I recently told my mum I’m writing romance. While I don’t hide my writing (anymore), I don’t broadcast it, since I’m living in a very, very small village and I have two kids in kindergarten. I have no idea how people here will react, but it will stir up some waves. Everything does.
A few months ago, I couldn’t even think of coming out of my hiding, but recently, I discovered I don’t care much anymore. If someone has a problem with me writing about love, then THEY have a serious problem. Not me.
Anyway, back to my lesson. My mom comes with my family to Euro Pride Con in June and she has to watch the kids when I go to Southampton for the GLBTQ Fiction Meet. That meant I had to tell her. Also, I’m very proud of my success and I don’t want to hide it from my family.
The talk went like: “Mom, I’m writing.”
“What are you doing? Writing? As in horror?”
“No, as in Romance. (In Germany, we say ‘Liebesroman’, which sounds 100 times worse. I cringe every time I have to use it.)
“You’re using a pen name?”
“Yes. Of course.”
That was it. Nothing bad, but then, I didn’t expect anything else. A couple of days later, she called to request a book. One of mine. And she told me a few times to NOT forget it when I visited her. So, being the good daughter I am, I brought her Small Steps. She gave me a M/F romance instead, so I could see she’s reading that stuff. (Note that I still haven’t told her it’s gay Romance)
So, I pressed my book into her hand and told her (I didn’t think she realized it from the cover) that it’s gay romance. She didn’t even react.
Imagine how short my fingernails were until I heard back. Especially since I saw the book once, with a bookmark just before the fist sex scene. While I’m old enough to do what I want, getting told by your mom she hates your writing or whatever would’ve sucked. She’s very open-minded, but I still didn’t know how she’d react.
Yesterday, I saw her again. She told me she finished, she loved it and she wants to give the book to her friends! AND THEN SHE TOLD ME THERE WAS NOT ENOUGH SEX IN IT! She hated that there were only two sex scenes in there, and the other times, the bedroom door closes.
My own mum. I swear, I couldn’t say anything.
The lessons I learned: I shouldn’t be so nervous about telling people what I’m doing and I should never ask my mum if she thought there is enough sex in a book. She also wants to read another book (Two Ruined Christmas Eves) and since she noticed a typo, I named her to be my proofer from now on.
I love my family. (And if you’re reading this, mum: I love you! You’re the best! I don’t think I’ve told you that in a long time, but it’s the truth. )