Creating a book is a lot like giving birth to a child. First, there’s the conception, which, while not nearly as much fun as its child-bearing counterpart, is still a joyous experience. Then there is the incubation period, during which your creation takes shape, growing in size and scope. Much like its human equivalent, it requires nourishment and care as it matures within the womb (or the mind). Finally, it’s ready to be delivered, but here is where the processes diverge. Unlike a human baby, which is “raised” after it is born, a book must be “edited” before it is released to the world. From there on, the similarities continue to diminish.
However, there is one phase of childbirth that we male and female authors share with our human counterparts: postpartum blues. Having gone through this laborious process a grand total of seven times, I think I qualify as an expert on the subject. The truth is it’s not easy to let your “baby” go. It hurts. There’s doubt, recrimination, fear, even loathing. But the worst aspect of letting go is the total loss of control. At least with a child, there are opportunities galore to nurture, correct, instruct, mold, and guide your progeny. With a book, it’s launch, goodbye, so long, see ya, adios, good luck! May the gods of fortune smile upon you.
I will confess that, on at least two occasions, I have shed actual tears upon the completion of a book. The first time it happened, it took me completely by surprise. At that moment, I truly empathized with the mother of my children, and, by extension, with every mother since the beginning of time. Then came the letdown, the emptiness, the loss of a sense of purpose. Yes, Matilda, I had the postpartum blues. Let me tell you it wasn’t pretty. No amount of comforting by my wife could ease the pain. I was suffering—big time! But, as any mother will agree, time heals all wounds, and I recovered.
I didn’t learn my lesson, though. Much like a drug addict released from rehab, I suffered a relapse and began the cycle of creation again. So, next Wednesday, March 1st, I will give birth once more, for the eight time. This “baby” is called Deadly Ransom, and it’s my final (at least, for the foreseeable future) Matt Davis mystery. It will fly the coop, test its wings, and, I hope, soar into literary immortality. Already I feel the pangs of separation anxiety, the recrimination, and the doubts. Perhaps I should have changed the ending? Too late, Cosmo. Maybe I should have more fully fleshed out my characters? Sorry, Charlie. No can do! But. But. But. Nope. No buts. It’s finished. Your reason for living is no more. (Okay, maybe that last one was a bit of an overreach.)
Well, friends, the dramatics are almost over. But first I want to ask, beg, cajole, plead, and kindly request that you please take a look at my new creation. If you like YouTube (who doesn’t?) you can watch the YouTube trailer. If nothing else, it is kind of fun to watch. I sincerely hope you’ll consider buying either the print edition or one of the eBook versions for Kindle or Nook. Tell a friend about it. Re-blog this post. Share it on Facebook. Tweet it! Pin it! Snapchat it! (I have no idea what that last one even is.) I promise this is the last time I’ll mention it.
So, thanks for listening and we now return you to your regularly scheduled program (or something like that). See you next week!