Do crime novels by women sell?

I continue my debate with myself — do crime novels written by women sell? Should I change my name on my second novel from Jane Cooper Easton to Jack Winter. I thought of this male author name this morning almost as I opened my eyes to the day. ( I think Jack Winter or is it Winter Jack is an alcohol of some kind, perhaps in Great Britain? ) 

Will men be more interested in a crime novel written by Jack Winter than they are in one written by Jane Easton?

And what — if any! — are the differences between a novel written for women and a novel written for men!?

Oh my…

The reader of IN THE SEVENTH DAY approaches me, eyes wide — the look tells me either he loves my novel or is horrified by it or maybe both!

Sure enough, he raves about it.

“How could that be?” he marvels. “How could they be that submissive? I kept waiting for — but then, you fooled me.”

We talk at length about the characters, about the town, about the abuse! We talk about the real umbrella authority in some evangelical, fundamentalist circles — Umbrella authority that calls for a woman to be entirely submissive to male authority. The look of horror on my reader’s face says it all.

I’ve done my job, and done it well.

They even warn you…

When I am 20 and attending a good university in Indiana, my boyfriend of a few months and I are in my dorm room – yes, I do invite him in. We are engaged in some heavy making-out, but nothing more than that. ( I am a good girl, at that time in my life ).

Still, a few days into our relationship, he warns me – but I do not hear his words as a warning. He says, “Jane, I got a white girl pregnant in my hometown. I did it on purpose. I just love my little boy. I don’t get to see him very often.” He is dark and handsome and his eyes are warm when he says this. I look at him like the idiot I am.

In my dorm room, he asks me if I’ll wear a dress to bed. A dress? To bed? 

Sure thing. Why not? We aren’t going to be having sex, after all. We’re just going to go to sleep. It’s late and he’s tired and…

Now, before you condemn me… I didn’t put on a dress, but I did wear a night-gown rather than pajamas…

Over the years, I condemn myself over and over and over and over again…

I do not acknowledge that I am raped that same night until I write IN THE SEVENTH DAY.

After writing the novel, it begins to hit me that I awake in the middle of the night as a young man I trust is raping me.

His behavior is:

Premeditated and beyond conscience.

I finally forgive myself for being stupid and for not hearing his warning. They do warn you…

Oh readers, where are you?

Who wants to read a book about an evil man, anyway? I guess not many are particularly interested in learning about the oppression of umbrella authority Christianity and its devastating effects on the family, especially on female members of the family.

No one wants to be brought up short by sexual abuse and murder.

Like Stieg Larsson

Now I am not comparing my writing with that of Stieg Larsson since I’ve not read his novels. However, my story is akin to his trilogy surrounding ward of the state, Lisbeth. I know this because I’ve seen the film THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO and the film THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE. I’ve also picked up a copy of a Larsson novel to read a short selection before putting the book back on the shelf. I put it back on the shelf, not because I didn’t like the little I read; but because I’m attempting to finish two books written by friends.

I also want to re-read Stephen King’s THE STAND, his masterpiece.