It happens more often than you would think.
I’ll be at school picking up my children, or in the supermarket buying groceries and a person I vaguely know will mention that they saw me in the local paper.
The conversation goes so very well for a few minutes, full of compliments and well wishes, then the ultimate question comes about:-
“What exactly do you write?”
My reply is always the same.
“I write historical romances.”
“You write what?”
I live in a small rural township in North Queensland where most people know not only who you are but who your parents and grandparents are. They tend to form images sometimes about the person they think you have become. More often than not I tend to rip their image to tatters by telling them that I am an internationally published author of books that involve far more than just a passionate kiss before they close the bedroom door.
My parents have been cornered many times and asked exactly what it is their daughter writes about too. My mother handles it very well, usually telling them that her daughter writes historical stories set in the local area that involves ‘deep conversations’.
But in all seriousness most people in the local area have been extremely supportive about my gradually rising career as a writer. The local library has hosted public appearances for me, and the local paper is always happy to promo my work. There are always the few locals that raise their eyebrow at my chosen genre but usually after a dark look from my extremely supportive husband, they tend to just go about their own way.
Do I have trouble telling people what genre I write in?
Sometimes I do yeah.
You see to the locals here I am a sugarcane farmers daughter, a loving devoted wife and a mother of a combined family of 9 children; so I guess they don’t expect it when I also tell them I am the published author of 13 steamy historical romance eBooks.
But I am…and I’m proud to be such too. But I am also proud of where I come from…so proud that I have chosen to set each of my books in and around the area I grew up in, relying a lot on local history my father used to tell me as stories when I was a child. So many of the school mothers I have to interact with have been as equally as helpful in spreading the word about my chosen career, even if it is in idle gossip.
My most support though comes from my family, in particular my husband. Where so many have questioned ‘why do you write romance novels?’ my husband turns around and replies ‘why not’.
And that is my drive – why not? Who says that because I am a mother and a wife that I have to automatically write children’s stories?
So why do I write what I do?
Because I want to…because I like it…and because I can.