It’s always hard to predict how people will react—no matter how close the relationship. I avoided telling my parents about being published until I couldn’t hide it any longer. Mom has a tax filing business and I always use it to file my taxes myself. So I was in the “office” and filing my 1099 and of course it raised questions. Mom and dad were both in the room so I meekly explained I got a romance story published. Mom assumed Harlequin type. I didn’t correct that assumption until it was released and I explained why I prefer if my parents did not read my book. Again, they surprised me by understanding but still remaining supportive.
Now the reason I’ve kept my author-self a secret from the few who are required to love you (so I’ve been told) is part silliness from me and part history. Mom used to be openly against gays, but I think years of my sister and me arguing with her changed her mind. Dad isn’t one to express opinion one way or the other so I always assumed he was in mom’s court. But neither was alright with sex discussed openly. I guess the love of their daughter outweighs anything else.
Mom has bragged about my accomplishment to other relatives. I’ve never believed I would be bragged about. My sister is an artist and has been in the spotlight of brags since I was in junior high. I always thought it was cool I was related to her and her talent but never expected to be in that spotlight too. Any now my mom can brag about both her kids. Lucky mom.
Dad called me yesterday after I told mom I have a second book due out now and said we’re going out to dinner to celebrate. I went from being terrified of them learning about Hayley B. James to telling mom 30 minutes after receiving the contract and then going to dinner with the family to celebrate. It’s all very strange to me, but I hope this will become routine.
Now I’m not afraid to tell any family member about my penname! Except the grandparents...they’re old school. It was hard enough to break it to them that their granddaughter is pro-police and took a citizen police course...That was a stressful breakfast.