I recently became a published contemporary romance author. As soon as my short story, ‘Just Friends’, came out, I let everyone know: friends, family, acquaintances, social media followers and random strangers.
I expected the mix of funny looks, genuine excitement, and rave reviews I’ve received. What I didn’t expect was how writing a book with explicit—but not particularly kinky—sex scenes would shift my personal universe. Especially since most of my friends and family knew what I was writing beforehand. Some even critiqued early drafts for me.
Still, their reactions after reading my officially published work have been fascinating…
At my launch party, I received congratulations cards, a lovely succulent in a pretty pot, a bouquet, and many bottles of wine. I also received a realistically rendered, double-ended, pink silicone sex toy with ‘Just Friends’ and my launch date inscribed in black marker on the side. Very thoughtful. It makes a nice conversation piece on the mantle.
One of my male friends questioned me about the specifics of powder skiing. In great detail. I think it was a mix of genuine curiosity, and a desire to let me know he read my book without talking about the sex. Or the emotions. Or the transformation of the characters. Or their relatability. Or the myriad of other things making up this story that most men avoid in their reading material.
The other night, the initial discussion over dinner with a few other couples revolved around the best words to use for male sexual anatomy. We were at a local restaurant, and not being all that quiet. I can’t help but wonder what the others diners thought, and whether they prefer the d-word or the c-word.
Not that I minded. I’m fine talking about sex. Always have been, even loudly in public places. It’s just, most other people aren’t. Or they weren’t. Until now.
Here are five wonderful and crazy things I’ve discovered:
1) My very conservative Aunt is not as conservative as I thought.
2) My guy friends are so supportive, even they read my book—and most have no idea what to say about it other than it’s very well written. Or they really enjoyed the skiing.
3) My husband likes me spending my days thinking and writing about attraction, sex, love and happily ever after.
4) I have the most wonderful, supportive friends and family ever. Not that I didn’t already know, but it’s good to be reminded.
5) I’ve given people a free pass to have frank sexual conversations with me anytime, anywhere. Which is a useful and appreciated, since I always need more fodder for my books.
What’s the one question you would ask an author of steamy romance? Does knowing someone writes about sex make you more likely to discuss sex with them? Any other authors have similar experiences?
Please do let me know in the comments below.
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