Besides, those little asterisks could mean anything. There are buckets of four-letter words that could fill in the blank here. Foaming, for example. “Another foaming blog post.” Yes, it would make no sense, but why not? It’s not as if most of my blog posts make good sense.
When I went to WordHippo.com, they offered me nearly 200 options to fill-in this blank with four-letter f-words, all of which could be used in polite society, so if your mind went to a profanity-filled place when you saw the asterisks, then shame on you. But, also, congratulations, smarty-pants, because, this time, “f***ing” means exactly what you thought it did. The big F-word. A word I’ve rarely used in any of my writing.
Why bring it up today? I thought it was time I brought you up to date. If you remember, a couple of months ago in this very same space, I talked about trying my hand at writing a billionaire romance as a serial fiction. Financially, it seemed the way to go. With Amazon Vella launching this week, more people are reading serial fiction than ever; romance remains serial fiction’s most popular genre; and billionaire romance has been so popular the last several years that “billionaire” now qualifies as a romance sub-category on many of the most popular eBook distribution platforms.
As someone who is not a fan of billionaires, real or fictional, I find this astounding. In romances, billionaires are frequently lovelorn, brilliant, handsome, and sporting six-pack abs. They’re not as self-absorbed as real billionaires, and they don’t spend all of their time trying to make more money when they already have an obscene amount of wealth. They are pretend billionaires, which is exactly right for fiction.
It’s just that I have trouble separating the real billionaires that I read about (I’m looking at you, Elon and Jeff) from the adorable billionaires that exist in fantasy. In my opinion, there’s such a thing as too wealthy. When one person controls more money than the entire gross domestic output of a fair-sized country – say, Madagascar, GDP of $14B, population 27 million – something isn’t right. I might even say that it’s severely f***ed up. Elon and Jeff are probably glad I’m not in control of worldwide wealth distribution.
Since that’s how I feel, I didn’t believe I was the best candidate to pen a billionaire romance. But, then, I wrote on the May 4th blog, “out of nowhere, a new story title popped into my head.
I shared the name with G.W.
‘You can’t use that,’ G.W. told me. ‘It’s obscene!”
I didn’t share the title on that blog, but I’m doing so today. The name that grabbed me was, Another F***king Billionaire. I felt I could write that book if Amazon, the eBook distributor that provides most of the Anne Glynn royalties, was okay with profanity in book titles.
I shouldn’t have worried. It turns out, they are VERY okay with the F-word. Go to their site and you’ll find day planners, stage plays, novels and novellas that use the F-word as their primary marketing tool. You’ll see coloring books with the word in the title. Not all of the authors softened the word by using asterisks, either. They went full-frontal obscenity. Me and the Good Witch, we’re behind the times.
My partner and I forged ahead with a story outline. In the outline, the billionaire is brilliant, handsome, lovelorn, and sports six-pack abs. (We weren’t reinventing the wheel.) We went step by step, building a fantasy lover that met every expectation… until the very last pages of the story. At the very end of the tale, given an ultimatum, our amazing billionaire reacted in what we both considered to be a real-world fashion. Let’s just say, wedding bells don’t ring out.
The last line of our outline had the heroine saying, wearily, “Another f***king billionaire.”
I thought some readers would enjoy it, but a little doubt crept in. I took the outline to my writing group for their thoughts. Without exception, they all enjoyed the story until the clencher. They seemed united in the belief that readers who didn’t like billionaire romances wouldn’t read the story, while readers who did like billionaire romances would hate the wrap-up. Those readers might not feel very kindly toward the authors, either. We’d get a week of sales and a lifetime of one-star reviews.
It would be easy enough to change the ending. Easier still to file it away and continue working on our current project. Which is what we’ll probably do.