First, a little character description.
My mom is five-feet, two-inches tall and mostly round. She smiles – a lot. Her nickname is bubbles. She is a stamping fanatic. And she scares me to the bone. Well, not her exactly, but disappointing her.
So when I started writing, I didn’t tell her. I was too scared that if I never finished it or it never was published, that she’d see me as a failure. When Up a Dry Creek developed into a hot, sexy romantic suspense. Well … I decided to never tell her. After all, our birds and the bees conversation consisted of her telling me, “That’s what sex ed is for at school.”
When I got the acceptance call from Evernight Publishing, I did a happy dance. I told my husband, my friends and my arthritic dogs, but not my mom. She called on the phone that night. We chatted about all the regular things, while inside I was in turmoil. Instead of sharing my excitement about being published, I tucked it away like a dirty little secret. And like all secrets, it hurt to keep.
Every time we spoke, my lie of omission nudged at me. It whispered mean words into my subconscious about the validity of writing spicy romance. Worst of all, it created a distance between my mother and I.
Then, I was lucky enough to go to the Washington Romance Writers retreat. I spent an entire weekend with more than 100 writers. We talked about the process of writing and publishing. We took classes about character development. We drank wine and imagined an M/M/M erotic romance based on the Three Musketeers.
I was free. For the first time in months, my secret didn’t make me feel less than. It wasn’t until I got home that I realized why – because keeping that secret from my mom took a lot of energy and made me feel bad about myself.
So that day I dialed my mom’s number with sweaty palms and a nervous stomach. When I told her that I’d written Up a Dry Creek and that it would be published, she cried. Not because she was upset, but because she was so proud of me.
I’m tearing up typing this because there really isn’t a better feeling in the world that making your mom proud – even when you’re a mom yourself.
11 thoughts on “Coming Out”
Avery, thank you for sharing such a touching moment. I can imagine it’s not any easier writing a heartfelt post like that as compared to bravely coming out to your mom.
Thank you for sharing such a personal part of your life.
It was a crazy thing, but I’m so glad I finally came out.
Ohhhhh, Avery-Mermaid! I just teared up!!! (And damn it, my makeup looked super cute today!)
Speaking as someone who just finished reading “Up a Dry Creek” late last night (thank you very much – I’m super tired today), your mom has sooooo much to be proud of! Smoochies! 😉
So glad you liked it! And I know you, you don’t need makeup to look super cute. 🙂
Avery – you gotta be out and proud! I’m so glad that you shared it with your Mom and I’m not surprised by her reaction – she’s your Mom, right? You’re fantastic, talented, funny, caring, and generous. I presume you got some of that from her – so of course she was proud. It was no less amazing than she raised you to be.
Oh, I’ll have to share this with here. I can hear her saying, “oh you guys” already.
Great story, Avery! I’m so glad you were able to come out to your mom. I think that’s a big step to being proud of yourself — and you have a lot to be proud of. Congratulations.
How could she not be proud? But I know the feeling. I had a difficult time telling my mother I was writing erotica (one of my genres). We’ve always been pretty open about things but sometimes it’s kind of weird. I think it’s great you were able to tell her–especially after having gotten the acceptence of a book contract. It was your validation too–that you could do it. I think your mother would want to share in your joy and happiness.
Congrats to you Sis-Avery.
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