I've been thinking -- a lot -- about what the word 'nasty' means. Here's what I got from an online dictionary:
1) disgustingly dirty; physically repellent
2) morally offensive; indecent
3) malicious; spiteful
Why am I stuck on this particular word? Here's the thing. I was talking to my sister-in-law about my pitches -- and the requests for manuscripts (full and partial) -- from St. Martins. After she told me how great that was, and I mean immediately after, she asked me if I was going to tone it down, make it not as nasty (in this case, meaning "morally offensive" or "indecent").
I told her no. After a couple more minutes of going back and forth, I asked her if she thought that a Christian shouldn't write a murder mystery where people killed people, since killing's a sin. She kind of hemmed and hawed, then asked, "Are they married?"
Me: "My characters?"
Her: "Then I've got a problem with that."
Because, I guess, pre-marital sex is a bigger sin than murder. Or describing the act of love-making between two people who are in love or at least on the verge of it is worse than describing a murder scene.
*sigh* I just don't get it. But I do know this: I'm not sharing my news with my sister-in-law anymore. My mother wishes I wrote children's books, but she was happy with my news and didn't ask me if I was going to tone it down. So why does my sister-in-law feel it necessary to dictate my morality?
Whatever. I lost sleep over it the night before last, but no more. Don't get me wrong--I love her. I've known her for 22 years. She and I are good friends. This is just something we're going to agree to disagree on and I'm done expecting her to be or wishing she would be happy for me. Without the judgment. You know... Don't rain on my parade!
So, my sister and my friends will continue to be my support and my cheerleaders. My sister-in-law, the next time she asks how things are going, will get a simple "Fine."
St. Martins asked me to send a full AND a partial manuscript. Nasty or not, how great is that?!?