Friday, March 23, 2007

Revealing myself

I love reading all the posts on this blog, both from my fellow crumpets and the readers. I'm also quite happy to write about interesting and perhaps edgy topics because this is a good place to be able to speak one's mind.

But when I read about my fellow writers getting up in front of people and 'reading their work out loud' I kind of freak out. I'm really not sure if I'd have the nerve to do that. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not ashamed of what I write and I quite proudly tell people that my books won't be to everyone's taste because the subject matter is 'edgy and spicy and out there'-(so I've been told anyway!)

The problem for me comes more because I'm genuinely surprised that people read my books and have a reaction to them. I write fantasy and somehow when it's on the page it becomes other people's fantasy and they invest their emotions in it and give me feedback. It's an interesting circle. I forget the reading public when I write and forget that the themes I explore are sometimes dark and erotic and forbidden.

Mostly feedback is good and I love it when a reader 'gets' my characters and wants to know what will happen to them next. On the other hand, I've had the odd person suggest that I'm sinful writing such smut and that God will get me-but they'll pray for me anyway. Who would think that letting people share a part of my imagination could provoke a reaction?

Obviously, I need to get out of my own little world more and realize that because what I write is out there in black and white that to some people it represents me and my morals. That still surprises me. No one accuses thriller writers of being murderers but erotic romance writers have to have done everything in their books? Mostly I laugh when people suggest that but sometimes it makes me wonder how people who've never met me see me.

I'm fascinated to hear everyone else's take on this. Maybe it's just me!


Lacy Danes said...

I think it is sad that people say that we write smut and are sinners for writing what we do.

I personally have had multiple people say that my writing has added spice to their romance with their partners. That "things" are better then they ever have been before. Lol.

I am personally delighted that my writing has that affect on people and try to concentrate on that reaction instead of the “you sinner” response. I have not really had the sinner response said to me from the public. Though I have noticed that if I tell a couple what I write that sometimes the woman in the pair is the one that gets all weird. Not sure why that is…


Kalen Hughes said...

No one accuses thriller writers of being murderers but erotic romance writers have to have done everything in their books?

Personally, I wouldn't be even a tad ashamed to be "accused" of doing the (sexual) things in my novels. *grin* My books pretty much do parade my morals and mores for the world to see, and I’m damn proud to assert that love and fulfilling sex are key ingredients in a happy, fulfilling life. If someone really wants to argue the counter position, they’re welcome to try . . .

Pam Rosenthal said...

Well, when I was writing the Carrie books, I wasn't exactly parading around an endorsement for love and fulfilling sex -- I was parading around a confused fascination with overwhelming fantasies that I didn't quite understand. And I did think it was odd that I was willing to be so public about it. But for me that was part of the adventure -- there was clearly an element of exhibitionism there. I probably would never have done it if we didn't have a wonderful community of what we used to call "sex positive" feminist writers and activists in San Francisco -- Susie Bright, Carol Queen, Pat Califia and so forth.

Kate Pearce said...

Lacy, one of my first readers passed a copy of one of my books onto a friend of hers who was going away for her first romantic weekend away for 5 years with her husband. Apparently, my book definitely helped set the mood! I love it when that happens!

Kalen I'm delighted to see that you have a strong sense of self in whatever you do (not surprised having met you) But I suspect some of the stuff in my books goes way beyond my personal comfort level!)

Pam, Susie Bright is going to guest blog on our lustbites blog soon! And about the fascination with character's sexual fantasies, I absolutely see that-I just forget that people are going to read my interpretation. I also think that if I thought about the reading public I probably wouldn't have he courage to write at all.

Celia May Hart said...

Kate -- I could do a whole post on sinning -- and I think I will, at a later date (I have one post ready to go for next week already).

Stay tuned.

Hey -- how many of us crumpets are going to PASIC? (I'm not.)

Jane Lockwood said...

I think we reveal ourselves in all sorts of hideous ways in our writing. The fact that we do it at all, for instance--some sort of exhibitionist streak, a cry for attention?

I hate the idea of non-writers-- particularly people who knew me before I started writing, including family members-- reading my stuff while it's in progress; after it's published, well, obviously, that's not an issue! My father did make the endearing comment that he didn't think he could donate my first book (not an erotic romance but with some fairly grown-up sex) to the church jumble sale.

I love the idea that what we write changes people's lives!