Monday, October 6, 2014

A Loaded Question

My husband returned from golfing on a few Sundays ago and asked sheepishly, “Do you want me to read your book?”

I didn’t answer him right away, instead, I asked who he had been playing with that morning.  Sure enough, of the foursome, two were husbands of friends of mine. They had asked him about the book, it had just released days before.

My husband has never asked to read anything I’ve written, and to be honest I never really wanted him to while I was in the hell that is querying and submitting over the years.  I was getting daily rejections from strangers, I didn’t want to add him into the mix.  I wasn’t keeping my writing a secret. He always knew what I was working on, and I always involved him in the status of the manuscript, whined about agents and the process, and of course indulged him whenever I got news, a request for full or some small encouragement from an agent or publisher. He was part of the process.

Until I wrote a romance.

I told him I was taking a new approach, had an idea for a romance short story that could become a series that I would pitch to smaller, friendlier publishers and skip the whole agent-rejection masochism. “Sounds like a good plan,” he said and left me to write and submit without much  input this time.
I never offered to have him read Reality Re-Do, he never asked.  He celebrated with me when I signed a contract with the extremely friendly and wonderful publisher, The Wild Rose Press, encouraged me through edits and even gave a thumbs up when he saw the cover. He was my first fan.

But he's never read it.

And now, a month later, all of our friends have. 

We were at a small gathering yesterday and my friend’s husband asked my husband what he thought of it.  When he replied he hadn’t read it, he seemed uncomfortable and gave his standard answer, “I don’t know. It’s weird, isn’t it?’
Immature answer or not, this is the question I’m left with – is it weird to have my husband read a romance I wrote? It’s not explicit in any way. It’s  sweet, with ‘behind closed doors’ scenes. Now that he’s asked this loaded question, I don’t know how to answer, “Do you want me to read your book?”
To paraphrase my husband, I’ll pose the question to you – “Is that weird?”

Would love to hear if your spouses read your romances and their reactions.


  1. My husband is my greatest fan. He actually buys a copy of every book I write and tells everyone how brilliant I am. He's never actually read one of my books. I don't need him to. My genre is romance with fantasy. His isn't. Why should I make him suffer. His support is all that matters.

    1. Love it! My husband will be happy to know he has good company. Thanks for chiming in :)

  2. My husband gives me advice during the process regarding cars, guns, farming or anything he has experience with, but he doesn't like to read it until it's released. Yes, he's read everything I've written. He reads romantic suspense, mystery paranormal...etc.
    I saw him take a romance book to work with hi one day and asked if the cover would be embarrassing when his co-workers saw it. He said he didn't care what they thought, it was a well written book.
    I've also had a lot of men at book signings and speaking engagements, so I guess he's not the only one.

  3. My husband reads everything I write. He's an engineer and is like my first "beta reader and editor combined." Not only can he find the mistakes in grammar and punctuation, but he can pick out things that he believes doesn't "sound" right. My biggest problem is that he's so enthusiastic about my books that he carries them around in his truck and "gives" them away. Very costly enthusiasm! :-)

  4. I've published ten books, but my husband hasn't read any of them. I've never asked him to and he's never offered. I think both of us are more comfortable this way!

  5. My husband hasn't read any of my stuff either. He knows the general idea of the stories, assuming he listens as I blather. He's dyslexic and doesn't do well on anything longer than an article. He's waiting for the movies to come out. :)

  6. My husband hasn't read anything of mine, either. But he's not a reader. The only thing he reads is the news section of He doesn't even like romantic comedies. He calls them "Mommy movies." He's supportive. We talk about my writing, the day to tasks, and he's good for telling about the things he's good at (cars, for example, and engines). But he's never asked to read one and I'm okay with that. I don't really expect him to.

  7. I may have to start tallying here! I love the varied responses, thanks!

  8. Hmmm. Peer pressure? Perhaps--but, gosh, if he wants to read it, why not?

  9. My husband doesn't read fiction, so I know it's not just me. I think he felt uncomfortable when his coworkers started buying my books and giving him grief, but I don't care so much. He's always there for me when I need support, that's what matters.

  10. Neither my husband nor my sons - 14 and 19 - have ever shown any interest in reading my books and TBH I feel better that way. I think I'd be really embarrassed if they did. There is a local newspaper that will do a small article on writers and I have resisted the urge to contact them before now because I worry about what might happen to my sons at school if anyone recognises my name, but I've decided I need the publicity, so I'm girding up my loins to contact them.

  11. Thanks for all the comments! I appreciate the insight.