Sexy, Dark and Bloody was my response to the comments made by a few intellectuals who believe genres like “urban fantasy and paranormal romance have no literary value.” I would have left the issue alone, if the same group of scholarly snobs had not defined literary as “a piece of writing that deals with a universal theme and evokes critical thinking.”
They opened a door and I leapt in, ready for battle. “Some of the best quotes I’ve ever read,” I nearly screamed, “come from urban fantasy and paranormal romance novels. And I assure you, they make me think quite critically. Just because you don’t like them, or have not taken the time to understand them, it does not mean they lack value!”
“Write what you will, Magaly.” One of the guys shook his head and looked away from me. “All I’m saying is that you’ll contribute a lot more to the world, if you use your talent to write something scholarly.”
Two weeks later, the group and I began to read war literature. We were supposed to select a quote from any of our readings and share it with the class.
This is what I shared:
“Gravestones littered the ground at her feet… What was left of a wooden fence clung to one of the tree trunks looking frail, broken, but not yet ready to give up the fight...”
Here are some of the reactions:
Intellectual Snob 1 – “Impressive diction and word arrangement. “Littered” says so much about what the speaker thought about the war. The gravestones—the deaths of those buried in them—are a waste.”
Intellectual Snob 2 – “I mostly enjoyed the way the author uses the environment to convey emotions. The words “clung,” “frail,” and “broken” made me feel the devastation, but then there is hope too; they are “not yet ready to give up the fight.” Brilliant! It is like—”
Intellectual Snob 3 interrupting 2 – “And with one word, the writer tells the reader that war doesn’t only affect the soldiers. This is World War I we are talking about, and when the author writes “Gravestones littered the ground at her feet…” she is saying that the war was affecting women too.”
“Actually,” I was grinning so hard that I could hardly speak. “The character in question is a modern day witch visiting her grandfather’s grave, while being watched by a vampire. He died in Vietnam.” No one said a word, so I continued. “It’s A Strange Freedom: Blood & Fireworks by Kiki Howell. She writes hot paranormal romance with bits that arouse the body and mind.” I actually rehearsed the last two sentences and pretty proud of myself for it.
I can’t tell you the meeting ended well, but I don’t care; I proved my point. Maybe they will stop talking crap about things they haven’t read or studied. And maybe, JUST MAYBE, they will quit telling me that what I enjoy reading and writing isn’t intellectual enough. I swear that every time someone tells me that I should “use [my] talent to write something scholarly,” I feel that what they are really saying is: ‘You would be so much better, if you weren’t you.’
I’m giving away 13 copies (for Kindle) of A Strange Freedom: Blood & Fireworks by Kiki Howell. The royalties from sales finalized before midnight July 4th, will be donated to Disabled American Veterans. This freedom giveaway promotes peace and healing, which translate to a lucky Wicked Darling winning two gorgeous Peace themed ACEOs by Carder de Alejos and “The Healing Spell” by Kiki Howell.
Go check out A Strange Freedom: Blood & Fireworks and Peace Treats Giveaway. I’ve made a few changes!
For an extra entry, leave me a quote from a piece of writing most people might consider non scholarly, but that has touched you deeply and has inspired some serious thinking.