Last weekend my entire family came from New York to celebrate my twenty-eighth birthday. We went to a small family owned Mexican restaurant that makes kick ass guacamole and really good raspberry margaritas. That fact that we were ALL together was a novelty. With work and school and living in separate states it’s rare we all get to eat at the same table.
So there I was seated between my parents and across from brothers. Everybody was having their own conversation when my mom mentioned to me that she was still reading Dangerous Curves Ahead and that one scene brought up a memory from her past. I knew the scene she was talking about. I knew it very well because it took place shortly after my hero and heroine get it on for the first time. So, I turn to look at her and quietly say, “I guess you survived the sex scene.”
At that point all conversation at the table had stopped. My father looked off into space as if he had suddenly went deaf. Three brothers stared at me. The word SEX seemed to have a magical effect on them, because normally they never pay any attention to what I say.
“Yes, I survived the sex scene,” my mother continued, not seeming to notice that the table suddenly went quiet. She put her hand on her forehead and stared at me. “I can’t believe you know so much. I can’t believe you’re so descriptive. A mother doesn’t want to think about her daughter knowing so much about sex. It makes me uncomfortable.”
I have read HUNDREDS of romance novels in my day. While my stuff isn’t exactly sweet, it certainly isn’t anywhere near erotica. “You just don’t read romance novels trust me, Ma. That was nothing.”
Meanwhile in my head I’m thinking, wait until she gets to second sex scene. Wait till she reads my books that are coming out for Harlequin. But I say nothing. I catch my youngest brother staring at me from across the table. He’s always surprised when I know anything about sex. In his eyes I’m supposed to be this lame virginal super good girl, who has never heard the word PENIS much less have seen one. And I understand why he thinks that way. I’m the prude in my family.
But I’m twenty-eight. Hello!
“It’s like Fifty Shades of Grey without the torture,” my mother goes on, clearly distressed about my life’s choice to write romance novels.
“It is not!” I’m offended by this. There is no bondage in my book. There is no sex for sex sake. I’m rather fond of those scenes. They’re some of the best I’ve written. “Besides, you’ve never read Fifty Shades. How would you know?”
“I just know,” she says.
My brother Jordan who always has something to say, says nothing. Jason continues to eat tortilla chips. Jonathan keeps looking at me as if he is trying to figure out if I’m secretly turning tricks on my free time. My father continues to stare at the sun sculpture on the wall behind him. I feel sorry for the man. He didn’t deserve this.
I’m sure my family all thinks I’m a pornographer now, but that’s okay. I’m going to keep on reading and writing those sexy sex books. And maybe someday my family will get who I am.
What about you? How would you feel if your kid starting writing romance novels?