I have a pet peeve.(That doesn’t surprise anyone who knows me.) And I might offend some people. But the label or classification some people apply to certain books offends me.
It all came to a head when I read this advice in a recent article: “write a clean book”.
A “clean” book.
Well, my books are trayf–which is Yiddish for UNCLEAN.
- In my upcoming Halloween novella–there’s a shrimp appetizer in the form of a human brain. Definitely trayf.
- Pulled pork sliders put in an appearance, too.(Now there’s a dish with some double entendre built right in.)
- Andouille (Cajun pork sausage) is eaten in the Mardi Gras novella I’m currently writing.
- I’m sure one of my characters in one of my books eats a cheeseburger washed down with a glass of milk.
- And bacon! Pages are spattered with bacon.
Why are Jewish dietary laws even a consideration in romance writing?
I don’t have a problem with sweet romance. I like reading sweet romance. And if the story I’m writing doesn’t call for a sex scene, then I won’t write one.
Labeling sex-free books “clean” is a passive-aggressive way of judging books that do contain physical love scenes. And it is insulting to the authors of those books by implying sex-free books are somehow better than others. They are not.
Insults, no matter how subtle, are not what the romance writing community is about. We lift each other up. We support each other.
So let’s get rid of the label “clean” and find a category description that is less polarizing.