One of my test readers for The Clockwork Butterfly is the son of my best friend. And when I say friend, I really mean that I tolerate him as an acquaintance, but I’d like to keep him sweet because his son is useful.
This test reader is a young man of impeccable taste, renowned intellectual rigour and piercing wit. He’s also eleven. My “friend” has informed me that his son is enjoying the book and was knocked out when he realised who wrote it. This was encouraging but could easily have been a white lie to keep the pretence of our friendship alive.
However my daughter has been speaking to my young test reader and has elicited a little gem of information that has alleviated some of the crippling melancholy laced around my heart.
He said to her that it was the second best book he’d ever read. She told me this with a straight face. I did a little dance and then made her repeat what he’d told her.
My next course of action is to find out what is his favourite book and spoil it for him somehow so that mine becomes his all time favourite.