Over the past ten years I have written five full novels, self published one (briefly – you learn a LOT) and have now landed a very nice publishing contract. In all of that time the only ‘works’ of mine that my husband has read have been the notes that I leave him reminding him to put the bin out, feed the dog or buy milk.
Now that I have the kudos of a real contract he has finally decided to read the book that is due to be published this year. I am quite amazed. In the sixteen years we have been together I have never known him read more than one page of ANY book or comment on its quality. He has now reached page 119 and said “It’s really good. I’m surprised”.
Now, you might think that I have just been damned with faint praise. Given the myth that one’s family members will automatically rave about everything their relative does this may imply that the book is pants and he is just being kind to his long suffering wife. Not at all, believe me coming from him this is massive kudos to both the book and me. If he says it’s good I am inclined to believe that it just might be.
No, he’s not a tyrant or an egotist, neither is he unsupportive – quite the opposite in fact. He is a man who leaves for work at stupid o’clock, works like a trojan and who arrives home just in time to eat and collapse. He is scrupulously honest in his opinions and judgments and is a man who does not believe in false flattery. That he took time out of his ridiculously pressured days to read the book is profoundly flattering. That he liked it and said so is gobsmacking. Oh, and the reason he was surprised was not that I am capable of creating a book, it’s because he read 119 pages and was pee’d off that he had to stop and rejoin the real world. That’s good praise, that’s kudos, that’s me thinking that I might just have pulled it off and written something engaging, exciting and entertaining. If I hadn’t, he’d be the first to tell me.
Now he expects my reminder notes to be written with similar flair…