Whenever I guest-blog, I like to mention that fact right on top. Primarily because I know I personally hate going to a blog I visit regularly, start reading, then halfway through the blog entry go, "Hmmm, So and So doesn't sound like him/herself," only to get to the bottom and see that he/she had been temporarily body-snatched by a guest-blogger. It feels a little bait-and-switchy. So. For those like me who just hate that - I AM NOT KYRA.
I am Alina Adams, author of The Figure Skating Mysteries from Berkley Prime Crime, and Kyra's fellow Mom of Mystery.
Kyra and I are trying a little experiment where I'm going to guest-blog on a vaguely regular basis, hopefully to the benefit and joy of all. Since this is a writing blog, I thought I'd start with a post on writing -- so as not to make too jarring of a transition. But, since I am, well... me (you don't know what that means yet, but, believe me, if this guest-blogging stint continues, you will... boy, will you...), I am going to start with an apropos to nothing blog about how publishing a book is like having kids. (Well, it's apropos to nothing to you, to me, it's apropos to a two year old sitting on my lap as I try to type and a six year old screaming from the next room, "How do you spell APOLOGIZE?... What do you mean why do I need to know? No reason.")
Publishing is like having kids in that, before you have one, you think it's a really great idea. You've heard everybody else's horror stories about how hard it could be, but you figure you're smart, competent and well, let's be honest, just a tiny bit superior to everyone around you. So you expect to be the exception.
Publishing a book is like having kids in that the initial conception is usually a pretty good time for the participants, and also seems like a truly original and brilliant idea.
And then the nausea comes. That would be the actual writing part. Especially the part where you have a killer opening, a bang-up ending, and no idea how to get from one to the other in 300 pages. If that doesn't make you throw up at least once, you must be one of those people not genetically programmed for it.
After an indeterminate time (sorry, I'm a pretty fast writer and, apparently, a speedy gestater as well; both my kids were born before their due dates), there comes the horrifically, unimaginably painful part known as submitting the book and having it rejected. Repeatedly. In waves that get more and more intense with each occurrence and no guarantee of how many there will ultimately be before it ends.
Then come the sleepless nights, i.e. the time period between an editor accepting your book and the contract arriving, thus proving that this is neither a practical joke by your friend with a desktop publishing program nor is it a stress-induced delusion on your part.
Finally, you have your cute little baby safe in your arms. It's the prettiest thing you've ever seen and you can't fight the urge to stop even strangers in the street so that they might coo over it. But then... developmental problems. You can't help noticing -- though you know it's wrong to compare books; everyone develops at their own pace -- that other people's darlings seem to be toddling a little higher up the best-seller list, speaking a little better on the talk shows, and bringing home several more gold stars of excellence from Publisher's Weekly.
With every review, you find yourself wanting to clarify for the well-meaning critic that they simply misunderstood what your angel was trying to accomplish. What they saw as a weakness is actually a strength. Wait, let me explain it to you!
Eventually, however, the brain is such that it allows you to forget the pain. Especially when that adorable royalty check arrives months (who am I kidding? years) after the initial labor and delivery. You look at that cute little payout which, now that the hard part is over, it feels like you earned by doing nothing, and, all of a sudden, you're ready to try for another one!
Sex, Murder And A Double Latte IN STORES NOW!!!
Preorder Passion,Betrayal And Killer Highlights In Stores May 2006!
For The Love Of A Dog--A fun online read