropriateness or the handling of it, but there have been plenty of stories about abusive relationships that have treated the subject seriously.

Mr Flibble
06-20-2012, 04:16 AM
At no point did he suggest it should be labelled - his post was his personal reaction, no?

In hind sight yes (knowing a little about KTC. Enough to know this is an emotive subject for him, which is why I understand if he wasn't as clear as he might have been)
but his statement was blanket as I said upthread,


Maybe he was not in a state to state it better, but the way it WAS stated was blanket. And following comments reflected what was actually posted. Not on what we can infer from it, from what was really there.

My last post was in fact an attempt to take ot away from that post a bit, and maybe discuss the wider implications. But it seems I failed. Bad me. :(

willietheshakes
06-20-2012, 04:32 AM
I also think that regardless of whether something is a common trigger or not, there's nothing wrong with writing about that material. There's nothing wrong with those books existing, or people buying them. There are many books that feature scenes of violence and abuse, for example.

There are books that I wouldn't personally want to read because I suspect I'd find the subjects upsetting. But that doesn't mean I think the books themselves are distasteful. They're just not for me.

In this case, I think it's wrong to equate the relationship in the book with rape or abuse when it involves consenting adults. But even if it were an abusive relationship, why would that be an off-limits subject for a novel? We could talk about genre appropriateness or the handling of it, but there have been plenty of stories about abusive relationships that have treated the subject seriously.


In hind sight yes (knowing a little about KTC. Enough to know this is an emotive subject for him, which is why I understand if he wasn't as clear as he might have been)
but his statement was blanket as I said upthread,


Maybe he was not in a state to state it better, but the way it WAS stated was blanket. And following comments reflected what was actually posted. Not on what we can infer from it, from what was really there.

My last post was in fact an attempt to take ot away from that post a bit, and maybe discuss the wider implications. But it seems I failed. Bad me. :(

This'll be my last post on this - I actually don't really care. I weighed in because KTC is a friend, and I saw him being lambasted for something he didn't do.

Thing is, DM, I completely agree with you, but the original description (which was what KTC referred to as triggering) Made the book sound like an exploitative work rooted in abuse and abuse of power. It is neither of those things, but nor is it a serious treatment of abuse - the response was to what seemed like a glamorization of abuse.

And IRU, I agree with you too. Yes, KTC could have been clearer, but I never read it as anything more than his personal response to the description, in the same way as I didn't read anyone else's responses as anything but personal. I saw no proscription there, just an emotional reaction. YMMV.

And now I'm out, back to not giving a fuck.

Xelebes
06-20-2012, 06:42 AM
You can't say that about any book

Even the Hungry Caterpillar has associations if you have a food disorder.

And the First Grade Reader is not good for those who have a fear of dogs.

SomethingOrOther
06-20-2012, 08:40 AM
And every book is triggering if you have bookaphobia.

(Er, bibliophobia.)

aruna
06-20-2012, 09:46 AM
I'm fascinated by how squicky you guys over the pond find this. You lot get squicked by first cousins doing it too, don't you?

.

Why should squickability be a matter of geography? I'm not "over the pond" and if the book were as sensationalist as it is made to be, I too would have been squicked -- as would many other Brits/Europeans/individuals all over the world. It may be so that all the cool kids don't get squicked (that's what it souned like) -- but I've never cared about being a cool kid.

derail: As for cousin intercourse: this is certainly not a subject that only Americans are squicked by. There are compelling reasons (http://www.medicinechest.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=452)why it's taboo or frowned upon in many societies, including Britain. In fact, it's becoming quite an issue in Britain:


Fifty-five per cent of British Pakistanis are married to first cousins and in Bradford the figure is 75 per cent. British Pakistanis represent 3 per cent of all births in Britain but one third of children with recessive disorders.
(snip)
“The local estimate was that 75 per cent of Bradford disabled children had cousin parents and the rate of cousin marriage in the UK Pakistani community is increasing,” Lady Deech will say.
/derail

mccardey
06-20-2012, 10:11 AM
This'll be my last post on this - I actually don't really care. I weighed in because KTC is a friend, and I saw him being lambasted for something he didn't do..

I didn't see lambasting. I saw discussion. And thanks to the discussion I now know what "triggering" means.

Kewii
06-20-2012, 11:51 AM
I didn't see lambasting. I saw discussion. And thanks to the discussion I now know what "triggering" means.

Agreed.

Though, I already knew what triggering meant. I've always seen it as being associated with things like eating disorders, suicide/depression, and assault.

I also agreed with IdiotsRUs that KTC could have been more clear. I had the same reaction she did to the triggering reference. Not to mention, she did ask several times for KTC to clarify.

And to head back to the topic: I haven't read this book, but I did read the sample pages on Amazon. I stopped because it just wasn't my style, not because of the subject material. I think it's interesting that teachers are always expected to follow this moral high ground--even in extraordinary and fictional situations.

Mr Flibble
06-20-2012, 01:24 PM
I didn't see lambasting. I saw discussion. And thanks to the discussion I now know what "triggering" means.


Indeed - I for one intended no lambasting and, again, I apologise to KTC if he felt that way


Not to mention, she did ask several times for KTC to clarify.



To be fair, if KTC finds the subject triggering, I doubt he'd come back into the thread.


And to put that behind us perhaps?

I think it's interesting that teachers are always expected to follow this moral high ground-

Surely only while actually teaching? I know some things about one of my daughter's teachers that might make your hair curl, but she never brings it into school and is an excellent teacher (and nice lady). As for relationships...well once they are no longer the teacher, then surely that's not a problem? Same as with doctors etc (a lady locally transferred doctors so she could date the old one)

kattbee
06-20-2012, 02:57 PM
Look out, Dirty Dancing.

KTC
06-20-2012, 03:03 PM
Yeah, that's how I feel about Eastern European countries. If it wasn't for Eurovision, I'd be totally lost.


*clears throat*
Triggering refers to a text, film, whatever, containing content which is explicit enough in its detail to "trigger" a stress reaction in a reader with a sensitivity to the subject matter. For instance - a blow-by-blow account of a rape, a battle scene etc etc.

For some survivors, a "trigger" can be something seemingly innocuous - somebody wearing the same kind of shoes as their attacker, for instance, - but it's unhelpful to label these with trigger warning because they are individual.

A trigger warning should be used in the same way you warn of Not Safe For Work - as a heads-up.


I'd like for KTC to elaborate as well. Saying this book is triggering is a very specific complaint, one which could be damaging to the work if untrue.
I understand that *you* may not like it, may not agree with it, think it's "wrong" etc etc but none of those mean this book contains triggers.

Don't make life even more difficult for people who have them by throwing this term around where it isn't necessary. Don't damage a book because its plot is in opposition with your moral values.

If this book *should* contain a trigger warning, I hope you'll explain why. There are plenty of AWers who need to know about that kind of thing.

I was actually referring to it triggering me, personally. A trigger doesn't have to be explicit. It can be situational, too. When I said it could be triggering I had yet to realize that the relationship occurred AFTER the student was older. I was originally under the impression that a young student had a sexual relationship with a teacher. That situation in and of itself could be triggering. I have since recanted.

If someone were to read a jacket cover where it explains a situation of sexual abuse (Let's say, for the sake of arguing, that a 16yo student having sex with a 40yo teacher is a form sexual abuse) that is enough to trigger a person. The jacket cover does NOT need to have explicit details for the trigger to occur.

**Association causes the trigger, not the explicitness of the material. I have a friend who is triggered by Batman.**

Since I have recanted my original problem with the premise of the book...as I didn't quite understand it in the beginning, this no longer applies. I am simply of the belief that the relationship is inappropriate--that at no time is it okay for a relationship like this to occur. I hope this clears things up.

A lot of assuming went in to your quoted post...just saying...

KTC
06-20-2012, 03:11 PM
But the description in the original post, in the quote, is "a steamy novel about a 30-year-old English teacher shipwrecked on an island with a 16-year-old student". I realize that things are cleared up with further reading, but if one is squicked out or triggered by that line, they're not really apt to read much further...



This. And that is my excuse for originally getting it wrong. I apologize again for my original post.

KTC
06-20-2012, 03:13 PM
Now, again with apologies to KTC, if it triggered him perhaps he wasn't as precise as he could have been. And if it was just me that had picked up on it, then sure, I'm not always the best at deciphering stuff. Hands up, I'll admit that. But it wasn't just me.



With all due respect, if it triggered me...it is triggering. We hold no monopoly on the things that trigger us. It goes without saying that it would trigger more than 1 person. If it triggered, it's triggering.

KTC
06-20-2012, 03:21 PM
To be fair, if KTC finds the subject triggering, I doubt he'd come back into the thread.





lol...my excuse for not responding is I don't live here (yeah, yeah...clearly I once did).

Bottom line...I hope everything is cleared up. My take...I won't be reading this book because of the relationship described within it. It's just a personal thing for me---once an authority to another person, that situation may change but the mindset doesn't for me. Once an authority figure, always an authority figure. When I see a high school teacher in public---28yrs after being out of high school---I still call them Mr. or Ms. They are still authority figures in that place in my head. That's not going to change for me. So, though I'm not completely revolted by the premise of this book---there is a wrongness there that is just not acceptable to me. I won't read it...but I certainly wish the best of success to the author---who apparently doesn't seem to need it as her star is already rising healthily.

And...thank you, Robert! Much appreciated.

Captcha
06-20-2012, 03:35 PM
I read the book before this 'controversy' and I was actually disappointed that it didn't push the boundaries a little farther (I was also disappointed that we were expected to believe that two months' worth of toiletries lasted several years, just so readers wouldn't have to confront their issues with female body hair, but I digress).

SPOILERY:

For me, the careful wait for the boy to be 'of age' felt artificial (the female narrator mentioned it REPEATEDLY) and I felt like it robbed the book of what could have been a really fascinating moral discussion. The boy has survived cancer, he's faced death, been marooned on an island and found ways to survive, he's in a situation totally removed from any larger societal regulation, the woman never really acted as an authority figure, and STILL, the characters have to wait until the boy reaches an arbitrary number of years on the planet. It made everything too pat, for me. When they came back to civilization and faced criticism, it didn't actually shake them because they knew they'd followed 'the rules'. etc.

As written, I thought the book was okay - interesting survival story, but no big moral questions being wrestled with, and the attempt to AVOID wrestling with them felt transparent. If it had actually broken some taboos, instead of just flirting with them, I think it would have been a lot more interesting, for me.

Kewii
06-20-2012, 04:00 PM
Surely only while actually teaching? I know some things about one of my daughter's teachers that might make your hair curl, but she never brings it into school and is an excellent teacher (and nice lady). As for relationships...well once they are no longer the teacher, then surely that's not a problem? Same as with doctors etc (a lady locally transferred doctors so she could date the old one)

Unfortunately, not all parents have the same attitude you do. Many people consider teachers public figures and believe what they do on their spare time influences their ability to do their job.

I'm a teacher myself, so I have seen this (granted, I live in a very conservative country). I'm expected to be very careful about what I talk about and do in public. I have known people who have been fired for things they've done.

Not to mention teachers who have been disciplined or fired for their outside writing.

Some examples of teachers being in trouble for outside interests/ideas: Example 1 (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/04/29/teacher-judy-buranichs-se_n_855526.html) Example 2 (http://www.ksat.com/news/Teacher-fired-after-fertility-treatments/-/478452/12015924/-/9a87ry/-/index.html) Example 3 (http://www.santafenewmexican.com/localnews/Music-teacher-pushes-for-policy--after-drag-show-clips-cost-her) Example 4 (http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2012/06/11/education/catholic-teacher-fired-for-marriage-stance/) Example 5 (http://www.zdnet.com/blog/facebook/teachers-aide-fired-for-refusing-to-hand-over-facebook-password/11246)

Not that these include the teachers who have been fired for appearing in porn, using marijuana, or being gay.

There is a standard that many teachers are expected to live up to.
I don't agree with it, but it is often the way it is.

aruna
06-20-2012, 06:39 PM
I read the book before this 'controversy' and I was actually disappointed that it didn't push the boundaries a little farther (I was also disappointed that we were expected to believe that two months' worth of toiletries lasted several years, just so readers wouldn't have to confront their issues with female body hair, but I digress).



Ugh! The thing about the shampoo bugged me too! I doubt that lack of toiletries would be a major problem if you are facing starvation!
As for your other point -- pushing the sexual boundaries would have turned me off completely. So you can't please everyone.

aruna
06-20-2012, 06:44 PM
Anyway -- to get back to the thread subject -- it does seem to be a trend, this thing about succesful SP books grabbing huge publishing deals, what with this and 50 Shades. I guess it is a safe option for publishers; even though they would probably have turned down those same books if offered the old way I only hope that it doesn't turn them completely away from taking risks with non-sp-authors; because I am going the traditional route.

ccarver30
06-20-2012, 07:30 PM
Sweet baby Jesus. "good 7 figure deal" = more than one million, so two million? THREE????????
This gives me hope. WTF though. lol

Roxy2233
06-21-2012, 10:42 PM
I've read the book, and enjoyed it. The book is definitely not erotica, and does not exploit the relationship. The two protagonists became emotionally dependent on one another--they have several adventures and dangerous experiences, and besides they are the only two people that they see for three years! The sexual relationship grows gradually and naturally out of the emotional relationship IMO (and as has been pointed out, everyone is of age).

The really interesting part to me was when they got OFF the island--and realized they were still in love, and had to deal with a squicked-out public. It's quite realistic in that way, I thought, though the Magic Suitcase full of shampoo that washed up on the island was a bit much.

I've read it and I completely agree. Plus, the MC doesn't just jump into a sexual relationship the second after their plane crashes. It is several *years* after they've been stranded on the island. The MC goes through all of the ethical issues you've all mentioned, too.

For me, the shark scene was the most over the top. I mean, really?

I also agree that when they got back to Chicago is when it got interesting for their relationship. That's when the true test begins.

I thought it was a fabulous story and kudos to this author. I will definitely buy her next book and I've already cast both the male and female leads in the movie in my head!

Roxy2233
06-21-2012, 10:48 PM
As a separate question, for those of you who have read the book, how did you feel about the writing? Am I allowed to ask that question since apparently the author is a poster here? I am just curious since it had such big success via self publishing and not traditional publishing. Now, I am thinking the reason that agents turned it down is because of the subject matter, not her writing, but I am still curious since she didn't have the benefit of an editor (or two or three).

willietheshakes
06-21-2012, 10:51 PM
As a separate question, for those of you who have read the book, how did you feel about the writing? Am I allowed to ask that question since apparently the author is a poster here? I am just curious since it had such big success via self publishing and not traditional publishing. Now, I am thinking the reason that agents turned it down is because of the subject matter, not her writing, but I am still curious since she didn't have the benefit of an editor (or two or three).

Why would you assume she didn't have an editor? I'm not saying you're wrong, but it's a bit of a leap...

Roxy2233
06-21-2012, 11:59 PM
Why would you assume she didn't have an editor? I'm not saying you're wrong, but it's a bit of a leap...

You might be right. She would have paid for a freelance editor, correct? Is that how a self-publisher typically does it?

WildScribe
06-22-2012, 12:22 AM
You might be right. She would have paid for a freelance editor, correct? Is that how a self-publisher typically does it?

There is no typical, but I've seen hundreds of self-published books that I can assure you have never seen an editor. Whether she did or not, I don't know.

veinglory
06-22-2012, 12:47 AM
Given the run-away sales I am thinking this was not your typical unedited self-POD project.

Al Stevens
06-22-2012, 02:06 AM
The writing is fine. So is the editing. It held my interest, which isn't easy to do in this kind of story.

As to the authority relationship: She was a private tutor. Lessons hadn't begun when the airplane crashed. There had been no opportunity to build a superior/subordinate relationship.

As for why she waited to allow a romantic relationship to develop: My take on it is that she suppressed her own desires and followed her own moral compass. I found that part to be believable.

I didn't like the ending, though. But I won't say why. Don't want to spoil it.

aruna
06-22-2012, 10:37 AM
The writing was adequate. As far as I remember from her blog/AW posts, she did have an editor.
I found a lot of the events far-fetched -- suitcase washing up, shark attack and so forth. ANd there was a little too much emphasis on personal hygiene for my liking -- I've lived on a deserted Caribbean beach for two weeks with no amenities, and salt water actually keeps you quite clean and non-stinky; furthermore, if you were stranded that would be the least of your worries.
I think it's the story that got people gripped. It does keep you reading, in spite of various flaws.

Tifferbugz
06-22-2012, 10:40 AM
It was mentioned (earlier in this thread or another where this book is discussed) that she hired a freelance content editor (I think it said one who also freelances for Carina) and a copyeditor. So she didn't just post it out there without a decent investment of her own cash.

Edit: Yes, here (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=243193&page=2), post 35.

Theo81
06-22-2012, 11:57 AM
KTC, I'm so sorry, I completely misunderstood your earlier post. I hope this didn't feel like a pile on to you - it was intended as a discussion. If so, apologies again.






I also agree that when they got back to Chicago is when it got interesting for their relationship. That's when the true test begins.


I haven't actually gone back and re-read the Q, but IIRC, that's what I said at the time about it. (along with "How's a 16 year-old going to react when he discovers women have armpit hair?" and "What's she going to do when the redcoats come to town?" :D)





I read an interview with Tracey *somewhere* (no idea where, sorry), but in it she said she'd only queried something like 14 agents, which is interesting.

Captcha
06-22-2012, 03:10 PM
The writing was adequate. As far as I remember from her blog/AW posts, she did have an editor.
I found a lot of the events far-fetched -- suitcase washing up, shark attack and so forth. ANd there was a little too much emphasis on personal hygiene for my liking -- I've lived on a deserted Caribbean beach for two weeks with no amenities, and salt water actually keeps you quite clean and non-stinky; furthermore, if you were stranded that would be the least of your worries.
I think it's the story that got people gripped. It does keep you reading, in spite of various flaws.

My opinion exactly.

I thought it was a solid first novel but definitely would have had some suggestions if I'd been asked to beta it.

Roxy2233
06-22-2012, 05:34 PM
My opinion exactly.

I thought it was a solid first novel but definitely would have had some suggestions if I'd been asked to beta it.

I don't want to get too far off the main point of this thread, but this does bring up an issue that I am encountering with my own WIP(s). And that is one of research. I find myself having to research every little bitty thing. The suitcase for example. I would find myself researching sea currents in the Maldives to determine whether a suitcase could in fact wash up after a plane crash. And spend hours on it. Is that ridiculous and over the top? Another writer friend of mine told me that I was doing too much research on some items for own stories and that I should just take "artist's leeway" and go with whatever works for me. Too much?

Captcha
06-22-2012, 07:44 PM
I think it depends how often you're taking the 'artist's leeway'. And also how solid the rest of the story is--if everything else is incredibly gripping, I probably won't even notice the occasional stretch.

For me, there's also an element of how the stretch is handled in the story. If there's one coincidence, and it's acknowledged as a coincidence, I'm probably okay with it, unless it turns out to be a Deus ex machina resolution to the story.

In the book at hand, one of the stretches was the suitcase of toiletries - that it arrived at all, and that it lasted as long as it did, and I just thought it was a huge stretch of my suspension of disbelief for no good reason. One of the main themes of the book was that love is powerful and able to transcend age differences and societal pressure. So it was a bit weird to see the author going through these ridiculous manipulations to protect her characters from seeing each other in less-than-societally-approved states of grooming, you know? Love can overcome almost anything, but not female body hair!

Al Stevens
06-22-2012, 09:51 PM
Love can overcome almost anything, but not female body hair!Ha. I used to be a sixteen-year-old boy. I have one full year's experience at being sixteen, so I know whereof I speak. And, despite claims to the contrary, they had invented the razor by then. I can say without hesitation that female body hair would not have slowed me down one inch-per-second. But I was a country boy... and there was this country girl...

So, back on topic, I think the concentration on hygiene was consistent with the social backgrounds of the characters. In the presence of a person of the opposite gender and given that the other problems were already kind of taken care of--food, shelter, etc.--it would be natural to turn one's concern to one's appearance, aroma, grooming, etc.

The stuff washing up on the beach was a bit of a stretch though. I mentioned that in the other thread when I was only partially into the book. I hoped that stuff would stop washing up.

The shark incident was believable. I've been swimming in the ocean off the bow of a sailboat when we saw a fin circling. It took every ounce of chivalry I could muster to keep from pushing the lady aside and climbing that ladder first.