2 In Writer's Life/ Thoughts & Observations

Writer’s Life Collision – Well, That Was Awkward

Being a writer is kind of like living a double life—for me anyway. I do my day job, come home and put on my mommy hat, and then sit down to let my creative mind have free reign. I love what I write, which is essentially what I love to read—fantasy and contemporary romance…preferably with a high heat level.

Now, when I’m talking to other romance readers and writers, I can gush for hours about what I write because I know they “get me.” But since I started writing, my writer’s life has had some awkward collisions with the real world:

Hi, my name’s Rhenna and I write romance.

It’s inevitable. The first thing people ask when you tell them, “I’m a writer,” is, “Oh? What do you write?”

The first time I got that question was from a dear work friend. We’ll call him Phat D.

D’s the kind of person you could admit to being a reformed axe murderer and he’d accept it with a smile and zero judgment, so I’m damned grateful I cut my teeth on answering the “what do you write” question with him.

My first temptation was to lie and make up something that sounded more…well, literary. Then I thought I’d skirt the truth and leave it at Fantasy fiction. A heartbeat later, I decided to suck it up and admit the truth.

“I write romance,” I said with a blush I’m sure met my slut red nail polish.

Sure enough, Phat D took it in stride and simply said, “Cool.”

Since that day I’ve had a lot of practice pushing past public scorn for my chosen genre—like the day I admitted what I wrote to my peers right before staff meeting. A few of the guys took up pretend fainting and doing breathy Scarlett O’Hara imitations. One of them went so far as to rip at their imaginary bodice.

I shrugged it off and moved on. Nowadays I can smile through those judgmental smirks.

But there’s sex in my books…

Just when I thought I’d gotten over the hurdle of voicing out loud what I write, I get a new awkward moment:

You’ll have to tell me when your book comes out so I can get a copy.

A wonderful statement for an author to hear…

…unless it comes from your kid’s kindergarten teacher.

…or someone from church.

…or your aunt and uncle.

Yes, I had to confess to my aunt that there’s s-e-x in my books. Hot sex. And it’s not so much that I think she’d mind what I write as…well…I still feel like I’m nine around her. Admitting you’ve written steamy scenes is tantamount to getting busted with a dirty magazine.

Do you have any awkward moments to share? Times when something you’re passionate about collides with other aspects of your life to turn you fifty shades of red?


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  • Reply
    gretchen wing
    April 29, 2014 at 8:51 am

    I’m going through that now, in a slightly different way. “It’s a YA novel.” “Oh, I LOVE YA! I’ll read it and then give it to my 7 year-old.” “We-elll….you might want to think about that. I mean, some of the material is pretty dark…” “Oh, is it fantasy then? I LOVE fantasy!” “We-elll…not exactly fantasy. I mean it’s about a girl who can fly. But life’s pretty normal otherwise.” “Ohhh…” [and I can hear them thinking, Maybe I’ll just stick to zombies and picture books for now] Stupid genres and the stupid expectations they generate!

    • Reply
      April 29, 2014 at 5:09 pm

      Oh, yeah. That definitely sounds familiar. So glad it’s not just me!

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