nteresting call from mom the other day. As mentioned in the last DOG EAR, I was hunkering down and dealing with the depression of plague politics. But she called and I was in mid-something, so I put it down and talked.
She told me that she’d been sitting around in her own doldrums and saw my novel, Fire and Bronze, under her coffee table. I’ve always seen it there and it’s always given me a little pride. You see, my dad and I had little in common as I grew up. He had been an only child and had done the college fraternity thing in college, going on to Stanford and a masters and eventually the rank of captain in the navy. Me, I’d had siblings enough and had floundered through college with no idea of what I wanted to do (it took me until I was forty until I found what could maybe be a “calling”). I never did the frat thing, actually hanging out with the nerds playing D&D. Bumped around the country before finally sorta growing up when I was twenty-seven. From there, it was all working jobs to live off of (and getting fired) while pursuing my endeavors – a published game, ghost-writing medical articles, a couple of books. Model railroading was our shared lifeline, the only thing that moored my father and I together.
But then I wrote Fire and Bronze. I’ve mentioned this before but it was the time I went to my parents’ house shortly after the book’s release and found a copy sitting on his shelf. That’s when dad told me that he was so very proud of me, to have been able to walk into a real bookstore and there was his son’s real book sitting on the shelf.
So, in the present, ring-ring goes the phone and it’s mom. She told me that she’d picked up their copy of Fire on a whim the other day and read through it again in pretty quick order (faster than I limped through Velocity Weapon, I’ll admit). And she told me how much she enjoyed it, how deep was my historic research and interesting my plot was. So many complements, and even though they come from one’s mother, they still mean something.
And that’s the thing about writing – the recognition that someplace, someone connects with what you are trying to say. It’s the true goal of writers (well, that and royalties). And it came at a good time.
You know, I haven’t read it since I wrote it, way back in 2005 or so. Maybe I’ll put it onto my list, right after Goshawk Squadron.
p.s. As you can see from my reviews, I read it. And even though parents never have ugly children, I really enjoyed it.