Friday, July 11, 2008

Not boy books or chick lit... I'm writing James Bond books

Both of you regular readers may recall some musings by my friend Jimbob recently, in which he claimed that instead of writing hairy-chested boy books set in Africa I was, in fact, writing "chick books".

I received some pleasingly level headed comments from some of you in response to Jimbob's assertions, but he did get a reaction, which is nice to see in a blog.

By way of a teensy explanation, my friend The Big Kahuna and I gave Jimbob his first job in Public Relations many years ago. What intrigued us most about his job application - and set him ahead of the other candidates in our view - was that he wrote his university thesis on the Australian Porn Industry. He was a fast talking (over) confident youngster with a pony tail back then. Today he is a fast talking (over) confident older corporate PR person making megabucks.

Anyway, Jimbob is never backwards in coming forwards when it comes to critiquing my books and he took the time to pen a rather long email to me regarding my latest book, SILENT PREDATOR.

As you will see from this missive, which I have printed here sans a few expletives and overly colourful turns of phrase, Jimbob has decided I am in fact writing James Bond books, not girly books. It's a little rude in places (even with censoring), but it's much more interesting than the "better than average airport thriller" reviews that represent the height of praise for my genre of writing in certain broadsheets.

Here it is (with censorship in bold type):

Senor Park,

Good to see you are still enjoying the many wonders of your national (except South Australia) tour.

Finished Silent Predator quite some time ago and noticed a striking similarity between your heroes and James Bond:

They all get sex twice an adventure.

Traditionally in each film, Commander Bond will (become intimate with) one young minx who is usually very pushy and up for it, by about the 30 - 40 minute mark. They will most often be rather nameless hot bodies who ultimately either wind up dead or are revealed to be evil.

In your novels, the first round is usually just as casual, suggested by some random chick who's pushy and up for it (cue the milf on an overlander, the backpacker in the men’s room, a white afrikaaner lush in a fancy hotel room) and also occurs a bit before the half way mark (30-40 minute mark if your book was a film). Yours don’t get dead, but they do disappear rapidly from the rest of the tale.

The sex also seems to occur just after he has met the heroine he will eventually end up bedding by the book’s end.

And like the Bond films, I believe you’ve placed the casual (moments of intimacy) at that exact moment to meet the following needs of your target audiences:

1) Women - By this stage in the book/movie, women want your character (or Bond) to prove he is worth lusting after and demonstrate he is as good in bed as they want him to be – all the while still believing he can be sensitive and conflicted as he spends the rest of the book pining/working for the strong unattainable female co-star/heroine. (Who usually only gives it up before the final shootout, or in bond’s case, straight after.)

2) Men - Men however, reach the 30-40 min window or near-mid point of the book and want to be reassured that their hero’s not going to spend the whole book/film (ummm painfully pursuing?) the lead female. As such, by this point in the story, the male reader demands to see their hero (become intimate with) some no-name saucepot to prove he’s not a monk.

In most cases, post-(intimate) activity is then followed by a scene with the woman he truly wants to (be intimate with), (so the women can say “it should be her”, so the men can say “you’re next”), followed by an explosive gun battle.

Twice a movie, twice a book.

The name’s Bond, eh bru?

On a side note, thought Silent Predator was very good and really liked the work in England. Also, here’s to the return of another Far Horizon hero. The Parki-verse is growing ever larger.

Still believe Shane Castle deserves a return.

Well done son. Very well done indeed.

All the best to Mrs Park.



ali g said...

Tony Park.licensed to thrill.

Anonymous said...

I never thought of you as an 'Ian Fleming' but I think Jimbob has nailed it. Fleming after all tried his hand at 'spying', Parky has tried his hand at ....... well almost everything.

Life would be so much simpler if boys and girls knew the rules as outlined in the Bond & Park scenarios.

Life as it should be:
Go to the pub/club/wherever - quicky with the Bimbo in the loo after 40 minutes,- meet the girl you really lust after whilst still zipping up your fly,- negotiate the major plot battles, i.e. other guys trying to win her away; getting a cab; getting home; then presto "scooooore".

To help this scenario the girls should group at different spots at the venue such as (1)looking for a quicky; (2)looking for an all-nighter; (3)looking for a life-partner ( a big group who go home alone).

Everyone knows the rules everyone (except the girls in group 3) gets lucky and goes home (the next morning) happy.

Indeed I think the next edition of the "Dangerous Book for Boys" should definitely include some of your plots and Jimbob's musings as a direction for boys to take. Perhaps the 'chick' stuff could go into the 'Big Glorious Book for Girls".

There is a lot to be said about life with Mr Park and Mr Bond.

The 'Prof'