You Look Like a . . .

Groton Library, Groton MA, shop local, read localLast Saturday I participated in a “Shop Local” Book Fair at a beautiful picturesque library in rural New England.

Twenty other authors and I sat behind tables covered with colorful cloths and plants, candy in dishes and strong stubborn wishes that visitors would want to buy and read our books.

Sally Field, you really like me

Photo: AP

As a writer, I wanted to hide behind the stacks of library books behind me. But as an author, I stood tall and smiled tremulously, feeling like Sally Field before she got her Oscar, thinking “Please Like Me (my books), really really Like Me (my books).”

Annette LeBlanc Cate, children's book, Look Up: Bird-Watching in Your Own Back Yard

Local shoppers passed by each of our tables with averted eyes, stopping mostly at those selling children’s books. My tablemate wrote and published a delightful illustrated children’s book on bird watching, Look Up!, so I got some of her trickle down visitors.

One woman stopped in front of my table and said, “Romance? You write Romance?” (with a slight sneer).

“No, I write romantic suspense. More suspense than romance,” I explained much too defensively.

The woman shook her head. “Uh huh… you look like a romance writer.”

I’d like to have taken the statement as a compliment, but it wasn’t given as such.

What do you say to that? You writers out there, do you look like a “poet,” or a “mystery writer”? Like “one who writes horror stories,” or like “an historical novelist”?Kathleen Turner, Romancing the Stone

I gulped my reply to her, and my tablemate broke in sweetly, adding, “Yes! Just like Kathleen Turner in Romancing the Stone! You know, where she writes romance novels but ends up getting involved in a lot of suspense.”

The woman-who-doesn’t-like-romance stared at my new friend as if she appeared out of dark magic.

I laughed and then gave my little lecture (which my friends and family have heard way too many times): “mainstream male authors, like Lee Child or James Patterson or David Baldacci, include a love interest in their suspense novels, yet not once are their books called ‘romances.’ My books are suspense with a love story intertwined.”

The woman sniffed and walked away. So, she didn’t like me/my books. That’s okay. Many other shoppers bravely stopped by and decided I looked like a ….writer….and they bought copies of The Right Wrong Man and Twin Desires.The Right Wrong Man, Twin Desires, Pamela S. Wight

Groton Library, Book Fair

Blowing kisses to all readers who like some romance with their suspense.

In response to the great idea of “Shop Local, Read Local,” and since we all live locally, somewhere, my two books are on special sale in Amazon (softback or e-book)  for all “local” readers, wherever you may live. book heart

168 thoughts on “You Look Like a . . .

  1. what a beautiful place for this event. what an odd encounter with that woman, who may not have either suspense or romance in her life and may not understand how they could possibly be in one book –

  2. When folk look at me the last thing they think is writer of anything! I’ve played with the romance tag and apparently it doesn’t sit well with me ( no idea what that’s supposed to mean?) … so I say I write about relationships, his and hers, one on one, online, with who knows who else looking on … it seems to work … changes looks of disbelief to intrigue … honest! You look like a writer Pam, full of mischief, mystery and intrigue, now popping off the the UK Amazon site to check out your books in real money.

  3. * Grins * I would have liked to see your face when you bit back that angry retort. And I would have loved to see HER face if you hadn’t haha. Good for you!
    I already have The Right Wrong Man, but now I’ve bought Twin Desires too, e-book format, since I live in the Netherlands.
    Thanks for this early morning smile, Pamela.

    • I think I looked like I was biting my tongue definitely, or biting a snake. But when people like that come up to us-strangers-and say things that just really aren’t very nice , I always figure its something to do with them, not with us. All I wish for that woman is a touch of romance in her life, and then I bet she’ll have a happy smile on her face . 😍

  4. Oh my — what does a romance writer look like anyway? No particular image presents itself to my mind. People can be so snooty. Nice of your new friend to take the rude woman-who-doesn’t-like-romance down a peg or two. It’s frustrating when to see women are held to different measuring sticks than men, especially when the measuring comes from other women. But I’m so glad you were able to brush off the critic and enjoy the success you had with other shoppers!

    • Thanks Barbara. It really was so much fun to talk to visitors at this book fair, but I think the most support I got was from the other authors there and vice versa. Really really fun to talk to people about our craft. And I did get a good blog post from it. 😉

  5. That library is beautiful, and I love how they took the “Small Business Saturday” idea and applied it to local authors and books.
    What an odd exchange you had with that woman! I have no idea what a writer of any sort looks like. Now I wonder if I look like a writer or a historian or a poet? Hmmm. . .
    I like your point about male writers. Sexism comes out everywhere, doesn’t it?
    I hope you sold some books–and met some people who were nicer. I’m off to look at your suspense with romance books now. 🙂

    • I’m so impressed with what some of the New England libraries are doing to support and encourage local authors-whether published with a big publishing company or self published. All the libraries want to do is encourage reading . . . and writing. One local library has hired me to teach creative writing, which they publicize widely and always have a waiting list on it. I absolutely love it. XO

  6. Do I dare ask what genre that woman looked like she would write, if she were a writer? I’m no longer surprised by what complete strangers have the nerve to say. I recently had an “Did she really say that?” experience. I’m debating whether to blog about it. Personally, I love you no matter what you write, Pam. Enjoy your weekend! xo

    • It IS so hard for us introverts – we writers who prefer to be by ourselves in our little writing corners conversing only with our characters – to come out and ‘sell’ our words to strangers. But then when we find enthusiastic readers, and get to talk to other authors who are going through the same fears/elation, we realize we should get out of that corner a bit more often. 🙂

  7. Congratulations! What a beautiful setting!
    There is no understanding the distorted preconceived opinions of some people. It’s best we don’t even bother with those individuals.
    Good for you😊

    • The great thing about these individuals who blurt out rude/hurtful/nonsensical comments is that they can become fascinating minor characters in our stories – we can come up with all sorts of reasons they act the way they do….

  8. Other author friends have suggested not to expect too much from book signings, but they never mentioned rudeness. However, you did get a great blog post out of this woman’s capers – and I hope some sales.

    This is a good reminder for me to buy your book(s). I love your writing style no matter what you look like. From the looks of things – pretty special with a plant and CHOCOLATE treats in a lovely setting!

    • “Selling my words” (ie, my books) in a venue like this was a totally different experience for me Marian, and I knew I’d feel uncomfortable. Thus, I brought alone my ‘comfy’ blue tablecloth (I think something familiar in a strange setting helps soothe, just like Linus trailing along his blankie), and a plant. The one you see in the photo is a lavender tree, and every time you spritz it with water, the lavender smell is released further. Quite helpful in a stressful situation. I think I should take it with me the next time I fly 🙂 🙂 :-0

  9. My sentiments exactly! I tell people that I write STORY first, good, light entertainment reading with a dash of romance woven in. 🙂 I have a book signing at my local library today. 🙂

    • And from there, you can get me on my pet peeve – TV news weather ‘women.’ The weather men are all ages/looks, but the women! Young, buxom, and beautiful. Makes me laugh – no matter which city I’m in when turn on the TV weather, you can bet you’re seeing ‘Miss Pageant Queen’ showing us a map of the rain. At least most authors can forgo the photo on the back of their books and just ‘be’ “THE AUTHOR.

      • Along those same lines, one thing we Canadians notice right away when we turn to an American news channel is how the news is dramatized for maximum tension and excitement, almost like a soap opera, whereas in Canada the news is just the news. But I totally agree with you about the weather women pageant queens!

        • Oh, ladies, the whole “pageant queen” (minus the “whole”some) weather AND news women—it’s all about that “eye candy” (hate that term) factor. They don’t even have to know their stuff either *sigh* Most dress like they’re going out clubbing or even like hookers rather than appropriately. They want to pull in male viewers and that’s how they do it.

          And you are SO right about the dramatization of the news here, as though it was some prime time series. It started long ago, but the absolute worst was during/after 911. That’s when I finally reached my “tipping point” with pretty much everything, and as you can see, most TV, entertainment, in general, and media will “sell” with sex and drama of any kind. Ugh.

    • But I suppose that’s the question – what’s the ‘part’ of the romantic suspense author? (Or the role?) I wore my long sparkly earrings and a big smile at that library signing; maybe that’s romance, to that lady. ;-0

  10. Why do some people think it is ok to treat anyone they are meeting under a “label” as a non human? I put book #1 in my shopping cart. Beginning to wish I had Kindle because of price difference between kindle books and paperbacks lol! I can’t wait to read it!

  11. Wow. I can’t believe how rude that woman was. I must be really naive because why would anyone be so dismissive to a stranger for no apparent reason?!!

    You had a great tablemate to jump in so quickly to turn the tide in your favour. Loved your comeback – it’s so TRUE!

    • Thanks Joanne. I get on my high horse to anyone who will listen regarding how women writers are marketed differently from men writers . My creative writing students hear it each session. :-0 And when I talk to agents who are considering taking on my books, I give them an earful, because they insist authors plugging their book into a genre ‘hole.’ I don’t like doing that.

  12. Some people already have their minds made up. Kristin Hannah writes historical fiction/suspense/love story in all of her books. That’s what makes them so special. The real point is, have you told a good story. I think you handled this beautifully.

  13. I just don’t know what to say, except that you handled the situation with far less snark and far more tact than I would have. Well done. So to you, my beautiful friend with an incredible talent for writing no matter the genre, I hope you have a lovely weekend. Don’t let the turkeys get you down.

    • Smiling at you and Sharon (who I agree with one hundred percent). We all know how scary it is for people to ‘see’ us, ‘see’ our written work out there in the cold bright sunlight, knowing it will be judged. To then also be judged on our ‘look’ (not writerly enough? not academic enough? too ‘romantic’ or ‘nice’ for a reader’s taste?) can be a reason for some to obtain writer’s block. I’ve gotten pretty good at shrugging off the ‘turkeys’ out there – but it took practice. Lots of practice. :-0 xo

  14. I give you a lot of credit for what you are doing. It is not possible to please all people, but if you please YOU first, then you’ve got this hands down! Some people have no clue what it takes not only to create but then to put yourself out there for “scrutiny”. Don’t let others bother you. That’s my 2 sense. All the very best in your career. It’s tough out there and I for one give you my support! 🙂 ❤

    • I always tell my writing students that you write for no one but yourself. Then the writing is good and it’s fun and it matters. I believe all artists and photographers need to do the same. XO

      • I believe the same thing. This is there very reason I have avoided the business end of things thus far. I am having just too much fun. When and I am saying when, someone is interested in selling my art, I will stipulate I have full artistic control. Sorry but no one is going to start telling me how to take my photographs or of what. Good for you for telling your students what you do. You sound like a darn good teacher! ❤

  15. 1. You asked: What do you say to that? You writers out there, do you look like a “poet,” or a “mystery writer”? Like “one who writes horror stories,” or like “an historical novelist”?

    Some writers do look like their genre. Stephen King and Edgar Allen Poe look like they would write creepy horror stories. Agatha Christie and Patricia Cornwell look like mystery writers. Scott Turow and John Grisham look like they would write legal thrillers. Nicholas Sparks looks like he would write love stories. Etc.

    2. Always remember that you do not have to be who “they” want you to be ~ Mohammed Ali.

    No need to defend yourself or your writing to book fair attendees who are obviously NOT in your intended audience ~> we have as many reputations as we have acquaintances and NONE is accurate. So let readers like that walk away with their opinions intact . . . while you Write On!

  16. Wow, that woman sounded pretty rude. Good on you for taking the higher road…and what a great story to come of it, too! Writers are everyday people, just like doctors, lawyers, engineers, teachers, accountants… In my experience, only actors are really weird. 😉 Thanks for sharing this bit of authorly wisdom to keep our heads up!

  17. I’ll be selling books at a local fair in New England this weekend, so I understand your discomfort, but good on you for putting on that social mask! I wonder if anyone will tell me I don’t look like a thriller writer. Hmmm…

  18. Book fairs are a lot of work for us introverts! I notice that some people love to talk about reading and books while others couldn’t be bothered. You might have looked like a romance writer to her, Pam, but your snooty visitor looked like a grouch to everyone else. I’m glad you sold some books and hope it was a really fun day.

  19. Some people, you know? *sigh* I’ve had a few experiences in my life where I couldn’t believe the direct insults that came out of people’s mouths—and they were the type that cut and left scars. Not good.

    These types are “evil” in their own, self-serving, arrogant-though-insecure ways and don their words like machetis, not caring about the blood they spill. I love that your table mate pulled the perfect “pistol” from her holster, then you reached for yours, spun it, pointed and WHAMMO! 😀 😀 😀 Great ammunition to keep at the ready, though I sincerely hope you never have to use them again!

    I once had an online friend (male), when he first finally saw a pic of me, say “You don’t look like a children’s book writer.” He at least meant it as a compliment, not a put-down, but I’m not sure what he pictured—maybe a little, old, gray-haired librarian? (Which will be my look soon enough! 😉 )

    Anyway, yay for you selling those books! 😀 And it crossed my mind, since you have “romance” titles, that maybe you need a little sign that actually says “Lots of suspense with a touch of romance.” Or something like that? I don’t know, but I’m glad you “showed her”! 🙂

    • I think your suggestion is right on. I may even use that phrase ” lots of suspense with a touch of romance” for my book promotions from now on . It seems that Romance is much more scary than guns and knives for many. 😳

      • OK, THAT is very funny! lol It can definitely be scary!

        And I’m sure you could word it better or simpler or whatever:

        “Heavy on the suspense…
        …light on the romance.”

        Just something that makes the point at a glance and maybe attached somehow to the stand for your book so it’s above it/near it so it’s seen at the same time/before the cover and title? Anyway, I’d just love to see your selling as effective as possible and most certainly avoiding any “possibly negative” (depending on who’s judging! lol) feedback you don’t want or need 🙂

  20. I am presented with the exact same challenge when I try to “categorize” my writing. I start off by saying, “I write romance …” and before I can even get to the “… but,” there is already a look of suspicion and chuckling under their breath that bespeaks what they really think.

    People hear romance and think Harlequin with Fabio images on the cover. And, I have no problem at all with anyone who wants to write or read those novels, but there is so much more to the romance genre, in my humble opinion.

    When I do get the opportunity to squeeze in a further explanation, I always explain my stories as a cross between Jojo Moyes and Nicholas Sparks. I guess, in a sort of proud and selfish way, I’m happy that I don’t fit nicely into a preconceived genre. It feels more like I’m remaining true to the story inside of me 😉

    • As always Dave, you get to the crux of the problem. People are much too eager to categorize books. People always want to put a story into a genre, instead of just letting it be what it is. As I said in a comment above, romance seems to be very scary to many many people. And yet romance and love is what makes the world go round. And makes the world a much happier place. Please keep on writing the stories that you were write. They are wonderful.

  21. Well Pam, you may remember that I made the same mistake in thinking that you wrote more romance than suspense, but I hope I was a little more gentle in saying so! And since I like moving around genres, I gave Twin Desires a try and I loved it! I also love your writing style; you always put your reader right where they need to be; in the story! Definitely a loss for that passer-by! 🙂

  22. I started writing when I was at home with my children. People automatically assumed I was writing children’s books – like they thought I had nothing else going on in my life. I guess they thought I “looked like” a children’s book writer.
    I gritted my teeth a lot back then.

    • Oh boy, Arlene, sorry for smiling at your comment here. But really, the perceptions of people can be so maddening that they’re funny!!! I guess you needed to wear a black trench cloak, sunglasses, and high heels around town, and then they wouldn’t assume you wrote children’s literature. 🙂

  23. Thanks for the preparing me to my new role. I become speechless in those kind of encounters. Next week I shall spend a day manning a small stall of my books in our village Christmas Market (outdoors). I did this two years ago and it went quite well because lots of people knew me by sight. I suspect that anyone in the village who wants a book by me already has it.

    • I’d love to hear how it goes at the upcoming Christmas market – which sounds delightful. Yes, there is that problem when all your friends/family/neighbors have read you book. Now it’s time for them to buy your books as gifts for others who don’t live in your village!

  24. That’s so funny (and true that men will usually include some romance in their books, yet people tend to focus more on the suspense part of those books)! I never fully understood the women’s fiction label. I’ll be going to one of these as soon as the paperback is finally out, so it was good to hear what to expect. I’ll have to come up with a few one-liners just in case. I love the Kathleen Turner comparison. 🙂

    • Oh my, don’t get me started on categorizing books by women as “women’s fiction.” U R G H! The interesting thing is that I’ve had more male readers than I expected (thanks to friends, word of mouth, and amazing blog supporters), and they’ve all really enjoyed my books (with FEMALE main characters!). In fact, several stated that it was interesting to see ‘how a woman feels/reacts’ to things. When I hear men say they don’t ‘understand women,’ I always say, “well, read a book by a woman about women – it’s amazing what you’ll find out!” 🙂

  25. I’ve never run into anyone like that woman! That was quite an experience! I do love having opportunities to sell my books – I’m pretty good at hawking them – and love it when people come back and tell me they loved the first two and do I have a third? Hope you sold a lot!

    • You’ve just described a perfect scenario in selling your books. Do you go to a lot of book fairs? Speak at book clubs? Door-to-door? 🙂 I agree, nothing more satisfying than having a satisfied reader come back and want more from you. Keep ’em coming!

  26. Well for Pete’s sake, that woman was a snob and a snit. Too bad she didn’t trip leaving your table. I’m so sorry that you had to sit there and be nice. No one looks like any kind of special writer. I think she was jealous because she liked to write and doesn’t know how. 🙂

    • I did have a great book fair day, David. My grandkids came up to the table, in awe that their “Madre” had her own books to sell. They also liked the bowl of candy I had on that table. 🙂 🙂 xoxoxohugsfromsnowfallingnewenglandxoxoxox

  27. Unbelievable! That’s more than cheek, that’s…but let’s not dwell. Fantastic that you put yourself out there like that, with your (babies) books piled in front of you – must be pretty scary, but also exhilarating. I take my hat off to you and it’s about time I read you…so The Right Wrong Man has just been downloaded to my Kindle, because I love SUSPENSE with a seasoning of romance 😉 Don’t dare start right now though, I have to be out of the house in 30 minutes and I’m sure once I start, I won’t be able to stop. With much love and admiration, Harula xxx

  28. Pam, the local shop book fair sounds like a wonderful idea, such an opportunity to showcase your work and to meet like-minded people. Well, hopefully so and I shudder at that woman’s comment and gall to speak to you in such a manner. Well done for trying to to engage her in normal conversation, it is her loss and reflection on her poor manners. You are so brave to attend, never easy I’m sure – you like quite the pro in the photo and look like…a writer! 😀😀 I’m taken with your comment about Lee Childs and others and how they would never be considered romance writers even though they include this material in their books. Very good point…can I borrow this for my arguments / discussions?! Wishing you a lovely relaxing weekend and thank you so much for sharing your experience.

    • Yes, PLEASE, Annika, pass on the observation of how male authors’ books are placed in genres differently than female authors. I noticed this years ago, and as I began to promote and market my own books, felt the sting. I’m still figuring out how to describe my books’ genre. Suspense is correct, and if it was a male author, that’s how it would be promoted. But is it so bad to advertise that there’s “LOVE” in a book too? Funny how horrifying that is to some readers … I guess particularly male readers (and that woman at my book fair). 🙂

      • Pam, I don’t think it’s that it’s horrifying so much as not wanted OR imagined to be sappy or erotica or very “chick lit” or whatever. It’s not that there can’t be anything about a relationship or romance, but a lot of men don’t want the gushy, lovey-dovey or romantic entertainment. I’m a woman and am not drawn to actual “romance” novels. There is a stigma so if it sounds like “romance,” that’s where the first impression lies and if someone has a distaste for it or, or is snobbish about it like the horrid woman who insulted you, they won’t be drawn to your “suspense” novel unless it’s made clear that’s what it is.

  29. Whenever I visit a new town, I (obviously) go to the local bookstore. And I always buy a book from a local author. I love that your town had this event – it’s so important for communities to support their artists. And to meet them as well!

    • That’s so admirable, Letizia. Yes, I love love love independent bookstores. Unfortunately, not all independent book stores love indie authors, which is a shame. The one closest to me sells local authors, but only if they’ve been published by a mainstream publisher (something about flow and revenue). But on a good note, the local LIBRARIES are encouraging all published authors (mainstream or independent) to show up and promote and sell their books. ❤

  30. I can’t imagine how hard it is for writers to sit and the table, trying to sell their books. And for that woman to sneer at your work was just inexcusable! There’s nothing wrong with writing books that have a romantic angle (as you pointed out, most books do) and even if you were writing pure romance, what’s wrong with that? We all get to choose what we write, and we get to choose what we read. Why criticize someone for writing a genre you don’t particularly care for? I think you handled that well, and much better than I would have. And congrats on selling some of your books!

    • Thanks for your ‘right on’ comments, Ann. Some readers definitely do put down the ‘romance’ genre, even though most of those readers have never read a book with romance, and so they don’t realize all the different categories and way to present romance within your suspense, or your horror, or your drama, etc. I’ve found that in the reviews of my two books. I receive fabulous 4 and 5 -star reviews, and then someone writes: “it’s a romance, enough said” with a low rating. Oh welllll, can’t please everyone. :-0

    • Thank you – I try to be ‘zen’ in my life, even when passionate about my books and my writing. And you are so right – it’s easy to say, “I can write a book,” but so much harder to actually sit down and do it. There’s the fun story of a brain surgeon saying to a writer, “Hmm, what you do must be fun. I think I’ll write a book when I’m off this summer,” and the writer responding, “You’re right! I’m intrigued by what you do too – I think I’ll try some brain surgery on my spring break… 🙂

  31. What a beautiful little library!

    I participated once in a book event with several women. One of them wrote Romance novels with red stiletto heels featured prominently on the covers. With her long blond hair and shapely body, she did look like a Romance writer, or maybe like an actress who would play the lead in a romantic movie. She also wrote exercise and health books, and if she would have changed into her tennis shoes, she would have looked the part there too.

    Maybe the rude lady thought your beauty qualified you to write Romance novels.

    • Oh, you flatter me, believe me! But I’m liking the idea of red stiletto heels. (Laughing….) Since my books are centered mostly on the suspense, what do you think? Black trench coat with a black scarf wrapped mysteriously around me, with practical black flats?

  32. It is not easy to sell one’s creations… I feel your pain. As a painter, standing with my artwork while people walk by or make comments to each other, it was much akin to being naked in public. However, best to develop a “thick skin’ as soon as possible. Everyone has different taste and there just is no accounting for taste either. So not everyone is every going to like our work and that is okay. The important part is you created it, you wrote it and had it published. Well done!!

    Peta

    • You hit the nail on the head, to use the proverbial cliché, Peta. When we bring out our ‘creations’ to the public, we are standing naked in front of the crowd. In that way, we have to feel comfortable in our skin, thin or thick, and just raise our creation up in pride. Good luck with YOUR creations. They can only be beautiful and meaningful, just like you.

  33. Wow, I feel sorry for a woman who can’t understand the romantic suspense genre. She’s missing out! But so sweet of your tablemate to add in her two cents. I love that quick thinking! So glad that you sold some books. I just want to an artisan fair yesterday, and your post reminds me of what artists of all kinds have to endure at these things. What must go through their heads each time people walk by their table, with just a passing glance, never stop, never ask about the items for sale. That would be a hard to endure, I’d think. So brava to you for getting out there! 🙂

    • Artists are the quiet-soul creators – whether painters or potters or plotters – who open up their entire being for all to view. It’s not easy, but it’s what we are. You know exactly what I mean. Ah, so many don’t realize the courage needed. xo

  34. Love this Pam. As a ‘local author’ you just have to get involved. Yet I’d hate it, just as I’d avoid a book signing. I don’t think I could handle the rejection, the people tip-toeing quietly past. I’d rather live with the illusion that I’d be a best-seller if I ever made an effort 🙂

    I’m not sure people could decipher the type of stuff I write from meeting me. Hopefully they don’t think I’m a sleazy guy who writes dirty books. Though sometimes I think I’d sell more of those 🙂

    • Oh, your comments make me smile, Roy. First, yes, some of us authors decide to not ‘sell our wares’ and instead sit with them quietly, although hopefully bloggers and friends/family/word of mouth have helped you sell your wonderful stories. (I’ve read two so far, and your short story ‘sheep aspirations’ – all really good). This ‘genre-thing’ is a dilemma. Not sure what you’d categorize yours as – just mainstream smart fiction…? I hate needing to call mine ‘romantic suspense,’ because that means different things to different readers. Another blogger suggested I just say ‘a book of intrigue’ — both you and I could use that phrase. What do you think?

      • Well yours have several elements for sure. I’d agree that there is a dollop of romance but this seems to knit together a mix of ruthless characters, crime, intrigue and suspense. I’d probably stick with your label, especially to attract female readers. (Guys wouldn’t go so much for the romance bit 🙂 )

        I usually just tell people I’ve written two historical novels, two light fiction, two Irish mysteries (the second due out within days) and a motley collection of short stories.

  35. Has the woman-who-doesn’t -like-romance not heard of Romeo and Juliet? Wuthering Heights? Rebecca? Gone With The Wind?
    I never knew that there was “a look” for writers of romantic suspense novels. Hmm. I think what she meant was that you have the intelligent look of an author. 🙂

    • I like the way you think, Carol! Exactly – love the books you mention that this day and age would be called “romantic suspense.” Sigh. Okay, I’m going to put my ‘intelligent’ face on and write some more …. fiction! Hope you’re continuing to do the same. xo

  36. What a great idea for local writers to get together like this, Pam. I remember talking to man who said, ‘I bet you write romance because you look like you write romance.’ I told him that I didn’t write romance, I said I write mainly about mad women who take delight in killing men. End of conversation 😀

  37. Pam, I know you will understand if I say I can relate to your story of a rude woman at a “buy local” book showing at a beautiful place: the library!
    Why can I relate? My brother Randy, the artist, has been asked to “give away”his art for an auction or charity. I wonder if a doctor would be approached and asked to give up a week’s worth of free surgery or a month’s? Maybe so!
    I admire art, music, writing and artisan crafts (wood, glass, jewelry. . . ) which come from a person’s heart and soul. They are worth much more than anyone in regular business would make!
    The rare “financially stable” word-crafters, artists, musicians. . . . are those who sometimes end up substituting quantity for quality.
    My brother used to send rough drafts of murals until he heard through the grapevine that a high schooler used his draft to do a mural for someone who owned a store he had sent a draft. He enjoys social settings but refuses to do street art shows, he says the comments people (who are not true art lovers) say hurt his feelings. I think “that” woman doesn’t really, truly love books to have such a low viewpoint of a fine, long standing genre!

    • Thanks for your right-on, thought-provoking comments. I really enjoy learning about your brother through your blog and now here too. Yes, it’s amazing how many ‘clueless’ people ask artists (including sculptures, painters, writers, potters, etc.) to “donate” their work for a charitable cause. I have a friend who owns a flower shop – and her staff creates the most beautiful concoctions. But it’s a tough business and HARD WORK – but she is approached often to donate a huge bouquet to school/community/church functions. Sigh. As you say, a doctor/lawyer/insurance broker is never asked the same. Well, we artists must just continue to educate the world.

    • You are the sweetest person, Gerlinde, just like your desserts. Substantial and not too sugary. I would have loved to have talked to you at the book fair, and signed the book you HAVEN’T read yet. xo

  38. This reminds me of my first romantic story I had written when I was in school. When my teacher asked me to show it to her, she read it with raised eyebrows and snooty expression and commented that it was ‘filmi’…I guess I remember this incident vividly because of the negative vibes that she emitted through her expressions and words! 🙂

  39. Always so interesting to find out how others are stereotyping us! One can never be sure how others see us, and often it is quite a contrast to how we see ourselves or how we feel inside. I am taking away from this post an awareness of how important it is to be a sensitive participant in life altogether! Thanks for sharing this experience!

  40. You soooooooooo do not need people like that to buy your books anyway! They will not appreciate them! You are awesome and a wonderful writer and I am not sure what she thought a writer was supposed to “look like” anyways! I’m sorry she hurt your feelings though 😦 You deserve better, but unfortunately there are many judgmental people out there……. Keep your head high and always know the rest of us love you!!!! 😀 ❤

    • I wish you were standing by my side at that book fair, Courtney. Oh My. You woulda socked her with some good words and put her in her place. 🙂 Yes, even if the snooty lady decided she ‘liked’ the look of a ‘romance writer’ after all, I’d never have sold my book(s) to her. My babies only go to places they’re wanted and enjoyed. ❤ to you.

  41. I adore your take on the world. Just sayin’. You took a rude comment and transformed it. That, to me, is what it’s all about…endless transformation from what hurts or causes pain and suffering into diamond possibilities. You go, girl!

    • And will be emailing you back soon. LOVED getting your email today! It was a day when the gas pump went crazy and sprayed me with gasoline and the car started beeping and someone shared why they have PTSD and it was the saddest story ever…

  42. I like the theme of the event. Good on you local authors and the library! As for the woman and the genre, interesting how everyone wants things to fit neatly into genres they know. I once read a terrific book — “Separate Beds” — by a British author. I sniffed at the fact that it was in the Romance genre, though it was in fact, a complex story about a family coping with lay-offs, marriage breakdown, kids coming into their own, etc. But the author told me that the Romance genre is actually quite broad in the UK. I didn’t know that!

  43. Ugh, all it takes is one rude person and it seems there’s one in every crowd. Too bad we have to fit books into tidy little categories. I purchased a copy of Twin Desires and it’s up next in my pile of books. Haven’t had much time for reading lately but looking forward to hibernating after the holidays!

    I hope you don’t let this one nasty person get you down. Chances are, she’s just a very unhappy person in general.

    • No, I tend to feel sorry for negative people – they obviously have ‘things’ going on in their lives that color their world dark. I like to find the light under every bushel, book and being…which is why I love your photography so much. That’s EXACTLY what you do with your camera. xo

  44. You are very brave Pamela!! 🙂 I would cringe at participating in those book signing promotions I’m sure. I have seen many local authors quite embarrassingly sitting all alone on a table with their book and nobody paying them any interest at all. I wanted to speak to one of those authors once because I felt so sorry for her sitting alone, but her book was one of those epic Gothic style fantasy novels series… really not my kind of book at all. I thought having a conversation with her and not showing interest in her book might be worse than not talking to her. Awkward situation! :o/ But maybe I was wrong, maybe I should have just kept her company for a while and then perhaps it would have generated more interest from other potential readers. I’m generally not very keen on attending book signings, and don’t think I’d enjoy it as an author either. So I do admire any author who is brave enough to do those promotional events… well done Pamela, it takes a lot to do that! 🙂

    • Thanks Suzy, you definitely ‘get’ it – how we authors/creative people need to put a mask on when we leave our writing hobbit, our happy place, to join the world and offer our words on paper…for a fee. It’s excruciating. But then again, all of us authors are experiencing the same blood, sweat, and tears, so by banding together, talking and relating to each other, the act of showing ourselves and our ‘children’ – our creative beings – isn’t quite so difficult. I’m smiling at the way you describe your own puzzlement of how to approach an author who is alone; yes, next time, just talk to her, tell her about YOUR creative work (which is inspirational and astounding), and make a new creative friend. xo

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