That means, dear readers, that today I will be relinquishing control of my blog and handing it over to my fiance Steve (who will be my husband in a week - eek). This is for the Significant Other Blogfest, hosted by DL Hammons and Talli Roland, where the people who selflessly support writers tell us what it's like to deal with us. The trials, the tribulations. The hell. The (occasional?) joys. Do pop over to the blogfest link and check out the other entries!
Now, over to Steve.
I’ve now lived with an author for seven months, and have been romantically entangled with one for nearly two years. (The author in question being Sangu, by the way, not some other random person.)
The first thing that comes to my head is how wonderful it is to watch someone go about their craft and see how submersed they are in it, how they can’t be distracted by anything (unless the thing is consumable…) It’s not unusual for me to spend a couple of hours playing computer games or watching TV with Sangu tip-tip-tapping away next to me, completely oblivious. And it makes me extremely happy that she can now make a career out of something she loves so much.
I suppose that living with an author means that you have to accept certain things.
1) Sometimes you will be less real than characters.
2) Sometimes you will be a postman/tea-boy/waiter.
3) Not speaking to your partner for several hours, without feeling ignored.
4) Your partner may not do any writing for a month, and then not look up from their laptop for a week.
5) Small quirks and foibles are Very Important Things.
It was a very eye-opening experience for someone who reads a lot of books (though nowhere near as many as Sangu does) to realize just how much effort, thought and time goes into a single sentence – let alone a book. It is a mad experience to have a conversation with Sangu about characters talking to her and not wonder if she’s clinically insane, or to hear the level of detail authors have stored in their heads about every character of every project they’ve ever worked on.
I have only actually watched Sangu finish one book during the two years we’ve been together, and that was the one that is soon to be published. It is quite amazing to watch a spark of an idea grow into a story, evolve over umpteen drafts, pick up an agent and finally a publisher.
I like to act like a normal reader when reading through Sangu’s work (i.e. not knowing anything about a book before I read each chapter on the laptop). This is one of the hardest parts of being with a writer – it’s so tempting to ask for spoilers the whole time! Especially when you really want to know what’s going to happen next (damn you, chapter-ending cliffhangers!) When you buy a completed book, you can read on till it’s done if you want to, but with a work-in-progress I sometimes have to wait weeks before reading the next page. This doesn’t even begin to describe the many projects she’s started and abandoned right after hooking me.
So, you know. It can be agony. But it's also amazing to be with a writer. And I wouldn't swap it for anything.