Every novel is burdened with the agenda of its author. No question about it, we want something from our readers. Some authors hope to change people’s minds about a particular issue. Others want readers to come to a greater understanding of a culture or lifestyle that is different than their own and (as I pointed out in a different post) Chick Lit novels often want to boost women’s self-esteem and confidence. I’m no different from any other author—I want something from you. Specifically, I want you to enjoy yourself.
Sex, Murder And A Double Latte is not a social commentary. It will not provide you with deep insights into a world previously unknown to you. It’s just fun; period—end of story (pun intended).
There are lots of people out there who would read this statement, roll their eyes and bemoan the amount of fluff available at your friendly neighborhood bookstore. I’m not a big fan of the word ‘fluff’ because of the negative connotation that goes along with it but maybe those of us who write escapist fiction should adopt the term the same way feminists are trying to adopt the term “bitch” and Gay-rights activists are trying to change the feelings about the word “queer”. So fluff it is—and I’m here to say that fluff has an important role to play in our lives.
All over the world people happily hand over their hard earned dollars in exchange for tickets to see James Bond flicks. They buy fashion magazines, tune into Desperate House Wives and The Apprentice during their free time. They window shop, attend purse parties, or just indulge in a relaxing massage or facial. They don’t do this because they’re shallow or unintelligent, they do it because life is hard and sometimes we all need a break from it. Our personal lives are filled with challenges and uncertainties and if that isn’t enough to overwhelm you there’s always politics and the state of the world to weigh you down. Yes, I know—no one ever said it would be easy, but no one ever said you had to live in a constant state of anxiety either.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy deep piercing novels as much as the next guy. I was profoundly moved by Alice Walker’s The Color Purple (the book), I find the not-so-hidden social commentary within Edith Wharton’s novels fascinating and poignant and Orwell sets the standard when it comes to making strong and persuasive political statements with deceptively simple prose. But you’ll have to forgive me if I don’t want to read the works of these authors all the time. I’m a single mom trying to homeschool my five year old while simultaneously establish myself in a risky new career—in other words I have a lot on my plate and sometimes I want to kick back and get lost in a fun fluffy fictional world.
So when you buy Sex, Murder And A Double Latte (and I know you are going to buy it, right?) be aware that this is a book meant to be read while donning fuzzy slippers and eating bonbons. Unless of course you’re doing South Beach in which case substitute the bonbons for a low-carb Pria bar and the slippers for a pair of flip flops and a beach towel. The important thing is that you have a good time with it—that’s my agenda and I’m counting on you to help me execute it.