Becka's Babble

Ramblings of a Romance Writer

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

I Got Dissed Today

Yup, I got dissed today and I'm not sure how I feel about it. **crosses arms**

As I'm sure you all know by now, I take my kids to Karate classes two to three times a week. When they're in class, they go between an hour to two hours. Sometimes I run errands. Sometimes I take my laptop and write. Today, I didn't feel like writing and I had no errands to run, so I decided to take a book I'd just received via entitled "In Bed With the Devil". Here's the book in question:

So I'm sitting there in the driver's seat of my jumbus (and I mean *bus*) van with the motor running, because I was c-o-o-o-l-d, therefore I had the heater going. (I didn't have the car running for the entire time the kids were in class, for those who were wondering, just the last few minutes before they came out because the cold was getting to me.)

Anyhow, I'm sitting there and I hear a rapping on my window. It was the owner of the dojo, so I roll down my window. He immediately sees the cover of the book above, because the driver's seat is about eye-level to someone standing outside, and he says, and I quote: "YOU HAVE *GOT* TO BE KIDDING ME!" and proceeds to toss his head back and guffaw, once again saying, "You have got to be kidding me!", looking at me with a look like, "You should know better than to read such drivel!"

This shocked me on a few levels. First of all, let me just say, this man is a VERY nice man, and I'm sure he didn't mean anything offensive by laughing at my choice of literature. But not only that, I felt he was laughing at romance in general, and that he was laughing at Silhouette Desire, the very line I want to write for one day.

I was a little too shocked to come up with some kind of witty reply, some biting sarcasm that I could throw back in his face. Even now, I'm at a loss for something I could have said to him to make him squirm. :P I really like the guy, don't get me wrong, but in that moment, it was almost like writing and reading romance was a shameful thing, and something no intellectual person would dare to do.

I mean, the cover itself isn't overly sexy. There's no couple enraptured within each other's arms. The man has his shirt on, there's no bare-chested schwetty abs going on. Perhaps it was the ginormous word DESIRE etched down the length of the spine. Whatever it was, he took one look and made a judgment. In that one moment, I must admit, he made me feel three feet tall. And I resent that.

I work hard. I work VERY hard at what I do. Writing a book is NOT easy. I don't care if you're writing flowery romance or the next War & Peace. I don't care if it's a child's book or a fricken' pop-up book. Writing is HARD. It takes discipline. It takes guts and sweat and patience and determination. All you people who think it's so easy to write a book, I challenge you to do it. And not only finish a book, but write it well enough that a publishing house would want to put their name on it.

I read what I write. Why? Because I enjoy romance, because I study other authors' prose, because I'm constantly learning and honing my craft, seeing how others string their words together, watching how their plots unfold. Sure, romance isn't for everyone. But it's the ONE genre people look at and scoff at. It's the ONE genre people look at and LAUGH at. Openly!

Would you laugh if someone was reading a sci-fi? How about a fantasy? What about a historical or a mystery or a horror? Of course not. Why, then, is romance so poo-pooed when EVERY SINGLE SCRAP of our entertainment is saturated with it? TV shows, movies, and songs... Everything is about the romance. And if a movie or TV show doesn't focus on the romance plot, 9 times out of 10, there will be a romance sub-plot.

Get over yourselves, people. I read romance, and I'm proud of it, and I'll be damned if anyone will make me feel three feet tall again when they find out I read and write romance. I don't care how well I like you.


**disclaimer: The above post was fueled by pregnancy hormones, therefore, please take that into consideration before releasing your righteous anger. LOL**


At 10:11 PM , Blogger Kat Hall said...

They laugh because they are insecure.

Kudos to you Becka whether it is preggie hormone or not.

At 1:51 AM , Blogger D. Renee Bagby & Zenobia Renquist said...

The proper response should have been, "Not only do I read this drivel, I write it as well. I have X books published with Y more on the way."

I stopped being embarrassed about what I read/write a long time ago (thank you high school). I'm too damn proud of the fact that I'm PUBLISHED and have FANS. Everyone else can kiss my butt. That said, though proud I may be, I don't want my parents and brothers reading it. ;P

Most of the people I tell are more impressed that I write and that I'm published rather than hung up on WHAT I write.

I'd say proclaim it for the world to know, but -- as my beta reader assures me -- life is a bit different with kids involved.

At 3:39 AM , Blogger Stephanie said...

I agree tell him you not only read it but make good money writing it as well, then challenge his machoism-self by reading one of your B.E.A.S.T. series and see what he has to say.

At 4:02 AM , Anonymous Lisa said...


I'm sorry.

There is no way I could have come up with a response. That absolutely sucks that he made you feel that way.

One thing a lot of guys can't understand is many women have a desire for romance and fairy tale built into us. So, we read *and write, thank you!) to satisfy that desire, which would be impossible to fulfill in daily life.

And you're right, writing it really really hard. Writing well enough to be published must be damn near impossible! Just trying that NaNo was really fun, but it was really hard to get the words on the page, and I certainly don't have anything a publisher would want to put their name on right now.

Can you bring him a big stack of your books and say, " Expand your horizons Mr. Karate guy, here are some books that I really enjoy reading. oh, and what do you know they ALL have my name on the cover..."

Again, I'm sorry this happened and made you feel bad :(

At 5:33 AM , Blogger Cindy K. Green said...

What a crock Becka!! I agree Romance is the genre that is most looked down on. But when I meet new people in person or in some on-line locality I tell them I am a romance author.

Everyone really does crave romance in their lives whether men or women just in differing amounts. It IS in all our entertainment. Why is that??

You are good at what you do and you should be proud!

At 7:35 AM , Blogger Minime said...

I would have probably said "You know there are worse romance covers out there, don't you?"

I always just smile and think "Have you ever read a good romance before?"

I've been reading for 15 years since I was 15 and I ain't giving them up for anything. I did slow down my intake, but that was just because I couldn't find any good books (this was before I got into ebooks and followed the light).

I had a boyfriend in high school try and tell me that I couldn't read romance novels. My response, "Yeah ok" with a smile.

And Becka, I love the disclaimer under your post.

At 5:33 PM , Blogger Tara S Nichols said...

Ugh. You said it! I hate that oppinionated better than romance attitude. Romanbce is in nearly every plot. It is what gives a plot that real life fuller feeling, according to me anyway. I read romance, I read erotica, and yes sometimes the covers get hidden if they are super racy but damn I'm proud of it! Ugh. Richeousness sucks!
yeah, he may have been a nice guy but can he string two sentebces together that would make a readers knees turn to butter?

At 12:58 PM , Blogger Becka said...

I should have also included to those who think writing a book is "easy", that if you manage to actually write a book that a publisher would want to publish, you've got to write another.

And another.

Being an author is more than writing the One Big Novel of your life. Being an author is continuing to write book after book at either the same level or better than the one before it.

Even if you "only" write romance.



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home