Tonight, I watched Hasan Minhaj's Netflix special. Toward the end, he talks about his callbacks for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. When he finally landed the gig, he wanted to say, "Jon ... this is the one thing I've gotten that my dad knows."
What comes out is, "Jon. My dad knows you!"
I lost it. I laughed and laughed. Because this is exactly the thought I had when I got the acceptance email from Charlie Finlay at Fantasy and Science Fiction.
My dad has never read a word of what I've written. I've published a book. I've been in an anthology. I've gotten enough sales where I'm now Active SFWA. Even back when I lived in Chicago and wrote plays, he never came and saw them. And I guess that's a good thing, because my mom got mad at my portrayal of a dad character in my junior year project.
But Dad knows what F&SF is.
When I quit my dayjob to be a writer, he worried. He told me, "Can't you at least sub for the district?" And I said, "No. I'm cutting this off completely."
But when I got this sale. My dream sale. The one I'd been working for ... he took me out to eat. He said, "They sell that in real bookstores!" He said, "That's where Dark Tower was." He said, "When I was a kid, I had F&SF all over my room. It got me through my childhood."
There are still miles to go. There are a million things I haven't done. But Charlie ... my dad knows you.