We authors are trading blog posts . . . and here Pauline Baird Jones shares what her life as a science fiction romance author can be like.
An Author Walks into a Bookstore
An author walks into a Barnes & Noble store and asked for books on Roswell, New Mexico.
Where does the helpful help desk clerk send her?
To the travel section.
This was not a joke with a bad punch line but a true story.
I wasn’t sure they hadn’t shelved the books in travel so I went and looked. Then I went back to the “help” desk.
“You don’t understand,” I said. “I need books on Roswell. You know, the alien ship crash.”
I wish I had a picture of the clerk’s face. There is no describing that look.
“Roswell. Aliens,” I say, more gently because she’s not young. “Just type Roswell, New Mexico, into your computer.”
She put her hands on the keys, but I could tell she didn’t want to. I nodded encouragingly. Finally she typed the words and hit “enter.”
And then jumped back at what the computer produced. There are a LOT of books about the Roswell incident.
She looked at me again, this time like I was a kook. I smiled a bit uneasily. “Can you tell me if you have any of them and where they might be in this store?”
It only took me twenty minutes and two trips to the help desk to get to the right section.
This is not that unusual when you write science fiction. And not just from bookstore clerks who think you’re a kook.
It’s always interesting to tell people I write science fiction romance and then wait for it. I can almost see them thinking, “You don’t look like a science fiction romance writer.”
I’m not even sure what that means. What does a science fiction romance writer look like? All the writers — of all genres—look like people. And not one of them looks like the other one. (Okay, did that make you feel like you’d wandered into a Dr. Seuss post? Or maybe it’s a Sesame Street episode. Let’s all sing together, “None of these authors is at all like the other ones…)
So, if you’re a writer, have you ever gotten “The Look” while doing research? If you’re a reader, what do you think a science fiction romance writer should look like?
And while you’re thinking about that, let me tell you something about this wonderful project. Pets in Space is not only a fun, romantic, adventurous anthology filled with EIGHT original stories and one expanded story by nine authors (how lucky is it that we have exactly the same number of stories and authors?), but 10% of the first month’s profit will be donated to Hero-Dogs.org, an organization dedicated to training amazing dogs to help veterans deal with post-traumatic stress.
We hope you’ll grab a copy of Pets in Space AND help a worthy cause at the very same time!
My dragon studied me with a peculiar intensity. “You truly do not remember?” I shook my head. “That perhaps would explain—”
“Explain what?” I felt a strange dread, as memory tried to pierce the thick fog hiding whatever happened that night eight years ago.
“There is a problem with the launch.”
There was nothing in my nondisclosure agreement about talking to a dragon, but it still felt disloyal. “Launch?” I tried to look clueless. Which should have been easy since I pretty much was.
Peddrenth couldn’t raise his brows, but it felt like he did.
“Okay, so there might be a launch—which you didn’t hear from me—what of it?”
“There is a leak.”
“A leak?” I jerked upright in alarm. “In the fuel tanks? On the team?” Exploding space vehicles and corporate sabotage were both a real worry. “What?”
“You. You are leaking.” From “The Real Dragon,” Pets in Space
Pauline never liked reality, so she writes books. She likes to wander among the genres, rampaging like Godzilla, because she does love peril mixed in her romance. You can find out more about her books (and get a free story for subscribing to her newsletter) at: http:///www.paulinebjones.com