In honor of this family-related holiday week, I thought I'd pose a question to all of my fellow writers. Do your family members read what you write? Do you want them to?
I've been thinking about this lately, since being told by one of my sis-in-laws that she won't read my books because she keeps thinking of her brother and me, so feels as if she would be spying into our bedroom. She acted as if it should be obvious why she couldn't feel comfortable reading my M/F contemporary erotic romance books.
Then I asked other family members and found that my other sisters-in-law didn't want to talk about whether or not they had bought my books...so I guess they haven't. I already knew that my MIL wouldn't read them. In fact, I use a pen name because I promised my late FIL that I wouldn't use his name for my writing. I explained to him that I write romance books with sex scenes in them and I was respecting his Catholic faith. He thanked me.
But I thought that was a generational thing, that women of my age and younger would not feel odd reading books with sexual content. And the fact that you know the author would enhance your enjoyment, not detract from it.
My oldest son is 22 and has not read any of my writing, including my free short story on my website. He says that he can't possible read his mother's sexual fantasies. I tried to explain that my characters are NOT ME, get it? The heroes are NOT DAD! My characters are an amalgam of the people I've known along with the fantasy beings that my mind has created to amuse me. They are not real people. They live only in my imagination and now in books. He still refuses to read anything I write.
My second son is 20 and away at college. He hasn't read anything I've written. My third son is 19 and read my first book when it came out 2 years ago. He writes sci-fi and wants to major in English. He said that I "write in a literary style, and do tasteful sex scenes." He's a voracious reader, so I respect his opinion. But he pleads "not interested in the genre", and won't read anymore. My daughter is 17 and read the first book. She said it was interesting, but pointed out 2 typos in English and 1 in Spanish. She prefers books with younger characters and mine are usually adults well into their 30s and beyond. My husband reads everything I write before I even send it out to publishers. He's proud of me for following my dream.
I'm not in any way ashamed of what I write, so I'm feeling kind of miffed that most of my family members don't want to share my joy in writing by reading my books. I can't decide if I should write paranormal erotica, so my family can wonder if I've ever been with a real vampire...or shape-shifter...or demon. Or menage, so my family can wonder if I've ever been in a three+some. Or maybe M/M, so my family can wonder if I've ever been a man involved with another man?
So what do you think? Do your family members read your romance novels?
Fiona has always had characters telling her stories in her head. She thought that everyone did. When she felt it was getting too crowded "in there", she began to write the books that tell the stories of the more insistent voices first. When a book is done, those characters stop talking, but new ones begin to demand attention. She figures at this rate, she'll have to live to be 150 to write them all. She hopes you enjoy her stories of independent contemporary women and men who gradually realize that they were meant to be together.