Wednesday, May 18, 2011
"I couldn't say that with a straight face."
You know you write in my genre when hearing comments like that doesn’t surprise you. You know you have been writing it a long, long time when these comments make you laugh out loud. Yes, I laughed out loud, much to the commenter’s surprise.
Yesterday I met with my bank’s office manger to arrange for deposits of foreign currency into my business account. The transfer of Euros to US dollars includes the verification of the foreign bank, account numbers, point of origin, and number of other international demands as well as local ones.
While I sat explaining that this would be a monthly occurrence not just a onetime event so the small pile of paperwork we were doing should take that into consideration so we didn’t have to redo it month after month. She asked how I came up with the name of my publishing house, ManLove Romance Press.
So I blithely elaborated about my work. I told her that I write ‘male/male erotic romances for women’ as it used to be known or ‘manlove’. She stopped writing, looked at me over the top edge of her glasses for several seconds and then quietly responded with “I couldn’t say that with a straight face”. Welcome to my life.
Someone thought what I wrote and published was laughable or maybe something I should be embarrassed by!
When I first started writing in the genre ten years ago I would have been genuinely puzzled by that response. I mean, I had been writing fanfiction slash for so long I didn’t think there were people out there who didn’t know about it. And as a trauma nurse for decades almost nothing about people’s relationships and sexual orientation surprised me anymore. Talk about living in a vacuum!
After I was more widely published I would have reacted with anger and outrage at that kind of response. For a while I did react that way whenever I was denied a review or an ad space or entry into a contest or a place to post excerpts from my work. It ticked me off and made me fight harder for a spot next to my peers. A spot that is now almost as common place as not to even notice it was ever missing.
Yes, time saw tide turn and now MANLOVE is one of the fastest growing subgenres of erotic romance. And now when nice banking ladies peer at me over their glasses and judge what I do for a living with humor, I just smile broadly and take comfort that I am laughing all the way to the bank. Literally. *BG*