A Pat on the Back From Mom

Written By: Timothy Fish Published: 7/12/2007

Mother’s are good for one’s ego. Mine called me on the phone the other day. “I read your book,” she said.

I did not respond immediately. What if she doesn’t like it? I asked myself. Only silence was on the line for a moment then I asked, “So, what did you think?”

“I liked it,” she said. That was a relief. “And it isn’t just because I am your mother. I didn’t want to put it down.”

She went on to tell me that while she was reading it she would forget, at times, that I was the one who had written it and think, “this author is really good.”

As I said before, mothers are good for one’s ego. As much as I would like for everyone who reads my book to think as highly of it, I know that my mother has a biased opinion. I know that she was being honest with me, but she and I have many common opinions, so she will agree with me on things that others will not.

While I am certain that her opinion is biased and while I will not be quoting her on the back of my next book, I still have reason to value my mother’s opinion. My mother is an avid reader and knows a good book when she sees one. If she had found it to be terrible, she would not have told me that it was terrible, but she would not have told me that it was good either. My mother’s comments may have little impact on how many people will choose to read the book, but I believe that I can use her comments to help me to improve future books. I think I know my mother well enough by now to be able to read between the lines of the things she says. I will take those things, alone with what others say, and I will continue to improve my skill as a novelist.