I spent most of this Saturday editing a massive horror novel my brilliantly talented husband has written, thus bringing up the subject of professional jealousy in our household. And I’d say it was rampant.
I’ve been Bruce’s first editor from the time we met. He, on the other hand, seldom reads anything I have written. By myself, that is. Often we write together, which means mainly we plot together and he does the actual writing, though not always.
Frankly, I hate to write. I just happen to love what I have written, and often it comes out of the blue anyway and it’s like reading it for the first time. The advantage to being Bruce’s first editor is that I get to read his stuff before anyone else does. The disadvantage is, when I’m editing Bruce’s book, I’m not writing my own.
You’d think that professional jealousy would not rear its ugly head between two people as crazy about each other as we are, but it’s plagued us from the beginning. We often had to work in different fields just to avoid it. And when we do work together, there’s always the question of who wrote what and which one of us came up with what idea. It gets pretty ridiculous sometimes, since Bruce has no memory for that sort of thing at all and I remember every little detail.
Our writing is actually nothing alike, though I can do a pretty fair imitation of Bruce’s style and have on occasion. But we both grew up on sci-fi and mystery stories, Shirley Jackson, and Alfred Hitchcock films, so we have a lot in common as far as our pop culture vocabulary goes. Nowdays it’s easy to tell the books we own apart; Bruce likes to read male writers and fiction, and I’ll read anything except a romance novel.
I’ve always been Bruce’s biggest fan. I’ve often wished he were mine. That spot is taken by my daughter Akisha, an enormous April booster and someone who has read my screenplays and attempts at novels over the years. As it is she and I often have exactly the same book, we like the same things as far as reading goes, and I trust her implicitly.
Bruce still doesn’t read my writing, exactly the way Richard Matthews in my book, LIE LIKE A WOMAN, does not read the novels Bree, his wife, writes. You could say it was art imitating life…