I get this question a lot. It's an easy getting-to-know you question. I am never sure how to answer.
I'm a stay-at-home mom by day and a freelance IT consultant and romance novelist by night. Each of these jobs comes with a series of preconceptions, but since this blog is about books, I'll stick to the last on the list: romance novelist.
I get follow up questions to this.
Q. Have I heard of you?
A. Depends. Do you read romantic suspense? If you're a casual reader and you stick to the big names - Grisham, Roberts, Patterson, King - then no, I am not one of those authors. But if you haven't heard of me, I'd love for you to give my book a read.
Q. Can you give me a free book?
A. I keep some copies of my novels around the house for myself and my family, but I earn my living from royalties, meaning I get a percentage of each book sold. Just like you wouldn't ask your mechanic to fix your car for free, or ask a musician to play at your wedding for free, or ask someone to fix your computer for free, you probably shouldn't ask me for a free copy.
Q. Is your book in the store / library?
A. Again, depends. Most bookstores do not carry every single book available and Harlequin Romantic Suspense novels are available on the shelves of most major book retailers for about a month. If you are looking for a paper copy of Hiding His Witness (published in September 2012), you'll have a hard time getting it from your local Walmart or Target. If you are looking for a paper copy of Protecting His Princess, you'll find it November 1st. All my books are available in e-book format at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
Next time someone asks me this question, what should I lead with? The writing? The mom gig? What do you think?