The humidity has finally eased and the weather is fresher, which means it’s dipped below the threshold above which I struggle to work. Monday I wrote solidly. My piece appeared on Reaction yesterday [click here]. Tuesday, however, was a wipe-out, except for my proofreading my old book.
I really want to get back to other work on my cartoons so I hoped that re-releasing this book wouldn’t take too long. I’d planned to redraw the cover but yesterday couldn’t think of a way to make it work. I’d love to draw some crazy splashy Steadman-style cover but what the book really needs is a photo of a muscular cowboy with his shirt off whilst in the process of unbuttoning his pants… I’m not sure how I achieve the former whilst producing the latter result.
I’m also not sure about the title. I gave it a long prosaic title but that hardly sold it. If fact, it didn’t sell it. I should add that it’s a series of short stories. I’ve written a new story for this collection, so I could republish it under a new title. It’s possibly called “The Rubber Moose Trilogy Volume 2” (the title the “author” of the book refers to inside the text) but I’d like something that would attract readers.
Except, I’m not sure which readers I want to attract.
Okay, I can see how this is getting complicated so let me back up a bit…
This is my book of erotic stories I wrote a couple of years ago. Yes, I said “erotic”. Except they’re not erotic. They’re a parody of the erotic genre, written in one of my piques of disgust that a ridiculous percentage of books sold via Amazon are about randy werewolves. (Note to self: should have written a parody of the werewolf story). The few people who’ve read it tell me that it’s laugh-out-loud funny but the problem is that not many people have read it. Perhaps it was the long prosaic title that put people off. I need something short and crude like: “Woman on Top!” or “He Wore His Underpants Tight!” (Actually, that last one isn’t too bad… Definitely a possibility!)
Which brings me to the audience. I don’t read erotic fiction. I don’t know people who do. I did a minimal amount of research to confirm that these books are generally very badly written and don’t contain much humour. People who read erotic fiction will hate the book because it’s actually not that filthy. That’s part of the joke. I play around with the usual rules of delayed gratification and then try to undercut it completely. I hope it’s for people who enjoy comedy.
I’m not claiming it’s great literature. It’s just gags fired as rapidly as I could write them. It’s also not a book you might read in one sitting (though I did). Comedy where literally every line is a kind of joke gets very tiring. It reads a bit like a Mel Brook’s film, which is good because Brooks can be funny, but also bad because he throws so many jokes (good and bad ) onto the screen because he knows that only one in ten will work.
I have to say, as I sit here and it ferments in my mind, that title, “He Wore His Underpants Tight!” is working for me. It’s not explicit but hints at eroticism whilst also contains the comic staple “underpants”.
Though that would still leave me with the same problem. I still don’t know what I could draw for the cover… Any ideas?