On Thanksgiving of 2012, I decided to self-publish my novel and here was how I announced the news to my parents:
"I self-published my Medusa novel. It's called Medusa's Desire, but you're not allowed to read it."
It was similar to what I said when I created a blog, a twitter, and a facebook.
"Guess what? I have thousands of followers on twitter, but you're not allowed to read anything I tweet."
I made my mother promise that she wouldn't allow my Dad to read my novel. My Mom and I have had honest discussions about sex, so it wasn't as bad if she read it as if my Dad read it. Although I was pretty sure I would die if she did because guaranteed, she would come up to me later and say something humiliating about it. She might even start mentioning a scene over and over again in public places just to embarrass me because she thinks its funny.
Like,"Haha! Remember when Perseus and Medusa fooled around under that table?"
And then I'd die a little inside.
The reason I don't want my parents to read the stuff I write is because I would start censoring myself and not being true to my writing style if I felt they might read the things I wrote.
But still, my Dad is so proud of me that he monitors my book's page on Amazon every day. He checks it more than I do! He always knows when I have a new review. He even looks at my ranking. Sometimes he comes up to me and says,"You just sold a book today, didn't you?" And he's always right about it.
The day I got my first one star review, I was fine. I read it and felt like I could sympathize with the reviewers points. I had prepared for awhile for my first one-star review and it really wasn't that bad.
But then I thought about it for a moment and remembered that my Dad reads all my reviews. He's always bragging when I get a five-star or four-star review to me the next day. So how is he going to handle it when I get a one-star review? I panicked.
I think for many authors when they get their first one-star review, they seek out comfort for themselves. I immediately wanted to find my Dad instead and make him feel better.
"Dad! Dad!" I shouted when I found him.
He looked kind of confused. "What?"
"I got a one-star review. Did you read it?"
"Are you okay?"
"Yes, but only because I read that post on your blog that you wrote about how you were okay with receiving one star reviews. You're right. Without one star reviews, the reviews on Amazon aren't balanced."
That post is located here.
At first I was relieved, my Dad was okay and wasn't upset about my one-star review. But then realization hit me and I crossed my arms. "Dad! Are you reading my blog? You know you aren't allowed to!"
"I only read that one post, I swear!"
I eyed him skeptically and I'm still a bit skeptical about it, but I decided that I have to stay true to myself as a writer regardless and still write blog posts uncensored.
But being a writer and dealing with your parents definitely complicates things.