Posted On February 14, 2013 by Print This Post

My, What a Nice New Kindle You Have, Grandma. . .with Carlene Love Flores

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 Carlene Love Floreslight 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.
Grandma.

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 ;)

Always love,
Carlene Love

***

Did you – do you still- struggle with what to tell the people in your life about what you do?

Elisabeth Staab talks about the need for speed. vroom. vroom.

***

Sidewalk-FlowerBlurb:

In Sidewalk Flower, a jaded young woman sets out on an intense road trip home to deal with her past when she is asked to allow a relative stranger to tag along.

Bio:

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.

Website: http://carlenelove.com/

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Discussion

35 Responses to “My, What a Nice New Kindle You Have, Grandma. . .with Carlene Love Flores”

  1. Good morning, I’d like to wish you all a sweet Valentine’s day and thank RU for having me. xoxoxoxo

    Posted by Carlene Love Flores | February 14, 2013, 6:18 am
  2. Hi Carlene,

    I was lucky enough to win your grandmother’s book, Why Am I Still Here? Shirley Faith Touchstone’s book is touching and true. As for admitting I write romance, I keep it to myself. It’s easier to tell complete strangers than people I know.

    Mary Jo

    Posted by Mary Jo Burke | February 14, 2013, 7:19 am
    • Hi Mary Jo! That’s so wonderful that you won Grandma’s book! She’s my hero in every way and I think that’s why it’s a little more intimidating for me with her. You’re so right, it’s easier to tell complete strangers than those you know. My wish for romance writers especially is that we can all feel proud of the beautiful thing we do. Happy Valentine’s Day!

      Posted by Carlene Love Flores | February 14, 2013, 8:04 am
  3. Morning Carlene…

    I have told everyone what I write, and when I once entered a very public contest, my family and friends read exactly what I write.

    And I got (and still get) a lot of grief from that! “I can’t believe you used those words, Carrie!” seems to be the most general comment. So now, I keep my big mouth shut…lol….lesson learned!

    Thanks for posting with us today Carlene, and Happy Valentine’s Day!

    carrie

    Posted by Carrie Spencer | February 14, 2013, 8:35 am
  4. Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!!!

    Great post, Carlene! Your grandma rocks my socks and I love her book. But I agree with you. Even though it may be hard and your grandma, mom, dad (yikes), older brother who still thinks of you as an annoying yet innocent 4 year old are all going to read your book shouldn’t keep you from writing your truth. Or your characters truth. I know that when my book finally gets published (fingers crossed) I will do a lot of blushing. Luckily, I have found that by wearing super bright colors and sparkles that I can counterbalance it. I’m sneaky like that. ;-)

    Posted by Kerri Carpenter | February 14, 2013, 8:45 am
    • Thanks you sparkly girl you! Yes, I do see some blushing in your future but I find it’s really rather good for the complexion :) Absolutely, the characters deserve that truth. Otherwise it ends up being no one’s story. And we don’t want that! Happy Valentine’s Day Hero ;)

      Posted by Carlene Love Flores | February 14, 2013, 8:47 am
  5. Carlene! What a cute story. I’m so proud of you. I used to struggle with the exact same thing — and then I fell in love with a new genre, Young Adult. Voila! Problem solved. :)

    Posted by Pintip | February 14, 2013, 8:51 am
  6. I love this post, Carlene! It touches a tender spot in so many author’s hearts. I started out writing romance but somehow my characters decided to let me know they wanted to spice things up in the bedroom. That was something I wasn’t expecting but I put on my big girl pants, wrote it and told everybody.
    Luckily, my family is more likely to whisper about my “issues” behind my back that confront me. I can live with that! :D
    Your book is in my to-be-read pile and I can’t wait to get to it! <3

    Posted by K.J. Wolf | February 14, 2013, 8:52 am
    • Hi K.J.! Thank you so much. Not too long ago, one of my writer friends mentioned nerves over coming out to her mother. I had read her book and yes, it’s a steamy one, but there’s so much heart in these stories. I hate to think anyone who puts their heart so honestly into a book has to feel ashamed about that. I love that “whispering” part about your family. May the whispers lift you up my friend. Happy Valentine’s Day :)

      Posted by Carlene Love Flores | February 14, 2013, 9:01 am
  7. I didn’t even get a warning! Hahaha it’s a beautiful story. But picture this, me sharing it with all my friends, telling them to read it, and then it comes out. I start to read it. And holy crap! It took me a month to read it because I had a hard time reminding myself it was lucky and trista, not my “perfect, quiet, conservative ” sister! Lol! Bit I finally convinced myself I didn’t know you at all and made it through! Now all I want is….THE NEXT ONE!!!! Also, good thing all my friends have as much…”kink” in them as I do!!! Lol!! Love you Carlene :-)

    Posted by Dana | February 14, 2013, 9:32 am
    • Would this be my little sister? Hi Dana, if that’s you. You’re so funny but I’m so glad you stopped by and shared this with us. And thank you for thinking I’m perfect, quiet and conservative…hope I haven’t squashed that pedestal all to pieces! Working on the next one as we speak. Love your enthusiasm. Happy Valentine’s Day kiddo ;)

      Posted by Carlene Love Flores | February 14, 2013, 10:20 am
  8. LOL, great post, Carlene!

    I write YA that’s on the sweeter side, so I haven’t had to worry about that, but neither of my grandmas will be getting a Kindle anytime soon either. At 95 and 93, they both still love reading, but the entire concept of an ebook is just lost on them. Even my 69-year-old mom clings to her paperbacks and won’t give them up. (Trust me, I got my mom a Kindle LAST Christmas. It’s been taken out of the package exactly once…when I showed her how to use it. She’s never read on it though.)

    Anyway, congrats to both you and your grandma. So cool you could share the writing bug with her, even if your paths are very different.

    Posted by Amanda Brice | February 14, 2013, 9:40 am
    • Hi Amanda! You know, I was really counting on my grandma not being into the ereader but she’s so into all the new technology. Does her own computer shopping and just has this wonderful thirst for the modern world and all its toys. That being said, she’s still Grandma and always will be sweet in my eyes because of that. I love that your grandmas and mom are holding dear to the ways they love to read. The most important thing is that they love to read. Thank you :) Happy Valentine’s Day

      Posted by Carlene Love Flores | February 14, 2013, 10:23 am
  9. Loved your post and yes your grandma never ceases to amaze! We all have a hard time keeping up with her! I remember reading one of your first stories and worrying that I’d been unaware of a traumatic experience in your youth but you assured me you had used your imagination. Same thing with Sidewalk Flower and some of the language but I reminded myself the words are of your characters not you. I am in awe of how well you weave the depth of your characters and how you keep us readers in the palm of your hand with your wonderful storytelling abilities. You leave us all wanting to read more! Aren’t you proud of you because I am so very proud of you! Happy Valentine’s Day! Love you boo coo.

    Posted by Claudia | February 14, 2013, 10:00 am
    • Thank you, Mom…check’s in the mail ;) Just kidding. Thank you, your words are very sweet and I’m glad you brought up this point. Not only does a writer (in our case romance) have to think about how the heat level of our stories will go over, but also the fact that friends and family might worry these things are autobiographical in nature. I hadn’t really worried about that part until recently. It’s very important for people to know that this is fictional work. A writer should never go into a piece self-editing because again, it will end up being no one’s story. You want it to be someone’s very special story. So I really encourage writers, especially newbies like myself, to do what you love and write it as if it’s just for you. Happy Valentine’s Day Mom :)

      Posted by Carlene Love Flores | February 14, 2013, 10:29 am
  10. Hi Carlene!

    My family knows I write, but aside from close friends, I keep it to myself. Defending myself gets tiring and a part of me doesn’t want to know how narrow-minded people can be. :)

    Thanks for joining us today! Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

    Posted by Jennifer Tanner | February 14, 2013, 1:20 pm
    • Hi Jennifer, thank you so much for stopping in and sharing that. I wish it wasn’t that way but in reality, I know wonderful and creative people run up against that type of negativity. I hope you have found, like me, some true gems in your fellow writers. What a great community we have. And a super wonderful Valentine’s Day to you too. :)

      Posted by Carlene Love Flores | February 14, 2013, 3:01 pm
  11. Carlene THIS article is my favorite article I have ever read of yours! You hit the nail right on the head. You are so intuitive and have just the right balance of sweet and edgy :) It’s also a very good advertisement for your book, who wouldn’t want to read it after that intro? Love you, Aunt Terry.

    Posted by Aunt Terry | February 14, 2013, 2:26 pm
    • Hi Aunt Terry! Another check on it’s way in the mail…Thanks! Seriously though, I am so blessed to have a supportive, albeit somewhat surprised, family in this writing journey. You’re definitely a part of that. Thank you so much for your words here today. And thank you for being you…one of my cool, bohemian aunts. ;) Happy Valentine’s Day!

      Posted by Carlene Love Flores | February 14, 2013, 3:06 pm
  12. I started my writing career in science fiction, and only started doing erotic romance in 2012. It’s been…educational…telling people what I’m writing, and seeing the responses (two friends who are respected SF writers and women of a certain age have said they want to see my new novel. I’m still not sure where I stand on that). Mind you, I love my characters and my work, and I’m not ashamed of what they say or do. That being said, I try to give friends and family a heads up that if they read a Nicola Cameron story, it’s going to have a lot of M/M sex in it, some of it kinky, so if they want to avoid it that’s fine with me. :-D

    Posted by Nicola | February 14, 2013, 3:37 pm
    • Hi Nicola, I was just thinking that it really matters most what you love doing as the writer. And the icing is being able to share that with people you want to share it with. It sounds like you have a pretty healthy handle on it. My goal is to be able to be that up front with folks in the future. We can’t fault anyone if it’s just not their cup of tea, afterall. Happy Valentine’s Day!

      Posted by Carlene Love Flores | February 14, 2013, 4:40 pm
  13. What a fab post! If my grandma was still with us, she’d be just like yours I reckon.

    Well, I don’t use a pen name, so pretty much everyone knows what I write. It was kinda embarrassing at first, but I soon got over it.

    I’m very proud of my stories, and I now just simply say that I write Erotic Romance and smile :-)

    Posted by Doris O'Connor | February 14, 2013, 4:43 pm
    • “I’m very proud of my stories, and I now just simply say that I write Erotic Romance and smile”

      LOVE THIS! Thank you, Doris, for stopping by and sharing the bit about being embarassed at first too. I’m finding that being honest about what it’s like to put yourself out there is making it easier and more fun. You rock! Happy Valentine’s Day!

      Posted by Carlene Love Flores | February 14, 2013, 4:48 pm
  14. Carlene,
    What a wonderful story. I remember reading about your grandmother and her inspirational story, and that’s why the Waterworld Mermaids wanted to adopt her. :-)
    Just remember this…your grandmother must have done SOME of the things you write about in order for you to be here. LOL. Word choices aside, love and sex are still love and sex no matter what spin we might put on it. She just needs to remember that you are separate from your characters, yet there’s a big part of you in the story. Writing is very personal, and I understand your anxiety. :-)
    She’ll love the story because it’s a story YOU told.
    Congrats again on SIDEWALK FLOWER.

    Posted by Kim MacCarron | February 14, 2013, 5:49 pm
  15. I cracked up reading this because, honestly?, who HASN’T worried about the grandmother/mother/elderly aunts (and uncles!) reading their books?

    The one benefit of not being published is that I don’t have to worry about that issue for some time to come!

    I hope your Grandma loves your story! Happy Valentine’s Day!

    Thanks,
    Becke

    Posted by Becke Martin Davis | February 14, 2013, 5:53 pm
  16. LOL – I think my plan is to come up with a pen name no one in my family will recognize. Unfortunately, that will cancel out all the platform work I’ve done, so maybe I need a Plan B!

    Posted by Becke Martin Davis | February 14, 2013, 6:37 pm
  17. BTW, how’s your grandmother’s writing career coming along? Has she found a publisher for her book?

    Posted by Becke Martin Davis | February 14, 2013, 11:21 pm

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