Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Guest Blogger Teresa Roberts - Everything Exciting that Happens to Me, I Can’t Share at Work

The life of a writer is an odd one in many ways. A lot of the things that make us squeal for joy are somewhat incomprehensible to people who are neither writers nor avid readers.

Take this past Friday. I scooted into the office a little late because I’d been giving final approval to the amazing cover for my next book, Foxes’ Den (isn’t that gorgeous?), setting up guest blogging to promote the July 6 print release of Lions’ Pride (pre-order it on Amazon, please!), sending off a contract for a new book, and posting a really amazing compliment paid me by a top erotica editor.

I was walking on air, let me tell you. It was a great start for a writer’s day.

I didn’t tell anyone other than my boss, and only in the context of “I’ll make up the time later.”

My co-workers vaguely know I write. I think they’re even aware I’m published. They’re just not that all impressed. As a group, they’re not readers. They’re visual media people—they know more about TV and movies than I ever will. And they’re certainly not dumb. But they don’t love books, don’t pet books, don’t get excited when a favorite author releases something new because they don’t have favorite authors. So while they’ll vaguely say, “Congratulations” if I tell them about a new book coming out, they don’t ask any questions or express any curiosity.

And face it, I write erotic paranormal romances. Rather outrageous ones involving kink and/or ménages—not necessarily office-appropriate conversation fodder. I don’t know if my co-workers are really as conservative and easily shocked as they act at the office, but I don’t want to push the envelope. Some of them were bewildered that my husband and I don’t mind each other having opposite-sex friends. What really goes on in my head, let alone my personal life, might cause them to panic. While they might secretly enjoy a good naughty story, I don’t think they want to know that the quiet bookworm in the cubicle on the right wrote it.

But sometimes I wish I could share my excitement with these women with whom I spend so many hours of my life.

On Friday, while I was secretly bouncing with all the good news I didn’t know how to share, one of my co-workers had first ultrasound. She came in to work with a picture of her grape-sized soon-to-be baby and it was passed around to great squealing and cooing.

I was squealing and cooing too. Growing a new human is a huge, life-altering experience, and I’m thrilled for my co-worker and her husband. I’ve chosen not to have kids, but I get why pregnancy is a moving, exciting and scary experience. It’s easy to figure out why that blurry picture of something that’s just starting to look like a baby matters so much to the person passing it around, easy to share her joy.

I’m not grudging her a second of her happiness. I just wish it was easier to share mine.

My co-workers might say “Oh, neat” if I showed them my Foxes’ Den cover proof or my shiny advance copies of Lions’ Pride. But they wouldn’t get it in the same way we all get the excitement about a pregnancy, the pride in a kid graduating from college, the fun of a tropical vacation. It’s hard to convey how this cover flat or printed book represents the culmination of months of late nights and early mornings, passed-up parties, neglected friends and husband, underpetted cats—blood, sweat and tears. (The blood’s from underpetted cats taking drastic measures to get attention.)

A book is not the same thing as a baby, but it’s my little bundle of pride and joy, just the same.

How does one share that with a member of the non-bookloving part of the population without sounding like a nutcase? I haven’t figured that out yet—so I’ve given up trying and save my good news for people who get it, like my fellow romance writers and readers.

Teresa Noelle Roberts writes erotic romance and romantic erotica, often with a paranormal and/or kinky twist. Her Duals and Donovans: The Different series (Lions’ Pride and the soon-to-be released Foxes’ Den) from Samhain introduces readers to a world of shape shifters, sex magic, and a government gone horribly wrong. The Seasons of Sorania Cycle from Phaze features witches, warriors and…you guessed it… more sex magic. Learn more about her at http://teresanoelleroberts.blogspot.com or befriend her on Facebook.


Denise said...

Hi Teresa! I LOVE the Foxes Den cover! Wonderful post. I guess I'm fortunate in that my co-workers at least pretend to celebrate my good luck with writing. My boss, ever the coach (he's sporty), sporadically asks if I'm writing regularly. The sales team gave me flowers in celebration of my first contract. Outside of them and my writing friends, my excitement does ocassionally fall flat. It IS hard to face that when you're so excited, but we can't change how other folks behave, just how we respond to their behavior. Just share with those who understand. You don't need the "downer" of a blank look. You're doing fabulous things!

Anitra Lynn McLeod said...

Beautiful cover! And what Denise said--you can't control them, only your reaction to them. Screw them (metaphorically, of course) if they can't be happy for you. :)

Meg Benjamin said...

Welcome Teresa, thanks for joining us today. In my former job (the one I retired from), my co-workers were sort of bemused at the idea I was writing romances, although they weren't really hostile. A couple of them were really jazzed about it. Nothing as exciting as Denise's office, though!

ladybirdrobi said...

Hey Teresa,
I wish I was able to work again and had a job next to you just so you could have someone to squee with you on your excitement. It's a proud moment for you as an author and such a shame that other readers or authors didn't work with you so you could share your joy and get that elated feeling from someone who gets it.

Have A Great Day.

Anonymous said...

Hi Teresa, a BIG WOW ---your covers are fantastic!

I know how you feel not being able to fully share. Im a live-at-home Caregiver for my dad so Im not out in the public much. The rest of the family (sis, brother, nieces, nephews, etc) live 6 hours away. SO...no one to talk to when I have exciting news to share about my writing! SIGH. My family are not ones for giving support ---they are horrified that I write SEX (gasp!) in my books so they dont consider them worthy.

Ahh the joys of being an author, huh!


hugs, Kari Thomas, www.authorkari.com

Debra St. John said...

Hi Teresa,

I can relate to all of the secrets! As a teacher in "real life", I definitely keep my spicy romance writing as a separate part. Gotta love those pseudonyms!

Shelley Munro said...

Hi Teresa,

Your covers are both gorgeous. I so relate to your post, and it's hard when people don't understand. I know my husband gets it. He knows all the hard work and ups and downs of the business.

You know - people who don't like books are unnatural! ;)

s7anna said...

I'm with Shelley...she's point on!
"people who don't like books are unnatural!"


TeresaNoelleRoberts said...

Guess I struck a nerve with this one!

Denise: I'm glad you're in such a positive work environment. I miss the times I've been in a place where people got it--but the current job gives me a lot more time to write.

Anitra: Glad you like the cover--and you're right about how to react to those who don't get it.

Meg: A pleasure to come chat. You have great, friendly readers.

ladybirdrobi: I'd love your company in the office. Sorry to hear you're unable to work ATM--that's generally not a good thing.

Kari: First of all, good for you for taking care of your dad. That's a tough role. I'm glad he's supportive of your work, even if the rest of the family is *gasp* shocked.

Debra: I can imagine it's much harder for a teacher who writes spicy books! I'm working for a payroll company and they don't much care--but one nonprofit I worked for was a little taken aback. :-)

Shelly and S7anna: I must agree about people who don't like books.