It’s #authorlifemonth, and it’s time I step up a bit. There’s an instagram challenge going on that I’m trying to make sure I stay on top of (come check me out @randiperrinwrites)… and I’m going to do my best to also post over here more regularly. Sometimes it’s hard to come up with topics, though.

Today’s was easy though, because if there’s anything I need–we need–right now, it’s fiction.

Seriously, hear me out.

I write romance. Contemporary, paranormal, LGBT, I’ve done it all. (I’m especially partial to the paranormal romance.)

Sometimes I get the reaction of, “Oh, you wrote a book, how cool is that?”

Then there’s my favorite reactions (and for fun, let’s use a real quote from my family when I announced I’d sold my first book to a publisher), “You wrote smut, didn’t you?”

For the record, I do not write smut. I like to think my titles have a bit more depth to them, with characters that you can get vested in and picture being your friends, crazy though they may be. I even tackle real life issues like depression and alcoholism (especially in Wreck You).

While that’s not what I write, that doesn’t mean smut has no purpose or value. I, myself, have read it, and it’s often the escape I so desperately need.

Be it romance (which is NOT just formula, by the way, but that’s another topic for another day), science fiction, fantasy, paranormal, historical, it doesn’t matter. We just need to escape reality sometimes, and a good book is the perfect way to do it. Hell, movies work too, but a book will last longer and we all know, that with very few exceptions, the book is better than the movie.

I go home from work exhausted. My job isn’t physically taxing (unless you count sitting in front of a computer all day taxing—which it is to my eyesight and my waistline), but mentally and sometimes emotionally, it’s enough to make me go out of my mind. That’s not to say I hate my job, quite the contrary, but I do have my struggles.

After work, there’s nothing I enjoy much more than falling into a fictional world, be it one I’m writing or reading. In these worlds, anything is possible. Guys have perfect hair, don’t fart, and don’t want a ticker tape parade every time they do something useful. In books, I’m free from the news that just makes me want to grind my teeth to nothing. (And as a former reporter, I read a lot of news. It’s a compulsion.)

When I’m writing, the blank pages ahead of me are limitless. When I’m reading, my mind is going a million miles a minute to piece together the world we’re in and trying to jump ahead of the author to predict where it’s going. It’s not stressing the fact we’re going to hell in a hand basket, the fact we had below zero wind chill earlier this week, or the fact that we’re all going to die.

There are realities about the publishing world that sometimes make me want to throw up my hands in surrender (and I have). But at the end of the day, a good book will always invigorate me back to life. It’s my escape.

In fiction, there is no “fake news”—it’s all fake, and that’s why I love it. It gives me the freedom to set aside the troubles of my life, the stress of what to make for dinner, to ignore my husband. (I love you, honey!)

It’s such a simple thing, really. If there’s anything an introvert like myself needs it’s an escape to somewhere else where I meet new people… all without ever having to get out of my pajama pants or talk to people.

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