Readers becoming of age…

I wrote the other day about taking spawn on the Mother-Daughter date, which included a stop at Barnes & Noble.

Now, the spawn is now 19. She’s been reading erotic romance for a few years now. Yeah, it was awkward at first, but now we can talk about the books, characters, and the stuff that comes out of her mouth just kills.

“DO these people do anything BUT fuck?” My jaw hit the floor and I died laughing.

“Like…eat dinner, take a shower…take a poop. Something!” I continued to laugh.

“No one has this much sex.” Okay, so she’s a cynical smartass, but the apples does not fall far from the tree.

“Jesus, this chick needs a bag of frozen peas.” Yeah, when you’ve been screwing for 75 pages, your shit is just wrecked. But it’s fiction and she’s learning what she likes and does not like.

But our trip through the romance section was educational. I paid attention…close attention. These are our future fans. They’re coming of age, old enough to buy our stuff. Old enough to understand it and, I daresay, learn from it.

So she picked up a Harlequin paperback, held it up and said, “Really? How fuckin’ cheesy!”

The books that did grab her attention had updated covers, some had no people (i.e. Sylvia Day style) but most were bold. No torso only covers. No Harlequin-Fabio-Damsel-in-Distress covers. They’re not falling for the trend. Not in the least.

While my target market has been a bit older than my first born, it got me to thinking. These people are our up-and-coming fanbase. They’re not gonna go for something they think is “lame.” They’re going to blab on social media about what they think. They are VOCAL. They can make or break you.

People like my daughter have already passed up the YA novels. They’re not interested in teen angst, awkward young women, or gender specific roles.

They’re giving each other courage too. What my spawn didn’t notice (but I did) was that another girl her age was watching her. She was standing in the Sci-Fi section, looking at the romance books from afar. After my daughter picked up about the 13th book, the girl stepped over, grabbed a romance off the shelf and stepped back into the sci-fi aisle as she read the back cover.  It was a Shayla Black novel.

As I walked by her, I winked and said, “She’s a hellova writer. You should get it.”

Her face turned red as she nodded and hurried to the checkout line.

I’m happy I raised a young woman who isn’t afraid to stand in the romance aisle and grab a BDSM novel. She’s not abashed, ashamed, or embarrassed. What she is…is curious, and secure. She knows reading a BDSM novel doesn’t mean she’s weird. Hell, it doesn’t even mean she’s into BDSM.

She empowers others too. This is it…this is our future. We can learn from them, just as they can learn from us. And trust me, I’m paying attention.