A couple of weeks ago, I did one of the scariest things I have ever done in my life. Obviously, it was far less scary than the Scariest Thing Of All, which was bringing my tiny Tiger into the world, but it was still pretty gosh-darn terrifying.
I gave my dad my novel to read.
Now, this might not seem like such a big deal, but it was a decision I deliberated over for at least a week, weighing up the pros and cons, before finally accepting his kind offer to read my manuscript.
You might ask why I was so nervous. After all, my dad has read all of my previously published novels. But this is different. For one thing, it’s my first Grown Up novel (i.e. one not featuring a teen protagonist, or aimed at the teen market). And, also, my dad read my other books after they’d been through the magical editing process with Very Clever Editors. This book is, for the moment, only me. Nobody has edited it or polished it. It’s rough. It’s raw, and …
I want, so badly, for him to like it. More than the manuscript assessor. More than my crit group (though, Ben and Nansi, I can’t wait to hear what you think, too). Maybe even more than a publisher. My dad, very kindly, with the small amount of free time he has now, in between his own writing and photography, offered to read my book and I’m desperate to hear what he thinks. Because my dad is one of the two best-read people I know (the other one being my mother, but her specialty is picture books), and I value his opinion so highly. But also because I know he’ll be honest and constructive and his thoughts will help me turn this manuscript into the polished book I know it can be.
So I wait. And he gives me updates and, so far, he likes it.
But he’s only halfway through. And I did write a character who hates walnuts as much as he does.
So we’ll see. In the meantime, thank you, Dad, for offering. And, if you hate the rest of it, please at least buy me some gluten-free cookies, to ease the pain!
Nb. Just as a side issue, never type “scary” into Google Images. Never. Do. It. Thatisall.