Some of the hunkiest hunks live in my house (and in yours, too). I’m starting to think that’s why people say oh and get that glazed look when I tell them I write romantic fantasy. I’ve tried the evasive tack, saying I’m just a writer, but they get excited and ask what I write. Romantic fantasy. Oh. Do you get that?
I’ve decided to stand proud, say what I do right off the bat, and get straight to the glazing. People look at me like I’ve asked if I may send their chihuahua into orbit. “I passed differential equations, so he’ll be fine. See, I reinforced the cracker tin with duct tape.”
Part of it might be my sub-genre. People either get or don’t get fantasy. I’ll never convert anyone who complains about characters whose names aren’t Jack and Jill. Psst. I’ll let you in on a super secret. All fantasy writers pilfer their character names from a hush-hush list of Kyrgyz surnames. We vow to use as few vowels as possible.
Seriously, I think people glaze because finding out someone writes romance is almost a “too much information” revelation. They can understand a passion for history leading to a book about John Adams. Or that getting buff by vacuuming qualifies one to write a self-help called Vac-U-Fit. What passions and qualifications lead a writer to romance? To a mind inhabited by heartfelt hunks and heroines? Hum.
So, if friends and acquaintances aren’t sure what to make of your romance writing, what about those nearest and dearest? A recent Georgia Romance Writers meeting got me thinking about that question. One author said her husband never reads her work. Another said her man is her biggest cheerleader.
I asked my nearest and dearest why he thinks I write. We were alone in my car. He hem-hawed, but I was insistent.
“It’s probably because you think your life sucks so much that you use it as an escape.”
If I wasn’t a kind, perceptive person who understood where that answer came from, I would have used my bare hands to send him to Jesus to account for the cruelty of those words. A part of him worries that he isn’t everything for me; I have to conjure romance to fill the void. In defense mode, I ranted about how I write romance because I believe in how love redeems us.
That sort of helped. He dusted himself off and took consolation in the fact that my hunks could be construed to look like him. He often gets asked if he’s a musician/actor/model, so it isn’t really a stretch. Well, fine. If you feel better thinking that it’s all about you….
The next morning he brought me a cup of coffee and a handwritten letter. He’s sorry he made the remark. My calling to write is genuine and good. “I feel good that you write about the most important subject we can discuss--love, love between each other, and love of God.”
Would you share your story?
Footnote 1: I write a weird blend of fantasy and non-traditional inspirational romance and yes, he’s read it.
Footnote 2: Good thing I didn’t kill him with my bare hands the day before.
Footnote 3: I wanted to use a picture of Fabio, but I freaked about copyright laws. I hope the gentleman in the photo doesn’t sue me for unauthorized use.