Thursday, January 5, 2017

Adventures Of The Ooga-Wooga Kid: Book 1 Now Available

"Adventures of the Ooga-Wooga Kid: Book 1" is now on sale at Amazon. You can get it here.

This is the book mentioned in a previous post where I said I had been inspired by a film adaptation of "She," the story of three British adventurers who travel to east Africa and find an immortal white woman ruling over a tribe of native Africans, and have a series of pulpish adventures there.

"Adventures of the Ooga-Wooga Kid: Book 1" was INSPIRED by "She" but is nothing like that. It's NOT "She" with explicit sex scenes. (That is a description that much more closely matches the prequel I'm working on now, more about that later.)

I realized that I COULDN'T write an honest book about a 1920s adventure in Africa that involves slavegirls (because you KNOW it's got to involve slavegirls) that would pass Amazon's muster, especially given that I am on super-double probation there due to so many of my earlier books getting banned.

I figured out a solution: start the story with the adventurer (George Huntington) returning to America with a wife who was a slavegirl there, whom he freed and married after buying her from slavery.

This gets rid of the nonconsensual elements that generally make slavegirl stories objectionable to Amazon (and of interest to readers). But it still left me with a problem: where to get the dramatic punch for the story?

On further thought, I decided to take a two-pronged approach: first of all, have the conflict in the story provided by the deeply inhibited nature of 1920s Americans with regard to sex. The depth of American sexual inhibitions with regard to sex is hard to comprehend from our Internet-enabled age, but I remembered an account I read somewhere years ago that brought it to my attention.

It was just a paragraph in a long article about something else, but it recounted the story of a country singer in the 1960s, think Hank Williams, Sr., or George Jones, somebody like that. He was on a tour, and was enjoying the services of a local whore, and suddenly bolted from his hotel room with startled expression on his face.

"What's the matter?" his buddies asked.

"She tried to put it in her MOUTH!" he said in tones of surprise and disgust.

Now, if stuff like that went on in the 1960s, you can imagine what the 1920s were like. Granted, the country singer didn't exactly come from the most enlightened background, but if things were still that backward in some cultures in the 60s, I think it's reasonable to hypothesize that even the most educated and affluent people in the 1920s might have had a lot of inhibitions where sex is concerned.

And that there would be much shock and awe among such people in close personal encounters with a woman who had been a sex slave.

The other prong dealt with race. Slavery in America was a matter of race, but in Africa it was not. It was mostly Africans enslaving other Africans. It was a matter of social status that was not linked to race.

But it wasn't JUST Africans. Between 1530 and 1780, Barbary Coast slavers ranged up and down the coastal villages of Europe, raiding them and taking away their villagers as slaves. It got so bad in Spain and Italy that long stretches of the coast were virtually abandoned during this period.

That white Europeans occasionally got enslaved has long been known, but what has not been known is the extent of it. A recent study has estimated that well over a million captives were taken from all over Europe by slavers during this period, far more than was thought to be the case previously. (No one had really done any serious research previously.)

So there's ample precedence for white slaves to be in the gene pool of slaves in Africa, because women and children were taken as well as men.

Now, having the explorer returning to America with a black or brown wife when America was rife with racism of the very worst sort and miscegenation laws were still in effect in many states, might take my story in a different direction than I intended.

But what if the woman the explorer brought back was to all visible inspection, white, in fact, with pale skin and red hair … perhaps a genetic throwback to an ancestor kidnapped in the distant past? Her parents, brothers and sisters might all be dark brown, and she would be mentally a part of the culture of her family and city, a well-adjusted slavegirl who thought of black and brown people as her equals and often her superiors, given that she was a slavegirl.

She would then be an excellent stalking-horse for introducing her cultural attitudes about sex to the inhibited denizens of upstate Connecticut.

And thus you have my story.

As for the characters, well I read or tried to read "She" to prep me for writing the story. Haggard, I discovered, was not a particularly good writer. He could come up with ripping stories, but his characters were wooden and not at all believable. But it was easy enough to model my explorer roughly on Indiana Jones and to keep Haggard's keen sense of the exotic.

I also reread a Bertie Wooster story or two, to get a feel for Percy Webster, the dissolute playboy who heads the Humboldt College Department of Antiquities. Percy has a little bit more on the ball than Bertie Wooster, but shares his slangy language, his lack of interest in work, and his taste for drinking and dancing.

I had some trouble coming up with the personality for Mrs. Webster, until I remembered Natalie Wood's plucky feminist heroine in the movie "The Great Race." Wood's character wasn't a serious feminist figure, her role was mainly to be a romantic foil for the hero, and to fall in love with him, but Wood did a great job in the movie of conveying a sense of plucky independence and charm, which I was happy to borrow for Lily Webster.

As for Safi, she remains a bit of an enigma. People looked at her and saw an Irish colleen, a beautiful young women with red hair and pale skin, while in her heart she was what we would describe as a black woman who was also a happy and well adjusted sex slave. (OK we can argue about the likelihood that any real life sex slaves would be happy and well adjusted, but for the erotic sake of this story, she's a fictionally happy and well-adjusted sex slave.)

We'll find out more about Safi in the prequel to Book 1 of "Adventures of the Ooga-Wooga Kid" which is what I am working on right now. Unfortunately, it will have to be published on Smashwords, a much more open and free publishing platform than Amazon, because Amazon isn't going to put up with any stories about sex slaves having nonconsensual sex, however well adjusted they might be.

It's a shame I have to jump around publishing platforms like that, but I just can't denature the story of Safi's origins enough to suit Amazon and still have a story that makes any kind of sense. I see this as a case of artistic integrity being blighted by censorship, pure and simple. Straight up, no excuses: Amazon is doing its readers wrong with its ridiculous censorship practices.

In fact, there's an interesting series I have read that has a very neat way of sidestepping Amazon censorship practices: the "Sold To The Master" trilogy by Brittany Adams. In it, there's an alternate America where women are enslaved when they reach the age of 18. They become the property of a man at that point, and it isn't their choice who they become the property of.

Adams' sidestep in this case is to have the whole "enslaving" thing be pretty much like an arranged marriage, and the enslavement roughly equivalent to being a 1940s/50s style housewife in America. Despite the fact that she uses the terms "slave" and that the women wear collars (instead of rings on their fingers) and they have sex with their owners whom they presumably have no choice about, it still reads like a romance set in 1950s America somehow.

And as well as Brittany does it, I have to wonder what sort of slavery the women would be in if Amazon weren't so censorious on topics like slavery and rape. I suspect, a very different, much more dramatically interesting sort of slavery.

So read "Ooga-Wooga Kid" and enjoy, enjoy. I think it's a fine little story that gets some major erotic kink going and also conveys a nice jazz age feel to it. Then keep an eye out for the prequel … on Smashwords.