“Oh. You write THOSE type of books…” and other nonsense people say. #romance #eroticromance

Welcome back! Thanks for sticking with us as we make our way through the second week of Naughty Quills. By now you’ve gotten to know us (if you didn’t already), so it’s time to get down to business!

When you proudly announce that you’re going to write your very first book, people will ooh and ahh over that news. Most will be suitably impressed if you accomplish this, because, dammit. Writing a book is hard work. No matter whether it’s fiction, non-fiction, or anything else, you’re putting a part of yourself on each page.

But, gird your loins, folks.

There are going to be some jerks. There will be people who say shit like, “Well. I’d write a book if I had the time.

None of us have the time. We all have busy lives. Some of us are out there getting words at four in the morning because we don’t have the time otherwise between careers, school, parenthood, and a million other obligations. If you want it badly enough you’ll make the time.

There will be people that say, “Oh. You write THOSE type of books.”  As if to say that writing any kind of book is easy. (Spoiler Alert: It isn’t.)

Let me lay down some cold hard truth for you courtesy of bookstats.org.  Approximately 1.08 billion dollars are spent on romance books annually. That’s more than most other fiction genres combined. While Crankypants McGee might not read what you’re writing, there are a ton of other people that binge buy new releases just like the one you’re currently thinking about penning.

Historical, sweet, inspirational, contemporary, dark romance, dubious consent, stepbrother romances, BDSM, menage, F/F, M/M… There are sub-genres out there for every single secret fantasy that these readers can possibly come up with, so hell YES, you write those kind of books!

A well meaning friend asked me this once. “Don’t you want to try something more challenging?

More challenging than what? Inventing entire universes in your head? Writing witty, believable characters? Coming up with dialog between said invented characters that’s entertaining and rings true? Writing varied sex scenes that give the reader a glimpse into the bedroom of these people that you invented and likely into your own sexy thoughts? Painstakingly putting a piece of yourself on every page because you just can’t help it?

I am challenged enough, thanks.

Oh. Mommy porn.

This one stomps on my last nerve for several reasons. There’s that fantastic double standard where men can watch porn and they’re just being guys, but … women read a sexy novel and it’s somehow less acceptable. So what if it IS porn? What’s wrong with that?

There are several different genres within romance that range from inspirational with NO inclusion of sex all the way to erotica which is mostly about sex. To lump it all together is ignorant.

With all of the crap that people are going to give you, why write a romance novel in the first place?

My point in all of the above bitching is that people have tons of opinions about things they know nothing about. God knows, it won’t be limited to your writing. My best advice is to take it with a grain of salt and focus on the reason you’ve decided to write in the first place.


Writing, like any craft, is a labor of love. You probably won’t get rich quickly. You probably won’t be famous for it right out of the gate, but with time and dedication, you can produce something worthwhile. Your writing, no matter what genre, is your contribution to the world at large.

It’s your Mona Lisa. Your Starry Night. Your David. Just because you can’t paint a portrait or sculpt a statue, doesn’t make you any less of an artist. What you write will ultimately touch someone. Whether it be their heart, their mind, or something distinctly naughtier, it’s reason enough to move forward no matter what criticisms people come up with.


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About Michelle Roth

Michelle Roth is a novelist from the Great White North (Toronto, ON). When she’s not disappearing into foreign lands, or making two perfect strangers that she invented fall in love, she’s probably curled up somewhere with a glass of wine and a good book. In her spare time she is typically hanging out with her awesome boyfriend and their two equally awesome cats. She likes taking road trips to nowhere in particular, cooking elaborate meals then making other people do the dishes, and being nerdy on the internet. Her books are currently available on http://www.bookstrand.com/michelle-roth

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