I didn’t know I was going to be an author. It wasn’t really on my radar despite the fact that my muse entertained me from a very young age, encouraging me to develop my story telling skills.

But here I am. And I’m loving it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s hard … really hard. But there’s nothing like the kick-in-the-pants feeling of joy you get when a book has your name on it. Even more when readers email to tell you how much they love your story.

Wellll, okay, some people.

There are members of my family who just can’t wrap their heads around the sexuality of my books. Mostly I don’t care. It is what it is. But my new print book Dangerous Affairs has been edited down from an erotic suspense to what I call a “sexy” romantic suspense. I’m very proud of the book. I worked really hard to get it out into the world.

Of course there’s one member of my family who wanted to read it. (Mistake #1 … I should have talked her out of it.) Even after I offered to get her a copy, she insisted she wanted to buy it. (Mistake #2) I didn’t really tell her anything about the book and exactly what “less sex” meant (Mistake #3). So of course when I saw her this past weekend she had to give me a critique. The conversation went something like this: (I’ll use MIL for the family member to keep her identity hidden 😉 )

MIL says, “speaking of books I have a little critique.”

Forcing a smile, Nina sweetly replies “oh, you read my book?”

“Do you have any idea how expensive it is?”

With an eyeroll behind MIL’s back, Nina happily says, “it has to do with distribution channels. It’s as low as I can get it.”

“Well, most people can’t pay that much with shipping and all … can’t you do free shipping?”

“That’s Amazon, not me. But thanks for supporting me. What’s for dinner?”

“Well, I had a few other things I wanted to share with you. You messed up some facts.”

I did lots of research, what did I miss?, Nina thinks.

MIL turns, hand on hip, “withdrawal is not a form of birth control. You shouldn’t let people think it is.”

“It’s a story.”

“And that paranormal stuff. You told me it was one woman and one man”

“It is. And there’s nothing paranormal…”

“There were people everwhere doing things! That’s not normal, it’s paranormal.”

“No, that would be vampires, ghosts and werewolves, these are contemporary stories.”

“Well whatever. I just know everyone seemed to be having sex with everyone. Though the second story seemed like it had a good mystery.”

“They’re all mysteries.”

“I wouldn’t know, I couldn’t read them all the way through. There was too much paranormal sex.”

ARRRRRRG! Like I said. Most of the time I can let this stuff go. But then she went on to say there can’t possibly be a market for those kind of books (again with this discussion) and why can’t I use my writing talent to write something she would enjoy. It’s just getting old, ya know? I’m proud of my stories. I have readers who enjoy them. I wish this unidentified family member would stop trying to “enjoy” my books.

So I’m curious, do you get grief for writing/reading romance? Does it get to you or do you just let it go? Do you have a couple of one liners that get the point across to your critics?

11 Responses to What do you Say?

  • For off, you didn’t ask for a critique. That’s just rude. Plus, does she not turn on the television or read magazines? Sex is everywhere. Also, that saddens me that you edited some of the sex in the Tilling sisters books. I loved them just they way they were. In fact, my review of the trilogy will be up at the end of the month. I’ll let you know.

    Marika

    • Marika – Only in the print version did I edit it down a bit, which is why I gave them a different title. They’re not even linked together on Amazon. But the ebooks are just the way you read them.

      I’m so pleased you enjoyed them. I can’t wait to see the review. Please be sure to let me know when it’s up.

  • I think unless you are in someones shoes you just don’t get it. I get snark comments for what I write but I just brush it off…I’m not ashamed that I read what I read. It is my choice and nobody else. I think you are an amazing writer and it shows how much people love your work..

    • Savannah – Most of the time it doesn’t bother me, but this is the second time she’s read my print books and was disappointed. I don’t know why she keeps trying. That’s the part that drives me nuts.

  • Vicki – I don’t think people realize that many of the top sellers are technically romance despite the fact that they’re action packed or paranormal or whatever. I think it will be this way forever. LOL!

  • LOL:) My mother read my first two Arbor U books and complained about the F word. Then I made tame copies of my first three Kenzie books (edited out the f**k; c**t; p***y, and any other ‘questionable’ language and let her read ’em. Her response? “Good stories…but they spent way too much time in the bedroom.”

    And when I offered the same tame copies to my aunt, who’d questioned me a week earlier about the stories I was writing, she admitted she’d only made it halfway through my first AU book before putting it down ‘because of the language and sex’. So there’s just no pleasing everyone.

    PLUS, back when I was promoting book #1, a woman bought it, even though I explained it had some language and adult content. Two weeks later I received a letter, inviting me to “meet my Friend on the Cross’. I nearly wrote her back, stating I was well acquainted with Him….but I calmed down and realized she hadn’t fully taken my warning to heart, even though she’d flipped through several pages prior to buying it. My conscience was clear, and I’ve not run into her since.

    • Molly – OMG! I’m totally laughing. It sounds like some of my family. And I had a discussion with another family member who asked how I can believe and write what I write. Actually he was really good about listening to my reasons why it worked for me.

  • I chuckled at your story, Nina. Any book I rate highly, I share with my sister, who is also an avid reader (mostly romantic suspense and thrillers). So I gave her one of my non-erotic books (FIRST TO DIE) to read. A few weeks later I dared to ask what she thought. Her reply? “I had to skip over lots of stuff that I didn’t like.” The “stuff”, of course, was the normal progression of a ROMANCE in a romantic suspense novel. It’s not that she didn’t LIKE sex, she admitted, she just didn’t like reading about it. *sigh* Naturally, I never gave her any of my Ellora’s Cave books.

  • My family has been supportive even though they think in their hearts I’ve gone a little overboard with the sex stuff. My granddaughter at 14 hasn’t read any of my books. Her parents buy them to support me, and seem very proud of my success, but don’t keep my books out. My daughter doesn’t want to read the erotica books, but brags about them.

    • Jean – My kids, husband and mom all brag about the fact that I’m an author. Mom even buys my books, but she apologizes for not reading them.

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