When I was thirty, I told my mother I was going to write a book. She absently smiled at me and said, “That’s nice, Dear.” I walked off in a huff, knowing she had just dissed me.
When I was forty I told her I was still working on it (I know ten years is a long time) and was going to try to get it published. Again, she gave me that absent, dismissing smile and said, “Well even if no-one ever reads it, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you at least finished it.” Well, the story was a horrific mess and I wasn’t satisfied that I had at least finished it.
Fast forward a year. I discovered paranormal romance. Not only did I enjoy reading them, I loved writing them too. It was around this time I met D’ Ann (on-line). I got great advice from her critiques and she introduced me to the outstanding writers of crit-me. Their advice and crits helped me write a story that I’m very proud of. But I still didn’t get the validation I was looking for.
I got some pitch dates set up and, as excited as a girl going out on her first date, told my mother about it. “Oh, really?” She sounded bored. How much are they going to charge you for that?” I told her I wasn’t getting charged, then I got another brush off.
After pitching and getting a request for a partial, then a full, guess what I did? (Okay maybe I’m a little masochistic.) Told my mom. She wanted to know how much they would charge me to publish my book. This time she pissed me off, but I never let it show. I patiently explained that legit publishers don’t charge you, they pay you. You know what she did? She smiled. And it was genuine. Then she said, “So you've done you’re homework. Good job. I knew you were a good writer, you’ve been a good writer since high school. Now that I know you’re serious, I’ve got three little words for you. Knock ‘em dead.” I had no idea why she assumed I was a great writer present day. She hadn’t read anything I’d written since high school. My father spilled the beans that while I was in Florida, Mom read my whole paranormal manuscript. And she liked it. Now I have my validation.