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Wednesday, February 17, 2016
Well, This Is Awkward
I know my kids aren't going to have normal views on publishing. My younger two have never been alive when Mommy wasn't a published author. SEVENTY came out a few months before Bug appeared on the scene, and for most of my youngest's life I've been working on the story of Sam Rose.
But I never let my kids read my books.
They aren't kids books. They aren't written for toddlers. There's no pictures. And, really, I never figured my kids would be all that interested in Dr. Charm and Co. My kids are as unromantic as their mother, and I'm okay with that.
But last fall Eldest was out of books to read and she decided to raid my ARC shelf. I have a bunch of advanced copies and autographed copies proudly displayed in my living room. Most are several years old and you've probably read them (but I did get an early copy of STAKED by Kevin Hearne this year which made me ridiculously happy). They were all parent-approved, so I let my kid read through the OF TRITON/Syrena Legacy series by Anna Banks. The works of Shannon Hale and Ally Carter were dispatched with. The entire MAZE RUNNER series was devoured over a weekend when my eldest child vanished and then reappeared giggling maniacally.
And then Eldest held up THE DAY BEFORE. "Mom, can I read this?"
There was one scene I told her not to read (the one with the sand dreams and lace undies), and I let her have the book. I figured it wouldn't interest her too much. Sam and Mac are older, they're pretty dull when compared to the Gladers and mermaids, and I know it doesn't have enough action scenes to have entertained a 13-year-old Liana.
Eldest read it over the course of the week, wrote a report on it (which was another awkward experience), and that seemed to be the end of the matter.
Until CONVERGENCE POINT came out. The early copies showed up at my house at the end of December and Eldest appeared like a starving vulture. "Is this book two?"
"Yes..." Before I could offer any warnings she vanished with my newest novel. And returned to yell at me.
"Mom! Why didn't they do this? Why didn't Sam to XYZ?!?!?!"
It's like the review section of Goodreads was invited to the dinner table!
And it gets worse.
I'm currently working on the first draft of DECOHERENCE (due out September 13th), and Eldest has been sneaking in. I'm writing key scenes and then notice the sounds of a teenager trying to hold her breath. I turn, and lo and behold, there is my child. Reading over my shoulder as I type, eyes wide, hand over her mouth as if she's just trying to hold back and tell me what not to write.
I thought having a friend across town reading the books was bad. She's a non-writer, but a heavy Ma'am (Mac and Sam) shipper. While I was working on CONVERGENCE POINT she threatened to kidnap my kids (or, you know, babysit them for a weekend) if I'd just tell her if her ship survived.
... she still throws shade every time she remembers how CONVERGENCE POINT ended.
And now she's got my kid doing it too!
I'm surrounded! I'm going to need to start writing in a bunker with the wifi turned off and the curtains closed if I want to keep the ending a secret!
But, between you, me, and the squirrel taking notes from the back patio... I kind of love being able to share my books with my daughter. It's fun when you can introduce people you love to the imaginary friends who take up so much of your day. She may find out the ending before my editor, but this is fun, and I look forward to when my other kids are old enough to read my books.
And I hope you get the chance to share your stories with someone you love one day. It's worth it.