My novel The Sweet Spot is dedicated to my mother, Algerina. I have a good reason to single her out this way My mother, who will be 93 on April 2, inspired me with her love of reading. She has always been a big supporter of my writing.
As soon as The Sweet Spot went live earlier this week, I ordered a paperback for her. It arrived at her home Tuesday. She called me that night to say she had already read three chapters. She complimented my writing. (Thanks, Mom.)
Naturally, she was surprised by the dedication. My mother’s also a humble person.
My mother didn’t grow up with the educational advantages I had. She loved school and wanted to be a nurse, but that was during the Great Depression. She was the daughter of immigrants from Madeira. Her father pulled her out of school to work in the textile mills of New Bedford. She never realized that goal.
When it came to reading, my mother was a great role model. She took us once or twice a week to the Millicent Rogers Library in my hometown of Fairhaven, Massachusetts to stock up on books. During the summer, a bookmobile came to the church parking lot at the bottom of our street, and she would ask me to bring back a stack of books.
She hasn’t stopped reading. She now stocks up on books she finds in yard sales and elsewhere. The eight years I was the editor of The Taos News, I signed her up for a subscription. She used to joke about my editorials, “I wonder what Joan will be mad about this week.”
When I sent her a copy of my first novel, Peace, Love, and You Know What, I did so with a bit of trepidation. While the characters and plot are made up, it is a bit raunchy in parts. (Ask my kids.)
My mother’s reaction? “I’ve read much worse in my romance novels.”
Oh, one last thing, I have made her a character in the novel I am now writing — a mystery set in the hilltowns of Western Massachusetts. She moves in with her daughter and helps her solve the case of a missing woman. I bet she gets a kick out of it.
Thanks, Mom, for your inspiration and your support.
Thank you for your support as well.