Yup. I'm a baaaad baaaaad girl. I write erotic romance. And if there's a 12-step program for that just keep it to yourself because I'm not interested. Writing erotic romance isn't something I set out to do. It just evolved. Yes, I've always written HOT but eventually I crossed over to the dark side and I've never looked back. Not only are erotic writers the most fun people to be found anywhere, they are kind, accepting, non-judgmental and possess a great sense of humor. Who wouldn't want to write in this genre and be around such cool people?
The other day an erotic romance writer was wondering how to respond to snarky comments from others about the kinds of books she writes. Being the generous women they are, a number of writers replied offering their experiences and some very cool responses. Many years ago, I was with a group of local women, only about five or six, and we all knew each other since our daughters were friends. At this time I wrote romance and hadn't yet begun my little voyage toward the naughtier stuff. Now, I live in a really bible-belty area in Texas. Very conservative. I seldom bring up the subject of my writing. Sometimes that is safer. Anyway, one of the ladies goes....hey, are you still writing? I smile and say...yes, I am. I'm having lots of fun with it. Nope, didn't make a big deal and that's my standard response to this stuff. Often the subject will drop right then and other times...no. This time however the questions came at me fast and furious. Surely I wrote childrens books or something, one said. I laughed and said, no, I write romances. One of the women who had been very quiet through the discourse kind of lifted her nose and smirked a little (I'll NEVER forget that smirk) and said....sometimes I like to read trash but not usually.
A gasp went up among the other women and I honestly didn't know what to say. They quickly came to my defense saying things like...I loooooove romances. How fun! What a great thing to write! Blah blah. I swore then and there I would never be caught 'flat footed' again. I learned that day that I have a rebellious streak. It had been well hidden but she was born kicking and screaming that day. Now, when someone gives me this 'raised eyebrow' look, I am prepared.
My standard response (always delivered with a smile and using my sweetest voice)? Why yes, I DO write romances and not only that, but I write erotic romance. That usually shuts em up immediately. Sometimes they sniff and look like they've sucked on lemons and I'll laugh. Sometimes I'll laugh AND shake my head a little. That totally throws them off. Other times, I'm completely surprised by a reaction. I've been literally grabbed by the shoulders, shaken, and had someone yell in my face....OMG OMG, where can I get your books? Lately I've learned that erotic romance readers are EVERYWHERE. We have an active underground in these parts and that surprised me...pleasantly.
Do you have a standard response to genre snobbery? I'd love to hear it.