by Kathryn Miller Haines
May has been a month of waiting for me. I’m waiting for my book to come out. I’m waiting for my agent to read and respond to the new book I sent him. I’m waiting for my editor to send me my revision letter for my second mystery.
And I’m waiting for June 6th. That’s my tenth anniversary. While Nancy Martin gets a trip to Venice for her anniversary, I get five days in Tucson, Arizona. The destination was chosen because that’s where TapeOp Magazine (which my other half writes for) is having their conference. Yes, I’m going to a music industry conference for my anniversary. But while you may see a marriage in swift decline, I see a luxury hotel with a swimming pool, lots of mojitos, and a new band every night we’re there. And desert air free of allergens. I miss breathing.
I’m also going to be one of the only women there. It’ll be like being the prettiest girl at the monastery.
I’ve been getting pretty misty-eyed lately thinking about our anniversary. We married when we were mere zygotes and have done a lot of growing up together (and, judging from my recent attempts to squeeze into my wedding dress, a substantial amount of growing out). I’ve heard a lot of horror stories about writers with unsupportive spouses and I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to get up and write everyday knowing that the person you chose to share your life with resents what you do. We face enough rejection in this business without having to face it at home.
My husband is a voracious reader, but his books of choice are fantasy. He’s a big believer that my fiction would be better if I included a dragon or a troll in the story (and given the current popularity of cross-genre stuff, he might be on to something). Yet despite my stubborn refusal to write the kind of book he’d most enjoy reading, he’s been my biggest supporter over the years, reading drafts, helping me parse rejection letters, encouraging me to get over myself and start writing again. And holding me when I needed to let it all out and cry.
I’ll never forget the day the man who would be my agent called me. My husband and I were…er…in flagrante (which just goes to show you that that call really does come when you least expect it). We had neglected to turn the phone off and as it began to ring, we glanced at the caller ID. My husband asked who Trident Media Group was. I replied it was a literary agency and my husband immediately screamed for me to answer it. I didn’t do so fast enough, but rather than returning to our previously scheduled activity my husband demanded that I call the agency back RIGHT THEN. That, my friends, is love.
When The War Against Miss Winter sold, however, he greeted the news with much more muted enthusiasm that I would’ve expected. Oh, there were flowers and a lovely bottle of wine, but I expected him to be as gob smacked by the news as I was. Unable to stand it, I finally asked him why he wasn’t hopping up and down. Wasn’t this unbelievable?! Wasn’t he excited?!
Of course I’m excited, he told me. I’m just not surprised. I always knew you’d eventually be published. I just didn’t know when.
So who are your biggest supporters?