Why do women love Fifty Shades of Grey?

Try writing a book about a regular mailman with a beer belly and bad teeth, offering a BDSM contract to a girl, and see how many books you sell. Picture: sxc

 

“It’s taking all my self-control not to fuck you on the hood of this car, just to show you that you’re mine, and if I want to buy you a fucking car, I’ll buy you a fucking car,” he growls.”

These kind of quotes, according to many, need a sociological explanation. Because when E.L. James sells millions of copies of Fifty Shades of Grey, a novel that introduces an image of a man that is not feasible for most, that means there has to be something wrong with us, women, doesn’t it?

An contra-emancipatory movement. The democratization of BDSM. Or best of all: the economical crisis sending women adrift, and making them long again for a man who takes the reigns again.

These are a few of the reasons why I ardently disagree with these kind of interprations. Continue reading

Naked (2)

Yes, I procrastinate. But don’t forget: I did manage to write a whole novel. Although I probably did it while I was supposed to do something else. Picture: sxc

This is an excerpt from my first novel. Now, I’m not a native speaker of English and I just quickly translated this bit myself, so please excuse me if something sounds a bit quirky.

“Do you ever arrive too late, or just in time, even when you initially had enough time?” A few seconds passed before Alanis reluctantly moved the cursor to the little ball before the answer “Yes, nearly always”. A dry click and on to the next question. The quicker, the better, because the last one had not improved her mood. “Do you arrive late at meetings, parties or your job? Do you often have to improvise a meal because your refrigerator is empty? Do you often miss your train? Does having a meal require doing some dishes first because all the cutlery is dirty? Do other people point out your lack of punctuality? Do you let gift certificates expire? Did you ever write post cards when travelling and brought them home in your suitcase?” This was getting confrontational. The row of balls beneath the answer “Yes, nearly always” by now looked like a Christmas tree. Continue reading

Have more fun

Starting today, I’m going to quit writing novels. Picture: rr

At a meeting for wannabe-writers last year I heard a remarkable confession. “Actually I hate writing”, an established writer said. Gathering ideas, doing research, having work published, those things he all loved, but the actual writing process, he dreaded.

And it got even better. Apparently, a lot of colleagues are coping with the same problem. The capital issue is finding a good location, with as little distraction as possible, in order to actually get something on paper. One writer dragged his computer to the garage. Another one purchased a season ticket and rides around on trains until he’s finished for the day. Continue reading

Naked (1)

Publishing a book is showing the world everything you’ve got. Picture: sxc

I’ve wanted to be a writer since the time I realised a biro is not merely a chew toy. And behold, a measly twenty five years later, my first novel hit the stores. For what seemed like an eternity – while writing, mailing with my publisher, choosing a cover, checking out lay-out – I had been looking forward to the moment I would hold my very first book in my hands. Still, it came like a shock to me: people are actually reading it now (well, with any luck, that is). And they might just think it sucks. Continue reading

Writing about writing

If your company is starting to stare at their glasses an awful lot, it’s time to stop talking about your work (or to give another round).


To lose yourself for hours in the world a book brings to life, is pure magic. To have to listen for hours to all the teensie weensie details of that very same world, over a couple of beers, is usually not. This puts me in a pickle. Writing is not only my passion, it is also my job. Therefore I can – I want, I even must – talk about it for hours on end. Because there’s just so much to say. There’s so much to discover, to be made up, to decide, te evaluate and to reevaluate. That’s why I need a blog. So that the people I love, will still have a beer with me.