Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Guest Blogger: Alysha Ellis

I swear it’s true...I saw it on TV

Yesterday I was watching a very old episode of the Simpsons where the family came to Australia. The episode was full of misinformation, outdated language and just plain absurdity.

Later, chatting on IM to an American friend, I smugly remarked that because of the amount of American TV we watch, Australians know much more about you than you know about us. “Oh, yeah?” my friend said. “Like what?”So I thought I’d show you a few things TV has taught me about American society.

All Americans live either in New York or California, unless they have the misfortune to be elderly, in which case they are sent to a retirement village called Florida. In New York everyone is around thirty something and has a close circle of friends with whom they spend all their time, sitting around in coffee shops or each others’ apartments, except for brief and infrequent forays into their glamorous but ever changing workplace. All New Yorkers live in apartments. Usually their best friend lives across the hallway. As a result, no doors are ever locked and it is customary for friends to wander in and out at will.

If on the other hand you live in California, your house is on the ocean front and is big enough to house the inhabitants of a small third world village. Your children are all on drugs, have sex on a regular basis, have temper tantrums and jealous fights but will suffer no permanent harm and will remain beautiful and well groomed regardless of any trauma undergone.

Your hospitals are wonderful environments, akin to the most prestigious hotels, and medical care is so meticulous that anyone can be brought back from long term coma looking plump, well-groomed and fully in possession of their faculties. This in spite of the fact that the doctors are either, a) so busy chasing after members of the opposite sex they barely have time to spend more than thirty seconds with any patient or b) drug addicted but only to those drugs which will not interfere in any way with the level of care given to the patients in that precious thirty seconds.

There are murders, but they are all fascinating and creative and are invariably solved by brilliant detectives immediately, through the application of technology and psychological brilliance. All female police officers are beautiful enough to moonlight as fashion models. All male detectives and agents have a six pack and fill a suit or a uniform very nicely thank you.

It never snows in America, in fact it never really gets cold. It doesn’t rain, but all gardens are green and lush. Psychics are genuine and accurate and solve any murders detectives can’t and no one ever casts doubts on their findings. All members of the military are officers. Murderers invariably confess when questioned and make sure they explain their motivations. Children do not spend all day on the computer or watching TV. Everyone can sing. No-one is overweight. There is no racism. There is no poverty. There are demons everywhere.

I admit I am fascinated by the whole concept of the way we form our perceptions. The plot of my novella The Devil Made Me Do It revolves around the Devil trying to counteract the bad press that has informed all our beliefs about Hell.

What if everything you’d ever heard about the Prince of Darkness was a distortion of the truth? Let me show you what I mean....

“Who are you?” she whispered.

His eyes never left her face. “The Devil, of course.”

She looked at his perfect body, at his beautifully shaped head covered in smooth, glossy, black hair. “Aren’t you supposed to have,” Jess wiggled her hands above her head, “you know, horns?”

“Do I look like a cow to you?” The Devil let out a frustrated sigh and cast a glance skywards. “I blame Up There’s PR people. I have told them, over and over, if they’re going to try to turn people away from the old religions, the least they could do is get it right. ‘The Devil is horny’, not ‘The Devil is horned’. But is anyone ever told that? No! Everyone expects to see sharp pointy things sticking out of my head. You have no idea how bad it is for my image.” He folded his arms, looking sexier than any human being had a right to be.

Jess dragged her thoughts back from all the places the idea of him being horny had taken her. “And the tail?”

He smirked and looked decidedly smug. “Oh well, the tail. Parents use stories about me to scare children. They can’t say ‘The Devil is hung like a stallion’. They like to keep things G-rated and they certainly don’t want their little darlings to suffer penis envy. Better to use a metaphor. A fairly accurate one really.”

There are lots of misconceptions the Devil sets out to put right. He explains how he got the name Satan and reveals secrets formerly known only to writers of erotica. You’ll never look at a writer who says she’s going to a Writer’s Conference in the same way again.

I’d like to offer every reader of the Morgan Diaries a free copy of Passion’s Wings, my new paranormal erotic short ebook. Just email me at and I’ll send you a copy.

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