Over the years, I've discussed my career with many, many people I've met. I rarely go into much detail other than I write "spicy romances," if pressed hard enough.
These are some of the responses I've gotten from people that are the absolute worst:
1. You must have fun researching that topic! *wink-wink, nudge-nudge*
Well, aren't you witty?
And no, I haven't heard that one ten-million times before! [insert eye roll]
Most adults on this planet have or have had sex. Just because I write erotic romance doesn't necessarily mean I have more sex than you do. I might, but that's my own personal business and I'm not sharing that with someone I just met.
2. Need any help with that research? *wink-wink, nudge-nudge*
This is typically from some smarmy guy who I wouldn't touch with a ten-foot pole, much to my chagrin.
Yeah, no thanks.
3. You should write my life story. I've lived such an interesting life.
In my experience, those who seem to think this about themselves are pretty narcissistic.
Most of the people who've said this to me have gone on to bore me to tears with one or two of their tales of "adventures" while I force a fake smile on my lips.
Don't be that person. Please.
4. You must be rich!
That depends on your definition of rich. Only a tiny percentage of authors make enough to live glamorously.
After either forking over 40-70% to a publisher OR paying for editing, covers, and promotion if you self, publish, most authors don't make all that terribly much. After expenses, a very small percentage are lucky enough to make a meager living.
And don't even get me started on these privileged assholes who think it's okay to steal books online. If it wasn't for those pricks, that meager living might be a little less meager. (May the pirates all rot in hell...)
So my answer... no, most authors are NOT rich. Nowhere close. And many sacrifice a lot to do what they love. I'm sure there are a small handful out there who are running at a slight loss.
5. Oh, you write romance? *nose rises in the air* That's not really writing, now is it?
You might not like to read what I write, but I put a ton of words on paper every single day of my life. If that's not good enough for you... well, too fucking bad.
Secondly, you're disrespecting the millions of romance fans out in the world, seeking solace and escape in the pages of those books.
You are NOT a person I want to know.
6. I've got this GREAT idea for a book. Now sit down and let me tell you all about it.
Stop. Please don't. If something I write a year or two down the road as even a tiny little bit of something similar to a part of your idea, you could try to sue me.
If it's such a great idea, then YOU write it.
7. I'm going to sit back and write a book one of these days.
Great. Talk to me once you've actually written one. Then tell me how easy it was.
For those who knew me before they find out that I'm a writer, this often gets added to that comment - Can't be that hard, especially if you did it.
Not that hard? Here's another rousing FUCK YOU.
I'm sure there are others... but these are the ones that tend to hear the most.