Today’s Big Surprise – I’m Scholarly?

Today I received the biggest surprise of the year.

I often fret about Amazon’s algorithm for their search engine. Are my books properly categorized to produce the maximum sales when someone goes searching for post-apocalyptic fiction? Is there something I should change in the key words or other meta data to improve sales? So when I saw this post about books being filtered for adult content, I just had to check out whether my novels have been cleansed by this dreaded adult filter.

Only two of my novels have sex scenes, and in both cases the events are integral to the plot, are between consenting, loving adults, and I avoid truly graphic descriptions, opting more for euphemisms than colloquial references to male and female anatomy. I think they’re tasteful but still hot.

The advice in the above blog to determine if your novel has been flagged as adult material is to go to Amazon, leave it searching “All Products” and search your name. Guess what I found out? I’ve been referenced in an academic text!

Yup, I didn’t see that coming either, but apparently my review of Rango got the attention of MV5BMjE5ODg1NTk3OF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNzA5NTMyNA@@._V1_SX214_the author of an essay that appears in, Undead in the West II, published by Scarecrow press, an imprint of Rowman and Littlefield. The book is described as a collection of essays that will, “appeal to scholars of literature, gaming, and popular culture, as well as to fans of this unique hybrid.” Wow! Cool!

I know that as far as sales in horror go, an endorsement from the master, Stephen King, would have considerably more impact, but I’m still thrilled. It’s awesome that my review of Rango earned a whole paragraph in this book. The author of the essay states:

“A similarly scholarly approach is evident in the Beyond the Slush pile review of the animated film Rango (2011) Here, blogger Michael Andre McPherson expands the aesthetic foundations of the undead Western genre through thoughtful intertextual analysis. He sees beyond the childcentric CGI premise, classifying the film as a modern incarnation of the mature postapocalyptic Western. Drawing on references to the fictionalized histories of Madmax (1979), John Wayne, and John Ford, the review sees Rango as emerging from the debris of 1980s Westerns, successfully updating the traditional formula by using horror elements such as suspense, social angst, and the undead creatures.”

Wow! I could never have summed up that blog post so succinctly.

I’m flattered and honoured. I checked the biographies of the editors of Undead in the West II on their Amazon pages, and they all seem intimidatingly smart. A cultural anthropologist, a Ph.D. student, and an historian? I was lucky to snatch a B.Sc. out of University of Toronto, and I was always awed by the Arts side of the Faculty of Arts and Science because they could write essays. We only wrote barely literate lab reports, and I’ve spent all of my days since university struggling to improve my writing, starting with a no-credit evening grammar elective at U of T the year after I graduated.

It’s also great inspiration to keep blogging. If anyone had suggested that my blog would end up being referenced in a cultural anthropology essay, I would have laughed and poured them another drink.

So I will blog more often, because you never know where your writings will land. It’s part of the fun.

As for the dreaded adult filter? It’s impossible to truly tell, but I think I’ve dodge that bullet so far. In my future writing, I’ll be careful I don’t get burned by sex scenes that are too hot. Maybe just a little hot.

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