Doctors are not the only ones at parties who are asked for “professional” opinions. Being a romance writer leaves the door open to a lot of rather embarrassing discussions.
I am often asked for relationship advice, after all my characters always celebrate a Happy Ever After; after listening to as little as possible, not because I don’t care about these people (even strangers), but because sometimes the info gets a little too personal for what I want to hear. I usually smile and tell the people talking to me that it’s certain that they care/love the other person so maybe they should be talking with their partner… bear in mind that I am not talking about book discussions or author appearances. Most people smile and say they’ll take my advice and “Thank you very much”.
I really love writing and reading romance novels. I think everyone should be in love. My favorite of all is combining suspense or mystery with a good and spicy romance. I also like thrilling edge-of-your-seat thrillers. Most of my novels have been categorized as contemporary romantic suspense.
Now to be honest some of my books are fairly explicit in sexual activities (no, NOT soft porn as my son often accuses me of) but there are definitely appropriate and monogamous sex scenes. The most embarrassing conversation I ever had was with the husband-part of a couple we were once very good friends with. After reading one of my books he stopped over one day and followed me around while I was gardening. After some regular innocuous conversation he started to complain how “uptight” his wife was in the bedroom and how he wished she would be… more like the heroine in my book.
To be honest I wanted to crawl under the bush! I tried ignoring and then changing the subject. It didn’t help. Finally I just blurted out, “Go home and speak to her, not me.” He gave a quick apology and finally changed the subject only to return to a similar conversation a few minutes later. This time I asked him, strongly suggested, that he go home. He did. For a long time I was never very comfortable in this couple’s company after that — I just couldn’t get the image out of my mind. I did tell my husband who agreed not to get involved unless it happened a second time. Thankfully her husband never brought it up again. We’ve since parted ways with this couple.
By the way, whenever I get the chance I have taken to wearing a T-shirt another friend had given me, across the front are the words “Be careful what you say, you might wind up in one of my books.” People do tend to clam up when they think about it.