Thursday, November 18, 2010

I Got the Call... From My Mother

In my local chapter, we had conversed a time or two about letting family members read our own material. Just the thought chilled me to the bone. I had absolutely no intention of letting any blood relative read Highland Savior. My first m/s? My baby? My love scenes? Yikes!

Even though I write historical romance and the scenes are nowhere near as juicy or hot (no pun intended) as erotica, the thought of actually having a close relative read my literary masterpiece... *shiver* was too close to home. Then again, what did I expect would happen when I'm published?

Having one m/s under my belt, I started working on Bewitching a Highland Rogue and tucked away the memory of Highland Savior. So when my mom asked me to send her Highland Savior so she could read the finished product, I did what any daughter would do in the same situation... I dodged. 

She does not read romance novels. She reads everything else. What would she think of her oldest daughter writing romance? She's never read anything I've written. OMG! What would she think of my love scenes? *cringe* As you know, you can only put off your mother for so long. It did not take her long to call my bluff. 

Stammering a bunch of malarkey, I told her my concerns and she waved me off.   

"I will skip over any sex scenes and just read the rest. Besides, they say to write what you know," she chuckles, winking.

Note: Oh, yes. The dh takes pride in admitting he was the test subject for those scenes ;) 


Biting the bullet, I attach the m/s and press 'send.' OMG! What was I thinking? What had I done? She hates romance novels. I guess it's just like any other critique and I would just have to suck it up and pray for the best. I immersed myself in writing and forgot about it--intentionally. Oh, God. I wonder if she's at the part where Ciaran... You get the idea.

My phone rings and imagine my surprise and my speechlessness (which does not occur too often) when intense seriousness greets me on the other end. 

"I just called to tell you that I finished your manuscript and I'm just going to tell you honestly what I thought."

Oh, God. Here it comes. She hated it. Why else would she be so serious? *closing eyes and mentally preparing self*

"Once I got through all of the Scottish crap, it was really good."
Note: Mom hates romance novels and Scottish crap.

Recovering, I wipe my brow. "Really? Did you have any trouble with the dialogue?"
Note: I write with a slight Scottish brogue and throw in the occasional Gaelic.

"No! It was a quick read and I was done in four hours. I didn't have any trouble with it. I am not lying to you when I say that I could not put it down. I just had to finish it and know what happened. You tell a really good story. I enjoyed it and I was really impressed. You didn't preach to me or try to teach me a lesson and just entertained me. I even read the sex scenes and thought they were fine. I didn't even have to skip over them."

I had to admit, that was certainly a welcome shock. I guess when it comes down to it, a story is a story regardless of genre. Does it entertain? Romance or not. There's your proof. 

What about you? Do you let your family read your material and what do they think?


  1. Congratulations, Victoria, on the great review from the toughest critic you'll ever have...your mother. Even when grown, we're perpetual children when it comes to seeking our parent's approval. LOL! I especially like the part about the "Scottish crap". To me, that's like saying you don't like the frosting on the cake. Does the poor woman have no idea that the "Scottish" is the best part? :-) Well done! And when I buy a copy of your wondrous tale, I want an autograph!

  2. My mom reads almost everything I write and aside from the occasional grammar issue (spelling, typos, etc..) she says she always loves everything (even the crap). So I have to depend on my critique partner to give me the real goods. I will say, mom does not read my erotic romance and does not want to. So, I get all the cringing about the sex scenes. In the erotic romance, mom says she doesn't want to know what's squirreling away in my brain on that front (LOL). But, I can understand being hesitant to share with those closest to us as their comments (good or bad) are the ones that really carry meaning. All the strangers in the world can love or hate waht we do and we have to learn to take it with a grain of salt, but to hear it from our moms could be really painful (or joyful - in your case). Glad it was a good experience.

  3. How can ye nay like the Scottish Highlanders, aye?

  4. My mom doesn't read romance and would not like my romantic suspense stories. (I think she'd say there was too much sex getting in the way of the story- which is funny since my RS are not that hot.) So, I never share.

    Now, my sister-in-law has read and loved my stories.

  5. Since I love all things Scottish, I must get your books. I mean, if your Mother liked it... :)

    My parents are gone now, but they both did read my first story way before I perfected the craft to the point where I am now. I did hold my breath, but got approval. My Dad even several years later asked to read it again. My hubby has not read any of it, nor my daughter. But I will say she is my sounding board and plot helper. I think she is afraid she will see herself - and, she is right. :)

    Loved your blog a lot.

  6. Victoria, I've never been to your blog; it's beautiful! Your stories sound wonderful. My mom doesn't read romance.

  7. Great post!

    Yay! Good for you! From my own experience I can tell you mom's can be brutal. LOL Mine is my first reader on all my sweet to light erotic works. She loves my werewolves but skims the demon sex. LOL So you are doing great to only have the crit on the "Scottish crap".

    As for "Note: Oh, yes. The dh takes pride in admitting he was the test subject for those scenes ;)" That made me laugh out loud. My hubby used to openly brag about this too. But all that changed once I started writing m/m stories. *wicked grin*

  8. I wish my mother was alive to read my stories! I doubt she'd ever tell me she liked them, but she'd tell everyone else they were wonderful. Glad you got the big OK from yours, Victoria!

  9. Yay for the Highlanders! The Scottish crap is the best part for sure! My mom doesn't read my stuff, but my husband does. I guess it helps when a family member gives their input. Great post!