Since I write erotic romance, the question I’m asked most often is “Do you write about real-life experiences?” And, if it’s a guy doing the asking, this question is often followed by “If you need any help with research…” then, a wink and a sly smile. Initially, I found these questions annoying, thinking them unfair. I mean, would these same people go up to my literary hero, Dean Koontz, and ask him if he was really a schizophrenic psychotic with paranormal endencies? And if they really thought so, I doubt they’d offer to assist him with research. So why, then, do people assume that just because I write about sex, I live a life overflowing with it?
I think it’s because sex is such a personal experience. And since it’s nearly impossible to write about it convincingly without having experienced it, it’s natural for people to assume that erotic romance authors live the life we write about. And since the majority of folks who read erotic romance have most likely had sex, they can tell in a heartbeat if an author is writing nonsense. But, while they’ve had sex, odds are, they’ve never knowingly met a schizophrenic psychotic with paranormal tendencies. So, having no basis for comparison, they give Mr. Koontz the
benefit of the doubt, assuming that he’s merely a master storyteller (which he is!).
So, I no longer consider these assumptions unfair. For if, after reading my work, they refuse to believe that I didn’t really experience what I wrote about, isn’t that the highest form of flattery? Now, let me ask you – have you ever read a book or a scene that was so real you thought the author must’ve experienced it? What was it?
P.S. I just realized that though I implied an answer, I didn’t really answer the question. So, nope, I don’t write about real life, but real life oftentimes triggers what I write about. For example, I host a live talk show called “Chatting with Chase” and I’ve been interviewed on the radio, both of which prompted Dr. Love’s talk show in SIN CLUB. Additionally, I was standing outside of a club one night and a guy drove by and shouted out his phone number. I certainly didn’t call him, but jaded, world-weary, Sharice did in SIN CLUB – with interesting results. And The Dirty Minnie, Sharice’s drink, was created for me by a bartender in Atlanta when I was looking for Derek (http://www.findingderek.com/), the hero of my first book, SEX LOUNGE.