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?