I never did anything “girlie” growing up.
My interests were comic books, football, baseball, Tarzan, and lots of science fiction/fantasy novels. I had toy guns, not make-up kits. I had the Johnny West action figures, not the Barbie dream house.
I did love the Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden and the Black Stallion books. Those, of course, are adventure stores. I’m not sure they count.
Eventually, I did do some girlie things, most importantly, becoming a mom. Of course, I ended up raising geek kids, as evidenced by my daughter’s post about the Last Airbender.
But there’s one thing I do that’s completely girlie.
I write romance novels.
I didn’t set out to write romance novels. I set out to write stories that would relax my mind after a long day of dealing with four kids.
I’m not the sort of mom who treats herself with an afternoon of shopping or a visit to the spa. No, I’m the sort of mom who runs to my computer and makes up stories.
It took me over five years to sell my first fiction. Which is the reason for today’s post: that story is out today.
Freya’s Gift is an ebook available from Samhain Publishing, one of the largest ebook romance publishers. It’s also not just a romance novel. It’s an erotic romance novel.
What does that mean? It means it has explicit sex. I’m often asked what the difference between porn and erotica. To me, the difference is that porn is about the act itself, while erotica is about the feelings surrounding the act. (I know. Feelings. I warned you that girl cooties were in this post.)
But because I grew up reading mystery, fantasy and science fiction, most of my romance novels are amalgams of romance and another genre.
Freya’s Gift is alternate history and takes place in a world where Vikings have crossed the Atlantic and intermarried with native Lenape tribes in North America. I was particularly interested in the clash between the cultures of the Lenape and the Vikings.
And to make the alternate universe even more fun for me to play with, I gave the Roman Empire another five hundred years and located one of their colonies in North America as well. That doesn’t come into play in Freya’s Gift but it does feature prominently in Dinah of Seneca, the full length novel that’s coming out in May. That book, while it does contain romance and sex, isn’t erotica. And it has battles , sword fights, and explosions. (Some superhero geeks might recognize the name of my heroine. Yes, Dinah Lance was an inspiration.)
I want to write stories that satisfy both romance readers and SF/F readers. A tall order but it’s what I like to read myself and there’s not enough of it for those like me. I figure the attempt is worth it. I’m thrilled that today marks the public beginning of all this.
In a strange syncronicity, I have a non-fiction essay coming out in the Chicken Soup for the Soul-Thanks Mom! book that’s being released today. It’s about how much I owe my mother for teaching me how to cope after the loss of my father, who died young.
Not such different subjects. I think I might be a little girlie after all.