Friday, May 28, 2010

Wear sexy shoes and you will be a better writer

Today's guest is Mario Acevedo, vampire mystery writer extraordinaire. Mario has many opinions about all sorts of underpinnings...especially shoes.

*Oh, one question Mario-- does all this apply to the boys, as well?*

(Disclaimer:
The opinions of our guests do not necessarily reflect those of the Pens...)

There’s a constant feud between genre and literary writers and here’s my take on a big difference between the two: Woman genre writers get pedicures and wear nicer shoes.

I was going to Twitter that last line but instead use it here where I was asked to discuss lingerie, metaphorical underpinnings, and lace-up boots (under which I include women’s shoes in general).

I’m sure literary writers will object to my conclusion. T.S. The exception proves the rule. At the last literary reading I was at, there were only three women in attendance (out of forty) with nice shoes. (I complimented one of them and she replied, “Mario, I was waiting for you to say something.” I do have that reputation.) So is there a metaphorical underpinning between a woman’s shoes and the kind of stories she writes? There is. I’ve been to many genre conferences--mystery, fantasy, romance--and the women wear nice shoes and show off their pedicures. Genre writers give us compelling characters in engaging plots with a clearly defined story question. These women know where they are going and what to expect at the destination.

At literary conferences, it’s a plague of gnarly toes, clunky shoes, and the most vile of all Mario repellent--Birkenstocks. Even among the young women who should know better. So then, literary writers: maybe some humor, the occasional pithy anecdote, but mostly rambling prose on a road to nowhere.

Ergo, with the certainty of rocket science. Shoe choice = type of writing.

Sadly I don’t know enough about what lingerie women genre and literary writers wear. But nice sexy shoes do indicate a predilection for satiny and silky (and perhaps leather) corsets and bustiers. Don’t forget the tiny panties, tap pants, cat suits, and Cuban heels. So I venture that women genre writers wear lingerie much more often than their literary counterparts. I detect a pattern.

What does lingerie say about metaphorical underpinnings? Quite a bit but it depends how a woman wears her foundation garments and related accessories. A woman who wears a corset and garter belt with ease and grace is telling the world not that she merely feels sexy, but that she is sexy. Hot. I’ve had women tell me they don’t need lingerie to feel sexy. Good for them, and they’re missing the point. A woman wearing lingerie has the supercharged aura of the femme fatale. Mysterious. Dangerous. And it’s that promise of mystery and danger that pulls us men in like a tractor beam. Have mercy on us.

Women genre writers understand the metaphorical underpinnings of their undergarments and shoes. They aren’t afraid to express their sexuality or show that they know where they’re going and what they want when they get there. Just as in their writing.

Happy fanging!

Mario Acevedo is the author of the Felix Gomez detective-vampire series. His latest book is WEREWOLF SMACKDOWN and his vampire characters have been spun off into a comic book series, KILLING THE COBRA, from IDW Publishing. The images are available here: http://www.marioacevedo.com/MANewsletterKillingTheCobra.html The comics can be ordered from: http://www.tfaw.com/

For a straight man, Mario knows an awful lot about women’s shoes. He lives and writes in Denver, Colorado.

28 comments:

Lynda Sandoval said...

I, and my Jimmy Choos, Louboutins, and Manolo Blahniks give a nod of approval. I'd post a picture if I could! xo

Jaye Wells said...

So what you're saying is that the less circulation a woman's shoes allow to her brain, the more interesting her writing? Hmm. You might be onto something. After all, men are fantastic writers and we all know their blood is monopolized by their little heads rather than their brains. XOXO, Jaye

Laura DiSilverio said...

So, if I decide to do a literary novel at some point, I need to give up my pink leather peep-toe shoes? Hmm . . . how far in advance do I have to give them up in order for a literary novel to flow from my pen?

Mario said...

Jaye, you as always get right to the meat of the matter.

Juliet Blackwell said...

I can't say I've ever made a real study of the subject, but I imagine male literary writers would tend toward Italian short-top boots...but I could be wrong. Perhaps worn athletic shoes are more their style. Have you taken a poll amongst male genre authors? Cowboy boots, maybe?
Thanks for joining us today and poking fun at the literary folk!

Terry Odell said...

I've never been to a 'literary' conference, so I can't give my personal observations. However, I did attend one library "meet the author" where most of the audience was of the Book Club variety. They were wearing clunky shoes. I felt out of place with my 4 inch red peep toe stilettos. Based on your observations, I guess their book clubs read the literary stuff.

Carolyn Crane said...

LOL. Mario! Now we know what you are thinking about at book conferences while everybody else is listening to the panel speakers. Lingerie! Corsets!

I have a friend who attended a recent literary conference and he reported lots of Uggs, like, big chunky soft boots worn with skirts. How do you feel about that?

Deb Courtney said...

Mario -- I'm gonna bust your theory -- I write literary, in fact did the whole university fiction writing degree thing, and I love my stilettos. And my platform boots. And Cuban-heeled peep-toes. And strappy dominatrix-freak shoes. Love em all equally. Of course, I don't fit in all that well at literary conferences. I do have fun at them though :)

Mario said...

Deb: my point exactly.
Carolyn: Uggs look great with a very tiny bikini, or less.
Terry: red peep toe stilettos? You get major points. Thanks for sharing. Now I can call it a day and start on my first cocktail.
Julie: Men? What men? In my world there are no men other than me.

Deb Courtney said...

Also, I'd like to know where I can purchase the pictured lace-up boots...

:)

Anonymous said...

What a crock.

Martha Flynn said...

I like this theory. I should have a Printz or a Hugo by now with my shoe collection!

Mario said...

A literary writer must have spoken. Anonymously, of course.

Shel said...

I adore this theory, especially since I just read (with considerable dismay) a rant on another author's site about how she is NOT a genre writer, she writes Literature. In the process she made it sound like genre writers are hacks, and those who read genre fiction are stupid. Needless to say, this didn't sit well with me; I love my mysteries, and I love my mystery authors.

Kat Richardson said...

Huh.... this disturbs me: as a boat person, I've been living in deck shoes and boots for ages, but I write genre.... Maybe I just have kitten heels and platform Fuck-Me pumps in my soul....

Deb Courtney said...

@Shel -- I actually kind of dislike the adversarial relationship that seems to exist between 'genre' and 'literary' such as you describe above. My degree in English/Creative Writing included a lot of pop-culture elements as well as critical analysis of 'classics' -- I tend to think of literary as just another genre, albeit one that some people get pretty pretentious about. I may be lucky though -- my fave professor wrote amazing short stories (she was a Flannery O'Conner Award recipient) AND really fabulous Chick Lit, so she provided perspective that may not exist in many of the programs that grind out so-called 'literary' writers.

Mario said...

Kat: you wrote "Maybe I just have kitten heels and platform Fuck-Me pumps in my soul..." Of course you do. I can tell by your aura.

Rachael Herron said...

Having written both literary and genre, I can tell you that when I'm at my desk working, I'm in the same thing: yoga pants and a handknit sweater. (However, when I'm out pimping the romance, I wear hella cute shoes. And I never sold the literary stuff. So you may be onto something....)

Gigi Pandian said...

Oh, so THAT'S why I love shoes so much, since I'm a mystery writer. (Seriously, that Shoes topic we did was possibly my favorite: http://www.pensfatales.com/2010/02/my-soul-has-rubber-sole.html). I knew there had to be a reason ;)

Lisa Hughey said...

Mario--
Love the metaphor!! I'm a Michael Kors Black Patent Gladiator Zip Heel--most definitely not literary. *bg* Thanks for visiting!

Jeanne Stein said...

Oh, so that's why you're always peeking under tables at conferences? You're checking out the shoes...I think you know more about womens underpinnings than you're admitting.

J.

Andi Marquette said...

Hmmm. I write genre fiction and nonfiction and spend a lot of time in Doc Martens and Vans. And yes, I'm a woman. Lynda Sandoval knows that. She's seen me. :-)

Shel said...

@Deb - Thank you for that! It disturbed me quite a bit, actually, because I just don't see the validity of the logic. Just because your book is labeled a certain thing doesn't make it any better or any worse than the book next to it labeled something else. I wasn't even aware such a conflict existed until I ran headlong into that. I'm glad I'm a reader, and not a writer...

Amy M said...

All I have to do is wear Birkenstocks to make you go away? I better get some of those!

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