And again. I'm very proud to write for one of the most established names in romance publishing.
The reason I'm yelling this from the deck is that a couple of weeks ago I found myself having to defend what I do for a living, and I don't think I should have to.
Now I know that there are plenty of people out there who like to poke a finger at the authors and readers of these romance stories. They are a fact of life and don't bother me.
BUT - we (royal we) were having drinks with friends (whose late wife was a big fan of my books), and met a woman who all but attacked me.
'I hear you write books.'
'Yes, I do,' I said proudly.
'Mills & Boon books.' Sneer.
'Yes, I do.' Still proud.
Then I had to withstand a lengthy one-sided discussion on these books put out by this publisher.
'Have you read any?' I asked.
'Not since I was a teenager.'
Fair enough. Heard it all before. But did my blood boil. I did behave, stayed cool (read heated) and calm (read angry). Thank goodness for wine.
The day the carton containing copies of my very first book turned up here my man took a hard cover copy and placed on the bookshelf in the lounge, and has continued to so with every title since. He's not a reader, hasn't read any of mine, but boy, is he proud of me.
The thing is this: -
It takes time, commitment and sheer determination to write a book of any kind, and that's before we start knocking on editors' and agents' doors. That takes pig-headedness and many bottles of wine.
I have the utmost admiration for all my writing friends and colleagues. Many have achieved outstanding results with their amazing stories, and more will in the near future.
I never go around putting down other people's jobs, be they a cleaner or a doctor. Why would I?
I also believe we authors have one of the best occupations on the planet. We get to make up things, and talk to people in our head while getting away with it. What's not to love about those?
Okay, so now I'll come down off my soapbox. Got that off my chest.
Just as an aside - this person was more than happy to take home four of my books to give to her friend, who apparently can't read enough of our books. Go her.
Kind of like the title for my next book. Seems appropriate somehow.
Do you ever have to defend something that's important to you? Does it wind you up as I seemed to have been?