The One True Reader
Sometimes, on school visits, I'm asked if I've written any novels that haven't been published. And this is the story that I tell.
Once upon a time, I wrote a novel called Alison and Jordy. It was the story of a couple of diffident twenty-something friends who couldn't quite manage to translate their liking for each other into romance. These two characters were, of course, based on myself, and a friend and workmate of mine who I really, really liked, but was never sure how much he liked me back.
Anyway, I was going off on an overseas trip and I gave the manuscript of this novel to a mutual friend to read -- a very unusual thing for me to do, by the way, as I am very protective of my works in progress and never show anything to anyone. However... while I was gadding about in Scotland and New York, this friend, absolutely without my knowledge or permission, gave the manuscript to the real life 'Jordy'.
(At this point all the girls in the audience usually gasp with horror.)
When I discovered that she had done this, I was completely mortified. Now 'Jordy' would find out how I felt about him! I would have to front up to work every day, with him knowing that I harboured this massive crush! How humiliating... how embarrassing... How could I ever look him in the eye again?
Well. The day I arrived back in Australia, 'Jordy' turned up on my doorstep. Not long after that, he confessed that he, too, harboured certain feelings that he'd been too shy to express... And we've been together ever since.
(At this point all the girls in the audience go awwwww!)
The manuscript of Alison and Jordy is still in my bottom drawer. It has never been published, and I daresay will never be published. But that doesn't matter, because, even though I didn't realise it at the time, it was written for just one person to read.
Happy (almost) anniversary, Mikey.
(And thank you, Sandra!)