June 29th, 2006

I recently gave someone a copy of one of my books. This person proceeded to read it, and then tell my dh that she’d never be able to look him in the eye again. LOL! It got me thinking about reader perceptions, when it comes to writers. Now I’m not saying that I never was a wild child. I certainly had my moments in my college days and early twenties, but I can honestly say that I haven’t done a fraction of what I’ve written about. I also don’t tend to use ‘real’ people in my books. I have blended multiple people to create a character, but never one on one. I’m not sure why people would think when they’re reading a romance, or an erotic romance for that matter that the book is semi-autobiographical. Surely they don’t think that Stephen King is offing people. Well, maybe they do.

My guess is this has more to do with the subject matter. In this case, sex. If the book didn’t have a sexual undertone/or overtone, then I doubt anyone would question the author. My dh just laughs the whole thing off (eats it up;). After all, it makes him look…talented, which he is. (wg)

This leads me to something else. The fact that people feel the right to say almost anything to a romance author. I’m not talking about dissing their books or not liking their writing voice. I’m talking about personal things. I had one woman walk up to me at a signing and say she felt sorry for my dh, alluding to her belief that I ‘lived’ the way I wrote. I hated to break it to her, but I had to tell her my life is not that exciting. The fact she felt ‘safe’ saying something like that to me is what truly surprised me. This woman had NO idea what kind of temperament I have. I could’ve been like those road rage people and stood up and clocked her with a chair. Hmm…now there’s an idea. *g* Instead, she felt safe because I was one of “those” type of writers.

Someone should’ve probably told her that I was born under the sign of the snake. You all know what happens when you poke a snake with a stick, don’t you? It bites. (evil grin)

33 comments to “Perceptions”

  1. LOL Denise did the same thing to me after reading chapter one of OIABM (I may never look at you the same again), then offered to crit Kink for me–it’s a wonder I didn’t give her heart failure *ggg*

  2. Cece, LOL! At least she kept going. 😉

  3. I’d have clocked that woman and consequences be damned. But that’s me. I’m a Leo.

  4. May, LOL! I think she was surprised that I actually called her on the comment. The look on her face was…priceless. 😀

  5. Oh I’d definitely have called her on it. I’d have done it in a very loud voice too. There is no way I could have let her get away with it, short of falling into unconscious because my best friend whacked me on the head. LOL.

  6. May people are just weird about sex.

    I know when men find out they’re like Ohhhhhhhh and I”m like if you only knew how hard it was to bang my head on the keyboard and type one-handed


  7. You mean Stephen King ISN’T offing people? *g*

  8. Oh Lord isn;t this the truth. LOl I thought it was just becasue I worked in a bar too. LOL One of the girls I work with started to read oneof my ebooks, then said she couldn’t finish it. I asked if it was the sex, she replied. “No, it’s the fact that YOU wrote the sex. I can’t read it knowing you’re the author.” LOL Then on the other side of things I have some male regulars who think I am just a Freak, (as in sexual freak) becasue they know what I write and think I’ve experienced it all…and I wonder if their imaginations are better than mine since none of them have ever admitted to reading one of my books.

    However, these are people I do Know, so I’ve yet to experience the stranger saying anything about it. LOL

  9. FUNNY TOO FUNNY! People read erotic books to fulfill THEIR fantasies.. not their “reality”– mostly.. what makes them think the WRITERS of the books are any different??

    If we were all out there organizing three-ways and orgies, same- sex experimentation, screwing with shape shifters, booking rooms in FANTSASY HOTELS on exotic islands, and MORE.. WHEN WOULD WRITERS HAVE TIME TO WRITE??????

  10. I have a woman repeatedly tell me her sexual exploits (every ‘too much information’ details). Today I actually worked up the nerve to tell her to please stop sharing all this with me, and she replied, “Honey, I only tell you so you can use it for material for your books.” My reply, Blink. Blink. “Ummm…thanks, but really, please stop telling me this stuff.”

  11. What a coincidence! I was born under the Chinese sign of the Snake. Good thing I’m a Wood Snake, so I’m pretty tame. My mother is a Fire Snake. Trust me, you don’t want in front of her when she’s angry. I hear even the Devil hides from her. *rofl*

  12. May, I figured if she was brave enough to state it, then she should be able to take the heat.

  13. Cece, Yes, they are. LOL!

  14. Charlene, I don’t think so, but I may be wrong. (wg)

  15. Sasha, Yeah, guys react fairly predictably in that situation. *ggg* I have a girlfriend that can’t even talk about what I write because it embarrasses her so much.

  16. Maddie, LOL! No kidding. There would be a lot of tired writers out there. *ggg*

  17. Nancy, Oh geez. :-O Obviously ‘her’ fantasy is to be written about. *g*

  18. Silma, LOL! I’m not sure what kind of snake I am, but my guess would be fire. Although, I think your mom has me beat. 😉

  19. My best friend read my latest book and emailed me surprised that I knew so much about sex and orgasms. I emailed her back asking why she said that. You know what she told me? “Because you’re not married.” I was like, uh, what that has to do with sex. So I answered back, “First, sex isn’t exclusive to married people, you know. Also, there’s the internet, where you can find a wealth of information on sex and orgasm. Besides, there’s always masturbation.” Her reaction? She told that after almost 30 yrs of friendship she realized she didn’t know me that well.

  20. Tempest, OMG!!! Blink.Blink.Blink. I can’t believe she said that. I think it actually says more about her than it does you. (shaking head) Don’t be surprised if she starts pulling away. :/

  21. You’re not screwing with shape shifters? Ah man, I’m disappointed. LOL

    People like that will generally speak their minds about anything. I had a friend who was a psychologist and when people found out what she did they would tell her all of their sexual problems. Only thing was, she was a child psychologist! But as to why they think that – well your guess is as good as mine. There are people who think that actors ARE their roles, especially in TV. I’ve heard the stars of ER, for instance, talk about people who come up to them and ask about health problems. It takes all kinds.

  22. Bailey, I hear you. That’s funny about your friend. She should let them talk, then tell them she works with children. *ggg* It takes all kinds.

  23. Possibly because this is still new to me–but I usually find these reactions hilarious. A friend at work walked up to me one day, blocking my way, just blinking. Blinking hard. When I asked why, she blinked again. “You?? YOU wrote that? Nice quiet little YOU?!”

    On the more ewwwww side, I had a delivery driver who’d heard about one of my books come up and whisper to me…”I heard it was ‘juicy’, but I don’t want to read your book.”

    “Okay,” I smiled pleasantly.

    “I don’t want to read it. I want you to read it TO me.”

    Maybe I should consider writing young adult fiction…

  24. It’s a phenomenon, to be sure. I think it’s maybe because sex is an intimate thing, so what we write HAS to be our intimate confessions ;-))) Blokes are always lairy about it, so whether I tell men depends whether I’m in a taunting mood or not. ;-}

    I’ve mostly had positive intrigued reactions, but back when I was first getting short stories published I worked with a woman who was what I’d call a “ladette,” usually had a couple of men on the go etc, (at the same time,) but she was so morally shocked that i wrote erotica LOL She treated me really different afterwards. Like it’s okay to do it, but writing it down is somehow perverted. It just didn’t compute for me…. Shrug. Made me a bit more cautious about who I told in the workplace.

  25. Now I’m laughing, thinking about you standing up and clocking her with a chair! LOL!

    Oh, Chinese sign of the snake. I was confused because I didn’t remember the zodiac having a snake. Now I want to find out what chinese sign I am.

  26. I’m the goat! It’s really accurate.

  27. Raine, I’ve had a few reactions like your co-worker gave you…minus the quiet part. I doubt anyone will EVER accuse me of being quiet (and I have the report cards to prove it;). The comments I received were ‘I didn’t know you knew that kind of language’ and ‘I’ll never look at you the same again’. *ggg*

    As for the creepy delivery guy, he left himself wide open for the question, “Why, are the words too big for you to understand?”

  28. Saskia, It makes me more cautious who I tell period, unless I’m feeling saucy and want to shock people. (wg) I wasn’t published when I was working the day job, so I didn’t get a chance to see co-workers reactions. I’m sure they would’ve been interesting. Kind of makes me wish that I would’ve stuck it out just a few months longer. ;P

  29. Tracy, I’m sorry. I should’ve probably been more specific about the zodiac sign. *g* As for clocking her with a chair, I did in my mind right after I called her on it. Does that count? LOL!

  30. I love reading all these!! Just had to say it;. LOL

  31. Sasha, LOL!

  32. I would have probably opted for a beat down at the bike rack style of clocking…*blush* Just because you write about something doesn’t necessarily mean it happened to you. It’s fiction people! I don’t understand why people are embarrassed by sex or sex scenes it’s perfectly natural and delicious thank you very much. I enjoy many authors from erotica to plain jane and really it’s about the story and the sex scenes working together for me. I can’t imagine opening up to someone I’d never met, even if they were my favorite author. I would never say things like that it’s just not normal. 😛

  33. Shannon, LOL! I hear you on the not normal aspect. I guess I just don’t see the point of being overtly rude to anyone (stranger or not). Unless someone prods me, I won’t bite. I think that’s why it always shocks me when someone is overtly rude to me.