|This is how I'm feeling - a bit bare!
I went to my Book club through the week. I love my Book Club. They're older ladies and it's taken me a while to feel like I fit in, but I love them. We discuss the books quite seriously, but in doing so little pieces of each person are divulged. It's special and they're lovely...but they're literary. We hold books to a fairly high standard - myself included. So I haven't felt the time is right for me to blurt out that I'm writing books of my own, however, if I write in a different sub-genre, I would have to tell them that part before publication. So it's been in the back of my mind.
Besides, I'm hiding a significant part of my life by not saying anything.
The last few months we've had a new girl who is mid-20s (to put this in perspective, I could be her mother, the others her grandmothers). Last time we met, she mentioned her favourite author was Nora Roberts and she was keen to find Aussie authors who wrote similarly. I couldn’t help myself, after the meeting I told her I’d bring her some Aussie romance authors’ books. So I went in with a bag full.
Almost every meeting someone (usually one woman) makes a disparaging remark about romance and I ignore it. Deep down I know I should defend it, but I can't, or I don't, or something. I used to feel that way, before joining RWA and seeing the diversity of romance novels, but I don't want to force my 'religion' down other's throats.
When I passed over the bag of books at the end of the meeting, everyone wanted to know what books they were. There were a lot. But we're all book-a-holics and share them regularly, so it wasn't a real surprise for the peering and questions. I said, “Romance, so you guys won’t read them.” Off they all went.
I pulled out a book by an author in her hometown and told her the connection – she squealed. Then she saw a Keri Arthur book and squealed even more. I mentioned I’d had a fan girl moment when I met Keri, more squealing. It draws everyone's interest (no one ever squeals!). The girl says, “OMG you met these authors, how on earth?”
How could I answer that if not honestly? I figured I’d just have to admit to RWA and writing dreams. Then there was quite a bit of squealing and shock and questions fired at me and begging to read my stories, etc. I just confessed all as it seemed easier.
So I'm out. Cate Ellink is known by a few more people. I told them not to read my books as they weren't what they'd be interested to read, but I suspect they'll be read out of curiosity. I'm not sure if my skin is thick enough to take the critique. I hope it will be. But I know what I've said at book club about some of the books we've read, and I'm a harsh critic, and we're honest in our discussions, so I expect if they talk about my writing they'll be honest. I hope so...even if I'm scared.
So, Lily, who has been encouraging me to be brave...I was. And it wasn't as terrifying as I thought it could be. You were right - friends do accept you, no matter how odd you are and that's the best! :)