Tuesday, October 27
I Bring the Happy...
In April, at the IRWA miniconference, Lani Diane Rich reminded us that what we do is important work–it’s bringing joy and escape and love to people’s lives. Confession? I often feel the need to apologize for my books. How dumb is that? Sister Kate would probably smack me upside the head if she were here. Hell, she was the one who went all around a restaurant passing out my swag and telling people that her little sister was writer and had a new book coming out. Gotta tell you, I loved that day!
Sex and the Single Girl. (Lani, if you’re reading this, I know you’re rolling your eyes and I totally don’t blame you.) So why do I do that? I don’t owe anyone a damned excuse because my book title has the word (shhh!) sex in it. Frankly, not only does the title have SEX in it, the book has SEX in it. Great sexy sex, I might add–sensual, loving sex.
Sometimes when someone asks about my writing and I say I’m a romance novelist, the first thing they say is “Oh, dirty books,” and they snicker. I quickly say, “No, not dirty books…” and hurry to explain why my books aren’t dirty books. They aren’t, but that’s not the point. The point is I’m explaining myself again, instead if looking them right in the eye and asking, “What am I supposed to say to that?” or engaing them by asking them what they’re reading. Lani told us that those kinds of sniggering questions can be an opportunity to educate people about romance and what a gift romance novels are to readers. Explain how important my work is to the world. And if it’s clear the person is not at all educable, then walk away and go get another glass of wine.
The best thing that Lani said and one of the big things we all took away that day in April was this, “We get to do this. Because we’re writers, we get to do this amazing thing every day!” So no need to apologize or let anyone diminish me and the significance of what I write… because I am a great writer.