Rock ‘n roll fans know that today is a watershed day in history—the anniversary of the birth of Elvis Presley, The King of Rock ‘n Roll.
Today is also a landmark for me—the birth of my baby. No, not an infant that needs changing and feeding. Been there, done that. Instead, it’s the book birthday of my third historical romance.
A Game of Chance releases today, January 8, and an author having a book come out is a lot like producing a new life. Just as when I gave birth to my daughter, I was looking forward to her arrival. I had hopes and dreams for her. I wanted people to like her. Even love her unconditionally as I did before I ever saw her sweet face and chubby cheeks.
My novel marched along a parallel path. I took the single phrase “separated at birth” and developed a plotline of twin boys who are literally separated at birth. One is born, and the scum of a father takes off with the baby, leaving the dying mother behind. What he doesn’t know is that before she passes on, she gives birth to an identical twin boy. I had creative fun in bringing these two men together as they meet twenty-five years down the road, with neither knowing of the other’s existence. Throw in a beautiful heroine along with a high stakes poker game, and the challenge was on.
I nurtured the book and its characters as any mother would her newborn child. I saw it through a complicated adolescence, with those tricky parts in the middle, trying to keep the plot moving and my readers guessing, until I could find a way to bring it to a satisfying conclusion. After the gestation process of brainstorming, writing and editing, I’ve enjoyed working with my cover artist and seeing the cover developed as the characters were brought to life both through my written words and reflected now in art.
And as I held high expectations and wished the best for my own flesh-and-blood child, I have hopes that my novel finds an audience who will be entertained and simply enjoy reading my story and growing close to its characters. Just as I wanted people to come to know my fabulous daughter as she grew up and appreciate the individual she was, I desire readers who will wrap their arms around my hero Jed and my heroine Lily and hold them close. I feel I’ve grown as a writer, and my editor believes this is my best effort yet—but only time will tell. As a mother has to let go of that child she holds dearest as it flies from the nest, I’ve got to step back and let my book grow its own wings, too—and hopefully soar.
So on The King’s birthday today, I feel a little like Jack Dawson in Titanic as my book is brought into the world. Yes, for this one day I’ll shout to the rooftops—“I’m the King of the World!”