Encyclopedia of Romance Fiction edited by Kristin Ramsdell (another former RWA Librarian of the Year) is going to be published in August 2018 - and ::drumroll please:: yours truly is one of the contributors!
As a reference book (read: expensive) and being one of several contributors, I figure my total royalties will be somewhere around $2.57, but you know what?
MY WORDS ARE GOING TO BE IN A PUBLISHED BOOK YO!
Plan on me being just as annoying about this as I have been since I was named RWA Librarian of the Year....way back in 2011. No, I'm never going to let that die. I'm getting it engraved on my tombstone. You've all been warned.
In other happy news, I have an update on the health kick weight loss journey. As of the typing of this post I've lost 34 pounds. I'm 11 pounds away from my "goal weight," which is what I was when I finished graduate school. That equated (at the time) to a size 10 (nearly 20 years ago...) and I figure a size 10 on this side of 40 is totally realistic. I started this journey in mid-August 2017 so yeah, it's been one of those "slow and steady" kind of things, which I hope bodes well for me keeping it off.
Exercise is still...well, the pits (I just don't like it folks) and I still miss bread - but being smarter about my carbohydrate and sugar intake has really been the key for me.
|Book #1 (1977)|
Sharon is a single woman, living and working in San Francisco for a low-cost law cooperative as their in-house investigator. The early books (I'm on #6 at the moment) largely serve as time capsules now, but in some ways they hold up remarkably well. Although some of the character depictions are dated (Ask the Cards a Question (1982) being the best/worst example of this so far), in many ways Muller was ahead of her time and some of the conflicts are still (amazingly) relevant. For example, gay characters aren't portrayed as deviants. Yes, they're set in San Francisco, but it's still pretty radical when you figure these early books were published in the early 1980s. However, there is some racial stereotyping. Although, to be fair, not as egregious as I've read in other 35 year old novels.
What I've found most remarkable as I've torn through these is how "current" some of the conflict has read - which I guess goes to show that the more things change the more they stay the same. In The Cheshire Cat's Eye (1983) neighborhood gentrification figures into the plot (upwardly mobile white people buying up cheap property in minority neighborhoods...) and in Leave a Message for Willie (1984) there's a bunch of alienated white guys running around playing soldier and spouting off racist garbage (a precursor to the militia movement that came to the forefront during the Oklahoma City bombing of 1995). I've found it fascinating, especially since I've only been able to remember small snippets of these books given it's been nearly 20 years since I've had exposure to them.
Would I recommend them to today's reader? I don't know - possibly. Like all things, it depends on the reader. I think they're an interesting time capsule, and Muller's Sharon McCone predates Sue Grafton's Kinsey Milhone - which puts another interesting spin on these because while both characters are "independent women" - Sharon is less prickly and actually has a love life (Kinsey did too - but Grafton tended to keep it off page when she mentioned it at all). There's actually been a couple of closed door sex scenes, which it also pretty remarkable since, in my experience, mystery readers get downright irritated when "love cooties" creep in to break up the discovery of dead bodies. The fact that Muller didn't have her hand smacked for including romantic entanglements for her private eye heroine (and the character hasn't been punished for them thus far) is interesting.
We'll see how long this audio glom lasts - but unless I hit an epic wallbanger, it's probably going to last for while. Good thing too, since right now this series and resulting nostalgia trip is the only reading I seem to be getting done.