Do You All Read the Whatchamacallit?
By that I mean the paragraphs or pages the author writes before you get started into the book? I’m an avid reader of these things and love them deeply. I often find that I feel that I know more about why the author felt compelled to write this story or why it’s situated in the location it’s in or even given a more in depth look at a main character because of what an author has written prior to starting their story.
But what the hell is it called?
Most, might have referred to it as The Foreward, myself included. Wrongo! That would have had to have been written by someone else, not the author themselves. For correct usage see the flash fiction anthology Impact with it’s foreward by J. Scott Coatsworth.
So it would be either Introduction or The Preface. How many of you know the difference? I needed a refresher course myself so I went looking for definitions and correct usages for all three. A lovely blog, BPS Book Blog, supplied this succinct roundup:
… here are some definitions and descriptions – supported by the dictionary and the august Chicago Manual of Styleand proven to be helpful in my work as an editor and publisher – that my authors have found of assistance.
A foreword (one of the most often misspelled words in the language) is most often written by someone other than the author: an expert in the field, a writer of a similar book, etc. Forewords help the publisher at the level of marketing: An opening statement by an eminent and well-published author gives them added credibility in pitching the book to bookstores. Forewords help the author by putting a stamp of approval on their work.
A preface is best understood, I believe, as standing outside the book proper and being about the book. In a preface an author explains briefly why they wrote the book, or how they came to write it. They also often use the preface to establish their credibility, indicating their experience in the topic or their professional suitability to address such a topic. Sometimes they acknowledge those who inspired them or helped them (though these are often put into a separate Acknowledgments section). Using an old term from the study of rhetoric, a preface is in a sense an “apology”: an explanation or defense.
If a preface is about the book as a book, the introduction is about the content of the book. Sometimes it is as simple as that: It introduces what is covered in the book. Other times it introduces by setting the overall themes of the book, or by establishing definitions and methodology that will be used throughout the book. Scholarly writers sometimes use the introduction to tell their profession how the book should be viewed academically (that is, they position the book as a particular approach within a discipline or part of a discipline). This latter material is appropriate for a preface, as well. The point is that it should appear in the preface or the introduction, not both.
What brought all this on?
As I said I always read them. To bring me knowledge, insight into the story, what the author was thinking when they were writing it…all sorts of things. They aren’t always labeled correctly but I love them dearly.
The one that launched this one was the Introduction to Ryan Field’s Pretty Man, a M/M reworking of Pretty Woman. He writes about the total lack of any happy gay literature in the 20th century and his need to “fill the bill”. Ryan Fields now writes “happy romances” as a gay man for the youth today looking for literature much as he once did. How this got me thinking on so many levels (and researching).
Thankfully, there are so many positive and happy examples to point to from books to movies* these days (not tons amounts true in the movies more much more. Look at but there are now LGBT movie channels) so progress has been made. Plus there is a veritable flood of Quiltbag fiction out there now to quench the thirst of those looking for happy endings for LGBTQIA couples. The more writers the merrier I say.
But lets return to gay fiction of the 20th Century. What books do you find or comes to mind? Are they all tear fests?
Here are some that I found and the dates they were published:
Tales of the City (Tales of the City Series #1) by Armistead Maupin 1978
Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown 1973
Maurice by E.M. Forster 1913
A Single Man by Christopher Isherwood 1964
Kiss of the Spider Woman by Manuel Puig 1976
A Boy’s Own Story by Edmund White 1982
A Queer Kind of Umbrella (Pharoah Love, book 5) by George Baxt 1995
I also found childrens books about Daddy’s Roommate (1994) and My Two Uncles (1995) so I was wondering about the author’s timeline. Some early 20th century classics are devastating certainly (Gore Vidal, James Baldwin to name just two), but a sea change had started with Stonewall and its ripples spread out and impacted everywhere and everything, media included.
Anyhow….see what a Introduction can do to me? Laughing….
How to you feel about Forewards, Introductions, and Prefaces? Do you read them? What do you learn, if anything from them?
And how do you feel about the 20th Century’s lack of feel good romantic gay fiction? True or False?
As to Pretty Man…well, that review will come up and it caused me to do some thinking as well. More on that later.
Now here is what our upcoming week is looking like. Happy Reading and Listening!
This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
Sunday, August 19:
- This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
- Do You All Read the Whatchamacallit?
- Release Blitz – In The Shadows – TL Travis
Monday, August 20:
- Cover Reveal – Marina Vivancus – In This Iron Ground
- Release Blitz – RJ Scott – Last Chance
- Review Tour – Bitten By Her (Regent’s Park Pack #4.5) – Annabelle Jacobs
- An Alisa Review : Love Spell by Mia Kerick
- A MelanieM Review : Bitten By Her (Regent’s Park Pack #4.5) by Annabelle Jacobs
- A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: Threepeat by KC Wells and Parker Williams
Tuesday, August 21:
- Book Blast – A Thread in Time by Jess Thomas
- SERIES REVIEW TOUR – Directions by Jena Wade
- DSP Cover Reveal Heart of a Redneck by Jodi Payne/BA Tortuga
- An Ali Release Day Review: Hex and Candy (Strange Bedfellows #1) by Ashlyn Kane
- A Jeri Release Day Review: Rocking the Cowboy by Skylar M. Cates
- A Lila Release Day Review: Art House (Buchanan House #6) by Charley Descoteaux
- A Lucy Release Day Review: Wanted Bad Boyfriend by TA Moore
Wednesday, August 22:
- Audio Review Tour – Changing Lines – RJ Scott & V.L. Locey
- Blog Tour Circle of Trust by Aimee Nicole Walker & Nicolas Bella
- Riptide Tour Shelter from the Storm by Kate Sherwood
- A Free Dreamer Review: Bones and Bourbon by Dorian Graves
- A MelanieM Review : Dark City by Sarah Kay Moll
- A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Shelter from the Storm by Kate Sherwood
Thursday, August 23:
- DSP Cover Reveal Femme Faux Fatale by Susan Laine
- Of Princes False and True” by Eric Alan Westfall
- Harmony Promo Beau Schemery
- An Ali Review Death Days by Lia Cooper
- A VVivacious Review Of Princes False and True by Eric Alan Westfall
- A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Last Chance by R.J. Scott
- An Alisa Audiobook Review Sweet Nothings (Amuse Bouche #1) by T. Neilson and Simon Ferrar (Narrator)
Friday, August 24:
- Book Blast Born to be Wild by A.L. Simpson
- DSP Promo Remmy Duchene on Tempt Me
- A Stella Release Day Review: Midnight in Berlin by JL Merrow
- An Alisa Review: 2230: The Perfect Year by CM Corett
- An Alisa Review Up to Code (Directions #1) by Jena Wade
- A MelanieM Audiobook Review: Sun and Shadow (Day and Knight #2) by Dirk Greyson and Andrew McFerrin ( Narrator)
Saturday, August 25:
- Looking Forward by Michael Bailey Release Blitz
- Media Blitz – FINDING MY WAY HOME BY KENDEL DUNCAN
- A MelanieM Review: Pretty Man by Ryan Field
*Gay Movies with Happy Endings!
Touch of Pink
The Way He Looks
Were The World Mine
Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
And wait there’s more!
1) All Over the Guy
2) Boy Culture
3) East Side Story
4) Fourth Man Out
5) Friends & Family
6) God’s Own Country
7) Long Term Relationship
8) Latter Days
9) Salt Water
10) Save Me