Oh, my dad.
Here’s why I love him. I was having a shitty day and I thought, “Well, this day can’t get much worse, I might as well call him up and tell him about the book.” And so I did.
And I said that it wasn’t autobiographical, but I was afraid people might take it as such and, well, the main character is raped by her Sunday School teacher and obviously I was not and he interrupted me to say “You have to write about what you know and you know about being a Methodist minister’s kid. Write your story how your story needs to be written.”
And I said, “Yes, but I just don’t want you to read it and think I hated my life” and he said, “What do we care?”
And I laughed in relief.
“We’re old,” he went on. “Your life is your life. Even if you hated it, it’s not our place to try to make you tell it different.”
“Aw, Dad, I love you.”
“Plus, you sound pretty confident we’re going to read it. Not if it’s any longer than your last one!”
And then he told me he was going to send me a story he wrote for me before my brother was born, so when I was one or two, about a little bird who wakes up to discover she’s a girl.
And I laughed and said I hope he’d left more good stuff like that in my subconscious, because I’m hoping to write more books, since I don’t remember that story at all, but here I am writing about girls who change into birds.