Several weeks ago, I read a Dear Abby column which was so entertaining I saved a copy of it to share with you today. The Dear Abby reader in question said she was a happily married professional woman who writes “romance novels . . . as a hobby and side business.”
So far, so good.
The problem is her husband reads her love scenes and becomes “sullen, withdrawn and angry.” He thinks everything she writes is linked to an old boyfriend or actual event. His jealous behavior has her so upset that she asks Abby, “Should I give up writing or should he learn to deal with it?”
Abby’s answer is a hoot: “The man of your dreams shouldn’t sulk. If he can’t accept that what you write is fiction, tell him to quit reading your books.”
Now I realize most if not all of us here at NYUS are not writing romance novels as such. Nevertheless, a little romance does creep into our plots from time to time—a kiss, a rapid heart beat, an illicit backseat encounter, a secret dinner meeting, an occasional tryst. The list goes on. After all, we’re writing about human experiences not crime in a vacuum.
So when my husband comments about a sexy scene I’ve written I respond in one of two ways:
a) I throw my hands on my hips and ask, “Does Stephen King have a basement full of corpses?” Or,
b) “Darling, you’re the model for every love scene I ever wrote.”
You’ll have no trouble figuring out which one is the more popular reply.
Have you, as a writer, ever encountered a jealous reaction from a spouse or significant other for a love scene in your book? If so, how do you handle it? Or him?