I put up with a lot of shit because of what I do for a living. Things like my friends introducing me as a porn writer, to the point that one guy actually believed I write porno movie scripts. I had to show him a book to prove they were actual real books with actual stories. At a book signing a woman looked at the cover of one of my books and said, “I like story in my books.” Um, excuse me? Do I know you?
But hey, you know what, I’m a working writer and have been since the day I graduated college with my BA in English. That means I write for money. I write what sells. I write for the market, whatever that market is. If I get the opportunity and find there is more income to be made writing porn scripts, I’ll write porn scripts. Recently threesomes sell like hotcakes. I began writing threesomes and started to receive royalty checks that could actually pay my mortgage. Of course that doesn’t matter to the people who write or read ‘serious’ literature.
My point here is that though I’m not opposed to writing porn, I don’t write porn or even erotica for that matter. In fact, I’ve received a few reader and editor comments that my stuff is ‘not erotic enough’ or ‘not hot enough for their taste’, proving you really can’t please everyone.
I often find myself riding a very pointy and uncomfortable fence between those two groups of people. Every person I meet I make a conscious decision whether or not to tell them what I do for a living. Say, “I’m a writer” and invariably the next question is “What do you write?”. Then you have to size up what kind of person you’re talking to and try to predict their reaction. The former poet laureate of the US was actually quite intrigued by me, while some other poet/haiku writers think I’m the devil on earth, so you really never know.
This, however, is something I am very proud of, and sadly, I don’t even think most people in my real life or my cyber world know about it. The American Red Cross Go Red for Women Corporate Teams. Go to that link and take a look at the top donating corporation. As of today, the top dollar contributor is ARe.
Sound familiar? That’s because ARe is All Romance eBooks, LLC. They are listed here on my site as one of the places where you can purchase my books. What you may not know is when not ‘penning porn’ I am the Manager of Media and Public Relations for ARe. Yup, I have a title and business cards and everything. In fact, I even have a summer intern all of my own.
One of my responsibilities for ARe over the past year was spearheading the 28 Days of Heart Campaign. Though an eBook retailer, this time last year we opened the doors to published authors and began taking submissions of novellas that we would sell to benefit the American Heart Association in an effort to combat the number one killer of women–heart disease.
To date ARe has forwarded $7,634.39 to the AHA from the sales of those 28 eBooks, and proceeds will continue to be turned over for the length of the contracts. We’ve donated more than Pepsi Co. Upstate and believe me, that is something to be excited about. I live near Pepsi’s headquarters. It’s like a city in itself, and little ol’ ARe is beating them in the tally.
I helped do that! Not only is one of my books part of the charity series, but I was also in charge of the project and the team of talented individuals that made it happen. I think I was even touted as being the Editor in Charge. Another title that doesn’t have the word ‘porn’ in it. Imagine that! The best part is, because of the success of last year, we’re about to do it all again and I am thrilled.
So, what can I take away from this personally? For one, I need to somehow stop caring about what people think. Porno or prissy, I write what I write and I have to stop apologizing for it and concentrate on the achievements I am truly proud of.
For you authors, we’ll be announcing the call for subs for the next 28 Days of Heart series to be released in February 2011. (I came up with the series title too! My Associates Degree in Marketing comes in handy). Details will follow but I hope you’ll consider becoming part of this incredibly fulfilling endeavor. And–I’m about to get really catty here so forgive me–for that one organization who refused to publicize our call for submissions last year on their erotic romance writers blog/site, I have one thing to say–$7,634.39 and counting!