Thinking a bit on the whole adage of “Write What You Know,” today.Obviously that can’t be totally true all the time. After all, I don’t *really* have a unicorn living in my underwear drawer. (Do I have a pervy cat that routinely molests my bathrobe and was Phin’s inspiration? You bet.)
On the other hand, Abby could be considered a bit of a mirror of me (at least in part.) After all, she is snarky and sarcastic, physically busted up in places, and deals with a lot of emotional crap (including the death of her mother. Yes, I fully cop to needing to explore this by way of the written word, but I do promise she moves on in time. On the other hand, I might argue that without that bit of me being thrown out there, there’s a chance BoD wouldn’t have ever really been written either. It is what it is, I guess.)
My point being, these are all things I *know* about, so it makes sense that I would include them in some fashion. I fully expect I’ll continue to do so with different stories and characters – the key hopefully being that I’ll continue to grow as a writer and implement my knowledge in new ways.
Still, I’ve had one coworker read my ARC and remark just how much Abby does sound like me – as in, she can actually hear me saying some of those things. (And it’s entirely possible I have – just not in that particular context. Hell, I routinely write down things I’ve heard other people say just for that reason.). But coworker does know that Abby is not me, so for her it’s just a little odd since this is the first book she’s ever read where she actually knew the person who wrote it.
On the other hand, I’ve got another coworker who claims they can no longer look me in the eye. Said coworker hasn’t read the book – hasn’t read anything I’ve written, in fact – but because they know I’ve got some smutty bits, apparently that’s enough to completely dissolve any sort of rationality between professional and personal life.
Which irritates me to the extreme. My smut scenes are fairly vanilla. There’s nothing particularly funky about them – and they’re not even all that explicit at this point. Certainly nothing that could be labeled as erotica, anyway – no BDSM, watersports, facials, anal, small animals, whatever. (Yes, I’m deliberately going there, because it just seems so ridiculous – what I write is not always reflective of what goes on in my personal life…or in the bedroom. At least, not that I can tell. Maybe some of you *are* banging out shape-changing incubi, in which case you’ll have to let me know how that goes.)
On the other hand, what difference would it make if I was? Unless I’m explicitly telling people either in person or in some place where such information were readily accessible (i.e. this blog), what good does it do to speculate on how much of the book is real and how much isn’t?
If I were doing porn in my free time, or painting naked pictures of myself, I might be able to understand that mindset a bit more. That sort of blatant revelation certainly lends itself to a larger set of conjectures. (Although I will argue that porn actors are simply doing their job – it’s a fair bet there’s more to them in real life then what you see on screen.)
At the end of the day, a book is merely words, and whereas words can be terribly intimate, this isn’t literary fiction that I’m writing. I’ve never had any other intentions than providing a good story, and hopefully I’ll be successful with that.