“My Mom Writes Inappropriate Books.”

It’s late April in New England, the kind of Saturday afternoon that makes you glad to be alive. Felix has a friend over, and they are out in the backyard pummeling one another with Nerf foam swords and sending the kickball over the fence into the neighbors’ yard. As first grade boys are wont to do.

Damselfly Inn has been out for ten days or so, and I’m working on emails and other book promoting things at my computer when the boys crash inside looking for snacks. I set them up at the kitchen table with Goldfish crackers and apple cider, and keep working. My writing desk is right there, so I can supervise and occasionally join in the conversation.

“Mama,” says Felix, “can you get the ball from the neighbors’ yard?”

“In a minute. I need to finish up this email, then I can walk around and get it. Is it in the side one or the back one?” (We are surrounded on three sides by other homes, and to get to them, you have to go around by the busy street because of fences.)

“The back one.”

“What are you doing?” asks Felix’s friend.

“Writing emails about my new book,” I say. “Just some business stuff.”

“My mom writes inappropriate books,” says my son. His friend’s eyes go wide.

“Well, Felix, that’s not exactly true.” I can just imagine how this turns into playground telephone, and suddenly I am the porn writing parent at PTO events.

“Yes, it is.” He is gearing up to make a case. I can see it in his posture. “I tried to read it one time when you were working and you told me it wasn’t for kids. It’s inappropriate.”

His friend is still bug-eyed.

“Okay, yes. Most of my books are not for kids to read. But they are perfectly appropriate for grown-ups, which is who they are intended for.”

He shakes his head at me in resignation, pushes his chair out and says to his friend, “Inappropriate. Are you done? Let’s go back outside.”

What else, besides going around the fence to retrieve the lost kickball, is a romance-writing mom to do?

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17 thoughts on ““My Mom Writes Inappropriate Books.”

  1. Lol! Nail on the head, kiddo. 🙂

    Once my son told his friend during a play date lunch – with not inconsiderable pride – that his Mom only lets him have alcohol once in a while. He then took a delicate sip of the half can of coke he was sharing with his friend and exhaled ‘aaah!’ like the connoisseur he’d like to think he was. Poor Nick was gaping at his half-cup of coke and whispering ‘Coke is alcohol?!’ when I rushed in to clarify that rare treats don’t automatically qualify as alcohol. My just reward for answering honestly when quizzed about the gin-n-tonic i was caught sipping one Sunday afternoon.

  2. Oh Felix! The kid kills me.

    I have to admit that I look at my collection of romance novels adorning my living room in a slightly “uh-oh” light since J has started to read. I remember sneaking into my mom’s room and snagging her Silhouettes from a box when I wasn’t much older than him.

    1. It was my mom’s Judith Krantz and Danielle Steele hardcovers for me. Zoya, anyone? If he pulls one down and gets into it, at least it’s a teaching moment? About expectations and relationships and … euphemism? 😉

    1. He is a hoot, Eden. No doubt about that.

      I only recently “came out” as an author in the elementary school parent circles. It’s been kind of fun, and the way my little chatterbox goes on, I’m sure I *will* have a reputation before too long!

  3. Any publicity is good publicity! May you be the talk of the town, whispered about at PTA meetings, and widely purchased as people earnestly turn through the pages to find the inappropriate bits (and fall in love with your writing all the while.)

  4. Oh, it’s not bad… not really. It’s funny. As Ange says, any publicity… I’m just (wait for it…) a little shy in crowds, and super conscious of how people see me. I would always prefer to control the spin, but heaven knows you can’t. So, onward I go, “inappropriate” books and all.

  5. I like it…and I think it’s funny, a hook, a reason to giggle.

    Keep writing, inappropriately and all, I’m here reading. (And I imagine Felix and my Jacob will be too eventually 😉 )

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