Gabriella Hewitt

Friday, July 20th, 2007
Blog Swap With Nancy Linquist

Blog Swap with Gabriella Hewitt

Just want to thank Gabriella for Blog Swapping with me today. If you want to know where she is, Gabriella is over at The Torn Bodice chatting away.


“Nancy writes dirty books.”

Not only our table, but the table behind us fell silent. Silence in the dining room on a cruise ship is an interesting thing. You hear a few bits of silverware, then underneath, the chugging of the engines play in a bass note background noise to the symphony of the passengers buzz. Only the buzz had fled. Only appalled faces remained. I must have turned beet red, because the woman next to me tried to change the subject.

“You mean like porn?”

Oh dear God. Waiter, give me the entire bottle. “No, I write romance that’s a little spicy.” There’s an understatement. Still, I was not about to out that I use all of the seven dirty words banned by the FCC on a single page. This was not the time, nor the place. I decided my cabin mate was drunk and I could toss her butt over the side later, when she had the chance to actually swim, and go on with my dinner. Except my appetite had gone the way of the dodo and the Chocolate Soufflé seemed to dry to powder on my tongue. I toyed with my dinner for a few minutes and left. In that time there was quite a buzz at our table for eight. People are fascinated with others who are open about their sexuality. Whether they’re outspoken, or out in a flamboyant way, sex is at once taboo and darn interesting. It gets tongues wagging. It looked like the back end of a dog show all around us. There was some serious tongue flaping going on.

I endured a lot of personal and intrusive questions for the rest of the cruise. The cruise ship had an incident that ended the trip early, and while I was sad about the whole thing, and didn’t sleep for weeks, I can’t say ending my trip early was all bad.

I shared this issue with other writers. The responses were mixed.

“Just ignore them.” Except how do you ignore people winking at you and a man in your group thinking you have the morals of an alley cat, and his name is Tom?

“If you don’t want that kind of attention, write something more moral.” That’s fine, but I like to leave the bedroom door open. I find pussy-footing around the S word is too difficult and too silly to bother to spend energy on.
So I do what most of us do, who write steam, I grit my teeth, hide behind my pen name, the worse kept secret in the universe, and keep writing.

Everyone who writes erotic romance comes up against this, at one time, or another. We struggle with how to tell people. Some just do. I admire their bravado. I know one woman who stands so tall when she talks about it, I feel like a shrimp next to her. Some keep it so secret, that their own families don’t know what they do. I’m not talking about parents here. I know a women who has not told her husband.

It’s a funny thing. Some look down on us because of it and some laud us as groundbreaking. The truth stands in the middle. We write books for women who want to read what happens next.

“Well, those women should just use their imaginations.” Usually followed by a harrumph.

Imagination is a wonderful thing. Remember when you were little and you lay on the ground, watching thick clouds skud by? You had energy and time to make the shapes into anything you could imagine. I don’t have that kind of time. My imagining time is all used up on imagining which boy could have flushed a rubber duck down the toilet. Unless I’m writing, there is no time for behind the door wonderings. I’m lucky if I can imagine myself on a potty break. I write for women like me. Women who are stressed, love their loves, but face it, my husband is a doll, but he wouldn’t know how to ride a white horse. Let alone have the time to feed and care for it. My books bring a sense of romance into my life in a world that lacks forever-love romance, as we imagined it would be when we were small. Reality is wonderful, but everyone needs to take time to dream.

“Nancy? She writes porn.”

What should I have said? “No, I write erotic stories filled with laughter, joy, love, hope and spice enough to keep you turning the pages.”

Isn’t hid-sight great?

(magic fairies put up picture of Nancy’s newest erotic romance out next week)


4 comments to “Blog Swap With Nancy Linquist”

  1. Miss Frou Frou
      · July 23rd, 2007 at 2:36 am · Link

    Nancy, loved your post.. as someone new to this erotica caper, I’m a bit nervy about telling people…

    Gabriella, I tagged you for a Moaning Meme!

  2. Christine d'Abo
      · July 23rd, 2007 at 5:53 am · Link

    Way to go Nancy!! I’ve had to correct my husband a few times when he says smut. Though it’s become a bit of a running joke in my family now. I’ll tell people all about what I write and how steamy it is.

    The only thing I won’t tell them if I’m not 100% sure on their reaction is my pen name. If they don’t know, they can’t commnet. :mrgreen:

  3. Gabriella Hewitt
      · July 23rd, 2007 at 8:43 am · Link

    Miss Frou – I got tagged!

    Wow. What can I possibly bitch and moan about? hmmm….let me think ;)

  4. Patrizia
      · July 23rd, 2007 at 5:07 pm · Link


    This is a great post. A new acquaintance of mine is a small literary press publisher and poet (in his fifties). I had dinner over his house and he generously gave me some literary works to take home. Somehow the conversation turned and he asked if I wrote “bodice rippers.” I’m sure I winced. I explained that that was an old term but somehow I think I tripped over my tongue in trying to explain anything. You’re right about hindsight.

    RWA covered this topic a year or two back. If you’re a member, try accessing their archives for the magazine. There was a series of articles on how to respond to such questions and situations. Many of the authors they spoke to had better suggestions than I’m afraid you got from your writing friends.

    Btw, my cousin’s wife once said she didn’t read romance because the marriage counselor before they married said romance was “women’s porn.” My jaw dropped.

    It’s everywhere.