We’re waiting now to see what Legend Press’s brilliant cover designer people come up for book 2. The Paradise Trees cover is going to be a very hard act to follow; it’s so perfect for the story – the circle of trees in the wood.
Lots of people have said something like, ‘Well, it’s your baby, isn’t it?’ when we’ve been talking about having a book published, and it really is true. I’ll never forget the morning when I opened my email and started to read what the Legend Press editor had sent me, skimming over her ‘the story works much better now’ compliments (she’d recommended a couple of changes), looking for the ‘thanks but no thanks’ bit – and then realizing she was offering me a contract. I stared at it for a moment feeling completely numb, then went through to the kitchen and said to the dog (who looked at me as if I was completely bananas) ‘Shiva I’m having a book…’
That was the start. Just like looking at your pregnancy test and suddenly there’s a blue line in the little window. And the comparison went on from there. For a week or two I basked in the feeling of creating something unique; enjoying the special time – exactly like being pregnant! – planning for the future, buying odds and ends for the ‘baby’ (like a laptop that actually worked to correspond with my publishers on…), and feeling on top of the world, apart from those brief moments of sheer terror about what lay ahead. Would I be a good parent to The Paradise Trees??
And then the ‘birth’. The eagerly awaited email – ‘Here’s your book cover’ – and I opened it and immediately fell in love… (Okay, that bit was considerably easier than real childbirth). But now I knew what my baby looked like. And of course, just like having a real baby, everyone else admired it too!
Childhood commenced… We made a few small changes to the text which were fun most of the time but slightly tricky upon occasion too – like being a parent, hard work but oh-so-worth-it.
And then, suddenly, a different time was upon us. Puberty. AKA the line by line edit.
This is where my baby/book took on a life of its own, ably assisted by its peers/editor (who did a magnificent job!). I watched in amazement, changing bits here and there, brainstorming with the editor, as The Paradise Trees changed into its ‘adult’ self – had I really created this?? (I think that about my kids sometimes too now…)
And then my baby left home. Went to print. And I knew that nothing would ever be the same again. I could only watch it begin to find its way in the world, and hope that people would be kind to it…
Now I’m ‘expecting’ again. That glorious time when everything is possible. I wonder what my next baby will look like. Will it be love at first sight again? Watch this space!