Sunday, July 20, 2008

Today I thought I'd share a little story...a little glimpse into the--always exciting, at times disturbing--adventures of the romantica author that is Nikki Soarde. lol

This particular incident happened to me...oh...it's going on two years ago now, but it remains etched into my brain like it was branded there. A vivid reminder that...my mouth is waaaaay too big!

I had been invited to give my erotic romance workshop for a very enthusiastic author's group in Edmonton, Alberta. I was thrilled and honoured beyond belief, especially since this very generous group had offered to, not only pay me for my time, but also to pay all expenses involved in the rather lengthy trip out there from my home region of Southern Ontario. Thanks to their generosity I was able to treat myself to a limo service...well, okay, so it was just a big, comfy van...ride to the airport from my front door.

I was picked up mid-morning, and was surprised to find myself the only passenger for the entire one-hour trip to the airport. The driver, a pleasant semi-retired gentleman, asked me politely about the nature of my trip and I, being so excited about my adventure, was of course eager to share! His interest in my writing piqued very quickly, and he was soon asking me all nature of questions about my work. I have never been shy about discussing what I write and I spoke very candidly about which genres sell and which didn't, the writing process, etc. Eventually the conversation seemed to come to a logical conclusion and after giving him one of my business cards I settled down to watch the scenery for a time.

Abruptly however, he struck up the conversation again with this question: "Where do you get your ideas?" The question is common enough, so I thought little of it, except for the fact that I could have sworn I had already answered that question. Being polite, however, I told him yet again that basically my ideas are sparks that can come from anywhere--the most obscure incident can set off a new story. He wasn't satisfied with this answer, however, and continued by asking me, "Would you like to hear a story that might inspire you?"

I should have said no. Why, oh why oh WHY didn't I say NO? But being polite and, I'll admit, mildly curious, I said..."Uh. Sure." And, unfortunately, he proceeded to tell me...

To tell me about the affair he'd had thirty years ago with another woman....about the night that she'd brought along a friend and about....well....let's just say this was NOT the kind of discussion one would have in front of the grandkids.

As detailed and personal as his account was, it failed to shock me, and I told him so. I thanked him for sharing, however as fascinating as it was, it was nothing I hadn't heard before. I'm not sure if he was disappointed or not, as from that point I moved back to my seat and attempted to keep my attention directed to the passing scenery. Thankfully we arrived at the airport very shortly after that.

My ordeal was not over, however. Not by a long shot.

Upon removing my luggage from the van, this mild-mannered with the burgeoning paunch and the full head of silver hair, extended to me a slip of paper....with his phone number on it!! Perhaps I could use him for "research" sometime. He's into just about anything, you see.

Absolutely stunned and unsure WHAT to do, I accepted the paper with a very vague, "Uh...I'll keep it in mind."

Needless to say that slip of paper found its way into the very first trash receptacle I came across.

By the time I got on the airplane I was actually chuckling over the incident, and filing it away under the "lessons learned" section of my authorly-type experiences. I went to Edmonton, had a fabulous time entertaining and being entertained by this very talented group of authors...and then I came home. Thankfully, it was my husband who picked me up from the airport, and I was spared any new adventures!

Or...so I thought.

Two weeks later I was at home, just about to head out the front door to take my 12-year-old son back to school after a medical appointment when....the doorbell rang. INtrigued, as always, by the notion of some stranger ringing my bell (no innuendo intended. lol) I opened the door to find....Guess WHO standing on my front porch. Hat in hand, so to speak, lamenting the fact that he'd "lost my card."

I was, once again, stunned beyond words. So stunned that I actually considered running upstairs to find a card for a moment! But that lasted only a moment. My heart pounding in my throat I calmly told him that I was "Uncomfortable with this," and thankfully he, apparently now stricken with the inappropriateness of the situation, turned tail and ran.

I took my son to school, but I'm not ashamed to admit that, by the time I got home I was a nervous wreck. A phone call to my husband (during which I burst into tears) and speaking to a couple of good friends eased my mind, but I wasn't truly satisfied until I had contacted the owners of the limo service to inform them of their driver's behaviour.

I had every intention of letting the indiscretion of his story in the van pass. And even the passing of the phone number. He was an older gentleman who apparently completely misinterpreted my candidness for sexual interest. I accepted some responsibility for that and intended to learn my lession. HOWEVER....to use his knowledge of my home address and then drive their on his OWN TIME to pursue...whatever it was he intended to pursue, was COMPLETELY out of line, and warranted action.

The company wrote back to me, passing on the driver's apologies and assuring me that "appropriate action" had been taken. I have no idea what that action was and it doesn't matter. My part in it is done.

So....that's my tale of woe. A lesson for me to rein in my mouth and be a LITTLE more careful who I go touting tales of erotic diversions and sexual hyjinx to!

Than again....it sure made a great story!

6 comments:

Ruby Storm said...

Hey Nikki

Great blog - if your post even spurred a little bit of the erotic author's mind to always be wary, then your time spent writing was well worth your effort! It's easy to forget that there are always those predators out in the world that take what we write out of context. Good job and thanks for the reminder!

Ruby

Lynn LaFleur said...

Nikki, you always have amazing adventures! You told me about this, but hearing it again gives me goose bumps. For him to show up at your house is definitely scary. I'm glad it had a happy ending.

Lynn

Titania Ladley said...

Wow, did your business card have your real name and home address on it? Or did he go to all the trouble to dig it up? Either way, that is just too creepy. So glad nothing more came of it.

But you're right, it's best to keep things to yourself no matter how much you think you can trust someone, which is a shame because this business can be such a solitary one. Thanks for sharing your story, and for the reminder...

Titania

Nikki_Soarde said...

No! He didn't have to go to much trouble at all. HE had picked me at my front door. He knew exactly where I lived!

I think the only lesson to learn is where to draw the line in what and how much we talk about what we do. The trouble is....I still think that line is a tough one to identify at times.

Cait Miller said...

Wow, very creepy! I am deinitely going to watch what I say next time. Shudder!

N.J.Walters said...

That's very scary and totally inappropriate on his part. Thankfully, he was harmless.

Great idea for a book though. *g*