So happy to make my appearance on LaQuette’s blog (you can check her out on mine as well), because ZOMG. I have something to get off of my chesticles.
I understood that when I started writing about the other S word that I would get The Rep. You know…The Rep that comes along with the task of writing stories about men, women, and all of the relations involved. But what concerns me about The Rep are the misconceptions that come along with it. Oh, the questions I’ve been asked about my writing!
Has your mother read them? (Yes.)
Are any of the male characters are based on real men I’ve known – biblically or otherwise? (Some…)
Have you ever dated a Jay, a Bryce, or a Nick before you got married? (Never!).
I know I’m not alone and neither is my chosen field of writing. There are hefty assumptions presumed about authors of any genre. Many a reader have wondered if acclaimed horror writer Stephen King is as sadistic as some of his characters. With romance and/or erotic writers, however, the misconceptions tend to be a little spicier.
If I had the pick the most common ones, though…
- MYTH – We have voracious sexual appetites…or are severely undersexed: While there is expected to be a certain level of sensuality present in every romance writer, we aren’t hornytoads nor are we frigid. We don’t hump trees nor do we shun time between the sheets. In fact, (WRITER TIP APPROACHING) I abstain the night before I know I’m writing a love scene the following day. Trust me, it works.
- MYTH – We only read romance novels: Although I admit that I need to step up my non-fiction reading (The New Jim Crow has been sitting on my Kindle since the day before forever), I enjoy reading any and everything. Right now, I’m reading Tuesday Nights in 1980 – a contemporary fiction story set in New York’s art scene of the early Eighties. My next read is going to be a Young Adult novel about a space princess. Yep. And yes, most of my literary inspirations (Jackie Collins, Erica Jong, Jennifer Weiner) are known as romance/chick lit writers, I enjoy a break from the naughty from time to time with authors like Jonathan Tropper, Alice Walker, and Mitch Albom. Reading different genres makes any writer better so I always make it a goal to expand my reading horizons whenever possible.
- MYTH – Our books (especially the sexy parts!) are based on actual experiences: Good or bad, I love reading my Amazon reviews. The one that made me cackle the loudest insinuated that my books were based on my real life. LOLOLOLOL! Yikes, okay. I’m flattered that the reader thought that my prose and characters sounded so realistic that it could only be ripped from my personal E! True Hollywood Story, but nah. I’ve never dated an emotionally damaged man who was eighteen years younger than me (because I’m pretty sure that would make the kid barely legal). I’ve never been pursued by a billionaire who then became a sadistic abuser. I’ve never gotten my nose wide open by a charming chauvinist who had the fingers and tongue of a god. Except for some mannerisms and catchphrases (I do know a guy who called me ‘Sweetness’ once upon a time…but I’m not very sweet), it’s all fiction, folks. Really hot and steamy fiction (I hope!), but fiction nonetheless.
Let’s just agree that romance writers are just like you: they bathe, eat, work, pay bills, support families, and sleep. They just also happen to know how to make their readers squirm in their seats and that’s always fun.
- MYTH – Romance writers are anti-feminism: The more I write romance, the more pro-girl I’ve become. My heroines aren’t defenseless creatures, but they have feelings. They are vulnerable, loud, quiet, mischievous, honest, and real – all simultaneously. My responsibility as a writer is to give you a multi-faceted character: she’s smart, sexual, and whole.
Eliza David is the Chicago-bred/Iowa-living author of the five-star rated, six-book Cougarette Series as well as her latest release, BrewGirl. A featured blogger for the Real Moms of Eastern Iowa, Eliza also perfects her role as an online Habitual Linestepper on her blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. She's currently querying a romance novel about a fortysomething NYC socialite whose political husband comes out to her. (Trust me, it’s romantic.)