I think today is my father’s 80th birthday. I’m not sure – all the time I was growing up, I was confused as to whether it was the 19th or the 20th of February.

That’s the relationship I had with my father – it was hard to ask him even when his birthday was, and then later too hard to admit I didn’t know. I say “had” though he’s still alive because I have no relationship with him now. It’s better that way.

Thinking about it, I write about father/daughter relationships quite often. In The Loves of Leopold Singer, the woman with the better father (and by that, I mean the father who is there for her and actively cares for her) ends up with the hero. When a rake becomes a good father, he becomes a better man. Even in my fantasy Bleeder, a king who is a good father goes against ingrained custom to give his daughter something royal first-borns are always denied: a name.

A lot of my heroines are orphans.

In the upcoming Bride of Fae, the fairy Aubrey is tormented by feelings for his daughter Elyse. He’d rather not deal with the inconvenience. Hm. A psych candidate could write a dissertation on my books….

At any rate, I don’t wish my father many happy returns of the day. It isn’t a sad thing. I’m glad to be free of him. But then, maybe I’m not.