How to make your wife cry

Want to make your wife cry?

Take a lesson from my husband.

This is what he posted on Facebook the day A DEAD MAN’S EYES became available for pre-order:

“When I met Lori 28 years ago, she had a dream. She had always had a passion for storytelling and wanted to pursue creative writing. While she loved working as a journalist and was a tenacious reporter, she loved the writing. Later I would learn that this was nothing new. Her siblings used to battle her proclivity for telling incessant tales by chanting, “Lori has a story,” repeatedly to shut her down.

Within five years, it looked like she might be on the road to that dream. We moved to Arizona and for a fleeting time it looked like she might have more time to write. What we didn’t know was that she was already pregnant on the trip west. For the next 20 years “time to write” would become a wavy mirage.Her dream took a back seat to my career.

We moved four times. She worked to support our growing family as three more kids arrived. She did technical writing. She taught college level English in Arizona and New York. She started a business selling products related to writing. All this kept on the periphery of the work she loved. Being a mom was her top priority and not once did she ever feel writing should come before that. Late at night or on an occasional weekend, she pulled it off. She would go months without writing fiction and then get in a groove and crank out several chapters in a few weeks.

Over time, she wrote not one, but several novels.

Meanwhile, the traditional publishing industry changed dramatically to a shadow of what it was. Amazon changed the business model. The distinction between traditionally published works (they pay you) and self-published works (you pay them) was harder for readers to discern.What this meant was that the process I and some of our friends had followed years ago – get an agent, write a book, negotiate a deal and get a modest advance and hope for sales – was much harder to achieve. Unless you already had a platform – such as being a celebrity with advice on a protein diet – it became harder to publish and publishers became increasingly less likely to arrange publicity and foot the bill for marketing.

So this 28-year journey also has entailed: Getting an agent. Parting ways with that agent. Getting a second agent. Parting ways with the second agent. Getting a book contract with a publisher and then cancelling that contract when that publisher’s staff failed to meet deadlines and, at the end, even acknowledge emails. And, most recently, getting a second publishing contract for not just one novel, but multiple books.

So, I think I can speak for our kids, co-workers and friends who have been in the passenger seat on this ride in saying congratulations on achieving what truly has been your lifelong dream. As for me, I could not be prouder of my wife and best friend. Although she has published non-fiction and short stories, she has insisted I cannot call her “author” until her novel is on sale. Understandable, given the long climb this has been. But as of today, you also become my favorite author, Lori Duffy Foster.

To quote the great doctor:

‘You’re off to great places!

Today is your day!

Your mountain is waiting,

So… get on your way!’ “

Oh, geez. Here I go again!

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