Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Family Matters

My cousin Eileen has always been one of my favorite people. She’s ever-so-slightly older than I am, which made her one of my childhood idols. She was smart, funny, pretty—and I loved spending time with her. I suspect she probably thought I was a pain, being younger and all, but if she did she never let on. She was, even then, classy.

Now that we’re adults Eileen and I have a relationship that is truly one of my treasures. I still look up to her but we’re friends now. The age difference (which is, I assure you, very minor!) has disappeared, the way years seem to do when one grows up. I love it that we’re cousins and share history, genes and relatives.

I can’t talk about Eileen without saying that she’s been especially fabulous this past year. She has been so loving, compassionate and supportive through the difficult times that I don’t believe I’ll ever be able to tell her just how much her presence in my life means to me. There have been so many days when her heartfelt notes or funny stories in my email folder have made me smile. Believe me, she has been a high point in a tough stretch.

By now you probably think this post is about my cousin Eileen. Well, it is…and it isn’t.

My cousin reads all my books, for which I will be eternally grateful. I love it that she shares this journey with me. I especially love it that she tells me—without holding back—what she thinks of each book. It’s funny how hearing the truth from someone who taught you how to tie your shoes, then laughed when they came untied and you tripped on the laces, can mean so much. Her opinions come from a place no one else occupies, so she sees things others don’t.

When Eileen read Last Chance and wrote to tell me her impressions, my heart sang. Why? Because she was so completely on-target with her thoughts. She saw things about the book that others didn’t catch. She wondered why so-and-so got killed, cheered when someone else got his just rewards and wondered what happened to this one or that one. Eileen even inquired about a house—a house, for goodness’ sake! I laughed aloud when she asked about the house, because I wanted someone to wonder about it.

You see? Eileen “got” exactly what I hoped a reader would get from the book. She saw beyond the written page, into the characters’ lives and heads. Writing-wise, it doesn’t get better for me than that.

Thanks, Eileen. For everything.


Sue W. said...

So great that you have such a close cousin. She sounds like a doll!

Have a nice day!

Dru said...

That is so cool about your cousin.

Have a great Wednesday.

Melissa McClone said...

Those are the best kinds of readers! Very nice!

Mary said...

It is something else that you are still so close with your cousin. What a great relationship!!

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