Colorado. Runner. Yogi. Fucking hilarious, like, 17% of the time.

Cotton and Under, sitting in a tree

Did I mention I'm writing a romance novel? Despite the fact that I have never read one? This, to me, somehow seems like a practically guaranteed source of income.

Romance Fiction Sales from 2005–2008

(source: Simba Information)

  • 2005: $1.4 billion
  • 2006: $1.37 billion
  • 2007: $1.375 billion
  • 2008: $1.37 billion

See? Someone must be writing a lot of damn books, seeing as how the average romance novel sells for about 50 cents.

Surprisingly, I'm not concerned about the feminist (or otherwise) statement made by such a genre. I think that a large portion of the people who judge such things don't like that an entire category of books is written for and about women and love, but that in and of itself doesn't make it a non feminist pursuit.

What I've decided is that my book is going to have to pass the Emma test. The Emma test is a variation of the Bechdel test, which gives a movie a thumbs up or down based on the answer to three simple questions.

  1. Are there two women in the movie?
  2. Do they talk to each other?
  3. When they talk, is it about something other than a man?

The Emma test adds a fourth question.

4.  Can the same be said for men?

Now that that's out of the way, all I need to decide is what to name my heroes. At some point I decided that I wanted my female hero to be named Cotton (please don't ask me to explain, because I have no idea. Perhaps it has to do with Crockett, or the cottonwood tree in his backyard, or what I was wearing that day. My mind boggles ... my mind sometimes.) I asked Crockett for non-traditional name suggestions for my male hero, and he suggested....


Cotton and Under.

He didn't know I'd chosen Cotton at the time, so there was no subconscious underwear reference on his part. I wasn't going to use it, but it's actually sort of growing on me - and what's the downside of using names that make people think of underclothing in a romance novel?

No downside that I can see.

Cotton and Under it is.

in other news, musicians are motherfucking sexy