Growing up a kid’s life is usually defined by their parents. Well, mine were very country. I can remember being on my Daddy’s shoulders during some of the greatest singers in the genre at the Grand Ole Opery in Bainbridge, Ohio. Some of those old melodies that I heard then can still waft through my house especially when I write. There’s nothing like those good old country songs to get one in the mood.
Tonight, I fell asleep in front of the TV as I commonly do when I’m on a writing spree. I’ll work and work then take a break when before I know it, I’m stumbling to bed again because I just couldn’t keep my eyes open. I’ve always been a late night person and while it doesn’t surprise me it is sometimes disconcerting. This time though, instead of dragging myself up, I was riveted to what was on the TV. I had apparently fallen asleep to some documentary that I was watching on historical political events. What I woke up to was something totally different. You’d think I’d have something better to sink my teeth into. LOL!
Still, this one completely captured my attention. While I no longer listen to country music any more unless I’m nostalgic or just really can’t get into the mood, I do listen to singers like Shania Twain, Faith Hill, Shedaisy and the Dixie Chicks. What I was seeing on my big screen was a documentary about three women and something known as ‘the incident’ to them and the rest of the world. An incident that everyone by now realize should never have been blown out of proportion because what was said has been found to be relatively true in the years since it has happened.
And while I don’t want this blog to turn into a political forum at all, it made me wonder about my own chosen career and just how it can hinge on the whims of the reading public just like theirs hung on the whims of a listening public. There have been times when I tell people I write erotic romance and something between horror and disbelief cross their face. When that happens I have to grit my teeth sometimes and just smile because when all is said and done, I will write what I write for a variety of reasons.
Now some of you may ask ‘How can you love smut?’ to which I would reply ‘How can I not?’ I mean everyone has a different perception of what porn is, what smut is and what romance is. Mine just happens to be a little bit broader than most. But here’s the key to the whole thing and it something most of you don’t know. I write just as much non-erotic stuff as I do the erotic venture. Yup, you heard me right. Again, I can hear you say ‘Huh? What are you talking about?’
What, indeed. The bottom line is that I write what I love at that moment. Some days it’s just as hard for me to get into a sex scene as it is the writer who has never written one. I truly understand that as I write, I am not the one in control but my characters are. If they don’t want to have sex, they won’t. If they want to shoot someone, they will. And if they need to defend themselves against the next wave of alien bloodsuckers, they will do it superbly.
I write what is in my heart at the very moment I put the words onto the page and not a second before I’m supposed to. I’m one of the few writers who won’t write to a market because it’s popular nor will I be swayed against finishing something that isn’t the latest trend or fashion. I need to be passionate about what I write and if I can’t be, the piece may never get started or even finished for that matter.
At a talk I gave this past week, one of the topics I spoke to was career. I’ve been around a long time in the romance field and I have always written the ‘hot’ stuff long before it was in vogue. I can remember the very first time that Sandra Brown put in the words ‘tongue f**k’ and that book hit the best seller list. And the very first BDSM book I ever read was in the late ‘80s or early ‘90s by a science fiction author named Sharon Green and the book was The Mind Guest, another one who made it to the NY Times bestseller list. The moment I finished the book I told my husband that someday I would write a book just like it. And I did in my own way.
I used to tell people to write what they know until I was corrected by a bestselling author who told me to write what I could imagine. I’ll take it one step even further and say one should write what they know along with what they can imagine. Only then will you get the full effect and range of your writing.
I’ll end this by saying thank you to the Dixie Chicks for giving me this blog idea. I was always on their side about ‘the incident. They’re good at what they do and they won’t comprise who they are to get it done their way.
Just like me. I will always write what I love no matter what genre.