“You didn’t write that book!”

I was exhibiting my books at the Swiss Pantry Open House in Belvedere, Tennessee, with various other venders. A visitor marches up to my booth and brings my authorship into question! And, of course, I didn’t have my copyright certificates with me!

“You wrote that one,” he said, again, pointing to the Patchwork Princess.

“But you didn’t write that one.” He pointed to Mudcat the Pirate.

“Yes, I wrote all three of these,” I answered, indicating the children’s trilogy.

“No, you didn’t write that one,” he insisted, standing in front of the pirate book.

“Who did write it?” I asked.

“He did.” He pointed to my husband, sitting at the back of the booth.

“I read it,” my husband said, “but she wrote it.”

“No, you wrote it!” He turns and walks away, unconvinced.

I must explain that this book browser probably hadn’t seen his sixth birthday yet, but he was secure in his belief; his gender lines didn’t blur: girls write girl things; boys write boys things. Princesses are for girls, and pirates are in boys’ territory.

So, for the further education of my fellow authors, if you’re a lady, you may take credit for writing a girly book; if you write a book for boys, you had better use your husband’s name.

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