Coming out

I used to be a closet writer. Something I kept a secret and only my wife knew about. Then when it became serious enough to consider a career change some people had to find out because there is little point writing books if no one is aware of their existence. When you self-publish you rely on friends and family to start generating some interest and helping spread things on social media.

Well, I say friends and family. I haven’t yet told my family. I know they suspect something is up and I write this in advance of my son’s birthday gathering, at which I can avoid the subject no longer.

Once I get past the initial incredulity of what had possessed me to throw a perfectly good career away for the folly of trying to make it as a full time novelist will come the question that I dread the most. So when can we read your books?

Er, never.

An answer that is going to go down like a lead balloon. How can I convince them that I haven’t had some sort of mid-life crisis based emotional breakdown when I’m not even prepared to try and demonstrate to them that I have the material to make a go of this?

I wrote an earlier blog about swearing (if you haven’t read it please may I recommend it to you. Even if I do say so myself, it represents a strong defence of the need for profanity in the English language, as long as it is used responsibly). The fact is my novels have mature themes that do not sit comfortably with my conservative (small and big C) Catholic background. To put it another way, I nearly vomited with horror when I got a text from my elderly mother to say she and the other ladies from Church were on the bus on their way to watch Fifty Shades of Grey at the cinema because they wanted to see what all the fuss about.

By the time you read this I will have come out but wish me luck anyway. If the encounter isn’t too bruising I may write about it in a future blog.


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