This is a bit of a story. Are you sitting comfortably? Then I shall begin.
We all have old family friends. You know the ones....friends of your parents that have been around way before you were born. They have always been there, like friendly aunts and uncles. I know you all have a picture of at least one person in your head right now. Mine are called Anne and David and they are awesome. Really genuinely nice people and fun. David once took my brother up on a brag he made when he was about ten that he could eat five cornettos in a row. He even bought them for him!
When Jarred Dreams was published Anne and David sent me a card of congratulations but despite having grandchildren they didn't buy a copy. I was disappointed, but thought 'well, that is kind of how it goes sometimes and the card was a nice thought'. Then, my mum told me that the reason they didn't buy one was because they have grandsons and my protagonist is a girl. I was upset.
I shared my feelings with some of the SCBWI members and somebody suggested sending them a book anyway. I've just sent it, with a card and this is what I wrote (roughly - can't remember it exactly word for word)
Dear Anne and David,
Thank you for the card. You may be wondering why I have sent you a copy of Jarred Dreams when you haven't ordered one. Well....
When you didn't buy a book I was disappointed but when I found out the reason you didn't I was very upset. Why?
1. This is a hugely competitive business and I am reliant and grateful to the support I get from friends and family.
2. Boys are loving the book.
3. General feminist principles.
4. Boys who refuse or are reluctant to read books with strong female characters are exactly the boys who should be reading them.
5. A good book is a good book no matter who it it's audience is (I actually stole this line from someone else!)
THEN I added:
This is NOT a free book, it is a tester, read it to your grandsons, if you and they don't like it, return it, otherwise you can send me a cheque for £6.99.
Then I finished off with some nice bits which might have been seen as a suck up, but were genuinely well meant.
What do you all think of that then?!
Just very me?
hope they have a good laugh about it and I haven't just ended the longest friendship of all time...oh dear....sent it now....now turning back!
Thing is, I'm always telling my girls to challenge behaviour they don't like otherwise attitudes never change, so I wouldn't be much of a mother if I let that one pass me by without doing anything.
I will let you know what happens next.....gulp.
Welcome to my blog, a place where you can keep up to date with what I am up to.