Welcome to First Monday Mentoring for April.
You’d think after writing ninety-one books that having a new one out would be ho-hum. But it never is.
Any published author will agree there’s a special excitement about seeing your new baby out in the world, whether in ebook or print. I’m told the feeling is a bit like having babies – you’ve brought to life something that never existed before.
It’s an amazing feeling.
You want to touch the newborn; count fingers and toes, show them off to anyone who’ll indulge you. In book terms, that means reading over words you already know by heart and talking to others about them.
I’ve been asked if I read my own books. Not in the same way as a new reader, but I certainly marvel that the jumble of thoughts in my head could turn into anything so beautiful. Until you find your first typo. No matter how many times you and your editors have gone over every word, there are always typos and they stab your new-parent self to the heart. You will also see things you could have written better, or differently. But basically you marvel that you did this amazing thing.
Then you wonder if you can ever do the amazing thing again. If you’re a writer, you will, of course, but don’t expect it to be any easier the second – or the hundredth time.
You will know what to expect; what the pitfalls are; but every book is its own creation. That’s what keeps the process interesting.
You need more than a good idea
Many non writers assume a good idea is all you need. Having an idea is wonderful, a new toy for your brain to play with. But just as raising a child involves more than giving birth, having an idea is only a beginning.
I totally get writers like James Patterson, who has so many ideas that he collaborates with writers all over the world. Australia’s own Katherine Fox joined them when she wrote Private Sydney. I was delighted for her. A new challenge, working with the single best-selling author in the world, bar none, for more than a decade. What’s not to like?
Ask any parent and they’ll tell you they love all their children equally. Truth is they love them all differently. Some they never connect with at all, no matter how hard they try. Some they love from the moment they open their tiny eyes.
Ideas are the same. Some we can’t wait to write, yet they flounder on the screen. Others we don’t want to write but they nag at us, sometimes for years, until we give them life.
My Beacon series is one of those. I love science fiction, but I was busy writing romantic suspense. Who were these strange, half-alien people with extraordinary powers? Where did they come from? From that same biological soup we come from as people. Ideas exist in the ether, waiting for a writer to inhale them and give them life.
My Beacons – a listener, a watcher and a messenger from another planet – connect with the universe in superhero-type ways. From the start I knew them. Wanted to tell their stories. What came was a series of three ebooks and two novellas, the first published last month by Pan Macmillan’s Momentum ebook imprint. They’re publishing the whole series between now and the end of June, delighting readers who hate waiting for the next books in a series…cough, cough…me, for instance.
Here’s where the baby-analogy gets twisted. Unless they’re quintuplets, no new parent has five children in four months. Yet I’m loving that part, although my book-parenting skills are pretty stretched. I get to show off all five book babies in places I’ve never ventured before – iBooks Store and Google Play well as Amazon US, UK and Australia, and a host of other places.
That’s the beauty of book babies. We get to share them all over the world. Readers can buy or download them; review them; share their discoveries with friends. And book babies never get old.
As a book parent, what stories are you nurturing right now, or struggling to? Do you have favourites? How do you feel when you get a shiny new idea? Share your thoughts in the comment box below. It’s moderated to avoid spam, but you can skip this step by clicking on “sign me up” at right. I don’t share your details with anyone.
Happy book parenting!
on Twitter @ValerieParv and Facebook
Valerie’s sci-fi series continues with Beacon Starfound, April 14 and
Beacon Earthbound out May 12.
via Amazon.com.au Amazon.com & Amazon.co.uk – also
Barnes and Noble (Nook devices)
Google Play (All devices except Kindle)
iBooks Store (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac)
Kobo (All devices except Kindle)
Full list of titles and publication dates http://www.valerieparv.com