Fall is a busy time—back to school and all that. For me autumn has always been the season when my books came out and I started new projects. This year I’m way behind.
I’m in the middle of one novel that I never intended to write that is going great but keeping me from starting a trilogy that I told myself I would begin last week. At present, however, I can’t do either because I’m working on edits for two other novels I wrote last year and writing a short story already overdue for an anthology.
My wife has suggested that I just write 24/7, but I actually do need sleep.
This blog falls into the something’s-gotta-give category. Still I have to relate something that recently occurred…
When it comes to reading, my son is worse than my daughter ever was. He hates reading, always has. At sixteen, he’d only read what he was forced to at school. At seventeen I managed to get him into the Rick Riordan’s The Lightning Thief, and he read the whole series. Score one for me and Rick.
I never even tried to get him to read my books.
For his birthday recently, we got him a Nexus 7 in the hopes of using gadgetry to spur reading. I told him he could buy any books he wanted using my account and I’d pay for them. This was all wishful thinking on my part. I knew he’d use the new device to play games, or for email.
But then something surprising happened.
A few years ago I drove my son and friends to a movie and learned one of the boys—one of my sons friends—had read my books and loved them. He was giddy to meet me, he was also clearly ostracized by the others for his geekish behavior. As my son has gotten older his circle of friends has begun to include girls. Young women have started visiting the house along with his old boy’s network. And then it happened. While on our summer vacation I noticed my son was spending a lot of time on his new Nexus 7. I asked what he was doing with it, and he replied… “Reading.”
I was shocked.
“What are you reading.”
“Theft of Swords.”
I was confused to the point of almost mentioning what a coincidence that was given I wrote a book by the same title. Then I realized—he was reading my book. Like a perfectly built card-house I backed away slowly so as not to disturb anything.
Not long after he came to my wife to ask if he could get the second book on the Nexus 7. I found this funny as all get out, since our house is packed with copies of my books in every form and language imaginable. You can’t walk into any room and not find ten or twenty on shelves, in boxes, or on tables. But he wanted it on his new device, so sure, why not—anything to get him to read. And he was reading my books!
So I had to admit I was proud that my writing had managed to penetrate that resistance to reading that my son had so carefully constructed. After so long, the series that I created to help interest my daughter in a love of words, but came too late to help her, had done the trick with my even more stubborn son. It only took six years, over 200,000 sales, releases in 14 different languages, and a Nexus 7 to get him to read them, but I wasn’t going to complain. I had achieved the impossible. I had gotten my son to like books.
Then I discovered the real reason.
Okay maybe it isn’t the real reason, maybe I’m wrong, this is only speculation after all. Still I found it suspicious when I recently discovered the two new inductees into the old boy friend’s network, the young ladies, were also fans of my books. When, as a teenager, a friend likes your dad’s novels, he’s a geek. When a girl likes them…that’s a whole different argument.
I’m still marking this as a point for Royce and Hadrian.