It's the woman in the hotel hallway who stands between you and her child like a human shield because you write 'sex books'. It's the random man who comes up to you in the conference hotel bar with a chain collar and leash around his neck and offers you the leash end because he 'heard that was what you were into'. It's the reader who approaches you with this sweetly devious smile and waggles her eyebrows up and down as she says 'you know, we all assume that you actually do the things you write about in your books'.
These are the not-so-subtle signs that some people (kind of a lot of people, apparently) assume that stories (particularly the racier moments) are fictionalized accounts of real life experiences that romance writers have had.
Well, thanks for thinking that my life is so interesting. LOL
But how much of a romance book is actually based on the writer's real life?
Well, I can only speak for myself. But I regret to inform you that I have in fact not ever had a werewolf (or any sort of shifter, for that matter) for a boyfriend. No vampires, either, and I've never fallen in love or lust with a tattoo artist. (Although to be fair I've never encountered a tattoo artist with an Eric-level of swoon-worthiness, either.)
But it's definitely true that bits and pieces of my real life make it into my stories. It would be impossible to exclude them. Things that happen to me sometimes end up happening to my characters ... sort of, but in a much more interesting way.
A few examples...
- Sort of like Kelly in Glazed, I once took a racy photo (actually, it was pretty tame, but try telling that to the HR department) of someone that got them in trouble at work. He almost got fired! (For the record, it was his idea.) Sadly, this event was never capitalized upon and immortalized on any t-shirts like in Glazed.
- You might already know that I'm into martial arts. It's been a hobby of mine since I was a teen. I got the idea of Ally (Battered Not Broken) having a problem with telegraphing her kicks from, uh, myself. Because I've done that about a million times. Do you think there's any chance Ryan might materialize and help me perfect my technique? ;D
- It was easy for me to write about Mina (Hot Ink) getting a tattoo on her ribs, since I have one in the same place. (Ow! LOL)
So, maybe next time someone asks me if my books are based on real life, if I'm feeling a little mischievous I'll just say 'somewhat'. ;)
Oh, and a note of caution to any random leash-wearing men I may encounter this year: please think twice before offering your servitude to me. I could really use an assistant, and in this economy, it's kind of tempting when someone offers to do as you say. (Proofreading? E-mails? Are you proficient with Excel?) Just saying.