I witnessed the birth of my sixteenth child a week last Sunday. Although it’s my sixteenth baby, I’m just excited to see it as the first one. THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY weighed in at 10oz and 8 inches long from head to toe. Not a bad size and weight all things considered. For an author, I don’t think there’s a smell like it. It’s a combination of fresh paper and glue that hasn’t had the chance to breathe in the air.
Although I joke, bringing a book into the world isn’t much different from bringing a child into the world, although I won’t have to send it to college or pay for its wedding. There’s the conception—that first spark of passion when the idea for the book is born. The excitement builds as the story grows from an idea into a story and the page count swells. It’s not long before it actually possesses a shape resembling the embryo manuscript. The editing process refines its shape and it starts to resemble the story I wanted to make. Then before I know it, it’s reached the end of its first trimester.
Then my baby enters a tricky stage as I search for a publisher and/or agent to assist with the birth. This can be a long and treacherous route filled with disappointment and setbacks, but I always have faith regardless of the passage of time. I know it has to happen. It’s happened before. And it does. Someone shares my love for my book and offers a contract that carries my baby through to its final trimester.
This is the most nervous of times. Everything looks sound enough, but I’ve experienced things going wrong. Publishers can change their mind. Circumstances can change. And I have to keep a careful eye on developments. But with little one, there were no such troubles. Compared to some of my children (I’m looking at you WE ALL FALL DOWN), this book went to term with few problems. It arrived on the day they told me.
Now that THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY is born—and did I mention it’s a fine looking kid—I still have a lot of work to do. Like any proud father, I have to show this baby off. Anyone and everyone who stops for more than two seconds is going to hear about how wonderful my baby is. I know it may bore some, but I can’t help it. I really love this one. This isn’t to say that I like this one any better than the others. Well, that’s what I tell my other books.
And what kind of father would I be if I didn’t break out the baby pictures? So here’s a picture of baby THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY.
So it’s cigars all round and I hope you’ll enjoy the bambino as much as I do.
Categories: book of the month shelf life