Wednesday, June 3, 2020

IWSG: Putting the Insecure in IWSG!

I’ve got a secret. It’s deep and dark and one I’ve carried since the first of my 68 books was published back in 1987.


Our Insecure Writers Support Group question for June is: Writers have secrets – What are one or two of yours, something readers would never know from your work?

The funny thing about my secret is I never had a problem with it until I was published. I’ve always been a writer. I’ve never wanted to do anything else. I scribbled through notebooks of lined paper, have boxes of trial and errors someplace in the basement, and even told my mother when she insisted I go to college that, yes, I’d go but all I’d still want to be was an author.

Getting that first contract was the proudest moment of my life. That was back when I didn’t know another writer lived in the state of Michigan and had never met one in the wild. I had a local news reporter come to my house for an interview and had my picture taken with my two young sons posing with a stack of my two first releases that came out in the same month. It was a full- page article on the front of the Entertainment section! But all I took from reading the article was “Church-going housewife writes romance novels – oh, how cute and . . . naughty.” That headline might well have been “Baptist Writes Smut!” My now ex was horrified and hoped no one saw it - until he was teased mercilessly at work. His family never, EVER spoke about my writing (except for my nieces and nephews and my mom and sisters!). What should have been my proudest accomplishment felt more like a walk of shame. Something I should hide.


Everyone knows a romance writer’s cross to bear is the snickers (and not the yummy kind!). “When are you going to write a ‘real’ book?” “Oh, a love story. How sweet!” “I don’t read THOSE kinds of books.” When in a pack of writers, it’s easy to blow off those jibes but when circulating in a crowd of strangers it became my dirty little secret NOT to share.When meeting new people outside the industry, I never passed out bookmarks, never spoke of new releases or boasted of my backlist. The question of “What do you do?” was always answered, “I’m a stay at home mom”, “I work for an attorney,” not “I’m the award-winning author of 68 published novels!”

I must admit, my friends, my employers and especially my critique group never let me get away with cringing modesty, especially when one of the attorneys (now a judge!) read portions of my love scenes over the intercom at the office with such good-natured relish, I had to laugh and stop taking myself so seriously (and his wife and my fellow assistants grabbed up all my new releases!).

Thirty years later, I’m proud to say I’m in semi-recovery. I still shy from book signings and can’t make myself chase down strangers waving a copy of my newest release. But I DO, when asked what I do, admit that I’m a published author - of books. Yes, romance in general but in particular– historical, contemporary suspense, paranormal, a horror movie adaptation and screenplays, and self-help for writers chap books. I’m a writer. That’s what I do. I’m not rich, I’m not famous, but I’m happy doing what I love to do.

The secret is out!

So, this is me – boldly promoting my first four-book boxed set The House of Terriot, a mini-series from the soon to be 15-book By Moonlight dark shapeshifter series.




   

And when RISE BY MOONLIGHT comes out in July, it will be Book 70! All-in-all, not bad for a stay-at-home mom turned retired legal assistant!

I’ve told you mine. What’s YOUR secret?




Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time.The awesome co-hosts for the June 3rd posting of the IWSG will be Pat Garcia, J.Q. Rose, and Natalie Aguirre!

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Twitter hashtag is #IWSG

20 comments:

  1. That's sad that your ex-husband and family did value your huge accomplishment. I'm glad an attorney you worked with was more supportive.

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    1. He was more than thrilled to enjoy my advance checks and royalties! Hmmm.

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  2. Well, that was a heck of an article title. Glad you are past that and are now proud of all of those books. Sixty-eight! That is just incredible. Those that snickered at you probably couldn't even write one.

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  3. Oh Nancy! What an awesome secret to share. I'm so glad you didn't let the snickers and "shaming" comments stop you. And it's a shame that they're still some of those attitudes about the "worth" of romance books out there. I sometimes wonder if people who treat them as "less" have ever read one. Celebrate your success girl...I shout out your books to everyone!

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    1. Thanks, Sandra!! Writing ANY kind of book is an accomplishment! I always counter the "I don't read THOSE kind of books" with "Have you ever tried one?"

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  4. I remember that time. When so many romance writers were shamed and heckled. I was treated with that same disdain, except I didn't have a wonderful judge friend pulling me out of that fray. He sounds wonderful! What's nice now is that the Romance genre is a literary study in college now with an academic journal. And to think I was on the ground floor of both movements. The first as a reader, then writer. The second as an academic. It was fun watching the twenty-somethings say, "Does anyone know anything about Rosemary Rogers?"

    Fantastic blog. You go, girl.

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    1. Rosemary was never a favorite of mine but Kathleen Woodiwiss was my eyeopener! Romance embraces so many different genre areas and look at all the bestsellers who started there! Sandra Brown, Nora Roberts, Iris Johansen, Linda Howard etc. all started with "those little books."

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  5. Hi,
    I'm hoping to have a book published soon. Still waiting on the outcome but I can understand you very well. It is as if writing a romance book is not writing. I am glad you stuck with what you love to do. That makes the difference and that is what shines through you.
    All the best and thanks for being a part of IWSG.

    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

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  6. I am glad you are still doing what you love. I think that whole scenario would make a great story for you to write a love story into. Congrats with the new releases. Cheering for you. Happy IWSG

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    1. LOL! Writers always think something would make a great story and that's why it's so much fun hanging with them! Thanks, Juneta!

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  7. I hate how romance writers are looked down upon and how the genre is treated. Writing romance is not easy, as some would claim. And it's not shameful or sinful. Romance writers hold up this industry more than any other and know how to market their books in creative ways. We are a force!

    Always stay bold. ;)

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  8. What a great secret! So glad you hung in there against the peer pressure. I think we've all dealt with more than our share of the nose-in-the-air faux erudite readers. You've had the last laugh!

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  9. Wow! What a secret, Nancy. I never knew. So glad to see you boldly promoting your new boxed set. I’ve read all of them. I’m glad others can enjoy them too.

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    1. Blogger removed my smirk after “I never knew.” Shame on them. 😉

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    2. I heard the smirk without the emoji!

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  10. Oh my, yes! I totally feel you on the telling folks what you do, and as a fellow romance author, still avoid telling the neighbors about it. LOL

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