I've chosen a release date for Cherry Soda Cowboy, which will be April 19th. I will say that every single release date I've ever had has been exciting...even those I didn't know about until the last minute. But the reason I don't do hyped up promotions for release dates is because I've found that with genre romance/fiction like I write it's more important to get the book out to readers and then let them decide when they want to buy it.
In other words, if JK Rowling is going to release a new Harry Potter book to millions of people on a set date, it's important for her and her publishers to promote that as much as they can for readers. But I always felt...and I might be wrong about this...that if I do that kind of promotion for a release date with an erotic romance in a sub-genre I'm going to look like a pushy, annoying author trying to hock my readers into buying something they might not be ready to purchase for another month or so. I'm still getting letters from readers for books that were released five years ago. But, in the same respect, I also think it's important to get the product information out to the reader so they know when a book is being released.
In that sense, I haven't always had the opportunity to do that with the books I've had pubbed with e-presses. For some reason I don't get, they usually tell me the day the book goes up that it's been released. So, that becomes the release day, so to speak. It's something over which I have no control. And in most cases I have not been able to do any pre-release promotions. Not all publishers work this way, but some do. So far I haven't found a way to change this.
However, one of the best parts about self-publishing a book or story is that you can, indeed, pick a release date and stick to it. Sometimes there are tech issues, which causes a slight delay (it happens) and the release date isn't always exact. But for the most part you can have a set release date whenever you want. It's all about information.
In any event, Cherry Soda Cowboy will be released on April 19th. It's a short story, it will be priced at .99, and it will be part of the Kindle Select Program for the first three months. This is something a little different than other things I've written because the story is set in the middle of this century, not in the present. I rarely do sci-fi or futuristic, however, I wanted to write an erotic romance that's somewhat satirical about how politically correct we seem to be these days...often with things that shouldn't matter too much. It's not a political story, not by any means. The issue I get into is actually somewhat ridiculous. But it could happen.
It's just something I thought might make people smile...or throw the book out the window.
Clinical Definition for "Ass-Crack" in Fangsters
I know that sounds like a ridiculous title for a blog post, or for anything. But something interesting came up in edits last week with a new copy editor who didn't know me well and I figured I'd share the story. Take into consideration that I write highly erotic gay romance, I don't hold back with descriptions, and there are times when I have to figure out ways to describe certain parts of the body while I'm writing a scene...or a scene that involves nudity. It doesn't always have to be sexy.
And that's not always easy to do, especially with respect to "ass-crack," or, "butt crack." And when I was going over edits with my newest release, "Fangsters," the editor had a problem figuring out what I was trying to do in one scene. Without going into too much detail right now, the scene called for a description of one character's ass, and then it went into descriptive detail about the fact that all ass is different. Some asses are large, some small. Some are heart-shaped, some are pear-shaped, and some, unfortunately, are even flat and square. It's rare to find two asses that are absolutely identical.
In this scene the one character mentions how he's not fond of short "ass-cracks," and that he prefers longer more voluptuous "ass-cracks." I thought I'd made that clear enough in the book. Personally, while I'm not clinical expert on human anatomy, nor do I think I need to be because that would be boring in erotic romance, I've seen "ass-cracks" that vary in length all my life. And the scene takes place in a nightclub in NY where there's a "Best Buns Contest." This is the scene I'm talking about.
As the DJ walked up and down the line, pointing to each bare ass and waiting for a response, Anton had a feeling Leo would win this contest hands down. The two skinny guys had bony asses with those painfully short ass cracks that had always been such a huge turn off for Anton. But Leo and the big guy had nice full round bottoms that resembled perfect upside down hearts, with long even cracks that went up to the smalls of their backs.
And this is how the editor reacted:
"How so? Again, I'm not sure what you mean?
I was completely and utterly stumped. I'm not joking. I sat at my desk gaping at the comment, wondering how in the world I would address it without being snarky. I even asked Tony, and he gaped right back at me. So this was how I replied:
I've seen short ass-cracks and long ass-cracks. I've seen crooked ass-cracks and some that even went a little sideways. No two ass-cracks are alike. If you don't think it makes sense, you can cut it out, because I don't know how else to describe the line that runs up the middle of an ass any other way. And they are all different.
Of course the editor and I both got a laugh out of this, and I added a line or two to make him happy. And I really wouldn't have minded him removing that from the scene because it wasn't intergral to the story. But I have to admit that it made me think twice about "ass-cracks" in general, and whether or not I'm the only one who ever noticed there was a difference in them. And, for the record, this wasn't even a sex scene. This was a bar scene and there was nothing sexy about it.
I also started to wonder about what the clinical term for "ass-crack" is, so I did a simple search and found this at Wiki:
The intergluteal cleft, also known as the natal cleft, the vertical gluteal crease, the gluteal cleft, and, colloquially, the "butt crack" or "arse crack", is the groove between the buttocks that runs from just below the sacrum to the perineum, so named because it forms the visible border between the external rounded protrusions of the gluteus maximus muscles. The intergluteal cleft is located superior to the anus.
And there you have it, plain and simple. So the next time anyone questions you about ass-crack, you now have the clinical term to use instead of the common term. And for those who don't think there's a difference in "ass-crack," and think they are all the same, I highly suggested looking into this when you have some free time. The photo above speaks louder than anything I could write. I also think I'll stick to "ass-crack" when I'm writing an erotic romance. I don't think my readers would appreciate having to look up intergluteal cleft, or natal cleft, while they are reading. It might make me look more literary, but that could be debated.