So this made the "So what's new with you?" conversations REALLY fun.
Guy Cousin R (Late 30s, good friend of Brother #2):
Me: Well, I'm moving to Chicago. No, not for a library job, I'm quitting my library job and I'll be writing full time.
R: Oh, wow! What do you write?
Me (having considered the simplest way to explain this without encouraging anyone to actually read them): Trashy romance novels, self-published on Amazon.
R (grinning, entertained): So, smut?
Me: Yeah, pretty much. It's surprisingly lucrative!
Uncle D (R's stepfather, who married my aunt when I was a teenager):
Uncle D: Hey, come here! (Tows me into the hall; this is to my knowledge possibly the second actual conversation I have ever had just with him.) I hear you're a writer!
Me: Uh, yeah, as a hobby for a long time, and I just started self-publishing last year.
Uncle D: That is so great! I had no idea you were a writer, I've never known a writer before!
Me: (Briefly contemplates the fact that Uncle D is himself a working artist and the only creative professional I knew of when I was a kid, and when I was in grade school I interviewed him for a "what I want to be when I grow up" report because 'artist' was the closest I could get to 'writer' and maybe I should tell him all of that. Total fail in the face of his slightly terrifying earnest enthusiasm.)
Uncle D: So where is your stuff, how can I buy it?
Me: Uh, well, it's on Amazon, but it's... romance...
Uncle D: Oh, wow! How does that work?
Me: (Starts to explain the mechanics of self-publishing)
Uncle D: Oh, so you don't go through a publisher or anything? Wow, I had no idea that was possible! You know, that's how that Martian guy got started--
Me: YES, ISN'T THE MARTIAN GREAT? LET'S TALK ABOUT THE MARTIAN
Uncle D (After we have exhausted the topic of The Martian and how great it is): So you really don't want me to read your stuff?
Me: It's, uh, it's just not your genre. But with writing full time, maybe I'll be able to also write some stuff that would be a little more... mainstream.
Uncle D: Yeah! Let me know! That's so great!
Me: (finally flees to bathroom)
Cousin J (Early 40s, engineer married to an engineer, mother of three):
Me: ("moving to Chicago" "writing full time" "trashy romances")
Cousin J: Wow, that's cool! You know, K (her 11-year-old daughter) likes to write. She wrote this whole thing in notebooks and she's just started typing it up, and--I don't know anything, it's, uh--it's called--
Me: (Aww, K writes fanfic that's adorable)
Cousin J: Fanfiction? Is that...?
Me: Yeah, yeah, I've written my fair share of that. (Trying to think of what fandom is probably big with tweens) Is there are thing she writes it about?
Cousin J: Harry Potter...?
Me: Yep, yeah, there's a lot of that.
Cousin J: And there's something else... Hey, K! (Beckons 11-year-old over to us) Hey, Cousin Dira writes books, and I was just telling her you do too.
K: I don't write books.
Me: No, no, fanfic.
K: (blank look, then) Fan fiction.
Cousin J (still cheerfully enthusiastic): Yeah, you have that thing you write--you showed me that website where you upload--
Me: (Aww, I hope K's on the AO3 and not...)
K: fanfiction dot net.
Me: (Oh, kids. Bless.)
Brother #2 (in the car on the way to the actual funeral):
Me: ...So there's no cover art or anything yet, but the vampire book is coming out July 20. The ebook is actually available for pre-order, but the paperback isn't yet.
Brother #2: Well, I don't think I'm gonna read it, but I'll definitely buy a copy and display it proudly.
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