I'm a bit sidetracked. I was sent the proof for "Bobby Carapisi - Book One" and I'm going through it to make sure as many typos are corrected as possible. This will be my fourth published book...but it's the first one coming out that I'm being really anal about to the point of obsession...and it's driving the publisher crazy. Because this one is more than mere erotica -- no, that's not the right way to put this. My books were never "mere erotica" because each one has a message and meaning in its story beyond the gay sex aspects.
You see, my first book -- "How To Rape A Straight Guy" -- is a very in your face kind of story about revenge, where an ex-con thinks he has control of his life and finds he hasn't any, but not before he destroys the lives of a number of people.
My second book -- "Porno Manifesto" -- is also about revenge, but in this one it shows how vengeance cannot be controlled and innocent people often get hurt.
Through both of them ran a theme of the casual corruption and hypocrisy of our so-called system of justice in America -- a system that is too easily manipulated by the wealthy and is very much stacked against those who cannot fight back. So I made that the whole basis of my third book -- "Rape In Holding Cell 6 - volume 1" -- where a gay man is falsely accused of raping a child, winds up beaten to death in that holding cell while awaiting arraignment, and no one is willing to do anything about it beyond put the men who committed the murder into prison for a few years. His lover discovers it's happened to others and begins tracking down a corrupt triad of public officials who seem to be deliberately targeting gay men for punishment...and sets out to wreak his own vengeance against them. Volume 2 will be about how it finally plays out...once I write it.
The thing is, with all of these books, I put in some very graphic sexual encounters (both gay and straight). Nothing much more than what you'd find in a Judith Krantz or Jackie Collins novel, but they're still seen as just erotica in most people's eyes...including mine, to my embarrassment. Deep inside me is something that basically says these books are not as of high a value as my other writing...and that's a failing on my part. NONE of my work should ever be seen as less than worthy in my own eyes, so I feel I'm letting my stories down by having that idea stuck in my brain.
That said, "Bobby Carapisi" is about the human toll of sexual assault. Two men are raped -- one gay and unknown, one straight and a budding celebrity -- and books 1&2 follow the destructive effect it has on them and how the world perceives them. (Book 3 is still coming together in my mind so I won't talk about it, yet.) But this book has always been more important to me, held more meaning for me, so while I was willing to kick back and just give suggestions to the art department for cover art and basically skim over the proof to make sure it's correct enough on the first three, on this one I know EXACTLY what I want all three covers to look like and won't accept anything less. And I'm obsessing through the proof for the umpteenth time to find any and all typos and irregularities I can.
Sometimes I spook myself. This is one. And I don't care. So be prepared. Book 2's proof should be coming my way soon, and I'll be even nastier about that one.