Monday, June 15, 2009

Daddy Issues

By Kelli Collins

After years of editing Romantica™, I’ve seen some things. Been around the block a time or two. Had to research things I never even suspected I’d want to know—learning a whole helluva lot about myself in the process. (Turns out I might be rather pervy, by some people’s standards. Who’da thought? You’ve gotta watch those “good” Midwestern Catholic girls.) The point is, not much bothers me. You’ve got your things, I’ve got mine, and so long as we’re mutually respectful and not bashing people over the heads with our ideals, I’m good. I now know enough about my own quirks that I try super hard not to judge.

However, I do wonder. Oh boy, how I wonder…

My latest cogitation? Author dedications.

I’ve seen books dedicated to husbands, wives and assorted significant others; to critique partners, proofreaders, writing groups and RWA chapters; agents, other authors and that friendly police officer who patiently explained the differences between every gun known to man. Even had a few dedicated to myself (thanks, guys; checks are in the mail, I swear).

That’s all fine and dandy. But the books that make me wonder are those dedicated to fathers. Erotica books, mind you.

Now, I’ve shown my father due appreciation in many ways. Cards, gifts, toasts, etc. But I don’t know how I’d feel dedicating an erotic novel to dear old Dad. On one hand, it could be a heartfelt gesture for a man who’s supported and applauded his daughter throughout her life. On the other…slightly shuddersome maybe? Part of me says it’s a touching nod to a daughter’s first “hero”. Another part says, um…Freudian much?

Then there are those erotica books dedicated to kids… But that’s another post.

Anyway, I am truly 100% on the fence here. Completely torn. And oddly, I have no such intellectual uncertainty kicking for erotica dedicated to moms. Is it because she’s a woman? Am I sexist?! (Note to therapist…)

A quick poll amongst friends and colleagues indicates I'm the only one spending time pondering this particular issue. So if I come to any solid conclusions, I'll be sure to let you know. In the meantime, I'll just keep editing. And wondering.


Erastes said...

I wouldn't hesitate in dedicating a book to my Dad - I dedicated two to my mother, because without her, Standish and Transgressions wouldn't have been written, or at least - finished!

But since she went, my Dad has supported me, emotionally, helped me out financially so I can do what I want to do, e.g. write. He listens to my plot ideas, talks out issues I have with characterisation - has good ideas when I'm stuck and although he has Alzheimer's never ever forgets to ask me how my writing is going. There's nothing Freudian about my admiration for my Dad.

And yes, I write erotic. Gay erotica - and he doesn't bat an eyelid. And he's 81.

Anonymous said...

I seem to recall a dedication to an author's mother that went something like this: "This book is dedicated to Mom, I just don't want her to read it." LOL

Anonymous said...

Erastes, it's a rare and wonderful thing to have such ardent support, and it's clear you appreciate it. My kudos and respect to you.

Anon, I see a lot of those dedications; they're very common, but no less amusing for their frequency.


Lorra said...

In my mind, the only thing worse than dedicating an erotic novel to dear old dad would be dedicating it to one of my sons. I'm fairly sure they would be mortified. But hey, you never know.

Lyla Sinclair said...

Hahaha! Lora just reminded me of a friend of mine who writes romantic suspense. She'd been slaving over a love scene and wasn't sure it was working. Her 18 year old happened to walk by, so she handed him the computer and said, "Read these pages and see if it works."

After a couple of paragraphs, he said, "gross," handed her back the computer and informed her that he did not want to read his mom's "sexual fantasies," and told her she was nuts.

I had to come down on his side on that one. That falls into the "What were you thinking?" category.

Anyway, I would die if my dad ever saw what I'm writing. I would die if he even saw the TITLE of my current release. And, though he's very appreciative, I'm sure he wouldn't appreciate a dedication in an erotic story.

I'm with you on this one Kelli.

Lyla Sinclair said...

Whoops! Sorry. Not "Lora," but "Lorra."

MsSnarkyPants said...

Hmmm...I can see being appreciative of your Dad's support, but that just kinda seems...ummm...weird. Of course, I'm totally creeped out by the whole "who's your daddy?" thing too...

Carla Swafford said...

I've seen those too and often wondered. LOL!

My daughter has read several of my books. The first was when she was in high school and she also said, "Gross." But now she thinks I'm cool and then tells me what to change. :-)

Angelia Sparrow said...

I don't exactly dedicate books, but I acknowledge the folks who help out.

My mom has gotten several such nods. I send my stuff to her and my sister first and if they like it, my editor gets it.

My dad just gets a signed copy for his shelf so he can point and say "My daughter writes books."

Unknown said...

Oh man. My dad? And erotica? Maybe, but not written by me! LOL - a midwest girl myself, I just can't see good ol' daddy picking up his little girl's erotic novel...

love the blog btw!

billi jean

Linda Kage said...

I agree, it's weird. I don't think I could dedicate an erotica to my dad. Just imagine Father's Day. "Here, Pops. I dedicated this book to you. Sorry, the cover and half the pages have been ripped out."

Bill Greer said...

I know this thread is a little stale, but I thought I'd give a father's perspective.

I'd be thrilled. If one of my daughters (or stepdaughters) mentioned me in their dedications, I wouldn't be able to stop smiling for a few days. I don't care if the book is erotica, chick lit, or a comic book. If it was erotica, I wouldn't read it, but that wouldn't stop me from being one proud papa.

Anny Cook said...

Personally, I never thought the dedication had ANYTHING to do with the content. As an author I would use an Acknowledgment to recognize those who provided assistance. To me that dedication is a way of showing appreciation for their emotional (and maybe even their financial) encouragement.

So I wouldn't be uncomfortable about dedicating my book to whoever "they" might be-- parents, kids, spouse and friends.

I suspect that I would draw the line at my minor grandchildren, though.