Sunday, July 6, 2008
Do You Really Do What You Write About?
I love Cafe Press. There are so many goodies there. I'm on their mailing list, so when I received an email a couple of weeks ago for Garfield T-shirts, I had to take a peek. One click led to another (as is often the case with me on the Internet) and I typed in a search for "writing." Wow. Do you know how many T-shirts CP has with neat writing sayings on them? One in particular caught my eye: "My wife writes romance novels. I benefit. Big time."
It's cute. I chuckled when I read it. Then I thought about how people treat me when they find out I write erotic romance. Suddenly, I've become Dr. Ruth. I have to know everything about sex since I write about it. Surely I couldn't write about something if I've never experienced it.
Yes, I can.
It's called research. Imagination. Reading what interests me. Learning from some of my favorite authors. I haven't called two male friends and taken them to bed so I could describe a menage correctly. (Although that might be fun...)
Most of the erotic romance authors I know are in a committed relationship with their own personal hero. They've been married for years. A menage is in their minds, not their beds.
I'm amazed at how many people believe we writers actually DO all the stuff we write about. Thriller and mystery writers don't find dead bodies buried in their backyards. Horror writers don't slash people's throats or stab them twenty-seven times. Paranormal writers don't hang around with vampires and werewolves.
We lose ourselves in our stories the same way you do. We create characters we hope you'll love as much as we do. Most of our adventures are created in front of our computers, not in the bedroom.
If I ever do find those two male friends to help with my research, I'll let you know...