“Everything you see or hear or experience in any way at all is specific to you. You create a universe by perceiving it, so everything in the universe you perceive is specific to you.” – Douglas Adams
This week, my author friends and I went to the Wheeler Centre to listen to a lively discussion on romance writing.
Each presenter’s take was insightful and interesting, and I’m so glad I got to go. At the end we had Q&A from the audience, with well thought out questions for the panel.
There was a good diversity across the panel with their genres, however, my friends and I didn’t agree with some of the discussion.
Our perceptions are different. It’s not that we’re right and they’re wrong, it’s just that our experiences are different.
The reason for this post? To help up coming authors realise that there is more than one right answer.
Perception #1 – US readers only read books set in the US.
When I was a non-published author, I was told that US readers will not read books set in Australia and that I should Americanise my books and use US settings.
My reality – My books are predominantly set in Australia, with Australian characters, but I do have some set in Hong Kong, Israel and also the US. My readers are predominately in the US, and they make up the bulk of my sales (*thanks awesome readers*) My reality is that US readers do read books set outside the US (and are okay with UK English).
Perception #2 – There is misogyny towards female writers.
My reality – I’m very open about what I do – and proudly tell people I meet that I write romance books. Most men are very interested and ask questions about work/life balance, how I manage my business and also find time to write.
Many women often roll their eyes at the genre I love, often telling me that they don’t read “those type of books”. Just to add, there are women who are interested in my books, but are usually lovers of romance books.
And if you want to see real hate between women, think back to me publishing a set with racially diverse characters and the social media storm it created. The people who ridiculed me. . .were women 🙁
Again, my post is not about “who is right vs who is wrong”. It’s more that we all have different experiences and that just because one author says something, doesn’t mean it will be true for you.
For authors wanting to write “out of the box”, I say do so.
If you want to use UK English than US English, I say do so.
And if you want to write books set in your home town (not in the US) I say do so. Write the best book you can, and may I recommend you gear it to an international audience. As good as it is to be published, you also want to sell it 🙂