Guest Post: The Occupational Hazards of a Romance Author by Heather Snow and Giveaway!
Last February, shortly after my debut novel, Sweet Enemy, came out, my phone rang. The caller ID showed it was my family priest calling. Since our youngest son was due to be christened in a couple of weeks, I assumed that’s what Fr. Harry was calling about. So imagine my surprise when I answered and instead of discussing which scripture reading we’d chosen for the service, I hear, “I just finished Sweet Enemy and I must say, I loved it!”
After blushing to my roots (which I can tell you is not that attractive on a redhead like me), I sputtered, “Fr. Harry! I told you not to buy it—it has racy bits!” To which he replied, “I’m 74 years old, Heather, with two daughters of my own. I do remember how they got here.” (He’s Episcopal)
When Sweet Deception came out in August, I received a lovely note from Fr. Harry, telling me all the things he enjoyed about the story and how he’s looking forward to seeing how Penelope would heal Gabriel in Sweet Madness. Now that my cheeks have stopped flaming, I’ll admit it’s my very favorite piece of fan mail.
I wondered if other romance authors had similar blush-worthy experiences when people in their lives read their books, so I decided to ask them!
Miranda Neville says this: “My father, who is in his 80’s and a very proper man—and a good Catholic at that—offered to read my page proofs. I was nervous. I needn’t have worried. He enjoyed the book and we engaged in a discussion of coitus interruptus as a method of birth control. (Catholics are always very interested in contraception, I find, since they aren’t supposed to use it) When I expressed surprise at his relaxed attitude he said ‘after all, I have been around a long time.’”
Vanessa Kelly had a similar experience to mine. “After my first book was published, my parish priest asked for a copy. I warned him that it was fairly racy. The priest replied that he always enjoyed ‘a good love story.’ I wasn’t inclined to discuss it any further with him.”
Emma Wildes found an unlikely reader in her next door neighbor’s father. “Dick was a great big guy, six foot eight or so, played basketball for Arizona State in college, opinionated and sarcastic as can be, and…unfortunately for me, an avid reader. I used to dread having a new book come out because he would tease me without mercy about the sex scenes. I would walk into a party or get-together and he was like an arrow, zoom, immediately cornering me and talking loudly about the book, but it was funny because you could tell he read them.”
Megan Mulry found an interesting audience for her debut. “Long before I got an agent or a publisher, I had a few bound copies of A ROYAL PAIN made up and gave one to my mom. After she finished reading her copy, Mom asked if one of her bridge-lady friends could read it. Word got out. Before I knew it, I would be at a hospital fundraising event or a meeting of the local historical society and some pillar-of-the-community seventy-year-old woman would come up to me with a sparkle in her eye and say, ‘Your mother leant me your book…I loved it!’ That’s why you’ll find The Bridge Ladies in the book’s acknowledgements.”
Nicola Cornick probably has the best blush-worthy story. “When I was first published I was working as the Assistant Registrar in a military college. Whilst I was quite happy to be inspired by the sight of lots of hunky men in uniform I wasn’t necessarily comfortable with them knowing of my other career as a romance writer. However the wife of one of the lecturers was a big fan and one day he brought one of her books in to a meeting I was chairing. When we got to “any other business” he announced that he had a statement to make and then proceeded to read out a passage from one of my books. This was greeted by lots of cheering and applause from everyone in the room. My cover was blown.”
So I guess I’m not the only one who blushed a time or two as we got comfortable with people in our lives reading our stories! Maybe, since this is my third book, I won’t even blush at all this time. We shall see…Fr. Harry is coming to my book signing tonight.
Share with us a blush-worthy moment from your life or career for your chance to win your choice of Heather’s first two novels, Sweet Enemy or Sweet Deception.
Winner announced – thanks for blogging with us!
About the Book:
Ever since her husband’s sudden and tragic death, Lady Penelope Bridgeman has dedicated herself to studying maladies of the mind, particularly those of soldiers returning from the Napoleonic Wars*, but Gabriel Devereaux’s unpredictable episodes are like none she’s ever seen. Even though she knows the folly of loving a broken man, she can’t help herself from trying to save him, no matter the cost…
*Sweet Madness is a story of the healing power of love, and just as important, of hope. My hero, Gabriel, is a fictional war hero but there are many real life heroes and their families suffering today. Therefore, my husband and I have decided to donate a portion of all royalties earned from the sale of SWEET MADNESS to Hope For the Warriors®, an organization dedicated to “restoring a sense of self, restoring the family unit, and restoring hope for our service members and our military families.” You can find out more about this wonderful charity here: http://www.hopeforthewarriors.org/
About the author:
Heather Snow is an award winning historical romance author with a degree in Chemistry who discovered she preferred creating chemistry on the page rather than in the lab. The final book in her Veiled Seduction series, SWEET MADNESS, hit shelves yesterday. RT Book Reviews Magazine gives it 4 ½ stars, saying “In this emotional, compassionate romance…the powerful love story will sweep readers away.” RT also gave her hero a K.I.S.S. designation, saying he “makes you weak in the knees as he accepts the healing power of love.”