#1 "Will you write about me?"
#2 "Do you do the stuff that you write about in your books?"
This is normally accompanied by a sly wink and cheesy elbow nudge. My response is usually:
#3 "It must be nice to sit at home all day."
Exterior Christa Response: Yes, it's easy. It's nice not having to commute and I can take Netflix breaks whenever I want.
Inner Christa Response: No, you jackass! It's horrible! I have days where I can agonize for a good hour over one paragraph. I have to carefully check that I haven't given my character octopus limbs in a sex scene. (One hand on his lover's junk. Another holding his face. Another pulling down his pants. Another holding himself up. You get the idea) I can get so into the writing zone that by the time I come out of it, my back hurts, my ass is numb, my hands are cramped, I haven't eaten or peed in hours and my brain is fried. And we're not even going to talk about the agony of hitting publish and waiting to see if readers like it. So basically:
#4 "I don't read that kind of stuff."
#5 "When are you going to write a real book?"
And honestly, I'm just like:
#6 "Do you get horny when writing?"
Well, I certainly hope so. If I don't, then the people who read my work sure won't. You know what I'm sayin'?
#7 "You're giving women false expectations for relationships."
#8 "Aren't they all the same? Boy meets girl. Boy and girl fall in love. Boy loses girl. Boy gets girl back."
My poor forehead can't take this question too many more times. Yes, there is a basic format to romance novels. But they're so much more than that. The story can be humorous, serious or angsty. (I HEART angsty) It can be sci-fi, western, contemporary, thriller, time travel. The story can play out in so many different ways. The dialogue is different. The personalities are different. Basically, no two romances are the same. And to be honest, nearly every other genre has a format as well.
CRIME: Crime happens. Detective called in. Detective works case. Makes a collar. It's the wrong collar. Detective or his loved one is in danger by the true criminal. Detective finally solves the case, usually after a great personal loss.
FANTASY: Evil happens. A young nobody is told he must go on a quest. He goes on quest with his trusty friends. Slays the dragon/kills evil overlord. Takes over the throne. Reigns peacefully for a thousand years.
DO YOU SEE WHAT I'M SAYING?
#9 I don't read romance. But I wrote something really quick and threw it up on Amazon. Why isn't it selling?"
Seriously? Why? You don't understand the genre at all since you don't read it, but you think you'll magically know what it is that readers want? Don't insult us. Yes, romance is a great way to make money because romance readers are voracious and consume mightily. But we only consume what's good. And something you made up over the weekend without any knowledge of how romance novels work, probably isn't good.
#10 "Can you give me a free copy?"
No. No. Noooooo. I don't come to your job and ask for free whatever it is you produce. Besides, you said earlier that you don't read romance. So why would I give you something that will get thrown in the closet without even being looked at? My work is valuable, yo.
Bonus: "So is it like Fifty Shades of Grey?"
So that's it! Ten Things Romance Authors Are Tired of Hearing. But honestly I may head desk a few times, but I don't ever get mad. People are curious and want to know what it's like. I understand that, and I'll hope you'll take this list as it's meant: a fun round up of goofy things people say.
Thanks for reading!
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