This past Christmas Eve, as my family gathered around the Christmas tree after eating way too much Middle Eastern food (which has become a Christmas Eve tradition among my Italian-American family…garlic, yum), I finally broke the news to everyone that I was going to be self-publishing my first book in 2020.
Talking about doing so, especially with close family, is a lot different than writing about it to a bunch of strangers. Strangers don’t ask many questions, if any at all. Strangers take information in and then they continue scrolling through their social media feeds. Family on the other hand, they want to know things. While I was excited to make the announcement to my wife, children, parents, and the rest of my loved ones, I was still apprehensive.
I figured the best way to get it over with was to tell them the truth: I had to tell them the story about how the book came to be.
I told them that in the previous spring I met someone special online. And then that special person and I started to develop a relationship. It was fast-paced and exciting at first, but then naturally slowed enough to where we began growing comfortable with each other. Then I hit my family with the big news: that about nine months after meeting this person, he and I were having a baby (I admit my wife knew about the book and played along well, she had this serious look on her face and she just kept nodding in agreement to what I was saying, which was hard for everyone else to figure out if she was excited or disappointed with what I was sharing).
I got raised eyebrows from my family members. I got questions about who the person was and what exactly I was talking about, which worked well to avoid questions about my writing and about the book.
The only logical thing to do next was to tell them that I had a picture of the ultrasound. I handed my mom an envelope. She hesitated to open it, even trembling a little, afraid to view the contents. Inside the envelope, though, was a print out of the book’s cover and the first page of the story.
They were happy for me. As was expected and as it should be. I then answered their questions about the book as best I could, and about the very special someone I met online, Taylor Graham. Taylor was amazing to work with and his beautiful art has brought on a bigger life for Flora FIgglesworth and her adventure than I ever thought was possible.
Now that my family knows about the book, I hope they buy it.