Normally, I'm a cheerleader for everything genre related, unabashedly proclaiming how SF, fantasy and horror can not only entertain us but also communicate timeless truths. I believe it, heart and soul. I really do.
So why then did admitting it embarrass me so much?
The setting: I was a in a professional meeting when the talk turned (more or less) to hobbies. Clearing my throat, I confessed that, well, I liked to blog about genre fiction.
"What's that?" one person asked.
"It's fiction that fells into certain categories," I lamely explained. "Like, uh ..."
"Hopefully not that romance stuff," someone else quipped.
"Well, yeah. But, no, I don't generally read it. I like more, hmmmm --" I wracked my mind for an acceptable example . "-- Harlan Coben." I had read Coben, hadn't I? Oh, yes, that thriller a few years back.
"And what do you think of him?" a third individual asked.
"He's ... okay."
Everyone smiled. The conversation turned to other topics.
Now, nothing in that exchange should have mortified me. Everyone displayed great tolerance for my hobby. But when facing a room of successful businessmen and women, admitting that you like to read about Mafioso, space aliens and sword-swinging barbarians feels decidedly odd.
So, readers, this enquiring mind wants to know: Does embarrassment occasionally warm your cheeks when you confess your affection for genre or am I the only one?
(Picture: CC 2010 by spaceyjessie)