Writing for your family

(Manuscript #1 word count: 69,934 – getting there!)

Last weekend I was talking to my parents on the phone and mentioned that I was working on finishing my book. “You’re reading a book?” Dad asked.

It shouldn’t have been much of a surprise to him, considering I majored in English lit. But Dad’s not a big reader.

So I said, “No, Dad, I’m trying to finish the book I’m writing.” Apparently it was the first time he’d heard of the project I’ve been working on since May. Mom’s known for months.

It made me wonder if I’ve kept from telling him about it because it’s a romance novel. Or, as my friend Amanda said, “Lots and lots of hot NASTY sex!”

When I told my dad it was a romance novel, he was thrilled. I could tell by his voice he was really proud, and it didn’t matter what kind of book I was writing.

I put my latest word count on Facebook, and my 23-year-old boy-cousin said he couldn’t wait to read my manuscript. Huh. The thing is, he’s a fantastic writer. He’s a playwright who’s won awards for his scripts. But how can I share my love scenes with someone who’s like a brother to me? Someone whose diapers I used to change?

So I gave him some terms and conditions:

1. You must promise me to skip certain parts.

2. You must do a reasonable job of convincing me you actually complied with T&C number 1 (above).

3. We must never speak of those parts again.

4. You are not allowed, under any circumstances, to describe or even mention those parts to anyone who shares our DNA.

5. If you do break rule number 4 (above), you must lead said DNA-sharers to believe aforementioned parts are very very clean.

He said he can live by those rules and, as long as I promise to abide by them myself, he’ll send me his latest script – a sex farce.

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