About a month ago, I was talking to a co-worker about my book. I told him that it was a romance novel—although my best friend says it’s not. I’ll admit that it’s not a sweet traditional romance. My manuscript has its share of drama, unexpected plot twists, sex and a touch of violence (I’ll post the hook when I work up the nerve), but overall it is a love story. After I told him what my book was about, and that I have five novels started and numerous ideas for others, he said he admired the fact that I actually wrote a book, before asking me if I wanted to write for real one day. Translation: will I write literature one day instead of romance. I told him not to hate on romance writing, it is a billion dollar industry, but his question was messed up. I do write for real, and so do other romance authors.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not deep. I don’t get into philosophical discussions, follow politics or have plans to read the works of Hemingway. I tried to…broaden my horizons once, and actively began reading non-fiction in an effort to participate in “meaningful discussions”, but that was short-lived. I’m just not into it. Now, I am smart. I’m damn good at my job (Environmental Coordinator for Lexington County) and my wall at work is testament to my achievements. I do have strong opinions on certain topics, but I choose to debate those with my family and friends, not publicly. Even with all of this, I still feel that I’m a bit superficial when it comes to the big things affecting the world. I’d rather watch Pride and Prejudice than the State of the Union. I’d prefer to watch Will Smith’s biography on the Biography Channel, than read the biography of Clarence Thomas (a colleague told me it was a must read). And, even though I know things are messed up in Libya right now, I won’t be following that guy from NBC covering it on Twitter. That’s not me, and when I turned 30, I said I wasn’t going to pretend to be different. I love my life and who I am too much to front. I’m not interested in writing the next “Great American Novel” that embodies what it is to be human. So if you’re into that, you probably don’t want to read my book. What I am interested in is a good story. One that will make you smile, frown, gasp and escape the real world for a while. Why write about the bad stuff, when you can let your fantasy create another world where bad things may happen to good people, but the ending is always happy? That’s what I do. I write for fun. It’s my escape from the day-to-day. Writing isn’t my life, but it’s a big part of my life. I do stay up late many nights to write, but I have my priorities. For instance, Friday night at 10, I’m not writing if Merlin is on. If I’m reading a good book, I won’t write. If my kids want to play I won’t write, and if my husband wants to play 🙂 I won’t write. But when I do write, I’m writing for real. It may not be a story that will change your life, but it’ll be a story that will bring some enjoyment to your life. So because of that, my reply to my co-worker, and others like him, is get off your high horse. I do write for real.