Family Fortnight + Leading up to the International Day of Families on the 15th of May, we bring you the eleventh in a series about mystery writers’ take on families. Settle back and enjoy!
by Melissa Yi
“I finished the Wimpy Kid book and read most of Big Nate to you!” I told my grade one daughter, Anastasia, and my grade five son, Max, in turn. He likes Wimpy Kid too, but he’s finished them already.
“You’re always on your computer.”
“Right. Right. When I’m done, I’ll play with you.”
“But you’re never done!”
This is true. And yet, somehow we manage, much like Melodie Campbell pointed out. Still, there’s a reason that I grabbed Ayelet Waldeman’s book, Bad Mother, and ripped through it. I’d already enjoyed her Mommy Track mysteries, long before I had kids.
On the other hand, there’s this:
Anastasia: I wrote a book!
Me: Wow, that’s really good. I like the first three pages.
Anastasia: Now, you draw one page, Mommy.
Me: Oh, okay. I see it’s all blond girls. Let me draw one with brown skin.
Anastasia: I don’t like people with brown skin.
Me: But that’s us! That means you don’t like us. Clearly, we need to hang around with more brown people. [I draw a brown girl anyway.]
Max: Do you want to sell your book?
Max: I’ll give you 24 cents.
Mixed feelings. On one hand, my kids have learned to make, sell, and buy books. On the other hand, I obviously have to work on race relations and self-love.
“That’s me,” said Max.
But actually, I started writing Hope’s little brother after I graduated from residency, years before I had him. It’s scary how long I’ve take to write these books, since now Max is older than Kevin, who’s turning nine. But he has definitely been incorporated into Kevin. When I was working with Kobo on a promotional campaign, the creative guy said, “I don’t know what eight-year-old boys like,” and I said, “I’ve got you covered.”
“Where’s me?” said Anastasia.
“She doesn’t have a little sister or cousin in this series. Maybe later,” I said.
She nodded. She’s good about stuff like that.
So family and writing has a variable relationship for me. Family cuts into my time, but also inspires my writing and makes my life so much richer and more vibrant.
John Wooden says, “The most important thing in the world is family and love.”
I feel torn about this. For sure, without my family, I could have medical and writing success, and I, personally, would feel empty.
On the other hand, I truly need a room, time, and mental space of my own in order to create.
How do we balance this?
If you don’t know how to use a promo code on Kobo, I made a page here: http://melissayuaninnes.com/how-to-use-a-kobo-promo-code/.
Please note that the code HRemains does not work on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Amazon UK, Amazon international, iTunes, iTunes Canada, B&N, or Google Play, but it’s only 99 cents on all platforms today.
Speaking of human remains, here’s a photo from my Montreal launch at Librairie Bertrand. Someone asked, “How many people here are doctors?”
I said, “Half. Hey, why don’t we get the civilians to lie on the floor and the doctors can pretend to resuscitate them?”
They thought I was nuts, but they’re my friends, so…
Aren’t they awesome?
|Dr. Chryssi Paraskevopoulos with author Day's Lee, who interviewed me here;|
Dr. Ted Wein with author Su J. Sokol; Dr. Melissa Yi with artist Jessica Sarrazin.
Not pictured: Dr. Rob Adams and reader Maria, and artist Jason Jason de Graaf