UPDATE 10/29/11 : Heather (commenter #7) was drawn by random.org to receive Brooke Moss' book, The What If Guy. Congrats, Heather! Here's the screencast of the drawing.
Top Ten Things a Man Can Do For His (Author) Wife
First off, let me just say thank you for hosting me on your blog, Brinda! I’m super excited to read your book, The Waiting Booth, and it’s officially on my queue. Squee! I’ve only recently started reading YA fiction, and so help me…I’ve been missing out on a genre that really does rock.
Well, let’s get right down to it. Brinda, we authors are admitted plate spinners. In my life I wear several different hats at a time, none of which seem to fit correctly, as my hair is so d*mn big. I am a wife, a mother, a chauffer, a cook (albeit an unskilled one), a nurse, a laundress, a personal shopper, a therapist, a referee, and—of course—an author of romantic women’s fiction. There are days when I will get vast amounts of my work done, but will look around only to realize that my house still looks like Bosnia. Or days when the house will sparkle and shine like it has been cleaned by a Stepford wife, only to pass by a window or a mirror and catch a glimpse of my haggard, PJ wearing, zit faced, bed headed hotness. I can honestly say that if it weren’t for my husband who is willing to help me out, and hold it all together when my writing muse is calling, I would be a basket case.
Er…well, an even bigger basket case. Let’s be real.
Many men have no idea what to do in order to help their author spouses out. Do they take off their shirts and flex their muscles in front of you, to act as your “inspiration”? Um, no. Do they whisper sweet nothings into your ear and nibble on your neck, in order to “churn up scene ideas?” Um….not that either. And yes, my nerdy husband has tried both. And no, neither of them worked. I mean, he was cute and all, but come on. When it’s time to work, it’s time to work, mmm kay?
If you really want to help me….really want to impress me….really want to get my creative juices flowing and bring my muse out in full effect…and maybe even manage to get some make-out time with me later (And yes, I just said make-out time. I went there.)….then follow these simple instructions, gentlemen:
1.) Leave me alone. If I say it’s time to work, that’s not innuendo for anything else. If I have deadlines haunting my dreams and characters talking in my ears night and day…I need some space to write. I’m sorry. I know that hurts your feelings, but come on. That just means you get the remote all to yourself, so that you can watch Dancing With The Stars, er, I mean, Monday Night Football without interruption.
2.) Deal with the kids. Now, this is a tricky one, because some men interpret this to mean: take care of the kids until one of them craps or starts screaming, then go get mom. This is wrong. This is not how this particular tip should be interpreted. When I say to deal with the kids, it means the good, the bad, the ugly, the gross, the stinky, the foul, the naughty, the downright annoying, and yes, even the terrifying. In my house there is a saying: If mom is in her office writing, don’t bother her unless something major is on fire, or you are bleeding profusely. I don’t want to be bothered about some little toaster fire, or a paper cut. Come and get me if the minivan is engulfed in flames or your sister’s arm has been whacked off with a chainsaw. Otherwise, daddies need to deal with it themselves.
3.) Don’t bring up nookie. Okay, okay, I realize that most of the dudes have now officially tuned me out, but I’m begging you: stay with me. This is sound advice. If I am staring at my laptop with wild, bug eyes, and my fingers are pounding out word after word like I am a crazy lunatic on a mission…don’t suggest I take a twenty-minute break for a “back rub”. Here is why: A.) We both know that the “back rub” thing is a joke. It’s code for getting one’s groove on, and nobody’s back is getting rubbed. And B.) Twenty minutes? Come on. Are we taking a nap, too? ;)
4.) Learn how to cook a few things. So help me…if I have to hear my children complain about dad’s “Cajun style” burgers, or his specialty (toast) one more time, I am going to bang my head on my desktop. Come on, guys. Making a casserole is not tough. You boil noodles or rice, slap it into a dish with some sort of meat—we’re not even picky about what kind—and pour some sort of canned cream soup over the top. If you want to get fancy, grate some cheese on the top. This is not rocket science, though I would have to say that my husband would be more comfortable doing the rocket science than he would making dinner. Find a few recipes and use them, guys. Your woman will love you forever, and might even suggest a…ahem…back rub later.
5.) Buy her some office supplies. This is a special tip that maybe only I can appreciate. But here’s the deal: when my husband buys me things like paperclips or post it notes, it makes me feel like he is excited about my writing career. It’s silly, I know. But every man gets his woman flowers—or at least he should—but what really speaks to an author? Office supplies. Wrap up a ream of paper and some multicolored sticky notes, and I am yours forever. I may even cry…
6.) Never go to bed without saying goodnight. Okay…maybe I’m the only writer out there who works a lot at night, but I loathe it when I look up and realize that it’s 11:30pm and the whole house is quiet because my whole family has gone to bed without saying goodnight. Here’s the dealio: Just because I am busy and don’t want to be disturbed for something as trivial as watching a funny Geico commercial that my husband has paused and insists I come and join him for…doesn’t mean I don’t want to be a part of my family member’s lives. Poke your head in the office, blow me a kiss, and say goodnight. Come on….throw me a bone.
7.) For pete’s sake, read my book! I take real issue with this particular tip. If I ask you to read my work, published or unpublished, do me a favor…and read it. There is nothing more insulting that having a book on Goodreads that has 30+ reviews, but still not knowing what one’s spouse thinks of that book. I know that dudes don’t usually like romance novels, but come on….pick it up. Read it. For heaven’s sake, pretend to read it. You’re going to give me a complex!
8.) Clean up the house. Okay, I understand that MY version of clean differs from YOUR version of clean, but still…a wee bit of effort can speak volumes in “marriage-land”. I realize that your underwear hanging from the bedroom doorknob doesn’t bother you, but it really bothers me—and it also breaks a handful of sanitation rules—so throw them in the hamper. If there is a load of laundry waiting to be folded, don’t step over it for thirteen days straight. Fold them. If there is a stack of cereal bowls stacked so high in the sink that you can’t turn on the ceiling fan, don’t start serving Rice Krispies in coffee mugs. Wash them. If there is some undetermined splatter on the wall that nobody knows who or what it came from, don’t put a chair in front of it. Wash it. Again, dare I say it, doing this may result in the aforementioned “back rub and nap” scenario.
9.) Tell me that you’re proud of me. It takes a lot of heart to write a book. To put your thoughts, feelings, opinions, emotions, and soul into a story, then send it off to agents and editors to be scrutinized. It is a very personal process that requires a thick skin, and it only gets more difficult with time. So take a few seconds to tell me how proud you are of me. Tell me that you’re impressed (even if you’re not.) Tell me that you think I’m the greatest writer that ever lived. Okay, okay, that went to far. But tell me that you’re proud of me. A little bit-o positive reinforcement will go a long way with me.
10.) Never, ever forget how much I love you. There are going to be times when I am a—ahem—less than kind wifey. I yell, stomp, cuss, throw hissy fits, cry unreasonably, and insult your intelligence. These are not my prouder moments. These moments are a source of shame for me. Me no likey these particular moments. But…amidst all of the chaos and tears…and amidst the swear words and unreasonable need for privacy…it is impossible for an author who has never experienced love to articulate it properly in a book. If I didn’t have your love, I wouldn’t be able to express it through my characters. Always know that I love you, quirks and all, just as you love me.
I hope this list of tips will be helpful for all of the husbands and significant others out there. It isn’t very easy to love an author. So help me, we are a borderline schizophrenic society, aren’t we? But if all of the husbands follow these tips, they will be amazed at the results. It’s incredible what a clean kitchen and a fresh box of paper clips will do for a woman.
You never know…it may even result in a “back massage”. *Nudge, nudge, wink, wink*.
What would you do if your “what if” guy showed up at the lowest point of your life?
(Autumn Cole clocked hers with an encyclopedia.)
After losing her job at a swanky Seattle art gallery and finding out her father
has been hospitalized, single mother Autumn Cole reluctantly returns to her
tiny hometown of Fairfield, Washington to put the pieces of her life back
Her disgruntled twelve‐year old son isn’t thrilled about going from hip to
hick, but Autumn’s got it worse. She resumes her role as the daughter of
the town drunk, promptly facing a crisis with her father that’s been decades
in the making.
Running into Henry Tobler, and nearly breaking his nose, is almost more
than she can handle, but can rediscovering love–and herself–with her “whatif” guy teach Autumn to forgive before it’s too late?
Get your copy of The What if Guy at:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Diesel | Books On Board |
Powell's | BAM
You could win one from Brooke! Just leave a comment below and one lucky commenter will be chosen to receive a digital copy of The What If Guy! Winner will be drawn by random.org and notified by 10/29/11.