Yesterday a writer friend poked gentle fun at me by remarking on the way I seized an opportunity to mention my new book. She meant no offense and none was taken, but I was reminded again of one of my pet peeves: In the community of romance writers, it is not acceptable to show pride in one's books. Oh, every author mentions her books. Constantly. But there is only one acceptable way to do it, and I haven't been following the rules. I can't tell you how many times other romance authors have pointed that out, usually by disguising the rebuke as a compliment: "Brenda's an amazing self-promoter. I wish I had the guts to do that."
When a romance writer mentions her books, other writers expect her to apologize for her enthusiasm. She's pressured to pretend that mentioning her work at all was accidental. She's made to feel that she should ask everyone's pardon for having allowed herself to get carried away. Romance writers encourage one another to be modest about their accomplishments, but it's a false modesty, and I'm sick of it. Sometimes I think I might scream if I hear that disingenuously self-effacing phrase "please excuse my shameless self-promotion" one more time. What's there to be ashamed of? We have created books that we think are pretty doggone good, and they are for sale. Why should we hang our heads and apologize for mentioning those facts?
Well. I'm not likely to change the romance community's mindset on that. But you'll see me dead before you see me play along.
Maybe you've noticed that this blog doesn't contain any paid advertisements or even a PayPal tip jar. But kids, you weren't really expecting to get all this entertainment for free were you? You'd better believe I'm going to slip in plenty of references to my new book (which will be in stores on February 28). A hundred and fifty unique visitors a day is a very good audience for a writer's blog (I'm bragging about that number because it will encourage other bloggers to exchange links with me, which will send me even more traffic), and I'd be a fool not to take advantage of the promotional opportunities inherent in this situation.
Modesty is not a quality I possess in any abundance. I'm proud of this blog and of my romance novels. So if you don't mind hearing me toot my own horn now and again, stick around and we'll have ourselves some fun.