And Now a Message from My Mother

I love my mom. Want to know why? She asked me to bring her the newest YA series book I ghostwrote along with the one that came before it (written by someone else, someone who got paid a lot more than I did). I don’t know what I expected my mother to do with these books, but she is actually reading them, books written for 13-year-old girls.

Here’s a voicemail message she left me yesterday:

I just wanted to tell you I’ve been reading your new [YA] book and the other one, and the book that was not written by you is really difficult to read. The language doesn’t make sense, it’s just choppy, and I have a hard time reading it. But when I read yours, it’s like momentum, I feel like I’m moving along, excited, I can’t wait to find out what happens next. And that’s usually what I feel when I read your work. Like I have to slow it down because I want to read it and find out what happens next. Yours is so much better, so much better.

I’m touched.


  1. what a totally fantastic mom. WHAT A TOTALLY FANTASTIC MOM. Be forever grateful. My mom looks at my stuff and says “well, sometimes you seem like you know what you are doing…”
    Good stuff. And I have no doubt your mom is right!

  2. That’s so lovely! This only reinforces the fact that she is an understanding and discerning reader, and that talking to her about your fiction, esp. about the story that’s about to be published, will likely result in an enlightening discussion.

  3. WOW. You do have a totally fantastic mom. Mine would say something like, “Oh, that’s nice.” Your mom really READ your work, and that message! I have to admit, it made me kind of teary.

  4. Yeah, she truly is awesome. She was always the “cool mom” in high school and my friends always wanted me to lend her out. Maybe other writers will want to borrow her now?

    I think she’s one of the biggest reasons I’m a writer now. She always told me I could do anything I wanted. People say that kind of thing a lot, but for some reason, when my mom said it, I believed her.

  5. My Mom, my wife, and my sister-in-law all read the novel I wrote for NaNoWriMo in the last couple of weeks (um, I wrote it in November 2005, but they read it in the last couple of weeks).

    They all had very kind things to say, but I was most touched by the fact that they actually read it. I mean, I wrote something that long and somebody actually got through it? I guess I am echoing mel, here. I felt like their having got through it said more than words could possibly do.

  6. What a wonderful and unusual piece of luck to have a mother who’s such a loving and intelligent reader. My favorite comment from a relative about my writing is this: “Wow. That actually sounds like a real book.”

    Well, yes, in fact, my hope is indeed to write a real book!

    I’m glad you have the mom you do.


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