Daddy’s Little Girl

With Father’s Day being next Sunday, I started thinking about dads in young adult fiction.  Unless he’s a total jerk, abusive, or otherwise larger than life and causing conflict for the teen protagonist, most dads present tend to lurk in the background.  Loving, supportive, but probably confused by how his DNA could possibly have anything to do with the hormonal being living in his house, eating all the food, and constantly asking for money.

While some dad relationships are formed by a crisis or major trial, the stuff that makes for great fiction writing, I’m pretty darned content that I didn’t have to suffer through that.  Sure, I had a whopping total of three dates in high school.  In hindsight, I probably shouldn’t have mentioned in front of the cute guy at the lunch table that my dad would likely greet a date at the front gate with a shotgun, but my teen years were relatively dad-conflict-free.

My dad should automatically qualify for a spot in Heaven having tolerated so much estrogen and drama by raising three girls.  He earns extra credit for dealing with all that baton twirling stuff:  the lessons, sitting through a decade’s worth of recitals, and paying for costumes.  And in my competitive twirling years?  The man survived endless hours of marching music, a severe case of bleacher butt, and subsisted on gymnasium snack-bar cuisine.  That’s got to count for something.  But as far as filling my teen years with inspiring novel-worthy conflict?  Dad’s a total slacker.

I’m sure I probably complained stuff my dad wouldn’t let me do, but chances are my cafeteria conversations had more to do with the hot new guy in my French class or how unfair that seniors couldn’t have off-campus lunch despite the hole in the fence separating the school from Burger King.  My dad hasn’t had a direct influence on my writing.  He didn’t encourage me to write, but he did something more important.  He encouraged me to follow my heart, to take a chance, and to do my best, no matter what the endeavor.  Thanks Dad!


About Micki Gibson

Young Adult fiction writer
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5 Responses to Daddy’s Little Girl

  1. danicaavet says:

    Great post, Micki! Your dad sounds like a great person 🙂


  2. jeff7salter says:

    Great tribute to dads in general … and to your dad.
    I’ll prob. cover this more on Thur., but my dad WAS instrumental in my development as a writer.
    I haven’t written a character based on my dad — yet — but I did use my dad’s WW2 experience as the back-story for a minor supporting character in my 3rd novel ms.
    Now, I DID use my father-in-law as direct inspiration for a major supporting character who appears in each of my first three novel ms. He was very flattered at the first two … but died before he could read the third. I know he would have loved *his* character in that third one.


  3. Lavada Dee says:

    “He encouraged me to follow my heart, to take a chance, and to do my best, no matter what the endeavor. ”
    I loved this sentence you wrote because that is what my Dad did for me. He influenced my writing by just being who he was.

    Great blog.


  4. Love this, Micki- wonderful tribute!


  5. Micki Gibson says:

    Thanks, everyone! For a man I know so well, it was tough to keep it to a few words and not veer off into too many directions. But yes, my dad is a great person and I’ll get to spend Sunday with him earning mega daughter bonus points! (Taking him and my mom on a cruise for their 50th wedding anniversary!)


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