Sarah Dayan Mueller, author of “Home in a Hundred Places,” recently wrote fondly on the Authors Supporting Authors Facebook group, about memories of her father printing out her manuscripts and reading them. It made us think of all the people we turn to as writers; the people we ask to be the guinea pigs and be the first to plunge into our work.
These are often husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, boyfriends, girlfriends, daughters, sons, friends, etc. Many are unwilling participants – but there are times when we find that one person who is not only willing but enthusiastic; who takes their job of being Reader One very seriously, who supports and encourages us, even if only in the way they curl up on the sofa to read the words that we have penned.
Here is Sarah on her dad: “One of the clearest memories I have of my dad is of him sitting on our couch with his glasses on, a pencil in his hand, reading my latest writings. He printed out every short story I wrote or full manuscript I dreamed up, and sat in the living room until he read the first word to the very last. He was my strongest supporter and greatest encourager in life.”
Sadly, her father is no longer alive. She writes: “But after all these years of fictional storytelling, I knew it was time to tell the greatest story I have ever known. “Home in a Hundred Places” is my new novel, based on the true-life events of my dad as he maneuvered and escaped a life of espionage in Egypt and eventually settled in New York, only to have dementia slowly erase a lifetime’s worth of adventures and experiences… He passed away before he got the chance to sit on the couch one more time to read this novel or see it published and on the shelves at Barnes & Noble. He read every piece of writing I ever created because he was my biggest fan, and I wrote this story of his beautiful life because I’m his biggest fan too.”
Hats off to your dad Sarah, and to you for remembering him in this very special way.
Excerpts from Sarah’s Facebook post reproduced with permission.