The Tales of a Contemporary Romance Writer

I also edit, critique, and blog. So, please be nosy and look around.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Fan Etiquette

Happy Memorial Day!

I attended a Memorial Day party a few days ago and it didn't take long for people to find out what I do. My profession is not something I try to hide but sometimes it's easier to not say anything at all when you're meeting people for the first time. The bombardment of questions us authors and reviews endure can be too much. How did you become a writer? Did you always write? Do you write about people you know and put them in your books? LOL This last one I answer by saying, "You better be nice to me or I'll torture you!"

Most of the time I don't mind the questions. Actually, I can honestly say I don't all of the time, but then comes the question, "What do you write?" I answer, "Contemporary Romance." While secretly rolling my eyes inside. Now, don't get me wrong; I like that people are interested in what I do, and I like discussing it with others because you never know who you're talking to. They could be an inspiring writer who needs that extra push to fulfill their dreams. My rolling of the eyes comes from the, "Ohhhh, you've got quite the imagination, don't ya?" Then they give me the sheepish grin. Now you might assume I have a 'dirty mind' and by all accounts you're right, but that doesn't give a person free rain to start talking to me about sexual exploits they've had. Nor does it give the right to ask my husband or I about our private life; that's why it's called 'private'.

Okay now that I've gotten that out, I'm going to squash a preconception: Just because we're writers doesn't mean we can come up with material on the fly. Yes if our muse is having a good time, if the stars are aligned and we didn't put in the dreaded 16 hours of edits the day before then we might be able to do commanding tricks. Nothing is worse or makes an author (or at least me)  feel like a failure more than being put on the spot. "You're an author! Think of something good to say!" "Hey give me some examples of sex scenes you've written, I need some ideas." "Come on! What do you mean you can't think of anything?" Yes, this happens and more often then you think. And I'm afraid to say it's not comfortable and it's not fun. You wouldn't go up to a pole dancer and ask her if the she gets pole burns between her legs. You wouldn't ask a cop if he's ever shot someone. They're personal questions and while we write books our lives are not open ones. Most authors are secluded people with a few exceptions. And unless you know the writer enough to talk about such things, it's really not proper etiquette to ask.

So, next time you want to know if the writer has tried out all the positions in their books, if they use 'toys', have books that show different positions, or interview people for new sex stories, please don't unless prompted to. We have wonderful imaginations and use them whenever possible. However, we don't kiss and tell when it comes to where we get our material. Think of it like a cop's snitch or a reporter's source.

Have a sparkling day!
Rebecca Rose

*all things in this article that have been highlighted in red were asked to me at one time or another and I've answered them in the most tactful way possible; "I have an imagination and I know how to use it.

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