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April 18, 2013

Michelle Miles: How popular are you?

Photo courtesy Zimbio.Com
A few days ago, my son (who is 11) and I were running a few errands. One of the stops was the post office in which I was mailing a box of swag and a free book as well as an envelope with some swag. He held up the envelope and asked if that was bookmarks. I said yes and that they were for a reader.

Then the conversation went like this:

"Mom, how popular are you?"

"What do you mean?"

"In your book stuff. How popular are you?"

I couldn’t help it. I laughed. "I’m pretty much a nobody, son."

He didn’t seem to believe me. "But on a scale of 1 to 100, how popular are you?"

I laughed again. I guess to him I am SUPER popular because I have books and talk about writing pretty much 24/7. I’m sure my husband and son are sick of me. It’s all consuming. Just ask them. Poor guys.

When I didn’t respond, he said, "Like...are you a 60 or an 80?"

Bless his little heart. He thinks I’m that popular. I muttered, "More like a 20."

And then we had a long discussion about genre fiction. One of his questions was, "Why don’t you write science fiction or fantasy, Mom?"

I think that’s a sign, don’t you?

But we had a good in-depth discussion about genre fiction and what it is and what it’s not. He wanted to know about all the sub-genres and then, very intelligently, told me I should be writing science fiction or fantasy. I think that's just for him, though. ;) I told him I "sorta" wrote that but it was different in that it was part of the romance I wrote. Yes, he knows I write romances just not exactly WHAT they're about. And I'm going to keep that way until he's at least 35.

Anyway, then he asked a little about non-fiction, which is TOTALLY not my realm but we discussed. He’s quite intelligent for an 11 year old, actually.

But the "popular" question got me to thinking. And I couldn’t help but equate it to those high school days where I was totally NOT one of the popular kids. I was in the "ignore" group. The band geek. The nerd who liked Star Trek and wrote fan fiction in the back of class (maybe why I flunked Chemistry and Algebra 2? Sorry, Mom). The one who hung out with the smart kids but who was too lazy to BE one of the smart kids.

I’m still the kid at the back of the class writing fiction. Only difference now is I have my name on a few books. Does that make me popular? To my son it does.

Maybe being "popular" in my kid’s view is all that really matters. He thinks I’m popular because I write books. I think that’s pretty special.

Michelle Miles writes contemporary, paranormal and fantasy romance. Most of her time is spent daydreaming about pirates and knights in shining armor and faraway lands were there are still princes and princesses. Find out more about her books at her website or follow her on Twitter.


Sylvia said...

Oh My God MIchelle what a great post. Don't you think we're still dealing with the popular kids? No, I wasn't popular in high school and my popularity as an author is not what I'd like. But now I accept me for what I am and think my stories are fun. I'm fun and you don't know what you're missing. I was the tennis geek in school until my last year when I went to work.

Michelle Miles said...

I just feel like I'm stuck in the "you are NOT popular" group. It's like a clique I can never get into. But I agree with you - I accept ME for ME and LOVE what I write. It's okay if not everyone does. :)

Karilyn Bentley said...

Aw, that's so sweet of your son! What a great post! When you tell people you write, they tend to think you rake in the big bucks and are halfway to stardom. I just laugh. Maybe I'll get there one of these days. :)

Kathleen Baldwin said...


this is a touching post and I'm going to tweet in just a second. But first...

You are not a kid at the back of the class! No way! No how! Your writing is getting all kinds of attention and look at how you just had editors and agents standing up and taking notice.

Writing is extremely competitive. It is like trying out for American Idol. You know how many people are standing in those lines waiting for a chance just to be heard? Thousands. Well, in our case there are several million in line waiting to be heard.

You've been heard. That means you're already ahead of the pack. As we grow our readership and hone our craft more readers will discover us.

You are brilliant and kind and a strong writer. The rest will come.

Liz Lipperman said...

Loved this post, Michelle. I was not all that popular in HS, either--played in the band. But I did date the start fullback--and lucky me--I married him!!

When it comes to popularity, mid list authors will always take a back seat to the Noras and Janets of the world. That doesn't mean our books aren't just as well-written, though!!

Kathy Ivan said...

Boy, Michelle, you made me feel just like that unpopular kid who sits in class, working on her assignments or writing, and not fitting in with the rest. That was me all through school.

I agree with Kat, though. You are such a talent writer, I see you going big places. With the Princesses, you are also #1. (or 100 depending on how you look at it.) :-)

Phyllis said...

Hum...reminds me of 3rd grade. Don't really know why I did it, but after telling my teacher 'No' she grabbed my ear and marched me down the halls to the principals office. That made me feel a little unpopular to say the least.

Pamela Stone said...

Well, I'm thinking in your son's mind you are a 100 on his scale and that is the most important thing. Great post.

Michelle Miles said...

Aw you gals are the BEST. Thank you :) I'm so lucky to be a part of you!

Liese said...

Popularity can be fleeting (ask any of the one-hit wonders), but being first in your child's heart--that's something else. A great post!

Vicki Batman, sassy writer said...

Hi, Michelle! I think it is wonderful your son wants to talk with you. Period. That rates high in my...rating book. You scored a 100. I always told my boys "You don't want to peak in high school."
We move, grow, shake things up for the rest of our lives.

And yes, my boys think I know everyone. LOL