Would you be surprised to discover that non-writers (AKA Normal People) have this general belief that we romance writers actually do all the things we write about? For real. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve been asked with a leer and a raised brow if my life—my incredibly boring, ordinary life—is as hot as what happens in my books.
This question requires the most epic of facepalms.
Example #1: If you’ve written that your characters are involved in a three-way between a pilot, a passenger and an acrobatic flight attendant in a 777 cockpit at thirty-five thousand feet, people think you’ve done it.
Example #2: In your book, your heroine made a matchmaking dating video that was so goofy it went viral, thus gaining the attention of the sexiest billionaire alive who’ll now stop at nothing to make her his. People think you’ve done that too (if only, heh).
Example #3: Your latest plot is based on a partner-swapping orgy filmed for a Hollywood-based reality show. Yep, you guessed it–they assume you must have starred in this mythical event and want to know where they can download it.
News flash, my peeps. I write romantic fiction. And it’s called fiction for a reason.
My current WIP is HOUSE OF PAYNE: STEELE. As the story unfolded, this hero presented himself as a deliciously delightful dirty talker. Now, I’ve had some dirty talk in all my books, but I’ve never had it be a dominant facet in a character’s personality. But in this case… boy howdy, y’all. When Steele is with his woman Essie, a tidal wave of yummy smut just geysers out of that guy in a spine-tingling, X-rated flow.
Honestly, Steele is fabulous.
The thing is, I’ve never really, er… encountered a prolific, quote-worthy, award-winning dirty talker like Steele, and for me this was a problem. I didn’t have the vast, panty-melting vocabulary that Steele obviously needed to have. And I didn’t want to pull that sort of thing out of my booty because, well, like the heroine’s best friend says:
“First off, don’t ever try to talk dirty. If you try, it just comes out sounding weird and twisted and makes you look like a first-class freak.”
So, what does a writer do if she needs more than a few words that are sexy and smutty and totally not creepy?
She goes to her posse of Dirty Birdies.
I’ve written about my Dirty Birdies before, and over the years a few faces have changed, but the female camaraderie remains the same. When I shared my unfortunate lack of lascivious lingo, my girls happily jumped in to help me out with phrases that have never failed to get their motors running. I’m just sorry I didn’t record that gab session. It was HILARIOUS. And hot. I’ll admit it. Totally freaking hot.
So, there you have it, the reality of being a romance writer. I know all about love and sex and HEAs, but that doesn’t mean I’ve experienced every single thing I’ve ever written about.
Or least, I’m not admitting it. 😉
HOUSE OF PAYNE: STEELE will be out May 1st! Catch up now on all the House Of Payne books—each one is only $0.99!