Here’s how it usually goes for me at a social gathering, where the attendees are often distant business associates of my husband’s. For some reason, some people are fascinated by my profession. Hmm, wonder why? Who knew writing love stories could be so intriguing!
Here’s usually how it goes:
“So, what do you write?” is often the first question someone asks me. (And I am NOT sexist, but this type of dogged Question Griller is usually male.)
“I write romance,” I say.
“Ooooh,” comes the reply. “You mean like Fifty Shades?” (This is usually followed by elbow nudging and eyebrow wailing in my husband’s direction.)
“Um, that’s erotica,” I say. “Sorry, I don’t write erotica.”
“Oh! I know! You mean like those Harlequin books my mom used to read?”
“Um, yes, sort of. My books are about love and families and heartache and struggle…”
(Cuts me off.) “Are your books like those ones with Fabio on the cover?”
“Well, Fabio hasn’t been on a romance novel cover since the early 90’s. They’re a little different now.”
“Oh.” (Disappointed.) “Well, do they have sex in them?”
“A little. But mostly they’re about love and families and heartache and struggle…”
(Completely uninterested now and turning to my husband): “I bet you’re the one she does her research on, huh?”
My husband has heard this question at least a hundred times (and I’ve only been published for two years!). So in good humor, he usually says something ridiculous like, “Well, if she used me for research, her books would be Triple X.”
To which I usually roll my eyes, and he smiles, and the person finally stops asking questions.
I don’t often get on my soapbox. I don’t say how wonderful romance novels are, or why I read them and write them. God knows I’ve tried, because many poor souls need educated about what a romance novel is, but the truth is, this type of person doesn’t really want to know. Or should I say, isn’t very open to learning.
Good thing my husband has had a good woman to show him the way. He’s so much more enlightened than those other folks 🙂
I did just give a fun library talk this week, where I talked about all these things. Too bad that guy from the party wasn’t there, huh?
Fun fact: Did you know Fabio wrote some romance novels of his own in the 90’s? Go Fabio! Brains and brawn! 🙂