Many years ago I had this big idea that I would become a Secret Harlequin Romance Novelist. By day, research geek but by night--professional bodice-ripper and heaver of bosoms. No one would know about my secret (and by "no one" I mean "probably everyone" because I can't keep a secret about myself if I tried, but in my imagination--I would know how to shut up.) At my death, the Big Reveal would happen and friends and family would murmur among themselves in shock, "who knew that she wrote 17 books under the name Sonja Deveraux (that wasn't going to be my secret nom de plume, but doesn't that sound like a either a fake romance novelists name, b) a porn star, or c) a character in an 80's soap opera)? Did you know that she wrote "Valentine Summer Love A Go-Go? She always seemed so logical and snide--who knew she harbored such great passions in secret?" and so on and so forth.
At the time I had never read a romance novel. Awesome Husband (who was only Swell Boyfriend at the time) convinced me that I had to read at least 3 romance novels before I could write one. I mean, I guess he had a point about me actually knowing what goes into a romance novel before I wrote one. Needless to say, I was so furious by these books and I >hated< the females in the books so bad that it just totally ruined my vision forever. I hated them so much that even now, almost 10 years later--I am typing violently at my keyboard just remembering how much I detested them. I ripped one of the books up I was so mad. In Harlequin romances, the ladies are written like one-dimensional batshit insane stalkers. And not even in an amusing way. In a "what the hell is this nonsense?" way.
(Of course, this was before I was introduced to the marvel and wonder that is Harlequin Romance Novels Featuring Pregnant Broads Looking For Love. I've read a couple of those that I found at a dive bar I used to frequent and they are A.W.E.S.O.M.E.. And yes, they are awesome even when you are sober.Trust me. )
So, anyway. My grand dream was MURDERED. And now a few days ago, I've decided that I could just write self-help books. Those are money makers. I even have a working title of my first one:
"Yes, You *Are* Totally Fucked Up In the Head. So Is Everyone Else (With Sprinkles)"
It's going to be a sort of blend of "I'm Ok, You're Ok" with name-any-book-by-Sark. I'll make millions.