I've always believed that unless you're writing historical fiction, writers should at least be aware of the most basic elements of what's going on in the world around them. I'm talking about news, politics, pop culture, technology, publishing, and more. No one has to be an expert and you can always do the research as something comes up. But if you're writing fiction nowadays, and you're writing about people living in the year 2016, and you don't know certain basic things that could be a problem. You don't have to be an expert. I'm talking basics.
Of course if your characters are backward and they don't know how to use a smart phone, and they don't know what Twitter is, and they don't know how to DM, that's fine. But I remember a shop owner when I owned my art gallery in New Hope when he tried to make his campy little gift shop more "high end." He said he wanted to change the entire gift shop and fill it with high end furniture. And that was all well and good, but he'd never even stepped into a high end furniture store in his life, let alone bought anything high end for himself. In other words, he was clueless and his shop ultimately failed because he filled it with the ugliest things you'll ever see.
In any event, you get my general point, so here's a link about Waka Flocka Flame. I like him, but that's not what this is about. Waka Flocka Flame is part of pop culture now and he's relevant to a lot of other people, and some of them might be the characters in your next novel. Unless, again, you're only writing about people who are either too elite to know things like this, or they just don't care to learn anymore. In many cases it's all about the context.
And, this is just my own personal POV. You don't have to agree with me. That's fine, too.
Pierre Fitch Is In Beast Mode
Now here's something I think is relevant, partly because I'm a writer writing gay romance and partly because I love the whole thing. Pierre Fitch is an adult entertainer and he just started a new fitness web site called Everything Is Beast Mode. He's been pitching it on Facebook and he's getting a lot of responses from men and women of all ages. And I think that's because he's doing it very well. And who isn't at least a little curious about fitness? I kill myself running every morning, all year long, in all kinds of weather.
I’m an all around fitness enthusiast dude who aims to spread awareness about different techniques and encourage more people to get into shape and feel great about themselves.
I focus on calisthenics, powerlifting, martial arts, and yoga but I appreciate almost any method or technique that’s about getting into shape and pushing you to your limits.
Although I lift weights, I also believe in working out without equipment just by using your own body weight.
You can check all this out here. And here's a link to the web site. I think most of the information you'll need you'll find on the Facebook page.
I follow a lot of celebrities on social media and I have to say that Pierre Fitch is one of the nicest I've come across...ever. And he posts a lot of great photos you'll enjoy.
Top Gun's Gay Legacy
When I wrote my parody of Top Gun that I titled, Big, Bad, and On Top, I honestly didn't even realize the connection to gay culture. I just thought it would be an interesting thing to parody, with all gay characters as a campy gay erotic romance. Evidently, I was on to something bigger.
While the film may have fit appropriately into the confines of mid ’80s mainstream masculinity, the Tom Cruise, Val Kilmer bro-fest now rests squarely in the gay camp/innuendo corner. Chalk it up to shifting perceptions and a more knowledgeable public when it comes to gay subtext.
You can read the rest here.
And here's a link to my book, Big Bad and On Top, at Amazon. I got one great review for this one, and two reviewers completely missed the entire point that this was, indeed, a campy gay parody. It wasn't a "rip off." It was marketed by me and the publisher as parody at the time, and it's still being marketed that way now. It was never meant to win a Pulitzer Prize.
But here's the kind of homophobia I've faced from reviewers over the years, and always when I've openly and honestly parodied a mainstream story as gay.
I must have seen TOP GUN a hundred times - loved that movie. But I never wished that Tom Cruise was gay. If you did then this is your lucky day and you should read it.
She/he gave me one star. And that is a homophobic statement above. But I never got angry about reviews like this. I'm glad they are still there. I knew at the time that one day I would use this review as an example. I knew it would take time, and I'd rather leave these things up forever to let other people see this kind of homophobia.
Unabated Create Space In Print