Wednesday, June 13, 2012

You're a What?

I've lost count of how many times I've seen this look upon the faces of many. What causes such a judgemental, horrified expression?

I would like to think I'm a nice person, easy going, and I do genuinely care about my friends and family. I want to know how the people in my life are doing. And I enjoy meeting new people. But what I don't like is a one-sided conversation. Particularly this kind.   

It irks me when someone pretends to play nice in the sandbox. You know the feeling. You had a nice time, chatted, got to know one another. And like a bucket of cold water was thrown over the conversation, it changes, becomes cold. 

For the umpteenth time. I'm a romance writer! I write Scottish historical romances! No, I am NOT ashamed or embarrassed. Why would I be? My family supports me. My CHILDREN support me. YOU. KNOW. NOTHING about me. 

No matter how many times I prepare myself for these type of people and conversations, it's completely annoying. If that's not bad enough, some of them choose to continue their rant. 

"So... you're published. How did you manage to accomplish that?" Snicker.

Straightening my spine, I hold my head high and say, "I won a writing contest and was asked for a full submission." I pick up my glass and take another drink before other words escape me. 


"Yep. Imagine my surprise when the publisher not only loved it, but she asked me to pitch three, a series."

Smirks. "So... do you have an agent then?"

"Of course."

"Well, I suppose you don't make enough money to quit your day job."

Is life not too short?

God, if they only knew of the blood, sweat and tears, edits and re-edits, writing goals, countless hours, 2:30a.m. revisions to make a deadline, the dreaded synopsis, copy/edits, galleys, hooks, marketing, sales, reviews...

I want to scream at the top of my lungs, "I hate stupid people!"

My writing friends know this feeling all too well. Tell me. What is the best line you ever used on these type of people?


  1. I really have no best line. I do like the shocked looked on their faces when I say what I do. Mostly, they want to know if Handsome is my inspiration. Alas, only if he says crazy things. LOL

  2. Been there. Heard that. Rather than defend myself, I merely unleash "wicked" Maeve. When asked what I do, wicked Maeve pipes up that we write smutty romance novels. When asked how I managed to get published, yep, you guessed it. Wicked Maeve replies, "Easy. All you have to do is bite the throat out of a live chicken for the blood sacrifice, then dance naked beneath the full moon in a counter clockwise circle. That response usually steers the conversation to a different direction --or they clear their throats and suddenly remember something they left in the next room. Mwuahahahaha...

  3. There's always shocked faces. It's when they speak that I have an issue. ;-) Thanks for stopping by, Vicki

  4. I haven't had this happen much, but when people look down their noses, it's annoying. You might ask them if they've written a novel? Not many people accomplish this. If it's romance they're against, you might ask if they've never been in love? Married? Never had sex? Oh you've done all of that? Well then, you do the same things I write about. What's so horrible about romance then? LOL If it's the sex scenes they're mortified about, I'd probably say, so you've never had sex? Or you could educate them... if not for sex none of us would be here. :)

  5. Maeve, that is completely awesome! I wish I could be that quick on my feet. I'm still laughing!

  6. Vonda, I honestly think they hear "romance" and freak out. You made a very good point as well. Thanks for your comment.

  7. I can never think of something good to respond until much later. Recently I had this type of thing happen to me & it threw me because I hadn't expected it BECAUSE I've had so many positive people around me. BUT I had a friend tell me I write porn. Now, granted it was through email so I couldn't tell if she was joking, but even still it bothered me. I've worked long and hard to get where I am and I deserve the respect I'm entitled to!

  8. I don't really write but telling someone there's a cliff they can jump off normally works for these people?

  9. Oh God I hate that face!!!! The worst so far has actually happened to my husband. When he told a couple female coworkers that I wrote romance, they snickered and said "oh wow, you must have a freaky wife in the bed! ". Seriously... ridiculous

  10. Alexa, that is so true. I do the same thing. I always surround myself with such supportive people and then I'm thrown off when I encounter a sour grape. You do deserve the respect you're entitled to. With the exception of our close friends, family and chapters, I don't think people truly understand how difficult this process can be.

  11. A freaky wife in the bed? Eliza, I truly hope he had a great comeback. That IS ridiculous!

  12. Thank you, Anonymous. When all else fails, I'll keep that in mind. That and the fact that I'll need a villain for Book 4. ;-)

  13. My comeback:

    [polite smile] What kind of books do YOU write?

    I guarantee you, the answer will be "none".

    Your answer: Oh.......[polite smile tinged with pity, layered overtop with a truckload of I-am-so-much-better-than-you]


  14. Vicki, that is so strange! I have yet to have that reaction. I always get the coolest responses and then I have people ask what books would I recommend.

    For the longest time I didn't want to tell anyone that I was a writer. And I supposed I didn't consider myself one because I am not published yet.

    But the more I thought about it and the more I see how WE, Romance writers, are a billion dollar industry, I don't see why I shouldn't be proud.

    Let them sneer if they want to, how many of them can say their name is on a book or much less, they are on the NY times best selling list. ;-)

    I say Romance writers, walk proud!!

  15. You're very fortunate not to have come across the romance bashers, Lizzie. They're out there...

    But I bet you they are closet 50 Shades of Grey readers. ;-)

  16. I still don't see why it's supposedly "bad" to write about love and sex and romance, but "good: to write about serial killers and brutal murders and war. I think it must be the male slant that our society still holds. All things girly are bad, while all things masculine are good.

  17. I agree with you, Videkov. I can turn on the latest news and see about serial killers, brutal murders and war, but turn up your nose because I write about love and relationships. Grrr...