Happy Valentines Day!!! Today my guest is Carlene Love Flores – yes, that is her real name. As a brand-new debut author, she faced a dilemma many of us have stared down as well – how do we tell Grandma about THAT scene in our book?
My, What a Nice New Kindle You Have, Grandma…
You’re a romance writer…shh. Not so loud. Truth be told, that title is a little light on the details. You’re a secret erotic romance writer whose twisted and innately sexy characters say such lusty things to each other that Dr. Ruth’s blush might just blush. This hasn’t been a problem up until now because until very recently, these naughty little fantasies starring your amorous imaginary friends have been for your eyes only. And maybe your just-as-naughty-as-you critique partners. Well now you’ve gone and done it. Landed yourself a publishing contract…with a publisher whose deliciously jaw-dropping website leaves you weak in the knees every single time you pull it up and snicker in delight…so proud of yourself that soon, your book cover will leave visitors’ tongues a wagging too.
Feeling clumsy at first, you start spreading the good news that your “love story” has been published. Your cool, bohemian aunts are The Best, aren’t they? You start with them for the confidence boost and then make your way through everyone else you’ve ever met on the face of this earth until there’s one person left.
Well Sweetie, now you’ve got some ‘splaining to do.
My name is Carlene Love Flores. And a few months ago, I crept out of my secret world and began a very real struggle over how to be honest and respectful to my grandma, myself and my art. Not to mention all the writers who have stolen my heart over the past few years with their generous souls and their gorgeous steam.
You see, Grandma and I started our writing journey together. She with her inspirational non-fiction project and me with my, well, I wasn’t sure what it was at the time. So we just called it a love story. How lucky was I? We’d share updates, encourage each other, stumble over what in the world we’d gotten ourselves into but how exciting it was to be doing it together.
I don’t want to say there was ever a point where our paths went in completely different directions, but if I’m being honest, they kind of did. Grandma kept to the straight and narrow, solid in her plan and platform, confident, wise, graceful, giving, open. While I took to the back roads, seduced by the blind curves and occasional patches of black ice. I saw some pretty amazing things on my journey, and I know Grandma did too. But they were very different things. And at the end, I wasn’t sure if Grandma would like the new love story I’d told.
Let me be very clear. I LOVE IT. STILL DO. FIVE THOUSAND PERCENT SQUARED, I DO.
So getting back to that phone call to Grandma. This is how that conversation goes:
“Grandma, my book is going to be published!”
“Congratulations, sweetheart. I’m so proud of you. How wonderful for you and your book.”
“Thank you, Grandma. Um, I have to be honest. It really is a great story but there are some…love scenes…in it that I don’t know if you’d appreciate.”
“Oh dear, don’t you worry about that. I’ll just skip that one scene.”
I didn’t have the heart (er…guts) to tell Grandma that it was gonna be slightly more than just one scene. I decided I would explain that during our next conversation. Or two or three talks down the road. After all, I had time on my side. My book would be coming out digital first and I knew Grandma didn’t have an e-reader yet…
(Please close your eyes and envision bubbles and a nice sharp pin teasing it.)
Did you know that I also have one of the most tech-savvy grandmas ever born? Yes, when she was gifted with a Kindle Fire this Christmas, she asked to Skype with me so she could show it off! (I had to scramble to create an account while she patiently waited.) At 78 years young, Grandma has the low-down on the download. She’s got my e-book. And I’ve got a stash of Tums I haven’t needed since pregnancy hanging out in the medicine cabinet.
But you know what?
All of this to say what I really wanted to say to you today.
Love what you do. LOVE YOUR WORDS. Love your talent. Love your chances. Love your luck.
And love your grandma and her shiny new Kindle.
Chances are, she’s been there done that 😉
Did you – do you still- struggle with what to tell the people in your life about what you do?
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Carlene’s Bio: Carlene Love Flores is a big fan of the stars (especially Orion), honest music (especially Depeche Mode), and her traveling family (no favorites there-she loves them all). These things have always inspired her to think up edgy, intimate love stories and continue to do so. If she could touch someone’s heart with her writing the way others have done for her, she’d say truly there never lived a luckier girl.
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