Author Topic: "Have you really done that?" questions - more for Romance than other genres?  (Read 2173 times)  

Offline Taking my troll a$$ outta here

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So it came up in conversation today and got me wondering...
Do you get questions from people (friends, family, others) in real life asking about specific scenes in your books? Or is it just us Romance authors? People frequently ask things like, "Uhm, ah, on page 197 of your book where the hero and heroine are in the woods...uhm, have you actually done that? 'Cause it seems like you have done that, you know, since it seemed really...real."

Usually it doesn't bother me in the least, but today I wondered to myself if George RR gets asked if he's really put dragons in chains, or if JK Rowling gets asked how she made it through wizard school. I mean, it's a toss up if Stephen King has hung out in a sewer dressed like a clown, but y'know what I'm saying?  :-X

So do you think people have a tendency to believe Romance writers actually live their stories, as if we are unable to be separated from the fiction?
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    Offline DanielleHardgrave

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    I haven't had anyone ask me that, but I've had someone ask me if a certain scene was "like, your fantasy or something?"

    No. Just don't ask that. You're making it weird for both of us. Also, as you said, by that logic then authors all over the world are fantasizing about some weird stuff.

    Offline mojomikey

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    I think romance/erotica writers get it A LOT more than other genres. The only thing I've been asked about is some of the scenes in the firefighting books - how much was made up vs. how much was reality. I have to tell them that I actually took stuff out b/c otherwise no one could stand it except for cops and firefighters.

    And if I ever write erotica, I'm using a pen name, not telling my mom or sister, and making sure that my girlfriend and I have actually tried out those things so I avoid those questions  -)

    Offline Atunah

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    As a romance reader, I am not surprised that romance writers get such questions. Its the genre. Readers and writers alike are for some reason held to some different level. The things that are brought up are never brought up to other genre readers and writers.

    Just like we readers of romance often are described as lonely, not getting any and we are incapable of separating reality from fiction. As in we have a fictional image of relationships and take that as real. How many "articles" have their been on such subjects.

    I wonder if a male romance writer would get the same questions, or male romance readers would be accused of not getting any. I think I know the answer to that one.  ;)

    Offline Taking my troll a$$ outta here

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    Just like we readers of romance often are described as lonely, not getting any and we are incapable of separating reality from fiction. As in we have a fictional image of relationships and take that as real. How many "articles" have their been on such subjects.

    I wonder if a male romance writer would get the same questions, or male romance readers would be accused of not getting any. I think I know the answer to that one.  ;)

    I sooo wonder if male romance writers get asked the same sort of questions. And if others make assumptions about their personal lives based off of their books.
    Bahaha, I have a good amount of male friends who've read my books and assume I'm a sex fiend.  ::)
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    Offline Nancy_G

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    I mean, it's a toss up if Stephen King has hung out in a sewer dressed like a clown, but y'know what I'm saying?  :-X

    So do you think people have a tendency to believe Romance writers actually live their stories, as if we are unable to be separated from the fiction?

    Hilarious! I did just read a bio in an erotica author's Amazon sales page that said she was the horniest person she knew and hoped it'd come through in her writing! That was just...strange. Gives romance authors sort of a bad name, like does that mean we're ALL like that? Funny. I do mention in my bio that I wrote my first love scene as a 15-year-old who obviously didn't have the experience just yet, but from all the reading I had done, it came natural and love writing love scenes now!  ;)
    Nancy

    Offline mojomikey

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    I think romance/erotica writers get it A LOT more than other genres. The only thing I've been asked about is some of the scenes in the firefighting books - how much was made up vs. how much was reality. I have to tell them that I actually took stuff out b/c otherwise no one could stand it except for cops and firefighters.

    And if I ever write erotica, I'm using a pen name, not telling my mom or sister, and making sure that my girlfriend and I have actually tried out those things so I avoid those questions  -)

    Offline Talbot

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    Male romance writers get the Misery treatment, speaking of King.

    Meanwhile, why would anyone think that it's even remotely okay to ask that kind of personal question?!

    Offline Not any more

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    No one ever asks if I can really read minds or telekinetically move things, but I did have a good friend tell me she would never look at me the same after reading my first succubus book. Do you suppose mystery writers are asked how many people they've killed?
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    Offline Tilly

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    Yip. My partner gets defensive when people start a conversation by telling him they have read one of my books. His immediate response is "that wasn't me! It's not based on real life!"  ;D

    Offline Hudson Owen

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    I would think the question would be asked more of action/adventure writers.  Like actors who do their own stunts.

    Offline miaarden

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    I must admit that I think this more frequently about romance than other books, but as a romance author, I do find it a bit intrusive! Though, since my book is about time travel, I have a bit of a non-realism "out."
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    Offline Usedtoposthere

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    Maybe because I'm not young, for me (and hubby) it's just good for a laugh. His response is, "Where do you think she gets her ideas?"

    Yes, it happens more with romance. I kill a fair number of people, and nobody assumes I practiced drowning hubby to see how it'd work. But to be fair, writing sexy scenes IS sexy. For me at least. And I do ask him to help me with a lot of (clothes-on) logistical questions. "Now walk up the stairs behind me, like this . .  ." Especially as he's the height of one of my typical heroes. (6'2".) He doesn't hate helping out!
    « Last Edit: June 07, 2016, 01:18:11 pm by Rosalind James »

    Online GeneDoucette

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    In what is perhaps related to this, the main character in my latest book is a sixteen year old girl. First, nobody has asked if i was writing a version of me (a 48 year old man), but second, I have a funny feeling my reviews would be calling her a Mary Sue if my gender were different.

    My other characters of note include an immortal man, and I have had many people suspect I may perhaps also be an immortal man given some of what the character has had to say. However, I don't think they were entirely serious.

    Offline bhagen

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    Yes and no. Never a direct have you done blank question, but instead comments like "that's interesting," or "that's unconventional," this hanging implication I'm meant to justify or defend or expand on their hints. I just ignore it and say "Isn't it?" If I wrote what I know, I'd have to pay people to read it. That would be some work. No thank you, it's a fantasy life for me.

    Offline aimeeeasterling

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    A friend recently introduced me to a stranger on a hiking trail as a werewolf. That was a little odd... Actually, I'd rather if she'd asked whether I shift into lupine form like my heroine does.  :)











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    Offline IreneP

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    I've never had anyone be so crass as to ask me about a specific scene directly but I get a lot of "where do you get your ideas" and "how do you research" type questions. Usually they are fine, but every now and I get a creeper that manages to make my skin crawl a little. You know, the one that puts that little extra something into the question.  ::)

    And yeah, I bet no one asks Stephen King how he researched Pet Sematary.



    Online unkownwriter

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    Well, I've never actually been in a zombie apocalypse, in case anyone was wondering.

    But I would think more romance and erotica authors would get those sorts of questions. And it's rude, by the way. I'd probably tell anyone who asked me anything like that to grow up and learn to mind their own business. But I'm grumpy sometimes, so... YMMV. :D

    Online Crystal_

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    Everyone who knows me would assume that I have done it. But no one I know reads my books. A few family members read my first book but none of them have tried to keep up with me. I did specifically ask my father to not read any more of my books.

    Offline Usedtoposthere

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    Yeah, I think I get this a lot (not in a nasty way, in a funny way) from friends because I'm a very mild and rather buttoned-up person in real life who doesn't swear, etc. But to be fair, you ARE revealing as a romance writer that you have, at the very least, a rather dirty mind. (At least I am. Maybe I should say, as a steamy romance writer.) And yeah, that can come as a surprise to people who've known you for years and have never seen that side of you.

    Just about everybody I know seems to have read my books, so I've got no secrets left!
    « Last Edit: June 07, 2016, 05:24:41 pm by Rosalind James »

    Offline Michele_Mills

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    I haven't had anyone out right ask me that yet...but my first book is post apoc, so I think I'm considered weird by "civilians" anyway just for that. LOL Add on that I write erotic post apoc romance and well, double weird. I definitely don't write classy inspy like some of my friends... And yes, romance writers get the cold shoulder like we're not real writers all the time and intrusive questions because for lots of people romance/sex scenes in their books give them the heebie jeebies and they don't know what to do with it except blurt out inappropriate questions.

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    Offline Ashlynn_Monroe

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    So it came up in conversation today and got me wondering...
    Do you get questions from people (friends, family, others) in real life asking about specific scenes in your books? Or is it just us Romance authors? People frequently ask things like, "Uhm, ah, on page 197 of your book where the hero and heroine are in the woods...uhm, have you actually done that? 'Cause it seems like you have done that, you know, since it seemed really...real."

    Usually it doesn't bother me in the least, but today I wondered to myself if George RR gets asked if he's really put dragons in chains, or if JK Rowling gets asked how she made it through wizard school. I mean, it's a toss up if Stephen King has hung out in a sewer dressed like a clown, but y'know what I'm saying?  :-X

    So do you think people have a tendency to believe Romance writers actually live their stories, as if we are unable to be separated from the fiction?


    Oh my goodness YES! *snort* seriously people... I usually just joke it off and tell that that's why I've been married for so many years. I write about aliens and werewolves and no one has assumed I have a lot of that happening, but the sex people fixate on!

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    Offline Jess Haines

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    I have had someone ask me in all seriousness if I ever met a werewolf because he had an experience once.

    I had someone else ask me if I could introduce them to the main vampire in my UF series because "he must be real."

    Never underestimate the crazy out there.

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    Offline Sandy Raven

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    Yep, someone asked if I had experience doing "that", and I said I can only write what I know, and the rest is my imagination. What gets me, is I don't write anything too terribly adventurous. That's what threw me for a loop. So I'm thinking I have some pretty vanilla readers.
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    Offline Usedtoposthere

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    Yep, someone asked if I had experience doing "that", and I said I can only write what I know, and the rest is my imagination. What gets me, is I don't write anything too terribly adventurous. That's what threw me for a loop. So I'm thinking I have some pretty vanilla readers.
    Haha, yeah. I got this long outraged letter a while back about my Book 1, my least smexy book, where the writer accused me of taking my wonderful hero and turning him into a "porn star." I thought, that'd be some pretty boring porn. The worst part was that the writer of the letter was a therapist. O_O

    I've had books described as "kinky" that were pretty dang vanilla. Not doing it in bed with the lights out doesn't equal kinky. Except apparently it does . . .

    One thing I've learned doing this job is that some people aren't gettin' anything good at all, and some are enjoying themselves, and you don't know which are which, because women of my generation don't yap about that very much. I love it when somebody tells me that one of my books helped her model a way to talk to her husband, or something like that. And studies show that romance readers have more sex, so . . . I'm all for that.

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