Monday, June 23, 2014

Readers Who Are Friends

Recently, I went to one of my friend's going away parties. My husband was with me and everyone acted really crazy. Several people got drunk and danced around.

But me, being me, socially awkward and quiet, I danced a tiny bit to try to fit in (but felt like an elephant dancing with a bunch of beautiful butterflies), so I spent most of my time talking to people in the corner.

I met this one woman and she seemed really nice. She was a reader and she thought it was so cool that I was an author. I told her my pen name and that I wrote fantasy novels for women.

She said she'd read my books and that she would give me an honest review in person. Which absolutely terrified me. I know I can handle reviews online, but in person? I've never had someone do that before.

But I was okay with it. I'm an author. I can be professional. It's easy to separate friendship and my books. I do it all the time already.

But as I talked, she seemed so nice. And she kept telling me that I seemed like a nice young lady. Whenever people say that to me, it's when they think I'm a very innocent person. It's not that I'm evil and in my spare time hit babies or something. But my books are far from innocent. It's like I act all goody two shoes in person and then unleash all of my dark side into my stories.

I've offended family members by telling them about subjects I want to write about. Because I like to write about things that are difficult to think about or taboo. I want my stories to invoke emotion and to be unafraid to explore any area of life.

But mixing that in with people I know in real life is scary.

I don't mean to come across this way, but I come across as really innocent and naive in person. I don't know if it's because I'm a nerd and quiet or what, but a lot of people think that I'm really stupid. They explain sex jokes to me and don't believe me when I tell them that they don't have to explain the joke. They laugh extra hard if I say a curse word or make a sex joke because they are so shocked that I would say those things. But people also tend to find it easy to trust me. Like there were some little girls in my apartment building, who clung to me because they saw a scary man and I looked safe.

So I probably seemed naive and sweet when I met this woman. So if she opens up Medusa's Desire, for instance, and sees that the whole first chapter is mostly about brothels and rape in Ancient Greece, I don't know what she is going to do.

We exchanged phone numbers and I haven't heard from her since. Of course, I haven't texted her either (a lot due to social anxiety.) But I can't help but worry that me being an author possibly got in the way of the friendship. Did she not read my book and is afraid to tell me? (I wouldn't care.) Did she read it and hate it? (That would also be okay with me.) Was she creeped out that I wrote something like that? (My books aren't who I am, they are just something that I create.) Or is it none of the above and she just forgot to call me?

Not to mention that I am terrified she will read this post and think I am some kind of psycho for posting about her. It's kind of hard to talk about writing and how it effects my life without mentioning the people in my life though.

This is why a lot of times, I prefer to keep my author life and my social life separate. But it's pretty impossible to do so when the question on everyone's lips when you first meet them, appears to be,"What do you do?"