Morning peeps. While I don't normally talk a whole bunch about my family life on here, I wear many hats and one of them is mother. Yep, I'm the totally clueless (according to my kids) mother of three kids: ages 9, 10, and 16. And like any child out there my kids have no filters when it comes to my job as an erotic author. Someone asks, "What does your mom do?" and they spill. Typical kids. (No why can't they do this when I ask them if they have homework? *sigh*) Anyway, since I have kids who are such blabbermouths, their schools are very aware of the fact what I do for living much to my chagrin.
So let me tell you a little story. The first time I got "the phone call" from one of their principals, it was due to my oldest, Michael. He was in seventh grade at the time and I get a phone call from his principal. He's concerned about some bookmarks that Michael had brought to school with him. At first I was confused. Was he talking about the bookmarks that I had ordered for the kids? I mean I know wild animals on them might have been a bit childish for a 13 year old, but surely it wasn't issue. Then it hit me when the principal said that my son was giving pornographic bookmarks out, and while it had only been to a few of his favorite teachers, it really wasn't appropriate for the middle school. (Now mind you there was nothing pornographic on the bookmark - in fact it had the cover of one of my first books, Magic Touch. The issue was the fact that my author website was listed on the back of it...and his language arts teacher had gone to it and had been shocked.) Anyway my son had gotten into my box of swag for one of my current releases at the time and had taken several of my bookmarks to school.
|Cover on my bookmark - shocking isn't it?|
Talk about embarrassing. I promised the principal I'd make sure that I'd lock up my promo stuff and after having a talk with my son about who he tells about his mom's job, I thought the worst of it was over. Oh no but it wasn't. My son came home a few days later to tell me that his friends all wanted one, since they'd seen the one I altered for him, so he could use it. (I figured if the website address was the issue then I'd just blacked it out.) Which ended up in another discussion with the principal when he confiscated Michael's bookmark a couple of days latter. So I figured that was the end of it. I told him he simply couldn't use it at school. At home yes, school no.
I didn't factor in how stubborn my eldest was when I made this decision. Nor did I factor in how proud he is of the fact that mom writes. He was determined to use my bookmark at school, so he got creative. He went and took a pair of scissors and cut off the bottom of the bookmark - the part that had my website address on it. I thought for sure that the principal would confiscate this one too, but surprisingly he didn't - thank God, because I'd hate to think of what Michael would've done next. Now that there was no questionable info on the bookmark, my son once again asked if he could have some for his friends as long as he altered them. (my son is nothing if not persistent.) I grudgingly gave my permission, half expecting to hear from the principal again, but I didn't. And I'd have to say about half of my son's seventh grade class ended up with one.
Of course, I've learned something from this, like all good mom's should. My girls now use the same bookmark. They are currently in 3rd and 5th grade, and have inherited their mother's love of reading AND want to use the same bookmark my son uses...with the bottoms cut off, of course. While some may wonder at my actions, I have to tell you that I've forbidden them (the girls ) to give them to their friends until they are in high school. And so far they've agreed and I've had no more phone calls from the school about bookmarks. Now being put on the spot by my kids when they introduce me to their friends and friend's parents as an erotic author... that's a true story for another time. Although that does have me curious about how other authors deal with this type of situation.