I just recently published my first book, Christmas Magic. I didn’t tell my mom ahead of time. I don’t really know why, other than I guess I just didn’t want questions about when it would happen, why it was taking so long, etc. So the first time she heard about it was when she saw my announcement on Facebook. When I spoke to her on the phone a day later, it was question after question after question about how it all worked. Of course, first she assumed it had been picked up by a big publisher. I had to explain that no, I had self-published. Her reaction to that wasn’t surprising. “Oh.” It was like a thud, like, “Oh, so it’s not REALLY published?” No, it really is. I explained that it’s really up on Amazon, that no, you can really buy it! I swear! “How in the world do you do that on your own?” I took her step by step through the process (in generalizations because that was complicated enough), and I listened as she grew more and more excited and sounded in awe. You’d have thought I’d written a best-seller. In fact, she asked about that. “If it’s popular enough, will someone come in and want to make it into a movie?” No, Mom, it’s not even 10,000 words. No one’s going to make it into a movie. “Oh.” She sounded particularly sad about that, which was both sweet and amusing. But she promised to buy a copy (or two so she can give one to a friend, she said), and that thrills me.
My mom’s always pushed us (my brother, sister, and me) to be the best we can be, so her support and enthusiasm didn’t surprise me. I did love surprising her with it. I’ve been writing for years now, although it’s always been fan fiction and original stories that have never gone anywhere. But I guess she assumed it was just a hobby and I would never take it further than that–which, I guess, is fair, since I didn’t really either. So it was fun being able to show her that I’d accomplished something unexpected.
My in-laws have been really supportive too, although they were just as surprised. My sister-in-law shared my Facebook post. My mother-in-law commented and said congratulations. I have no idea if either of them will read the book or even if they plan to buy it. But if they do, I hope they enjoy it. (Thankfully there’s not a lot of sex in that story… I’m not sure I could look them in the eye again if there was and they read it!)
And most importantly, my husband and I have done an okay job of being parents, because my son’s been one of my biggest cheerleaders throughout this process. When I told him it was up and showed it to him on Amazon, he said, “Nice! Good job, Mom!” He’s asked me several times, “How many pre-orders now?” and then replying, “Wow, that’s awesome!” when I give him a number that is rising slowly but surely. But he has no interest in reading it, thank goodness, because there IS sex in it, and I KNOW I couldn’t sit down with him at the dinner table if he’d read something like that which I’D written! The mother- and sister-in-law are bad enough… My almost 18-year-old son? No, thank you. It’s enough to know he’s proud of me.