Saturday, June 18, 2011

Art in the Commercial Market

                Okay, okay. I admit it. For my last project, I did something…different. Now, in the commercial market, different can sometimes be a little scary. How will readers respond to this? How will buyers react? I understand. I do. Now, the title of my latest book is, Captured by the SS.

                Now, before everyone just freaks out and has a heart attack, did I really do something that different? Hollywood loves to use Nazis as bad guys. Have you ever seen Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark? I mean, when was the last time you popped that movie in and watched it. Have you ever noticed just how many times the swastika shows up in that movie? Don’t  believe me? Pop it in your machine, watch it and actually count just how many time the swastika pops up in that movie. Why did the makers of the film use the swastika in every other scene? Because Nazis make good bad guys. In fact, I read a lot of criticism of the new Indiana Jones films where people were mad because it DIDN’T have the Nazis as bad guys. (In the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, it’s the Russians, not the Germans).  My point is, just because Nazis make for good fiction doesn’t mean that audiences condone the actions of the Third Reich.

                Now, erotica and capture. When it comes to erotica, capture or abduction is a sticky subject. If not done correctly, it can be a bad read, which is usually why capture stories have an element of fantasy. (for example, a pirate, a vampire, or an alien). I did an alternate history, where the Third Reich basically won WWII and took over most of the world as my fantasy element.

Now, alternate histories aren’t that new either. In fact, I got the idea of an alternate history reading something about steampunk, which reminded of a book I read about in grad school called, The Man in the High Castle, by Philip K. Dick. (It’s an alternate history book where the Axis powers won the war and America is a defeated and occupied territory.)

But…back to the Nazis and erotica angle. While I was self-editing my book, many months ago, I did a Google search for Nazis and erotica and sex, as I’m sure many people have doneJ I wanted to see what, if anything, was out there that compared to my book. And I stumbled across a term I’ve never heard of, “Nazi Sexploitation.”  Hell, there was even a wikipedia entry for it. I was floored! So, what is “Nazi Sexploitation”? Its’ a term to define a bunch of low-budget porno films that were made in the seventies. Now, me being the weird and slightly perverted individual I am, I had to buy these films and view them…you know, in the name of research. And just as I suspected, these films were BDSMish in nature, where Ilsa, She-Wolf of the SS, is the scariest Fem Dom I have ever seen. Check out the cover here! PS, cover is the only good part. (Overall, the movies aren’t that great. In fact, they’re really bad, and I don’t recommend them. But I see what they were trying to do.) Although, I do recommend The Night Porter.

                So, what else did I find in my research? Well, I found out that you can actually BUY a black SS Nazi uniform of your very own. That’s right, if you got the money and a tape measure, you can actually have a black, SS uniform made just for you. Now, does that mean people condone the actions of the Third Reich? No, that means people like to play Role-Playing games. In fact, this website that I found, which I’ll link here in a minute even said that for female clients, they can make you a skirt instead of a pair of pants, not because it’s historically accurate but simply because so many clients asked them to do it. Check it outhere! I also found this site here as well. CLICK HERE.  I mean, come on, if you came home and your woman was dressed like an SS officer and told you “you’ve been very bad.” I think that’s the ultimate, “Yes, Ma’am, I’ve been very bad” scenario.

                So, did I really do something that weird or different? Well, I can’t answer that question. I don’t know how readers are going to respond to my book.  All I can say is that I see the book as fiction. More specifically, I see it as art. It’s not a statement or a political act. It’s a book. Period.

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