Thursday, April 21, 2011

Guilty Pleasures

This last weekend, Southern Magic had an exhibitor booth at the Alabama Book Festival. The foot traffic at our table was heavier than I expected. Most of the people smiled and shared with us their favorite romance novels and asked about our chapter’s authors.

A few joyless souls wrinkled their noses, said something snotty about romance, and skulked off into their miserable existence to absorb books about death, misery, or some other boring and depressing topic.  Their reaction didn’t bother me too much. If they don’t like what we write, oh well.  

It was the third category that rubbed me the wrong way. The people who leaned forward and whispered romance novels were their guilty, secret pleasure. What the what? Guilty, secret pleasure?  Like Easy Cheese on crackers?  Reruns of Saved by the Bell? Lady Gaga? I own my guilty pleasures, thank you very much.

We like what we like. Why keep it a secret? Or feel guilt? I make no bones about the fact that I like to read urban fantasy and paranormal romance (or that I write both – for a funny story, ask me about opposing counsel’s reaction earlier this week when I explained why we couldn’t schedule depositions in late June). Believe it or not, one of my lawyer friends and I continue to exchange recommendations on paranormal romance reads. We are currently in the middle of a race/challenge to see who can finish all of Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunter series. (tee hee – what my friend doesn’t know is the fabulous SK writes much faster than we read – we’ll never be done! Muahaha!).

Do you have a guilty pleasure? Don’t keep it a secret. Tell us what it is. You may be surprised how much company you have. 


Callie James said...

You realize I would never admit this to anyone but my Southern Magic friends. My husband and I will turn on the show "Snapped" while we play mindless computer video games to relax.

Snapped, as some who watch know, is about women who kill. I can't watch this thing for two minutes and turn it off. It's like eating chips. Two just won't cut it. Soon I'm skipping meals and timing my bathroom breaks.

Ridiculous, but there ya go. I guess it's the old romantic suspense writer in me.

Lexi said...

I like watching those bride shows on tv, the ones where the poor beleaguered bride is trying to decide on a dress with a committee, usually mom, granny, sisters and friends, chiming in. Like watching a train wreck. And I love old screwball comedies, like MY MAN GODFREY and BRINGING UP BABY. I love old westerns, especially STAGECOACH and RED RIVER, and BIG COUNTRY.

Every now and then, I have to pull out and reread my old Georgette Heyers, the books that made me fall in love with romance at the age of 13.

French fries. Calorie and fat laden, cholesterol inducing nutritional wastelands that they are, I cannot resist a french fry. I used to steal a french fry out of my girls' Happy Meals as we pulled out of the drive through, telling them Mommy is the taste tester and she has to check and make sure the french fries aren't poison. Drove my girls nuts. They'd be in the backseat in their bumper seats kicking their little fat legs and screaming, "NO, MOMMY, NO! MINE!!!"

Hee hee

To this day, they guard their french fries from me.

Lay's original potato chips=crack cocaine.

Right now, I'm drinking a cup of English Breakfast hot tea and munching on gingersnaps. Yum! And I'm diabetic!!!

Louisa Cornell said...

When I was in undergrad school my guilty pleasure was Richard Pryor. I had all of his eight tracks and albums. (Yes, I'm OLD!) I went to an all-girls Baptist college in Alabama so you can imagine how EVIL this was! LOL We used to put them on when we crammed for exams. Of course one knock at the door and we were all scrambling to turn it off and hide the evidence, especially if it was the house mother! Our other guilty pleasure was Playgirl magazine! One girl had a subscription and that magazine had quite a bit of mileage on it before the next issue arrived.

On weekends, during my downtime I would curl up in bed in my dorm room with a stack of those tawdry historical romance novels - Rosemary Rogers, Kathleen Woodiwiss, Beatrice Small. Girls would come in and say "Why are you reading that junk?" I would reply "Because I LIKE it!"

A guilty pleasure in which I still indulge is collecting books about historical murders - Jack the Ripper, Lizzie Borden, The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher. I have stacks of them and every time a new one comes out I have to have it.

Louisa Cornell said...

Lexi, shame on you for stealing those babies' fries! LOL I am right there with you, sister! I can eat my weight in McDonald's fries! My Great Dane, Glory, LOVED to go through the drive-through at Mc Donald's because she KNEW she would get her own order of fries. She didn't like anyone else fries. Just McDonald's.

Callie James said...

I'm with both of you on the fries and original Lay's potato chips.

Tip on the McDonald's fries? My son used to work there. He said, "If you want fresh fries, order them unsalted."

The notion of fries without salt is truly insanity at it's highest level, but you can always salt yourself.

Heather said...

Callie - I must check out Snapped. That sounds too good not to watch (and I know what you mean about video games - I had to abandon the World of War Crack because it was taking up way too much of my time).

Lexi - McDonald's fries are proof God loves us. Enough said.

Louisa - I share a love for true crime books. In high school, I think the librarian worried about me due to the frequency that I checked out Helter Skelter.

Lisa Dunick said...

Romance used to be my guilty pleasure. I used to go to the self-checkout machines at the library and then hide the books in my bag just in case I ran into any people I knew from my department. My other guilty pleasures include Perez Hilton, Regretsy, and I'm pretty sure that the Royal Wedding is going to be one too.

Carla Swafford said...

I feel sorry from those who turned their nose up. And those who think are ashamed of what they read. That tells a lot about their love life.

Okay. My guilty pleasure is KID ROCK. Yes. I said it! Sorry, I have no idea why but I love watching videos of him singing.

Louisa Cornell said...

With you on Kid Rock, Carla!!

I'll never forget the first time my niece and nephew rode with me to a family event and found my Kid Rock CD's in my carrier next to Mozart!

Heather said...

Lisa - Perez's site is my husband's guilty pleasure. I can't tell you how many times I've caught him catching up on his celeb gossip (or as he calls it, "the news").

Carla - I love me some Kid Rock. He makes no excuses about who he is, and that makes his music even better.

M.V.Freeman said...

I love the guilty pleasures...everyone's responses made me laugh (McDonald Fries are the best!)

My true guilty pleasure, is a cup of tea or a latte and a scone. LOVE it. Mix writing or reading and I am in heaven.

But there are few things I slide in that no-one may know--I love watching MMA fighting, or period pieces from PBS. I also love to listen to good head banging music like Rev Theory, Godsmack..(in the same breath I'm a sucker for opera and celtic music, go figure).

Obviously I have too many guilty pleasures. Hmm. I need to work on that.