I Wrote a Smutty Book and My Mother Decided to Read It.

We all have had those sad jobs we did back in college to pay the bills. Mine was working as a lifeguard (long after I was so old that it wasn’t cool anymore, and it was actually just kind of sad and desperate-looking). And working in a Baskin-Robbins. And delivering magazines to gas stations for eleven hours a day. The humiliating, degrading, minimum-wage list goes on.

It wasn’t really for the money that I decided to write a trashy, beyond-smutty romance novel. It was more for the…oh hell, I don’t know. The experiment? The need to rebel? The fact that romance outsells every other genre by a huge margin? Wait, that would make it be for the money. Hmm.

Anyway, I did. I wrote a completely nasty, clothes-flying-off, chocolate-sauce-going-everywhere, people-tied-to-kitchen-tables kind of book. And it was well-received by everyone who read it and I wasn’t the least bit ashamed of myself.

And then my mom read it.

I think I’m supposed to say something profound about how it’s a new day, we can read and write whatever we want, the publishing revolution lets authors explore outside the confines of their genres…etc. No, instead, I feel like I opened a porn studio and hired my mom to swab the actors with Vaseline every time they start to chafe. She’ll be in good company, since I also now feel like I hired my second grade nun to hand them cups of water between takes.

Only, I think the joke is really on her because if her very short, very shocked email to me says what I think it says, it turns out that my mom buys these trashy books and reads them, only the rest of us think she’s reading high-brow literature and World War I-era biographies of lesser known generals. Her email kind of sounded like she didn’t realize that I was the same person as this romance author. Well played, Mom.

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15 thoughts on “I Wrote a Smutty Book and My Mother Decided to Read It.

  1. My mom and I had some great discussions about the first book I let her read and we conveniently ignored all the sex scenes in our discussions. I don’t know who was doing the ignoring, I just left it alone. She like the book and understands what I do when I lock myself in my room for 8 hours a day on weekends. haha.

  2. OMG! And LOLOLOL! When I divorced the 2nd time, I decided to move to Sarasota, where my mother lived. I was 44. I worked out every day and looked pretty decent. I rode my bike a lot too and one I rode to the beach in shorts and a bikini top, which is not unusual attire in Florida. The next day my mother called me and said she heard I was riding a bicycle on St. Armand’s in a bikini. I felt like I was 12 . The next day, after seeing what I could tax-wise to purchase a second home ( I owned mama’s condo & rented my place) , I drove to Tampa and purchased a home that day. She drive me nuts, but she’s gone now and I miss her making me crazy. (she made so mad once that I told her I was done with her and was sitting shiva. We’re not Jewish and she didn’t understand, but it made me feel better– for a minute anyway).
    Great post!

    • I was TERRIFIED that my mother would find out about my tattoo while I was getting my epidural. I kept begging the nurse, “Please! You have to put the needle in before my mother gets here!” I was THIRTY at the time!

  3. Your mother doesn’t read random bodice-rippers, only those by her children. That would be like hanging porn from strangers on the refrigerator magnets.
    –Dad

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