I’ve mentioned this before here on Booksquare. There’s an odd thing that happens when someone learns you’re a published author. This can be friend or complete stranger it doesn’t matter. Once they know you have a book on the shelf they now have a complete license to ask you anything. This can be your sex life. How much money you make. Whether you get along with your co-workers. Stuff many people would be horrified to ask, say, their dentist.
I was given a roll of “Oklahoma Author” stickers by my local Romance Writers Chapter. Once my book is on the shelves, I go out and obsessively sticker every copy of my book within driving distance (which is not as far as it used to be). So, I’m at a Wal-Mart by my house and see the now familiar large fan that allows me to spot my book yards away. Yes, Booksquare, I went to Wal-Mart (and ran down the aisles touching product). Anyway, I’m down on the floor with all the books scattered about me as I sticker them. A woman casually walks by. Walks away. Walks back. I’m sure she’s security. Finally she asks me what I’m doing. After I assure her I’m not defacing the books (sort of) she asks me questions #1.
Did you get a lot of money?
My friend Gena Showalter told me to expect this question. A lot. Someone told me once to turn it around, ask the person how much THEY make. I can never remember that suggestion when this actually happens. Usually I just smile and babble something incoherently.
So, is there a lot of sex in this book? Is it really smutty?
This question used to really irk me. My book also has plot, dialogue…bunch of other stuff I learned in school. I work hard to deliver a good story. Sex is only a small part blah blah blah – I’m sure you get the picture why this is irritating. Now – how I answer this depends on which response I think will make you buy my book. (Acquaintances of mine might be rethinking past conversations.)
Now my husband gets versions of this question. I’ve suggested he just look really, really tired. Sigh heavily and say “yes”.
Is your husband really romantic? Is your house like that?
It takes every once of effort on my part not to laugh and laugh and laugh. I’m married to an engineer, need I say more? I’m curious, is there a particularly romantic profession out there? Actually, my husband gets off the hook in that department. I’m a romance writer, I can turn taking out the trash into a romantic gesture.