Clara read “Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend.” The first of my books that she’s ever read.
She read the novel in one sitting. Less than three hours in total. Honestly, we didn’t think she had actually read it. It’s about 320 pages and written for adults, so under three hours in one sitting seemed a little implausible. But when Elysha asked her about the book, she knew everything.
Characters. Plot. Everything.
Elysha asked her about the book because Clara couldn’t talk to me about it. The ending of the book was so sad that she couldn’t bring herself to discuss it with me.
I think she was angry with me. Angry about how I had chosen to end the book. Angry about the fate of the characters.
A day later, I finally managed to get her to talk to me, and I explained that I, too, cried while writing the end of the book.
I also told her that as crazy as it sounds, I have very little control over what happens in my novels. I just keep my fingers moving across the screen, and the story reveals itself to me.
Once she discovered that her father wasn’t maniacally pleased with the ending of the novel and that I, too, was devastated by the ending, she was much more willing to discuss the story with me.
It’s funny. When she thought that I was the cold, calculating architect of the story, she was upset with me. When she discovered that I experience the writing of novels in a way very similar to how a reader experiences the reading of the book, she was much happier with me.
I guess that no one wants to imagine their father as some kind of monster, throwing hand grenades into their fictional worlds for the sake of the explosion.
I’m still waiting for her to pick up another one of my books. I think it’ll be a while.