Saturday, February 23, 2013

Do Social Issues in Books Turn Off Readers?

We, as authors, walk a fine line sometimes of writing what we believe are captivating stories, and inserting our own social and political views in a book. Sometimes, an author may not even know they are doing such a thing.
Take global warming, for instance. Some believe it and some don't. Now if a heroine is a scientist that believes in it and the hero is the lawyer for an oil company facing litigation for illegal dumping, that provides outside tension. Then they are drawn to one another and the sensual courtship begins. But, depending on your view of the issue of global warming, you may not find the heroine likeable in her crusade.
Would you pass a book up due to the subject?
I don't advocate an author avoid social issues in their books. Indeed, if they think they can create a compelling story and love the characters, then the book must be written. Potential controversy isn't a reason to not write what you want to write.
No book will ever please every reader.
Interesting books to read are dystopian romances. These books are set in the future where society has denigrated and is dramatically different than what we live in the present.
The first book I ever had published was a paranormal, dystopian romance titled, Dhampir Passions. I enjoyed writing this book in a far different style than I write today. Rather than being close and involved, the reader is like a fly on the wall, present with the characters but unseen.
Dhampir Passions blurb:
Living in the post war American Western Barrans, Linea Kamiya is in danger of becoming a vamp master’s minion. While she hides Desmondi’s evil mark from the townsfolk of Whickeup, the town council intends to take her farmland for themselves. Linea’s only hope lies with an enigmatic stranger.

Raduslav Dracula is hunting for the vampire who stole the Draculesti Bloodstone from his family’s gravesite. When Radu’s attraction to Linea turns physical, he knows he will have to battle with his own heart as well as the demon Desmondi.

Is the half-blood Dhampir strong enough to embrace his own cursed nature to defeat Desmondi?

Dhampir Passions
Genre: Paranormal erotica
Word count: 12,080
I'm certain my social beliefs of what a dystopian society might be like are definitely in play in this book. The funny part is though that it's conveyed in a non-threatening manner. Paranormal is part fantasy after all.

What are your thoughts readers? How do you feel about social issues in books?


Beckey said...

It all depends on how the author wrote about it in a story (did they research? Did the overly write about the subject? Things like these things are one I ask myself).. I don't want read a romance book & overly indated with things ... A glancing (overview) of the subjects then great...
Here is a list of few books that I have read in the past couple of books & social problems that were written in them. You could tell the author did their research as well as written them in way I could enjoy the book...

Voodoo on the Bayoo (oil pollution & illegal dumping)
Temptation (Amish & social stuff...)
Dirty Laundry (gay romance-the main characters one had OCD & the other had learn disability)

They touched on the subjects but they did detract from story.

Mary Corrales said...

Excellent points, Beckey. Thank you. Thank you also for the book suggestions to check out.

Ivy Bateman said...

I think it really depends on the way it's done. If the social commentary is genuinely worked into the story, such as, as you mentioned Mary, the heroine being a scientist concerned with Global warming, I think it can work. However, if you're reading a book, and out of nowhere the main characters start tackling social issues it can seem like an after thought or it can feel like the author has suddenly decided to work their own social agenda into the world of the story without it being rooted properly in the story.

I hope that made sense!

Great post Mary!