Wednesday, December 12, 2018

when your biggest fan lives in your house

My youngest, a tween, has fallen in love with Starfire Angels. She keeps asking me questions, even though she's read the Dark Angel Chronicles once before.

Both my girls have read that series and more of my books, but my youngest will reread favorite series many times. Lately, she's acquired a taste for light romances and is probably enjoying that part of the story. She's been enjoying clean romances on Netflix, so now I have a love-story fan.

So, my daughter has been bothering me with all sorts of questions and wanting what's left of the swag I used to giveaway for the series. She's become a total fan, and I don't know how many of them I have anymore, since I quit all but one or two social media platforms. From her perspective, though, she's a fan of her mother's writing, and she says it's weird that she's reading what her mother wrote.

The first time she read the series, I was nervous about what she would think, as I am about anyone reading my work for the first time. Now, not so much. I know she can handle what's in the story and am glad that she can come to me with questions. As a parent, I am glad to know what she's reading and that she thinks it's cool that her mom is the author of something she likes.

I believe that there's something about that name on a book. That author is like some sort of untouchable celebrity, their name ascribed to a work that is admired for its power to take the reader out of their lives. I get that awe and feel like it's cool when I read a good book by an author I know. It takes a lot of work and dedication to write a complete story, edit it, decide on a cover, and publish it. I know that, but it's something more about the story that makes you feel like the author is some deity of words.

My daughter knows the work I put in, but I think she also feels like her mom is like all those other authors she likes, the ones she doesn't see at their computers typing out their ideas every day, the ones who don't lecture her about eating fruits and veggies every day. Those words have a different meaning from me, because it's a side of me that she doesn't ordinarily see. That side of me is someone other than her mother.

I'm glad to share my imagination with the world and especially with my kids. I want them to have something of me after I'm gone. Through my stories, they always will.

And isn't that part of the unconscious desire for kids--that we will somehow be immortalized through our genes? When we do something that benefits others (in this case, escapism), we are immortalized in ideas. To those who have enjoyed my stories, I will live on by having touched them in some way, just as many authors live on in me and whose work has threaded its way into mine.

I'm so blessed to have had the opportunities to leave a legacy for my kids that is more than just being their mother.

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