A couple months ago, my husband and I were interviewing prospective agents to list our house as we thought we were going to have to move to Dallas for my husband’s job. I bring this up because, as we talked to the agents, all of them asked what we did for a living. My husband is an electrical/environmental engineer and I, of course, am a romance novelist. When we told them this, they all oohed and aahed over my husband’s job (he’s a green guru/save the environment guy/energy efficiency kind of guy) but when it came to my career, two of them—both men, I might add—laughed. “So you write those books?” one asked.
“What books?” I responded, more than a little annoyed by his condescending tone.
“You know, those trashy books about …” His voice trailed off.
“Love?” I inquired sweetly, though with bared teeth. “Life? Family? Happily Ever After?”
“Yeah. And, umm—“ The guy was such an idiot he hadn’t yet figured out that it was offensive to refer to my career choice as “trash.”
“Oh, you mean sex?” I filled in the blank for him, much to my husband’s embarassment. “Why, yes, real estate agent moron (names have been changed to protect the terminally stupid) my books do have some sex in them. Why? Do you not like sex? Or is it just sex with love and commitment and a happily every after that you object to?”
Needless to say, he went running from my doorstep like the hounds of hell were after him and we decided to go with a different agent—one who could respect both my husband’s career and my career own.
But his attitude (there was more to the dialogue, but I shortened it for time’s sake) has stuck with me for a couple of months now. All of my friends in the business tell stories of running into people (once again, usually men) who make fun of what they write, but this is the first time I’ve ever had someone actually say something like that to my face. And I was—and still am—ticked off about it!
So here’s the answer I wish I’d given him, and would have if I’d been more prepared and less angry.
Want to read Tracy’s answer? Of course you do so click here