Wednesday, September 18, 2019

The Perils of Being a Romance Author

Ever since my first book, Bartlett’sRule, was published in 2008, people have come to me to discuss “personal issues” thinking I would have the right words to help them reach their Happy-Ever-After. I only wish I had the advice to help them, but the truth is even my storybook characters have had to go through a lot of their own false starts and some mistakes before they found their true loves. The most embarrassing thing that ever happened to me because of the books I write was when the husband of one of my then close friends came to me to complain about his wife’s “performance” in the bedroom and wanted me to give him some advice to get her to be “willing to experiment”! Pushed for an answer I haltingly told him to just talk to her and tell her how he feels. (It was hard to look her in the face after that.)

The truth is that while many writers are told to “write what you know” we also have to use A LOT of creative imagination. I remember at a book discussion appearance for His Lucky Charm one audience member actually asked me if I was describing my husband in the love scenes! I think I turned beet-red right then and there. (I still refuse to answer that question, it will forever be a mystery.) I remember a fellow-romance writer friend whose husband refused to read any of her books because he was afraid if the hero wasn’t him he would be jealous. By the way, I have always used at least one of my husband’s traits in every hero I create, but I will never say which one it is.

Not all of my books are sexually explicit, and never just for shock value, I basically use what I feel is appropriate for the story. In my first EMS-based novel Final Sin the villain was a sexual predator so, yes, I went there. Then in my first paranormal story Karma Visited the two would-be lovers weren’t really ever together (until the very end) so there wasn’t exactly too much they could do; while the sexual innuendos went further in the sequel Annie’s Karma, the sex was still rather downplayed even while the passion was heated.

I love the idea that people like to read about passion and hot romance, it’s certainly one of my favorite book topics as well, but read the stories and let them get you in the mood. One couple I know (because one of them told me so) likes to read a chapter together and cuddle — I don’t ask what else they may do… Some women who have attended my book discussions have said that they like to read passionate, sexy stories because it gives them a wonderful escape from the mundane; that’s why I write romance. It’s not auto-biographical, it’s just a fictional story that enthralls me and I feel needs to be shared.

I hope you enjoy reading my stories as much as I like writing them.

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