You write a book. Then people read it. Did you know that? Your uncles. Your aunts. Your co-workers. Your oldest friends. Your acquaintances in Scouts, writing classes, and the PTA. They’ll wonder if the people in the book are you. They’ll wonder if you’ve done the things your characters do.
I didn’t think about this while writing my book. I wrote with none of those people there. I wrote the story that came to me. It has it all. Murder. Horror. Abuse. And S-E-X. That’s right.
Sex? Holy Schnikes, I can’t have my dad read my book! He asked me to ship him a copy. I procrastinated, hoping he wouldn’t keep asking me. I’m glad he can’t navigate Amazon. What will I do when I see my dad? Pretend I’m all out of stock. Thank goodness he lives four states away.
Do people look at me differently now? I know they do. One woman from the Scouts told my husband, the CubMaster, “I can’t read sex scenes knowing Donna wrote them!” A genteel lady I know said “Well, they are certainly writing books different these days.”
Would I have written the book differently? In a clean way? Free of dark events, sick minds, and hot nights? I don’t think so. The sequel I’m writing is even grittier and darker. I can’t help myself. It’s what I love to write. And I write it alone. Later, the spotlight will shine and I’ll leave people wondering if I really am as dark as my books are.
Do you write what you love even though you’re embarrassed for people you know to read it? I guess I’ll keep them wondering about who the real me is after they read my book.
But not my dad. I’ll stop him from reading it at all costs. But then he kept asking me for my book. I finally shipped it to him.
I hope it sits on a shelf by the front door for all his friends to see.
I hope it collects dust and the pages get stuck together.
I hope it never gets opened. Ever.