Monday, February 17, 2014

Yes, I Write Romance

"You write? How wonderful!" The spark in their eyes suggests I am more interesting than they first suggested. The banal cocktail banter turned away from the latest Rambo lawyer tactic someone had experienced in court and veered directly toward my second career. I knew the next question and braced myself.

"What do you write?" They expected me to wow them with literary fiction, or at least, commercial fiction in the form of a legal thriller. This was going to be fun. Oh yes, they wouldn't see this juicy morsel coming.

"I write romance."

Their lips twitched. Several took polite sips of their drinks while they struggled for something intellectual and polite to say in response. Silence. Oppressive silence. The man to my right cleared his throat and said, "So what do you think of the recruiting classes this year for Alabama and Auburn?"

This scenario has played out several times in the last few years. I don't hide that I write romance, but without fail, the reactions I get when the big reveal happens suggest people are surprised I am as open about it as I am. Romance is the most popular fiction genre. Doesn't it make sense that if all these people are reading romance, there are lots of people writing it? Seems logical to me. And I'm not alone. Last week, the American Bar Association's publication, the ABA Journal, published an article about why lawyers make great romance authors. Some pretty big names fall among those ranks.

Yet, the reaction I get in legal circles is the same. While they may not want to admit it, their supposition of what I write is more like this:


Their loss. I am a romance writer, and darn proud of it.


15 comments:

Ali Hubbard said...

This was great! I have gotten the same reaction. One person said something like ... but you seem very down to earth. I thought that was kind of telling. haha. When you are in a day job that makes you focus or facts and there is little room for "emotion," it's hard for people to realize there's another side to you. Or maybe it's there all of the time, you know? And that contributes to how well you do your day job!

Heather said...

Ali - so true! I think the best way for us to deal with the reactions of others is to hold our heads high and show pride in what we right. Respecting what we right is the first step to making sure others respect it as well.

Suzanne Johnson said...

Here, here! If it makes you feel any better, I get looked at like a bug under a microscope if I say I write fantasy, "you know, like Harry Potter." Then we move on to the latest football recruiting class. :-)

Louisa Cornell said...

Oh I get all sorts of smart remarks from my coworkers. The first thing they say when someone tells them I am a writer or I am writing a book is "Are you writing about Walmart?" My reply? "Not even at gunpoint."

One guy said "Oh! You write porn!" I told him no, if I wrote porn I'd be filthy rich and I wouldn't have to work here. LOL

Fortunately the vast majority of the people with whom I work usually zone out when I say I write historical romance. Mostly because they have no idea what that is!

I refuse to apologize for writing what I love. Ever.

Give 'em hell, Heather! I know I do!

Carla Swafford said...

YAY!!! I'm so proud of you! Hugs.

KGB said...

Then give them the stats that Romance out sells all other genres!

Aidee Ladnier said...

Awesome! Be proud. You're a writer who writes about the best thing about being human and being alive--you write about love.

Heather said...

Suzanne - I'd love to see you go all Hermione on them!

Heather said...

Louisa - you are awesome! Just tell them to come back in a year and walk down the book aisle to find you (on the best seller shelf)!

Heather said...

Carla - Hugs back!

Heather said...

Well said, Aidee!

Heather said...

KGB - i'm thinking about loading a presentation on my iPhone. For a lot of people I know, something isn't credible until its reduced to a bunch of slides with flashy graphics.

robertsonreads said...

Heather,
Amen Sister! I'm a reader of all the wonderful romance books. Yep, those slutty novel, trash everyone of them. Why is it a person can listen to a love song or sing one and it's ok but if you read or write romance, it's trash? Bull!
I need an escape from reality and everyday stress and this is my genre of choice. To each his/her own.
Thank you,
Ginger aka robertsonreads

Heather said...

Ginger (aka robertsonreads) - thank you for your comments. You said it much better than I ever could have!

Cari Hislop said...

No one has ever thought me down to earth, but I know that odd look when you tell people you write romances. I've found that if people learn I write romances before they learn I have a degree in fashion design or that I'm an artist etc... All they remember is that I write romances. Does anyone else have that happen to them? I find that really weird.