Last week, I visited my salon/spa for my regular color, cut and eyebrows appointment. It was the first time I’d been in the new location (absolutely gorgeous renovation that gave me the decorating bug!) and there were some new faces. The new guy who colored my hair (biggest, most tatted up guy I’ve ever seen in an upscale salon, by the way–and he rides a Harley!) chatted me up as he got my usual formula mixed together. I was surrounded by women at the color bar, most of them in various states of the coloring procedure or already processing. You know, foil and hair clips sticking out at odd angles. I had a feeling that the question was coming. I wondered how my answer would go over.
“I write erotic romance and erotica. You know, dirty books.”
“Oh, really. Like Fifty Shades?”
“Yep. But, you know, dirtier.”
You wouldn’t believe how quickly the phones were flipped out after that. It was the first time I’d ever hand-sold books or had people sign up for my newsletter, like, right in front of me. It was a bit awkward but also a lot of fun.
Later, as I was having wax ripped off my eyelids, I thought about what a great opportunity to network and talk and laugh I’d almost missed. What if I’d chickened out? What if I’d gone with the old standby “freelancer” answer that I use at kiddo’s music class (held at a local church)? I would have wasted a chance to talk with real readers, to hear what they love and what they don’t.
So from now on, (when appropriate and not in the middle of a rousing rendition of Row, Row, Row Your Boat by 30 toddlers in a church classroom,) I’m wearing my smutty author badge with pride. I work damn hard to write my books, novellas and short stories. Why should I hide all those accomplishments? I’ve got a lot to be proud of as a twentysomething writer who makes a living at her craft.
Also, I really just loved talking to all those women (okay–and Austin, my color guy) about what’s hot and what’s not. I want more of those reader interactions. Writing can be a lonely business. It’s nice to hear from avid readers once in a while!
(And, just a quick heads up, the first three books in my Holiday Menage series dropped this week. You can get the deets here.)