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Friday, March 14, 2014

My BFF should have known better

I just spent a wonderful ski weekend with a group of woman I absolutely adore—my Best Friends Forever. We grew up together and have shared one another's joys and sorrows our whole lives. We only see each other a couple of times a year, and we're very different people, but we're there for one another. Always. A couple of these BFFs have read my books from the earliest drafts and bought them when they were published. They tell all their friends about me and their friends buy my books. They're my biggest fans.

One of these women is very religious and much prefers to read the bible and books about the bible, but she supports me by buying my books anyway. I find that incredibly sweet. And one of my friends isn't a big reader, doesn't see the point of fiction and is unlikely to ever read or buy one of my books. Still, she's happy when something good happens to me. What more can I ask?

So, one evening we went to a party thrown by people I didn't know, and several women came up to us and asked which one was the author, and then gushed about my books. One lady actually crashed the party because she'd heard I was going to be there and she wanted to tell me in person how much she loved my books! All of my BFFs thought it was great. They kept hugging me and calling me the "rock star" of the evening.

A rock star. That was just how I felt. It was wonderful. Yes, I'd been drinking wine, but the high I was on was all about these people acknowledging me as an author of some worth. The feeling was indescribable.

And then, as we were getting ready to leave the party, my beautiful, much loved, non-reading BFF said, "Wasn't it great that all these women came clean?"

I froze. She couldn't be saying… "What do you mean?" I asked, hoping I'd misunderstood. "Coming clean about what?"

"About reading your books," she said.

My blissful high evaporated in a single instant. "Why would they have to come clean about reading my books?" I asked. But I knew. Of course I knew. What I didn't know, could never have predicted, was that the next thing out of her mouth would pierce my bubble with such a deafening pop.

"Well," she said with a half shrug, "they're just trash, right?"


I think I left my body for a few minutes while I absorbed the shock. Did one of my oldest, dearest friends really think I spent my time creating "trash?" Did she not know me at all, even after all these years?

Okay, sure, those of us who love romance joke about trashy books, but that's meant to be ironic or something. Dry. Self-deprecating, even. When people who don't read the genre say it's trash, it's an insult. And it reveals their ignorance.

I love this woman and always will. We'll be close for the rest of our lives, without a doubt. Of all of us, she's always been the best at sticking her foot in her mouth. (Okay, make that her whole damn skinny leg.) She's an artist and an athlete and a single mom and she doesn't read books for enjoyment. She has no idea what it takes to actually conceive and write a whole book and get it to publication. So I forgive her for hurting me. Of course I do. I can't imagine anything she could do short of murdering my children that I would find unforgivable.

But jeez, she's an artist—a creative person, like me. And I love her to death. She should have known better, damn it.


Ana writes sexy romantic suspense, and she loves to hear from readers. If you'd like to read one of her current ebooks, either leave a comment here or email her at:, let her know which book you'd like (WrongfullyAccusedSon of the Enemy or Betrayed by Trust) and in what format, and she'll send you a copy.


Rita said...

What a high to have the ladies gush over you like that. Just last night someone I haven’t talked with in over a year called and told me how much she loved my newest book. It’s crazy how good that makes an author feel. I mean, even if it’s one person it’s a kick to know our words on the page got to someone as we meant them to.
I’ve experienced the same with ‘friends’ trying to take me down. Happened earlier this week but it was family. They are jealous and it is deliberate. You are a much better person than I because I no longer tolerate it. I generally begin with, “why on earth would you say something like that?” and stare waiting for their answer. In the recent case of family she was getting a dig in because my books are digital. She said she only reads ‘real’ books not books on devices. I responded by telling her it was too bad she was missing so many ‘good’ books, but I understood that not everyone can deal with the modern devises.
Bottom line is you are always going to have people around who will try stuff like that. Don’t let that one person here and there ruin your party. You are a brilliant, talented, writer.

Ana Barrons said...

Thanks, Rita. If it were anyone else (outside this group) I would suspect it had to do with jealousy, but I'm chalking this one up to cluelessness, because I can't imagine what on earth she was thinking when she said it. I mean, who says that? It was surreal! I did talk to her about it the next day, and she was quite sheepish (as well she should have been).

Toni Anderson said...

It still sounds like a form of jealousy, Ana. Even a subconscious one. Because that phrase was a deliberate one. She didn't say, 'Well everyone obviously loves a trashy book' or something off the cuff. That was thought out. Maybe the fact she does understand the creative process made her want what you had for a brief moment. Does it mean she doesn't love you? No. It's the people who love us that hurt us the most.

It's easy to hurt people's feelings. It takes a better person to keep their mouth shut and suck it up.

Ana Barrons said...

Sigh. You could be right. I hadn't thought about it being subconscious. I keep puzzling and puzzling over why she said that. Still scratching my head.

Anne Marie Becker said...

Oh man, Ana. My jaw hit the floor. And for her to ruin such a great moment like that? You're a better, more forgiving woman than I am. :) But mainly I feel sorry for people like that—people who won't even try something before commenting on it. She might find she actually enjoys those "trashy" books. ;) Or maybe she was jealous of the attention you were receiving.

I nearly cried when my stepmother-in-law said she loved my books. She actually gushed about them. I can tell she really means it. Where my biological mother-in-law doesn't touch them. But she supports me. I had to laugh when she referred to my "gothic romances." *bless their hearts*

Ana Barrons said...

It really is the most wonderful feeling to have people gush over your books (and your stepmother-in-law -- how cool)! That's the memory I carry with me from the party, even though the end was ruined.

Marcelle Dubé said...

I woulda slapped her upside the head. I know you love her, Ana, but honestly. With friends like that, who needs enemies?

Okay, maybe I'm being harsh, but darnitall, I'm with Rita.

Ana Barrons said...

Hmm… There's a definite appeal to that idea, Marcelle. A good slap upside the head would do her some good. I'm kind of sorry I just stood there trying to smile.

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