Clara and Charlie took my books down off the shelf and lined them up chronologically.
I’m not sure why, but Tobi thought it was for his leisure and comfort.
After the books were lined up, they began asking questions.
Which is your favorite?
Which was took the longest to write?
Which one was the hardest to write?
Who did you dedicate each book to?
Which one has sold the most?
How many languages have your books been translated?
Which cover do you like the best?
As they peppered me with questions, I was trying to write. Trying to write my next book. Becoming more and more frustrated with their constant interruptions.
Then Charlie said, “It’s a lot of books, Dad. You did really good.”
Just like that my frustration was gone, replaced by gratitude for how lucky I have been.
How stupid of me to be frustrated for even a second.
I published my first novel, Something Missing back in 2009. Eleven years later, my children – who didn’t exist when I finished writing my first book – are able to line six books across my table and ask questions about them.
When you’re in the weeds, trying like hell to finish a book and another book and another book, you sometimes forget to look back on your past success. You sometimes forget how a dozen years ago years ago, the thought of publishing a single book seemed like an impossible dream.
As it is so often, I needed my kids to remind me that I was acting like a jerk.
So I stopped writing, turned, and answered every question. Even the dumb ones. Smiling the whole time.
Naturally, they left the books on the table for me to clean up.