Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Writing Wednesday: When Your Family Reads Your Books
< ~~~ My sister-in-laws at a recent bookstore signing (and they smuggled in margaritas from the sidewalk cafe next door-yum!)
My kids, nieces and nephews at a book release event at a Chatham book store ~~~~~~~~~ >
But actually reading and reviewing my books?
Sometimes I'm not sure if they've read them... and sometimes maybe I'd rather not know. My mother-in-law recently *borrowed* a copy of my latest anthology release to read my story in the collection.
< ~~~~~~~~~~ "Your book is over there on the desk, underneath some things to hide that racy cover. The kids shouldn't see that."
"Did you read my story already?"
"What did you think?"
"It's very explicit, isn't it. Well written, and I liked learning about the inner workings of the restaurant business and the detective character. But the details were... well, too graphic. Too racy for me."
I don't usually have those problems with my YA books. (duh.) But I also haven't been successful getting my own children to actually read the finished versions, as they read so many drafts and beta-edits along the way. They feel like they *know* the story - why bother reading it now?
My youngest finally agreed (reluctantly) to read the books at work this summer, between boat trips. He just finished DESCENT yesterday, and grudgingly admitted to liking it. Enough so that he packed the second book in his bag when he didn't think there was enough of the first one left to make it through the day. It's cool to hear his take on the characters I've been living with for years like a second family. The ones he likes and doesn't like, what television characters they remind him of. The fact that I write teen dialogue like a grownup trying to write teen dialogue. ("Don't worry though, it's a common problem in fiction." Umm, thanks?)
What do other authors do? Do your kids and spouses and extended family beta read for you? Do they read the finished versions and tell you know what they think? Or do you write under a pen name and never let them see the finished product? How high is your anxiety level when you know a family member is reading something you wrote?
Happy Writing ~ and Reading!