After talking with several other authors, many of us have shared similar experiences. Now, I can only speak for myself, but I’m sure other Siren authors can relate. Once people find out my profession, they ask question after question.
Where do you get your ideas?
How glamorous! What do you do all day?
You must have men/women hanging all over you. How do you deal with the attention?
I decided now is as good a time as any to answer those questions and share my dirty secrets. This is a standard day in the life of this erotic romance author.
I rise with my body’s natural rhythms, often composing my most explicit lines.
“If you hit snooze again, I swear on all that is holy and dear to you, I will (insert explicit threat to husband here).”
I always ready as if making public appearances. Any day is a day to meet another fan.
“Why did I get my hair cut at a beauty school?”
“This isn’t stained.” Sniff. Sniff. “Oh, and it matches!”
I answer fan mail, business e-mail, and messages.
“Oh my word, Mom! Seriously, I got a fan e-mail. She said my book was okay! No, I’m not framing the e-mail!” Although I might admit, under coercion, to copying the screen image into a file.
“Ms. Sinclair, we automatically renewed your auto insurance.” Of course, you did. I’m a high-profile client.
“Junk, junk, junk. Hmm, is your butt too big? Okay, I’ll just read this one real quick.”
Consume only the finest morning fair as you are what you eat.
“Which one of you ingrates stole my soda?”
“Yes! I knew hiding the leftovers in the veggie drawer would keep them safe.”
I impart knowledge to my children around our dining table.
Okay, so this is mostly true. My children are homeschooled as they have special needs. Each day is a different challenge. Some truths I have imparted to the darlings include:
“How many times* do I have to tell you not to store Cheetos in your underwear?”
*Notice I asked “how many times.” We have moved passed “don’t do it” and “I’ve already told you.”
“Don’t you want the tooth fairy to give you money for your tooth?” “No, I want to keep the tooth. If I need money, I’ll just get it out of your purse.”
“It doesn’t matter what mommy eats. You are not having ice cream for breakfast!”
“It’s not polite to ask someone who is single if they have used eHarmony.”
I whisk myself away to decompress, chant, and clear my mind.
This is where I lock myself in the bathroom and use a rolled up magazine to stab at the chubby fingers and dog paws that reach under the door. Chanting involves yelling “la, la, la” really loudly. Sometimes I can hide for almost four minutes straight, and if the TV is on, I can make it to five!
Some days, I throw in a relaxation CD and do yoga. It’s great for stretching and allowing your creative juices to flow. Plus, any age child loves to mock a giant butt in the air or climb over a parent in downward dog. My favorite position is called the “fetal position.”
Ready myself for the love of my life to return home.
When my sailor is in homeport, I like to make a special effort to prepare for his arrival from work each day. I’ll dab on his favorite fragrance—deodorant, and allow my natural beauty to shine through. Because, by this point in the day, any makeup I tried to put on earlier has sweated off. Although, I do use splashes of color to highlight my blue eyes. That means I missed something when I was washing my face and the children after lunch or art.
Prepare a sumptuous feast if we decide to dine in.
“Babe, we’re broke. I can make Hamburger Helper sans meat, or we can have leftovers. Wait, I found some…thing. I’ll defrost it.” Doesn’t matter what it is; if I fry it or put cheese on it, they’ll eat it.
This is probably the part that many of you have been waiting for. Nighttime is when I actually do most of my writing. After the children have been tucked away, tucked away again, and possibly a third or fifteenth time—I lose count after I reach the high hundreds—I grab my laptop and sort through the ideas that have popped into my head during the day. If something struck me throughout the day, I will have jotted it in a notebook to transfer it now. I write until my wrists ache, and my eyes cross. I let all the voices say their peace and copy it down frantically.
I message back and forth with a few other authors who are night owls. We bounce ideas off one another, pass pictures back and forth, and giggle incessantly. Events from the day, things we read, or people we’ve met suddenly become fodder for our stories. We plan our next day’s writing and plot out our verbal adventures.
Being a romance author is a lot like being a regular person.